Horror Review: ‘Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu’ by Mercedes M. Yardley

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic LoveAll black outfit, complete with full length duster?  Check.

Eyeliner properly applied?  Check.

Lights turned off, except for the cool skull lamp from Hot Topic? Check.

Playlist set up, containing nothing but lots of The Cure and Creep by Radiohead?  Check and Check.

Ok, I think I am in the proper mood to read a story of love between two serial killers.

Montessa is a special; her mother knew it when she named her while walking through a graveyard. (In the right mood for a horror tale yet?)  She has the ability to read people a little better than most; perhaps not the gift it seems to be. 

Lu drives a big rig and constantly needs to feed a horrible hunger.  He watches Montessa for a while.  Learns her patterns.  Knows the abusive boyfriend will flake, and pounces when the chance comes.  Then watches her destroy all his careful plans.  The victim becomes the partner; age old wrongs are righted (or double wronged if you insist on being mathematically correct).

How does a killer react to a person whose soul is almost dead and is unafraid of death?  Is there a difference between Stockholm syndrome and true love of destiny?  Can two people who don’t believe in soul mates actually be soul mates?  If these are the type of questions that keep you up at night then I have a hell of a tale for you.

This is a fucked up story but I see its appeal.  Not being a horror reader I certainly am not the intended audience by found myself entertained anyway.  Something about the writing just worked; I was often more interested in the craft than the details of the story.  The minor supernatural aspects elevated the story; and the relationship was unique if nothing else.  The best parts for me came from the way Montessa read people; and how the effects of that knowledge changes as she goes through here strange reawaking.

3 stars for me, but this could purely be a genre issue.  People looking for a redemption arc in every story they read will hate ever last word.  Horror fans are getting a well written novella, and perhaps a story more up their alley.

Now if you excuse me, I can’t listen to another damn song from The Cure.  And black eyeliner just doesn’t work on me.  I may listen to the Radiohead song a few more times though.

Review copy was provided to me by Ragnarok Publications.


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