*Natural* Apocalyptic Montessa and *Born* Nuclear Lulu *Killers*

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love - Mercedes M. Yardley, K. Allen Wood

Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 5
boobs: 2
bombs: 2
bondage: 5
blasphemy: 5
Stars: 3
Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: PASS (in spirit if not the letter)
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.

Natural Born Killers is one of my favorite movies. This story covers exactly the same emotional territory though not as deeply and doesn't make any greater comments about society's use of media for it's vicarious bloodsports. I also felt a strong resemblance to Kutter, but AM&NL is a much better read. This just a cute little love story about two special people fated to meet each other, fall in love, and end their lives together in a blaze of glory. It's written at what I'd consider a YA level of vocabulary and complexity, but I suppose it's probably inappropriate for younger readers (I'm not a very good judge of these things).  It's not a long story - it only took me a couple of short sittings to read it. As romance goes, this is the sort of romance I like, it's twisted, dark and gory. No explicit sex though, and that's a drawback that's worth at least a star. I was also hoping for more gore since killing is what brings these two people together, and I think opportunities to show them growing together were skipped over in a few scenes. It felt like a bit of fearfulness on the author's behalf, like she pulled back a little from truly committing herself to following the characters where they wanted to go.

It's hard to write an in-depth review of a short novella. Especially this one, as it's really all about atmosphere and mood rather than plot and character. We know the characters before the story starts, we know their arcs, and the setting really doesn't matter. To make a musical analogy, Natural Born Killers is like Psyclon 9's Parasitic and Atomic Montessa and Nuclear LuLu is like Mr. Kitty's Time. AM&NL is a good story and I see why it won the awards it has. I like what it does and where it goes, but I just wish it were more explicit. Readers with more delicate sensibilities will probably like it more than I did.