Title The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2)
Author: Laura Bickle
Published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
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 have mixed feelings about The Outside. On one hand I really enjoyed it–when I sat back and just read it for entertainment’s sake. On the other hand I was rolling my eyes at the ‘cure’ against the vampires and the fact that even in the most basic sense it wouldn’t work. There’s just no way that the way the glowing people got their glow would work in any stretch of reality. Not to mention the positive/negative thoughts influencing the environment and in turn humanity v. vampires. My science brain was side eyeing most of this story pretty hard.
I do really love the different explorations of faith v the vampires. The Pentecostal Pastor encounter was terrifying, though the snakebite that one of the characters endures and then is healed simply by prayer? Oh, my science brain started to roll its eyes once more. The Catholic take was amazing, and really well written. I liked how Katie was exposed to different faiths, in a way affirming her own faith. Yes there is a lot of religious tones in this story, and often the reader is smacked over the head with them. But Kate is experiencing the world for the first time, and the world is going up in flames. She’s going to cling to what gives her comfort–her faith, and the Amish take on God and faith.
There’s lots of character growth. Katie grows as a person and starts to form her own world view. Alex bothered me for about 90% of this book, most of the times I found him condescending and overbearing, up to and including his want to make bend to his will in a rather serious situation. Elijah makes an appearance and his character doesn’t bother me as much this time. He too grows and changes for the better. These characters are scared, and it shows. People do rash things in drastic situations, and this is what adds realism to this story. I was happy with the way the story ended, but I found that there’s a third book coming out, so I’m interested to see where the series goes from here.