Author: Laura Bickle
Series: The Hallowed Ones #2
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
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?
I read The Hallowed Ones last year and loved it. Loved hardcore! I wasn’t sure if there would be a sequel at the time I finished it, so I was one happy camper when it was announced there would be. Then the countdown to one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 began! The Outside was definitely worth the anticipation. Even though I liked The Hallowed Ones a little more, doesn’t mean I didn’t love this one, because I sooo did.
Since Katie was exiled from her Amish community, she travels with her English friend and boyfriend. As they travel north, they must find protected sites to keep them safe from the creatures that will rip them apart. They have some interesting encounters along the way, and of course, some scary ones. I was very curious about what Bickle was going to do with this story. I didn’t read the blurb, so there were certain things I wasn’t expecting. I really like how everything played out, though.
Although I found the first book higher on the creepy scale, The Outside had its moments. There was one in particular that involved an officer that gave me the shivers. These vampires are not to be taken lightly, and I love that. There’s no befriending them or negotiating with them – they are purely killer monsters.
Katie continued to be a great character. I loved how she questioned things and used logic, but held firm in her faith. She also didn’t judge those who held different beliefs than she did, only tried to understand them. She also grew into a fierce fighter. She and Alex seem like such opposites, but they are really good together. They accept, respect, and trust each other, all while fighting side-by-side. I love their dynamic, and the fact that Katie doesn’t act ridiculously swoony over him. Again, she thinks logically about her feelings and their relationship. I appreciated this so much.
I liked Ginger and her friendship with Katie in the first book, but I liked her even more in The Outside. She may be a short, middle-aged woman, but she can be a fireball. Who else did I love? Horace. That’s right, I loved Horace the horse! He reminded me of a mare I used to have and is the type of horse I would want in a world full of monsters.
Overall, The Outside was a strong sequel. Here I am again, not knowing whether or not there will be another book. It could really go either way, though. I was happy with the way it ended, but there’s always a possibility for more.