The Outside by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones, Book 2

Synopsis: 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?

Review: I enjoyed the first book when I discovered it. I had with it the chance to experience the Amish community and its specifics and I find it fascinating to be able to learn more about it through some books, like the first volume that Laura Bickle presented us.

We find our heroine accompanied by Alex, Ginger and of course the horse in their new quest. They travel like that without knowing where they will end up. It is something terribly dangerous because they are only truly safe in the holy ground, which is not necessarily easy to find. Yet after visiting many places, allowing us to see the world as it is now for them, they will discover a community out of the ordinary, people who shine at night and scare away vampires. A chance of survival? But this alteration could ask much more than that our dear Katie is ready to sacrifice. Yet there isn’t more than this little hope which actually manages to glow. A really good idea found elsewhere and I did not necessarily expect that.

I enjoyed this novel even if it is very different from the first one. Far from the Amish community, the environment changes completely. Yet Katie, our heroine, does not let this exile change her way of thinking or even her prayers. I was really touched to see everything she did despite the dangers, but knowing that it was the right thing to do. She will evolve a lot along the story, understanding that it is sometimes difficult not to make sacrifices in relation to her faith. That the rules she has always followed are not necessarily the better now and she should be able to adapt to keep moving forward. Her history with Alex is also quite complicated. In this particular environment, she is not sure if their relationship is real or if it is just because they are together. Yet we see a perfectly clear link between them throughout the chapters and whatever happens, we know that they will stay together until the end. It was very touching to see these two lovers together sometimes trying to keep a minimum of banality. The two characters are very different from each other in a lot of ways and yet they also complement each other perfectly and this is something very interesting to see.

We discover in this novel some events that we do not really expect, but also many unusual characters. I loved seeing the place that the animals had in the story even though I think that it is not an easy thing to do. The novel touches us, saddens us but also gives us hope for a better future for them. I do not know if this volume is the last one, but if this is the case, it is really well done and it was a great pleasure to discover this new volume. This is a really interesting quest and it allows us to revisit the characters met in the first volume.

4

mellianefini

45 thoughts on “The Outside by Laura Bickle

  1. I enjoyed this one a lot too! I listened to both on audio and the narrator brought a lot into this story. I loved how the Amish customs were introduced, the good and the bad, very informative but never overwhelming.
    Lovely review!

  2. The Hallowed Ones was wonderful, my favourite read of 2014 so far. I can’t wait to read the sequel but it isn’t available in paperback until September and sadly our libraries do not have a copy. Great review, thank you.

  3. Great review, Melliane. I really wish I had a better experience reading the first book to this series. I can’t get myself to continue on. :/ I’m glad you loved it. It’s such a great concept, though. But the dry narratives and characterization deters me from enjoyment.

  4. I remember reading a review for the first instalment on another blog a while ago, it was good and it got me intrigued. It sounds a sad read but also an original one, I’m happy you enjoyed both volumes so much!

  5. I haven’t heard of this author and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read anything Amish before but maybe it’s time for something new? 😉 Fabulous review!

  6. I’ll be reading this one this summer and I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it. I was worried as I knew that the setting this time is out of Amish society and that’s one of the aspects I loved in the first book. Great review 🙂

  7. I’ve had the first book in this series sitting on my kindle since it came out . . . sigh 😉 I only skimmed your review b/c I don’t want to learn too much, but if the second installment is as good as it looks, I should probably stop putting the series off, huh?

  8. I haven’t read anything to do with Amish people, or that culture but Amish and vampires? Interesting. But, good romance, yay! Seriously want to see how that works though, so I’ll have to check out the first one. Sounds like some great character development too, especially Katie from where she comes from and where she is now, mustn’t be easy at all.

  9. I think I’ve seen this series somewhere, but can’t recall… but wow! It really sounds like a great read, and I think it’s quite nice when an author completely switches up settings for a second book 🙂 It really keeps things fresh and keeps readers awake, haha! I think I shall check this out, thanks for sharing your review with us! <3

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