BOOK TOUR REVIEW: The Outside by Laura Bickle

The Outside

by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones, Book Two

Book Description

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?


**SPOILER ALERT: This review is of the second book in a series and therefore will contain spoilers for the first book in the series.  You can read my review of the first book, The Hallowed Ones, here.**

The Outside by Laura Bickle

This sequel picks up right where The Hallowed Ones left off. The action is pretty much immediate too. Katie has been banished from her Amish community for falling in love with an Outsider. Along with the man, Alex, and her longtime friend Ginger, the 3 do the best they can to survive in a vampire-infested post-apocalyptic world.

It is amazing how much Katie grew between the first and second novels. Being out in the wide world opened her eyes to so much, and having to adapt came very naturally to her. Of course, when you’re forced to kill smart, bloodthirsty vampires, you have no choice to to adapt as quickly as possible. Still, I thought this book, and in fact the entire Hallowed Ones series so far, is as much a coming of age novel as it is a horror novel.

One of my favorite things about The Outside is that even though Katie and Alex consider themselves in some kind of relationship, nothing feels forced, nothing is difficult for them. Considering the things they have to deal with on a daily basis, being in love with each other is the easiest thing about their lives. It is there but it doesn’t overwhelm the story, and their chemistry shines when it needs to.

Though I love how much ass Katie was kicking in this book, sometimes I just kind of wanted to shake her. Maybe I’ve just read too much dystopia, but I felt she was being stubborn by holding on to so many of the old ways of a community that had shunned her. Though she has the opportunity to wear clothing that would no doubt make it easier for her to run and fight, she remains in her Amish dress. This is just one example, but she finds it so difficult to leave her past behind. In a lot of ways, I do respect her holding on to what little faith she has left though.

The book was filled with plenty of vampire action, and while Katie seemed squeamish at the gory things she had to do in the first book, in this one she is a seasoned pro and kills without too much thought. The vampires are ruthless, so Katie and Alex have to be, even more so.

I am not sure what I think about the revelations that came about with the “vaccination.” To be sure, it’s definitely original. I’m just not a very scientific person so I can’t quite wrap my mind around it. I am undecided as to whether it could happen, so I’m on the fence about how it changed the face of the book.

I thought the ending was pretty fast, but I liked where it was headed. I’m not sure if this is the last book in this series, but it kind of felt like it. I rather hope it is not–I like Katie too much to be done with her.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams).
Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and six mostly-reformed feral cats.

About Carrie

A SAHM who loves her life :)

Posted on September 13, 2013, in book tour, books, NetGalley, reading, review. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review my book, Carrie, and for hosting me today! 🙂 I appreciate it!

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