In this transmission, I will review Mercedes M. Yardley’s terrific novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love.
There are only a few books I read that deserve a blog review, and this is one of them. This tale is one of those gems you might find somewhere just above the Underground and hail, “Eureka!” when you are finished with the final page.
Essentially, this story is a romance – remember that. But… it’s also a comic book without the pretty pictures. Allow me to explain:
Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu is a take on the origins of a duo of super-villains. An issue of Marvel Team-Up inverted and subverted. Take Andersen Prunty’s Sociopaths in Love and J.G. Ballard’s Atrocity Exhibition then set it to a Helios Creed soundtrack, and you’ll enjoy the great story Yardley has written.
Poor Montessa has been having a rough go of life. She subsistence-strips to support her loser, cheating boyfriend who won’t even give her a ride home during the wee hours of Last Watches. To boot, her upbringing was a nightmare of sexual abuse.
Enter Lu. This guy is a Transcontinental trucker and serial killer who so happens to have Montessa on his hit list. Once he abducts her on one of her early-morning jaunts home, things don’t go as according to plan…
As Montessa gains Lu’s trust, a demonic duo forms and they wreak havoc across the country. The pair decides to get revenge on Montessa’s abusers past and present with their combined powers, and, yes, these lovers are supernatural.
Montessa can alter wind currents with a type of psychokinesis while Lu is a pyrokinetic. Together, they form a power-packed combo that complements each other. These powers are hinted at only to suddenly appear. Yardley unveils these supernatural abilities in a very subtle, by-the-way manner, and I really enjoyed this. The source of their irreal abilities is never truly explained, but I’d elect to think of them as coming from Beyond rather than from within.
Yardley’s wordsmithing is what keeps you turning the pages. Effervescent, surreal and ethereal, you’ll see how much love the author has for these characters, and this especially comes across in the narrative.
As for dialog, it too is dreamlike, and one of the odd things that powerfully works is that most of it is just between Montessa and Lu. Yes, there are other characters, but they are deliberately kept silent for the most part. This factor aids in rendering Yardley’s West Coast journey more like a trek across an alien landscape. Lu’s truck almost becomes a pocket dimension where these lovers pop in and out of our reality to kill.
Apolcalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu is a great read, and despite its short length, you’ll want to savor every word of it. Well written and decisively paced, it puts you in a dreamlike mood regardless of all the blood. Get it today on Amazon!