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Into the Outside – Lynda Engler

When the mutants’ survival is threatened, will Isabella risk it all for the man she hardly knows or stay underground protected?

Fifty years ago the Earth died. In its place emerges a dangerous jungle world with oddly altered wildlife and a handful of short-lived mutated humans. Below ground, survivors wait. 16-year-old Isabella has grown up believing mutants are sub-human, stupid and would eat every shelter person if they had the chance until a chance encounter with 17-year-old mutant tribe leader Malcolm. His ebony skin, straw-colored hair, rippling muscles, 4 fingers on one hand and 6 on the other captivate her. Night after night she sneaks out in her grandfather’s safety suit until he locks it up. Isabella must choose between the safety of the shelter that is her entire world and facing the dangers Outside if she is to save the mutants and the man she loves from extermination.

16-year-old Isabella has grown up believing mutants are sub-human, stupid and would eat every shelter person if they had the chance, until she spies a wandering mutant tribe through the glass bottom swimming pool that is her shelter’s only light source. Isabella is fascinated by them, but it’s their 17-year-old leader, Malcolm, who truly captivates her – ebony skin, straw-colored hair, rippling muscles, four fingers on one hand and six on the other. Night after night she sneaks out of her shelter to watch the tribe, dressed in her grandfather’s chemical/radiation suit. When Malcolm discovers her, they are wary of each other at first but eventually become friends and then lovers. Isabella finally leaves the safety of her shelter to follow Malcolm into the perilous Outside.

Isabella knows the government plans to exterminate the mutants once it is safe for the shelter-folk to come Outside, and she expects radiation and disease, but no one in the tribe is prepared for cannibals!

Isabella’s family mourns for their lost daughter, knowing that she will die Outside, but Grandfather refuses to search for her. Even if they found her, he knows that she will not return without the mutants, and he will not allow them into the shelter. But everything changes when her brother, Luke, learns of Colonel Ericssen’s deadly plan for the mutants. Luke defies their grandfather and leaves the shelter to track down Isabella and warn her of the threat she knows nothing about. But he is no more prepared for the dangers Outside than she is. Hunted and finally captured by the military, Luke must escape their grasp, find Isabella, and save her life.

Battling the cannibal Eaters, taking on orphan children and trying to convince mutant tribes about the dangers they must prepare for makes Isabella question her decision to leave her shelter. She dreamed of making a difference in the lives of those Outside, but now she isn’t certain has the courage and strength do it.



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Lynda Engler on Book of the Day .org


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