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The Unknown
A YA dystopian mystery with twists and turns by J.W. Lynne
EIGHT CHILDREN WERE KIDNAPPED.
BUT WHY?


Eight kids, ages nine to seventeen, awaken to find that almost everything they have ever known has been stolen from them. They were ripped from their beds in the middle of the night and transported to an unfamiliar and unforgiving new world where there are strict rules, and they are punished if they refuse to obey.

As the kids grapple with their mysterious new reality, they struggle with disconcerting questions. Where in the world are they? Why were they taken away from their families? Will they ever get to go back home? And the most frightening question of all: Will this be the place where they die?
THE UNKNOWN is a 2019 young adult dystopian science fiction mystery thriller with captivating suspense, unexpected twists and turns, and a dash of romance. The story is told from the alternating points of view of three of the kidnapped children: seventeen-year-old "Unpleasant," twelve-year-old "Tiger," and nine-year-old "Goat."

THE UNKNOWN tells the tale of five girls and three boys who are kidnapped in the middle of the night and transported to a frightening and mysterious world full of secrets. Author J.W. Lynne delivers a cinematic experience filled with intriguing mystery, thrilling suspense, imaginative adventure, shocking twists and turns, thought-provoking philosophy, and a touch of romance. THE UNKNOWN is a must-read book for both teens and adults who enjoyed THE HUNGER GAMES (by Suzanne Collins), DIVERGENT (by Veronica Roth), LEGEND (by Marie Lu), READY PLAYER ONE (by Ernest Cline), ENDER'S GAME (by Orson Scott Card), THE GENDER GAME (by Bella Forrest), CONFIGURED (by Jenetta Penner), THE MAZE RUNNER (by James Dashner), THE GIVER (by Lois Lowry), or ABOVE THE SKY (by J.W. Lynne). This addictive book will have you hooked from the first few mysterious chapters!

Praise for THE UNKNOWN:

"Gripping ... Unique ... Lots of mystery and intrigue ... [Dystopian is] one of my favourite genres, but I haven't seen it written so well in a very long time ... I finished reading this book in awe." - Carly, Goodreads ★★★★★

"I have read hundreds of books and it is extremely rare for me to be surprised or give 5 stars. I almost always anticipate the plot twists. I thought I had this one all figured out from the very beginning ... [I] couldn't have been more wrong! ... An exhilarating, emotional, fast paced read that I couldn't put down ... This story was utterly unique." - Justine, Book Catharsis ★★★★★

"ONE EXCITING ADVENTURE!!! ... Wow! ... Captivating from start to finish ... The characters are authentic, believable and so realistic." - Kaye, Goodreads ★★★★★

"I love dystopian novels, but I have to admit, after a while, they tend to follow the same plotline and twists. This is TOTALLY not the case here ... I was shocked." - Gail, Goodreads ★★★★★

"Unique twist on the dystopian genre! ... Insanely thrilling!" - Kelly, Twinsie Talk Book Reviews ★★★★★

"I read A LOT and this book had lots of surprises which I didn't see coming ... Great twists and turns ... I definitely could not put this one down! ... I truly loved this book!" - Michelle, Goodreads ★★★★★

"Lots of suspense, twists, and turns. I never saw the ending coming. It was a total surprise and explained everything!" - Karon, Goodreads ★★★★★

If you like fast-paced thrillers with mystery, suspense, twists and turns, and a surprise ending that brings everything together, don't miss this gripping new release!


THE UNKNOWN is available as a Kindle ebook at Amazon.com.
Paperback coming in summer 2019!

Kindle Unlimited members: Read the THE UNKNOWN ebook for FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle: Borrow THE UNKNOWN ebook for FREE from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.


An excerpt from The Unknown


This room is about half the size of my bedroom back home. The only way in or out of here seems to be via hatches: four on the floor and two on the ceiling. On either side of this narrow space, there are four chairs and four small tables, all of them bolted down to the floor. Everything is pure white, except for a silver sink in one corner with eight silver cups set above it. Eight rectangular windows reveal that we are in some kind of aircraft, flying high above a body of water. An ocean, maybe. But which ocean?

There are three other kids in here. Two girls and one boy. All teenagers, but they're younger than me. The boy is probably the oldest of the three. He's maybe fifteen or sixteen. The girls look like they're twelve or thirteen. Everyone is wearing what appear to be their nightclothes, like I am, and they have ultra-short haircuts that match mine. The older-looking girl has reddened eyes, as if she's been crying. I haven't cried in a long time, and I don't plan to start now. Crying doesn't get you anywhere. I should know. I've cried more in my seventeen years than normal people do in an entire lifetime, and it has gotten me nowhere at all. Except maybe here.

Yesterday was a typical day. In the morning, my mom dragged me out of bed twenty minutes before school started and left me lying on the cold tile floor of the bathroom. I forced myself to take a shower, so I didn't smell bad enough or look greasy enough to attract unwanted attention from people. I hate attention from people. Especially the people at school. After my shower, I toweled off, got dressed, and ducked out of the house before my mom could give me yet another one of her disappointed stares. I was halfway to the bus stop before I realized that I forgot to brush my teeth. That didn't matter though. No one sees your teeth if you never smile.

School was normal, and by normal I mean it sucked. I missed pointless homeroom, but I arrived before the bell for first period. The school and I have an understanding that if I arrive in time for actual classes, I won't be disciplined for being tardy. Despite the fact that I've missed every homeroom since the start of twelfth grade, they're still planning to let me graduate in June.

At least they were. Who knows what's going to happen now?

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make it to school today.

Who knows if I'll ever make it to school again?

One more kid arrives. A girl, around thirteen years old. She looks bewildered, like the others, awkward and uncertain. She takes a seat on one of the chairs, probably because the rest of us are sitting, and she doesn't talk, probably because the rest of us aren't talking.

A few seconds later, a boy and a girl emerge together from one of the hatches on the floor. They can't be more than eight or nine years old. They're so little. Helpless. But that isn't my problem. I need to focus on how to get out of here. Not that I really want to get back home. But I don't want to let anyone take control of my life ... end my life. Even though maybe they should.

The youngest boy and girl sit together on a chair. They're so small that they share it as though it's a diminutive couch. That brings the total number of kids here to seven, including me. Everyone except for me emerged either alone or in pairs from one of the hatches on the floor. I am the only one who entered from a hatch on the ceiling. The other ceiling hatch is still closed tight. It could lead to anywhere. To another bedroom maybe. Or maybe it leads to our kidnappers.

Another minute passes before the remaining hatch on the ceiling finally opens. My body tenses as bare feet appear on the ladder that's below the hatch. The feet are big ones. Fully grown. Attached to muscular legs with hair growing on them. But I think he might be one of us, because he's wearing only boxers and a t-shirt. And then I see his face. Yes, he's a kid. About my age. Maybe a little older. Like all of the rest of us, his head has been shaved, rendering him nearly bald.

"Where the hell are we?" he says loudly.

I feel a shock inside me at the noise of his voice, disturbing the silence.

"Be quiet," the littlest girl says. Her tone is firm and gentle at the same time. "The bad men might hear you."

She's a bold little girl. The kind of little girl I used to be.

"I hope they do hear me," he responds. "I want them to come in here and tell me what the hell is going on."

I roll my eyes at his bravado. "And then what are you going to do?" I ask the boy.

His gaze locks with mine. "What do you propose?" he asks me, bristling.

I look at the faces of the other kids. They're scared. I doubt arguing with this boy will help assuage their fears. The boy and I appear to be the oldest ones here. We need to take control. Or at least I do.

I inhale and address the group as a whole, "I take it that, last night, strangers wearing masks took each of you from your homes. And you were given an injection to make you sleep. And you woke up a little while ago in a coffin-bed. Is that right?"

Slowly, everyone nods.

"So we're all in the same boat." I'm really not sure where to go from here, so I buy myself some time, "Why don't we go around in a circle and introduce ourselves? Tell your age, a little about yourself, and what you're good at." That is something we did on the first day of a group therapy session I went to back in sixth grade. I got sent there because the useless school counselor said I had to attend at least one therapy session after I got beat up in the gym locker room. I went once, but I never went back because I was sure that it wouldn't help me. Even at that age, I already knew that nothing could help me.

And then I have a thought. "Maybe we shouldn't use our real names ... in case the kidnappers don't already know them," I say. "You can pick another name for us to call you. Whatever name you want."

The difficult boy slumps down into one of the two remaining empty seats. I guess he's done confronting me ... for the moment.

"You go first," the littlest girl says to me.

Maybe she should be the one in charge.

"Okay." I exhale. "I'm ... I'm seventeen years old," I say. "I'm good at swimming, which is pretty useless in our current situation. That's about it. Next."

"And what should we call you?" the little girl asks.

I hadn't really thought about that. I figured I'd go last, not first, so I'd have time to think. "You ... you can call me ..." I despise my real name. This is my chance to pick a name that fits me. An honest name. We need to be honest with each other. "You might as well call me what my mom calls me," I say. "'Unpleasant.' Because I'm generally unpleasant."

If I had said such a thing at school, everyone would have laughed at me. But no one here laughs. Not even the smallest of snickers. Not even from Difficult Boy. They all just turn to the kid to my left. The youngest boy. And focus their attention on him.

 

Read more of The Unknown by J.W. Lynne at Amazon.com!

 
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