Title: The Outside
Series: The Hallowed Ones, #2
Author: Laura Bickle
Date(s) read: August 2 – 4, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopia Paranormal
Source: Publisher (ARC)
One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…
After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.
And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?
In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?
Thank you to Thomas Allen & Sons for a copy of this book for review!
So the Amish and vampires. Awesome, right? Definitely.
When the first book in this series, The Hallowed Ones, was released, I was indeed skeptical. I mean, the Amish and vampires? Really? But the instant I started reading that first book I was hooked. There was something about the innocence of the Amish mixed with the horror of vampires that just worked. Needless to say, when I finished that book I immediately gushed about it on Twitter, wondering if Laura Bickle would be writing a sequel to the story.
She would be. <insert fangirl squealing here>
About a month ago, I saw the cover for The Outside and saw that it was coming out this year. Did I fangirl? Yes. Did I read it the instant I got my hands on a copy? Of course. Did I love it? Definitely. Not as much as the first book in the series, but it was still a wonderful ending to the story of Katie.
I think the only thing that this book was missing was the edge-of-your-seat horror that the first book had. In the first book, the characters were contained within the sacred Amish community, so you never knew when evil would sneak up. But now they were on the outside — where evil could be anywhere. This isn’t to say that this book wasn’t scary at all — becuase it totally was — it was just a different kind of scary. You knew what was out there and felt like screaming at the characters in certain places to not do something, rather than having the evil surprise you as a reader.
Really, though, when it comes to vampire books, I think that this one stands well above the others. It’s suspensful, it’s heartbreaking, it’s scary, and it gives us a glimpse into the Amish community without an overdose of preachiness. Yes, some readers might be turned off to the series by the whole “God” part of it, but you can’t take that out when you’re writing a story with the Amish — and it just works. It’s not a book that preaches at the readers, but a book that tries to instill the idea of doing right and being strong, even when your whole community might be against you.
I highly recommend this series. Perfect for those who want something different in their YA dystopians and for those who want strong female characters. This will always remain as one of my favourite series.