The Outside by Laura Bickle
Series: The Hallowed Ones #2
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Published on: September 3, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
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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?
After reading a recommendation on GoodReads by author Karina Halle, about The Hallowed Ones, I had to read it and I absolutely loved it(5 stars). I guess it would be considered YA but there is a mild sex scene so not sure if that still keeps it in the YA category. At any rate, I think it should be at least 16 years old and up. This book is the sequel and it really lived up to the first book. Perhaps not quite as good but still good.
This is the part where I tell you that the main character is a teenage Amish girl. If you don’t want to read an Amish book, let me explain. Katie is a shunned Amish girl, now on the run with her non-Amish boyfriend, Alex. The world these two inhabit has been almost completely taken over by vampire type creatures that are not anything like we normally read about. These vampires are truly monsters, and true to the legends, only come out at night. They no longer act completely human and have no qualms about who they kill. And wow do they kill. In the first book, Katie is one of the first of the Amish settlement to see and understand what is going on in the world outside their home. Alex is denied access to the settlement as an outsider. When Katie goes against the elders and hides him in a barn, life changes for Katie. She might have been a bit rebellious before the monsters come, but after, by taking in Alex, she becomes a problem the elders want nothing to do with. So after the two are found in a compromising situation in the barn, they are thrown out of the settlement. Another outsider,Ginger, a friend of Katie’s family, leaves with them. To me the elders were pretty monstrous too!
This book ends up being a total adventure of major proportions and not in a good way. Every night is a quest just to survive until the dawn. For Katie, pacifism is no longer an option. Along the way they scavenge for food, get involved with a crazy snake handling preacher, come across abandoned animals in a zoo, and even have fun in an abandoned department store. The whole time they are heading towards Canada, where they think they can find refuge with Alex’s family.
I know I have told more about the first book and that’s because it was just so good and really set up a lot of what happens in this book. I loved the characters of Katie and Alex and enjoyed their romance. I really liked learning more about the Amish religion and way of life. Over and about all of that though, this series is paranormal mixed with horror overtones. There’s some strange scenes, new characters are introduced and through it all, Katie and Alex are the heart of all of it. This author can definitely write good characters and suspense. The story is not all about the bad, some of it ends up being really uplifting and shows the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of such evil.
If you want your vampires to be good or even with a bit of evil, this book isn’t for you. But if you are interested in vampires that are truly monsters, and enjoy a good story with quite a bit of action, you may enjoy this. I did.