Blog Tour - The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Title - The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1)
Author - Laura Bickle
Genre - Paranormal YA
Pages - 311
Publisher - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source - Blog Tour 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.

This novel was one that didn't grab me straight away when it first come out... it never screamed and me to buy it but when there was a blog tour, I just couldn't help myself and I'm glad I did. It is one story that has a very different take on the vampire YA novels out there and one you shouldn't miss.

In Katie's part of the society she is part of the Amish culture where she is focusing on her time of Rumspringa, a part of life that the all teenage folk look forward to and make a choice of their own life. Its a time to visit and be a part of the Plain, the outside world. But something apocalyptic had occurred  strandng Katie in her home village, little does she know that unspeakable monsters roam the Earth. Alex a fallen citizen is near death on the skirts of the village and is in danger and even though its against all customs, Katie helps him. Little does she know the the growing danger is living and is on the verge of their very household. 

Little did I know about the Amish culture and ways, which made this a very hard storyline to connect with. Rather than pronouncing it Ar-mish, I kept on saying A-mish, resulting in my total lack of non-existent knowledge of the culture. But as the book went on, I found it rather educational that there is various settlements across Northern America of such a culture and it really did fascinate me. However, some religious and historical elements of the plot-line were a little out of my depth leaving me with some unresolved questions. What I loved the most about this book, was the originality of the paranormal. The blood-sucking carnivorous animals that will always roam in the dark and are petrified of the holy symbols in life will the most effective persona of vampires aside from the more modern aspect of "sparkly".  

Katie as the main protag, is a sazzy, strong and confident young adult turning into a very wise and cautious young lady. She may have her dangerous side when she get over her head but she also conceive a vulnerable side to her closer feelings. What I really liked about her character was her strength and ability to uphold her own law and to be her own person. Nobody stops her or confronts her, she does what she pleases whether its right for the society. Constantly she is told on to hold her tongue or her opinions from the Bishop, which infuriates me when he is blind of the situations unravelling in his village.
"Just a little levity. Though . . . not every guy gets to go play firebug with a wizard and Bonnet the Vampire Slayer."
The secondary characters were equally interesting and compelling as the story unfolded. Alex the love interest, that Laura integrates within Katie's life making it  not the only focus of the novel but equally explored throughout. Ginger is another character that I particular liked, an Plain lady accustoming with the Amish culture brings a sense of humour and reality to Katie's life as well as your own. Then there is Elijah, the best friend and young romance that dwindles becomes one of the most infuriating characters you will come across.. I won't tell you because that would be spoiling it! 
His fingers meshed in mine. I nodded wordlessly and moved away, pulling against his grip. But he didn’t let go. He reeled me back in as if I were a fish. With a startled gasp, I stumbled and landed against his chest. A flicker of amusement glittered in his eyes. He kissed me on my forehead, whispered against my skin. “Be careful Bonnet.”
Overall, I thought Laura devised a very equally compelling, suspending novel that will set you on the edge of your seat. Each turning page you uncover something new and unique from other novels you have read before. I was reluctant at first to read this but I'm glad and took the chance. I'm eagerly awaiting the second novel in the series... The Outsider coming September 2013. 

Rating: 4
Thank you to Laura Bickle for providing me a copy of her book through The Book Depositary. 

An Interview with Laura Bickle

Thank you for joining me on my blog today, Laura.

1. What influenced you to create a novel based on the Amish Culture?
I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like.

Some of that curiosity lingered, and I always wanted to revisit it in a story. It popped back into my head when I was writing about a catastrophic contagion. Considering all the incredible self-sufficiency they apply in their everyday lives, it seemed to me that the Amish would be uniquely well-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster.

2. How did you build such a historical and religiously creative plot line? Did you find it challenging?
Thank you! There was a good deal of research involved. In addition to visiting the Amish settlement near where I live, I also did a good deal of reading…there are a lot of great books out there that look at the Plain way of life from a sociological perspective. National Geographic has also done a number of very good documentaries about the Amish.

I’m acutely conscious that I can’t know or understand everything about the Amish, never having lived in an Amish community. But I learned enough to develop an immense respect for the Amish way of life.

3. Is any your personal qualities integrated into Katie's character? 
I think that there’s always a little bit of me in every heroine I write. Katie is a quiet observer of people, like I am. But she’s much stronger and more centered than I am. More grounded.

4. I love how you used the originality of vampires, and 'Bonnet the Vampire Slayer', are you a Buffy and Angel fan?
Thank you! I watched the last few seasons of Buffy. I loved the idea of a strong female heroine who is also very human. 

5. What was your favourite scene to write and Why?
The easiest and most fun comes for me at the end of a book. There’s more at stake at the end of the story, more action, more emotion. All the plot threads are beginning to weave together, and I feel like I’m running downhill. I forget that I’m writing and get the pleasure of watching the story unfold on its own.

6. Who's character was your favourite to write Elijah or Alex?
Definitely Alex. Both Elijah and Alex serve to challenge Katie, but in different ways. Elijah is the boy Katie has grown up with, who she expects to marry someday. Elijah is something of a straight arrow. He represents what she treasures about her simple life.

Alex is an injured man Katie finds outside the boundaries of her community. Katie brings him inside her barn to recover, but can’t be sure what kind of evil he’s bringing in with him.

I think Alex works because he challenges Katie. He’s an anthropology student in the outside world, and he both infuriates her and makes her consider ideas that she might not otherwise have encountered. His presence forces her to take risks, and she learns a great deal about herself and her own ethics in attempting to protect him.


1. Fantasy or Contemporary?
2. Traditional or Sparkly Vampires (Twilight) 
3. Angel or Spike? 
Spike. I think he really challenged Buffy more, and it was interesting to see her grow as a result of that.
4. Favourite Childhood Author?
Robin McKinley. THE HERO AND THE CROWN is still my all-time favourite.
5. Name one thing you love about being an author?
Dragging the cat off the keyboard every time I want to get to work!

Thanks again to Bewitching Blog Tour for organising this tour and the interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and interviewing Laura.


  1. I love the interesting take on the vampires. I always like it when an author can come up with something unique. It's going to be great to read this book (I can't get enough of vampires) Katie sounds like the perfect MC for me, strong and sassy, great. Awesome review!

    1. Katie was a lot of fun to write. She's still figuring out who she is and who she wants to be, but she's doing so in a way that I felt had a lot of integrity.

  2. Oohh AMISH and VAMPIRES? MEEEE LIKEY!! I've actually always been fascinated with Amish culture and I don't think I'll ever get bored of learning new things about them! I have a feeling I'll really like the characters and story as well ;) Fab review and interview Emma<3

    1. When the vamps take over...the Amish are really in a good position to survive! :-)

  3. I'm so glad that you enjoyed my book. Thank you for taking the time to read and review it! :-)

  4. Brilliant review and interview! The Hallowed Ones made my top 10 favourite books of last year and its sequel is one of my most anticipated! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Emma, despite being less than sure about it at first. I knew a little about the Amish culture before starting this, but I still found it very educational too. I didn't realise Laura had been inspired by the Amish settlement she visited. That's cool to know! Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Aw, thank you, Sam! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! :-)

  5. I haven't read a book based in the Amish community yet but I do find it intriguing!
    Sounds a little bit like the Village so I may have to check it out ;)
    Great review, Emma! Glad you liked it :D

    1. I need to see The Village! I have it on my list of movies to see, but I'm so woefully behind!

  6. I haven't read this book but I'm intrigued by the suspense created and also the Amish culture. I didn't know Laura visited an Amish settlement and did her research through various sources while writing the book. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. The research part was a lot of really helped me develop a deep respect for Amish culture.

  7. I remember the first time I saw this, I was instantly hooked by the idea of the Amish and vampires being brought together. What a unique combination! I'm glad you grew to like this Emma, despite your reservations at the beginning. I definitely can't wait to start this. Fantastic interview, as well! I find it fascinating that Laura lived near to an Amish settlement. Thank you for sharing, ladies! :)

  8. This book has been getting so MANY great reviews!! Like you, it didnt really grab my attention at first, but now Im determined to get my hands on it! Lovely review Emma!
    - Farah

  9. Read this at night, alone. If you can do that and are not spooked. A harden horror fan might not be granted but I have always enjoyed a good scare and that is so hard to find in books. This is decent there. And being a young adult novel, more appropriate. If you scare easy, read during the day, when someone else is home. Regardless, read this!

    The Maids of Wall New Jersey


Hello and thank you for visiting Never Judge a Book by its Cover. I read and appreciate all your comments. I now reply to them so make sure you check back! And I will try and comment on your blogs in return.
My blog is now a award-free zone.I appreciate the thought but I do not have any time to spare for them.