Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ARC Review: The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2) by Laura Bickle

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
320 Pages

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?

While The Outside didn't quite live up to its prequel, The Hallowed Ones, it isn't a stretch to say that Laura Bickle is one amazing storyteller. That's also not to say that I didn't enjoy The Outside. It's a fantastic novel, for sure. The author has taken a leap and given a classic story a phenomenal twist. I never expected to like this series as much as I have. This book, this series really, is a horror fan's dream with its suspense, action and originality.

Katie is no longer protected by the safety of her Amish home. She's been banned for trying to help an outsider as the world around their tiny community was crumbling after a vampire plague. Now she's fighting the darkness of the outside with only her dear Alex, their friend, Ginger and her trusted horse. When all seems to be lost, they come across a miracle that might just save them all--if they can get people to believe in the unknown.

These character. Golly gee. I just love them. I adore their strength and loyalty and how hard they love. I also like that Katie is honest with herself. She admits that she would've followed the path of her people had the apocalypse not occurred. She doesn't delusion herself with false truths. And Alex? I swoon so hard for the smart guys. He is so good for Katie, even if they have their struggles. I even liked the minor characters.

This book is just so dang good. The plot isn't fast-paced, but it isn't so slow that you can't enjoy the story. There is so much packed into three-hundred pages, but it fits together wonderfully. Nothing felt like too much or too little. Readers will feel so much over the expanse of The Outside. Bickle makes us fear the unknown, teaches us to cherish those we care about and love them even when they are gone. I found this novel to be surprisingly emotional, and I loved every minute of it.

I love the way this novel ended. Not everything is perfect, but the characters have moved forward and are finding a way to live. I'm so impressed by this series, and I'm sad that there won't be more, but Laura Bickle has definitely become an author to watch for me. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.

1 comment :

  1. I liked the ending, too--I hope she writes more YA! And weren't the vampire __ __ __ s awesome? :D

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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