Monday, September 30, 2013

Virtual Book Tour [Spotlight & Review] The Outside (The Hallowed Ones Book Two) by Laura Bickle

The Outside
The Hallowed Ones Book Two
by Laura Bickle
Genre: paranormal YA
Publisher: Harcourt
Date of Publication: September 3, 2013
Cover Artist: Shane Rebenschied

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?

 Advance Praise for The Outside:

 “Top-notch. . . . A horror story with heart and soul.”
—Kirkus, starred review

“At once horrifying, hopeful, and hauntingly beautiful, this gorgeous read with its rich textures and spine-tingling suspense kept me glued to the pages in utter fascination. Laura Bickle is a master storyteller.”

 -Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling author of The Darklight Series

Praise for The Hallowed Ones

"This is a book to make you fear the shadows--a horrifying and gruesome tale of faith, and things that blink red eyes in the night. I began reading in the daylight, and read on into the late hours, leaning close, biting my lip. I could not look away; I was obsessed. Katie is an unbreakable soul."
—Lauren DeStefano, New York Times Bestselling author of the Chemical Garden Trilogy 

"What an eerily believable, unique story! I can't stop thinking about it--or shivering."
—Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely Books 

"Tight pacing, suspenseful scenes, Wow! moments of tension, and exposure into a world I knew little about, The Hallowed Ones is an exciting, terse read. . . . Laura Bickle's debut novel for young adults has quickly become my favorite dystopian novel of 2012. . . . It left me wanting more, so much more."

"Readers will find it hard to put down this suspenseful, scary, compulsively readable adventure."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Katie's an original character, and her thoughtful rebellion makes her an interesting addition to supernatural fictions's gallery of strong heroines."
From the moment I closed the last page on The Hallowed Ones I was begging Laura to finish the next one. (Read my review HERE!) I was so excited to hear that she had finished and I could get it early on NetGalley. When I anticipate a book so much sometimes I find the sequel such a let down. Not because the book is particularly bad but my expectations have been so high and no one could really fulfill them. BUT (and that’s a very big BUT)  Laura did not disappoint me in ANY WAY! In some ways I liked it more that the first one.

I've always been impressed with Laura's amazing writing. This is a book that will grab you on the first page and hold you until you see the last period of the last page. I loved that this is not only a tale of survival but one of self discovery. After being shunned by the Amish Community, The Outside picks up with Katie, Ginger, Alex and the white horse that is accompanying them. They set off in a world being rampaged by a virus that is turning people into vampires. The Outside is a story about a journey, a journey of survival.

I love Katie. I love the idea that Katie, no matter what, she still held on to her religious convictions.
I loved that the romance between Katie and Alex is based on a friendship. Alex teaches her about the outside world while she teaches him about her God.  Katie was strong, courageous and grew up so much by the end of the book. The entire book I was hoping that she would be able to return to her family and the Amish community and repair the relationships that had been lost. And she did get to go back.  Even though it could end there I sure hope that there will be another book!

Oh and just a little side note, the whole Pentecostal church thing with the snakes…NO not all Pentecostal churches are like that. ;) I have been Pentecostal my entire life and I can promise you the first time I walk into a church service and there are snakes I’ll leave and come back with a gun. NOPE not this girl! SO please don’t think we are like that. ;)

I give Laura and The Outside...

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.


Laura Bickle said...

Thanks so much for reading my book, Michelle - so thrilled that you enjoyed it (despite the snakes)!