11 February 2013
The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
This was one of the big surprises for me out of the Cybils. I'm not big into Amish stories and I hate horror, so the combination sounded really distasteful. And, I have to say, on some level it was. My horror hate did come through a bit. However, it really stuck with me as a good read, and I was still having nightmares a week later through all the other books I was reading so my subconscious really latched onto it as a chilling thing!
The concept of this book is great: what happens to Amish society during the apocalypse? And what happens to a smart Amish girl who is questioning her faith and her elders? Katie is a great narrator and a very well-built character, showing us her humanity and her faith at the same time. Katie is very conflicted between preserving her way of life by not going against the elders and preserving her way of life by learning what's out there and how to keep it away from their community. This conflict is great, and serves as a driving plot that really kicks up the drama, especially for such a short read. The pacing is good, and although the romance seems very fast and a little forced, I went with it because Alex is such a well-rounded character. The mechanics of the apocalypse are really well done (and I really want to say more about how awesome they are, but I can't without spoiling you!). I was so enchanted and scared out of my pants that I read this book all in one sitting and then couldn't sleep. I think any horror fan will find it as wonderful as I did.