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THE OUTSIDE by Laura Bickle Kirkus Star


by Laura Bickle

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-544-00013-1
Publisher: Harcourt

In this top-notch sequel to The Hallowed Ones (2012), Katie, exiled from her Amish community, heads north with Alex and Ginger, the two outsiders she’s befriended, seeking other survivors of the vampire plague that’s unmade their world.

Outside is empty. Even vampires are scarce, though deadly. A few faith-based communities exist vampire-free but under siege and with terrors of their own (like spending a scary night under the protection of a snake-handling pastor). Though her bond with Alex and friendship with Ginger are strong, Katie’s troubled and perplexed: Why are Alex’s Egyptian tattoos as effective in repelling vampires as her Himmelsbrief prayer? While Katie relinquishes religious beliefs proven wrong, her core Amish values and humane ethics remain her moral compass. Alex is exasperated when she frees the starving great cats and wolves caged in an abandoned menagerie, but he supports her anyway. Katie’s right to make her own choices is one of his values. Discovering a group that’s genetically engineered with immunity to vampires raises tension between them, pitting science against religion: Are these vampires aliens or mutants spawned in labs, rather than manifestations of demonic evil? Clinging to their essential humanity amid senseless horror, Katie and Alex fully engage readers’ sympathies, and their struggles, like their relationship—passionate, romantic, fully equal—lend gravitas and depth to the tale.

A horror story with heart and soul. (Post-apocalyptic romance. 12 & up)