Friday, 26 August 2016

REVIEW: Mercedes M. Yardley - Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Publication Date: 4th March 2016
Pages: 121


A copy of Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love by Mercedes M. Yardley was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love by Mercedes M. Yardley is a fun take on several different genres and manages to take brush strokes from each in a brilliant effort to create a new, uniquely molded book.

The book has two main characters. As the story opens, Montessa is on her way home from work when she is fallen upon and abducted by serial killer, Lu. He figures out very quickly that Montessa isn’t like any other women he has killed before. She is captivating to him and surprisingly, as the story shifts over to Montessa’s point of view, we find that she is becoming just as taken with Lu. In each other, Montessa and Lu discover the holes in their lives they had never realized were there in the first place.

Soon, Montessa no longer travels along with Lu as his victim, but rather as his partner and his lover.

To start, there have been plenty of stories that deal with the situation where a seemingly innocent victim is lured in by the guile of their would-be killer or kidnapper and ends up becoming a part of that world, fundamentally changing themselves into the monster they had thought they were fleeing from. It isn’t what I would call un-trodden ground but in Yardley’s capable hands, the book doesn’t have even the most remote feelings of seeming stale or overdone. I think that fundamentally, there are two different types of stories. In the first, you settle down into the book, saying to yourself, “okay, I’m reading a western”.
These are the books that fit into a certain convention of expectations and tradition.

The second type are the stories that feel like genres unto themselves. It doesn’t happen as often and it doesn’t always work. But in this case, I thought that it worked very well. There were moments where I might have been reminded of other stories or films or shows I had seen before but for the most part, this felt like a fully organic, original endeavor.

I think that one of my favorite aspects of this book is how Yardley chronicles Montessa’s journey in terms of how she feels about Lu from the start and how that progresses. Any author can tell you that a character feels or thinks a certain way but it’s another thing entirely to take the reader to the point of actually understanding what they are seeing. It is to the point where I found myself saying, well of course this is what Montessa is doing, that makes total sense. What else would she do?

Both of the characters in this book are woven extremely well and there is a strong sense of them being individually defined while at the same time pieces of the same puzzle. And woven into their characters is the existence of a magic of sorts, something that makes the both of them unique. I loved that Yardley resisted the urge to rush in and over-explain everything in the story. Sometimes one of the most difficult things as a writer is to sit back and just let things be what they are, without giving narrative justification. Why does magic exist in the universe of this story? Because it does. How is it that Montessa and Lu have their unique abilities? I’m not really sure, they just have them. I don’t think the story suffers from a lack of explanation and I also don’t think it would be enhanced by adding more backstory. It’s the perfect situation as a writer that we all strive for.

If I had one minor issue with the story, I think it would be in how quickly Montessa and Lu’s language towards each other becomes a sort of lovers’ shorthand. The flowery nicknames for each other you would expect to hear from the characters deeply in love with each other. As the book moved on and their bond intensified, it felt more natural but as early as it started, it felt a little forced to me. But as I said, this is just one extremely minor point, in no way did it take anything away from the story.

I enjoyed this a great deal. It was the first of Yardley’s work I have read and I am definitely looking forward to reading more.

General rating:


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Book Synopsis:

Streetwise Romeo and Juliet meets Stephen King’s Firestarter.




Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as ‘Aplocalyptic’ Montessa and her doomed ‘Nuclear’ Lulu crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge.


Hi. I’m Mercedes. I have two broken laptops, three kids, a husband and no time to write, although I try my very best. I like to write stories. I like to write poems. I like to write essays and sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they aren’t.

I know how to throw a tomahawk and I wear red corduroys because they make me happy. That’s also why I write: I like being happy.

And for about Mercedes, visit her site or find her on social media:

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page

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