The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Growing up in an Amish community, Katie is looking forward to Rumspringa for a real taste of the Outside world. Her and childhood friend Elijah have everything planned out that they want to do before going back to the Plain community to give up their childhood ways and get married. But a series of strange events send Katie's life into an uncontrolled spiral. Strange things are happening, people are disappearing, and Katie must decide if she should trust herself and do what is right or listen to the Elders and ignore everything, hoping it will go away.
As you can see from my five-star rating, I really, really liked this book. Katie is not fearless, but despite her fear she does what she believes is right. Throughout the story she is constantly searching for something to justify or confirm her community's faith. She realizes that she is not perfect, which makes her feel guilty, but she can't help but question how God's will fits into the horrific events taking over her life. She is young and innocent and has an appealing quality to her that made me want her to keep fighting against the Elders even though she would eventually get caught. I loved her sweet, innocent relationship with Elijah and was rooting for them from the beginning, but then later was hoping something more would come of Alex. I look forward to finding out more about him in the next book.
Not having ever read a book set in the Amish world, I was not really sure what to expect. But I thought the author did such a wonderful job of building up the world the story was set in. Katie's day to day life and the activity within the community was so eloquently described, I felt I could literally step into the pages of the book, and the writing was alluring and descriptive.
I guess I should mention at some point that this is a horror story, and at times a bit gory. However, the horror aspect did not overshadow the rest of the storytelling. I felt there was a good balance in the story and am looking forward to the next one to find out what happens.
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