Electric Eclectic Books offers a unique collection of novelettes and I have read many of them. Their latest offerings are the same story by two of their authors, one is an adult version and the other a romantic version. The less graphic version of Toxic: An Electric Eclectic Book by author Karen J. Mossman takes a softer look at a dystopian society where humans, now known as Maloks, have been forced to live inside a mountain called Mt. Elta. Due to extreme carelessness, Earth has been reduced to a polluted ruin.
Lexi lives in a world of rules designed to keep the Maloks safe. However, there are some who have disobeyed those rules, Outcasts, and become addicted to a substance called Dozax made from a plant called Terra. Once caught they were sent away by the governing committee to the Outlands. The plant has amazing healing properties, but the “outcasts” use it for recreational purposes, eventually becoming hooked on it. Despite the dangers of the world outside the mountain Lexi loves to venture out.
Lexi is a medic, but she wants a more adventurous role as a ranger. However, her boyfriend Aron doesn’t believe she is strong enough to fulfill the duties of a ranger. Aron is a ranger himself, and while he loves Lexi, he treats her like a child. Their relationship is unsatisfying for Lexi. She hungers for passion, but Aron is a boring lover. She dreams of a friend from her youth, Marcus, who has gone to live elsewhere. Though they only shared one kiss, he excited her. Lexi regrets not telling Marcus how she felt.
Lexi is also different from other Maloks. Born with blue eyes, doctors predicted she would go blind. However, an operation saved her sight. Lexi is also a sensitive; she is often aware of things others aren’t. Because of her differences, she is bullied by a girl named Mae when she is a child. Marcus encourages her to be brave and confident.
When Lexi enters the Ranger training program surprises begin. Marcus is back as a Commander and he is assisted by her old nemesis, Mae. Heartbroken to see them as a couple Lexi resigns herself to the loss of her past relationship.
When the Maloks locate the hiding place of the Outcasts a battle ensues. This is the most exciting part of the book. During the fighting, Lexi learns how strong she is. She finds out that things are not always what they appear at first glance and people can change.
This is a sweet love story wrapped in the tragic consequences of a world population that ignored the warning signs of disaster. I’d love to see a sequel to this story.
“A romantic, thrilling read…..Karen dares to challenge relationships bringing them together in troubled times….thougthful and though- provoking.”
Lexi isn’t your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well.
Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.
Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.
“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination.”
Karen J. Mossman