Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love by Mercedes M. Yardley
Published: Ragnarok Publications (Sep 8, 2013)
Posted: Goodreads (Jul 8, 2016)
(4 / 5)
Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love is the strange story about love between two fundamentally broken creatures. While it possesses elements of both science fiction and horror, the novella is more poetry-made-prose than anything else.
This novella tells the tale of Montessa and Lu. Montessa is a deeply introspective and depressed young woman, craving love but only ever receiving physical and sexual abuse at the hands of family and love interests. Lu, also not new to childhood abuse, takes a more forceful and rebellious approach to his adulthood by becoming a serial killer. His latest victim, the heavily victimized Montessa.
Apocalyptic Montessa isn’t a brain twister. The plot and conclusion is very clear from the beginning. But what really makes this a great read is the style in which the story is told. The characters and story are compelling.
“It was a first date after the intimacy of intended murder. He stood amid the crows and carcasses, offering her bloodied violets.” – Some beautiful writing with powerful imagery
Yardley’s writing style fits the book in every way. While the author uses a decent amount of description where needed, the writing and dialogue is extremely concise. This makes Apocalyptic Montessa an extremely fast paced/action packed read. But it also allows the author to paint us a nearly poetic picture filled with strong metaphors, symbolism, and allegories. Stream of consciousness-style randomness thrown in also helps the narrative.
Lu’s rage – for example – is expressed both literally and figuratively. Imagery of nuclear fueled infernos is commonplace. But the author’s expert timing allows us to ponder the revelations of such mystical powers and whether or not they’re meant to be understood literally or as symbolic representations of something bigger.
What the reader gets is a gory, wild, supernatural, and well written love story. It’s so creative and psychologically mind bending that it easily wins best love story of its genre.
“Montessa was raging inside. If he was lucky enough, she’d go apocalyptic and incinerate them all, but she wasn’t at that point, not yet. Perhaps she never would be. But, oh, how he hoped so.” – Lou reflecting on Montessa
The fundamental flaw of the novella is that its conciseness – while aiding in maintaining reader interest – sacrifices meaningful ideas lurking beneath the surface. Apocalyptic Montessa is filled with missed opportunities. To be clear, I wanted it to be more than an awesome love story and it just wasn’t. While those “deeper” elements were alluded to, which was cool, but they were never fully developed. References to the Apocalypse, its horsemen, Montessa’s death stare, the supernatural aspects, are all great but aren’t used to their full potential.
Montessa, the character, is also a little too submissive and broken long you’d think she would be (I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers). Lu actually tells her what the reader is undoubtedly thinking, “Enough of this beaten animal act all the time.” And yet the character does undergo some great development eventually. There are plenty of funny and awkward moments which will endear you to the characters.
Overall, I think this is a really terrific read with a unique and powerful story, complete with great character depth and some really awesome imagery. I’d suggest it to any fans of horror, the supernatural, or those with a really twisted concept of love (like those that involve lots of bloodletting). 4/5