The Hallowed Ones, Book 1
Synopsis : Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there…and it is making a killing.
Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: no one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?
Review: I have not yet had the opportunity to read books about the Amish, but it’s a very interesting topic. It is a culture so different from ours that it is always nice to learn more about it. I knew Laura Bickle by another urban fantasy series, one written under the name of Alayna Williams. But it is true that I was curious about this Young Adult novel. I would also like to thank Sullivan McPig who was kind enough to send me the novel to make me discover it. I really had a great time.
Katie is a young girl part of the Amish community, and like any girl, she dreams of a life full of adventures. But this is not the community that will offer her all that. Known for her acts of rebellion, she now only wants one thing and it’s to realize her Rumspringa and explore the outside world and all the things it has to offer before making her final choice. But when that time is almost here and that she hopes to leave with her lifelong friend Elijah, a very strange event occurs, cutting short all her dreams. Indeed, it seems that a great plague happenned in this outside world, making disappear any persons living in the neighbourhood village, and even two Elijah’s brothers who were there during that time. Therefore, the elders decide to close the borders of their land, preventing anyone from leaving or entering. But Katie is far from being a girl who follows the rules without question them, and after several decrees violated, she will commit an act that could exile her. Indeed, when she discovers a young man seriously injured outside the borders, she knows she needs to save him. However, this is not the opinion of the elders who want to kill him to shorten his sufferings, being convinced that nobody should be able to enter. But behind their back, she’ll take him home to heal and so have the opportunity to learn the truth about what is happening outside.
I really enjoyed the story of this novel and I really hope we’ll discover more in the sequel. Katie is a fascinating character to follow, she is brave, and of great kindness, but far from the Amish standards, she has many questions about the outside world and her faith. Although anxious about the consequences of her actions, she dares to defy the authority of the elders and do what she thinks is for the best. But this terrible event will completely change her life, making her question everything. And when she learns what is going on outside, she realizes that everything is sometimes more complicated than it seems. Through our young heroine, we also discover that her best friend Elijah only dreams of one thing, to marry her. But although she thought she knew him, we discover that it is really not the case. Alex, the young man she saves is also the most interesting character and it was a pleasure to learn more about him and understand who he was through the chapters.
This is a very good novel by Laura Bickle. She shares a story that is developing gradually in the course of the history. We discover and understand Katie’s doubts and suspicions, allowing us to know what she thinks and so discover a whole new world. I’m really attached to all the characters and I can’t wait to meet them soon.