Published by Clarion Books on September 3, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Format: Hardcover (320 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
After a plague of vampires was unleashed in the world, Katie was kicked out of the safe haven of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. She enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two friends and a horse by her side.
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 they be trusted, and are they even people at all?
In this sequel to The Hallowed Ones, 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 sacrifice in return?
Proceed With Caution:
This book contains blood, death, violence, and gore.
The Outside picks up a few weeks after the ending of The Hallowed Ones, so yes, you must read them in order. They’re both excellent, so you’ll want to anyway. It’s again narrated by Katie, an Amish girl who has just been exiled from her community along with two Englishers who had been staying under their protection. Katie’s slow-paced life is no more as every single day is about survival and keeping Darkness at bay.
The Outside is a great finale! It’s much faster paced and non-stop action as Katie and Alex make their way North, fighting vampires and coming face to face with what they each really believe deep down. Katie is really struggling, and not just with the violence that surrounds her and how many “evil” things she’s had to do in the name of survival. She’s wondering if God is even still out there. If he’s watching out for her and her family. Is she even allowed to question him?
Yes, The Outside goes deep into discussions of faith. It is not at all preachy. Katie has been raised with one way of thinking her entire life and now that life is completely gone. She’s had to come to terms with the fact that what they preach about God in her Amish community may not be the only way, as she and Alex come across several other holy sites harboring survivors. She also has to decide if she even still believes in God and double struggles with that doubt. I felt for her, even though I’m not religious myself. It’s hard when everything you’ve ever known comes into question.
The one thing that nagged at me throughout The Outside was why in the world are they heading to Canada? I totally get that that is where Alex’s family is and that perhaps he wants to go to them. But they’ve seen the destruction the vampires have caused, and they have to go through all that on foot. Additionally, it’s the onset of winter! Heading north means dropping temperatures and snow! Alex is a smart guy, and Katie knows about the seasons. You’d think they’d try heading south. It was all very strange, but certainly did up the danger factor.
In the end, I fully enjoyed The Outside. It was a worthy conclusion to this unique duology and I highly recommend both books.