Blood and Bonnets

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle


First Look:

Well, it was enough to make me give it a second look.  The creepy vibe combined with the Amish clothing was different enough for me to read the jacket copy.

Jacket Copy:

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.


Yes.  There’s at least one more book, which will be out in September.

Worth Reading?


It’s a thoughtful book, but don’t read it for the nonstop action, because you won’t find it.

Notable Things:


Ethics!  The most thoughtful parts of the book are those that deal with ethics and questions of faith and religion.  Most of the questions are ones I’ve dealt with in my own heart already, but for the teen target audience, they may be fresh and revelatory.


Blood!  There are the monsters, which are like the more traditional, creepy vampire, but for the most part, the reader doesn’t see them.  It’s more about the dread and the aftermath than action.  Bickle does create dread very well, and the scene where Katie has to help clean up the house of a slaughtered family is the most memorable one of the book.


Useless Romance.  I really wish that Katie didn’t fall in love with…who she falls in love with…or at least that he didn’t like her back.  It would have been more effective and refreshing if her emotional journey was really ALL about herself.


Katie’s path of self-discovery was interesting, but I really kept reading this book for the dread, the feeling of creeping horror.  It’s not always what I’m looking for in a book, but it hit the spot this time, and it was done well.  I have no idea why this book has a sequel.  It seems the perfect standalone–Katie has decided the path that’s right for her, after much self-examination and a lot of disillusionment with the way she’s been raised–so for a book that is all about questions, why can’t we just leave her with her fate undecided?




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