Friday, September 6, 2013
Review: The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2) by Laura Bickle
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? ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC provided by HMH for Young Readers for my honest review
Spoiler warning: There are NO spoilers for The Outside but references to the events in book #1 The Hallowed Ones.
Review:The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1) was my top pick for favorite reads of 2012. (my review) It blew me away by blending dystopian, vampires and Amish culture in an incredibly horrifying yet thought provoking way. Bickle also gave a much needed reboot to the vampire genre. No romanticizing vampires in this series!
I honestly couldn't see how she could end this series on a satisfying or hopeful note. I'm not going to tell you how it ends of course but I think she did a great job wrapping things up.
Now that Katie, Alex and Ginger are living on the outside after being shunned by Katie's Amish community, the story turns into a gripping tale of survival. There are the vampires of course. But vampires aren't the only danger that they face. There's the threat of starvation, finding shelter on sacred ground each night, wild animals, and new possibilities that shake Katie's faith to her core.
What is a constant in this series though is how the story and writing challenges you. The characters face choices that really make you think about what you would do in the same situation. How far would you go to survive? How much of yourself are you willing to lose in the process?
Katie and Alex are incredible together but this isn't some swoony…oh my God, I can't live without you! romance. They share an incredible bond because of what they've been through but they also come from different lifestyles with obligations to their own families. This is a mature relationship that I wish we would see more of in YA (or Adult for that matter) Although they have different beliefs, they are always respectful of each other and try to do what's right.
Final thoughts: The Outside sets a very different tone than the first book in the series. There is more brutality and devastating choices to which there is no right answer. This is such a unique series and I wish more people would give it a shot. It's unlike anything else I've ever read. I love when a book sticks with me and makes me think long after I've put it down.
I don't know how Laura Bickle is able to write such a brutal story that is both action packed, yet introspective and hopeful without feeling preachy in any way. While I enjoyed The Hallowed Ones a bit more – I think it was the shock of being plunged into a new world – The Outside was an excellent conclusion to this series.
Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Buy the book! The Outside (The Hallowed Ones)