Zakk reviews Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy by Mercedes M. Yardley

The Eyes of Madness presents “Simple reviews from a simple reader…”

Zakk reviews Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy by Mercedes M. Yardley. 190 pages published by Crystal Lake Publishing.

“She was a good girl, a sweet soul. Somehow she took whatever was in her hands and threw it across the sky like diamonds.”


Run, Star Girl.

Bryony Adams is destined to be murdered, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny.

Mercedes M. Yardley’s Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy is a dark, lovely fairy tale with lyrical language and a high body count, and features a cover by Hugo award-winner Galen Dara.

Includes “Oliver Bloom” by Ryan Johnson, a short story featuring characters from Pretty Little Dead Girls.

“For we are what we are, and he had always thought this, and he was born to be a killer while Bryony was born to be killed, and thus their relationship was set in stone before they ever met.”

Pretty Little Dead Girls is a truly magical novel. Unlike anything I have ever read. A stand out in literature and it’s unafraid of being different. Pretty Little Dead Girls hits on many different levels, whimsical, fantastical, emotional, horrific, bleak and heavy. Never straying to long on any one theme. Like pistons in a finely tuned engine, purring right along. And when these themes blend together, it’s a magical moment.

Populated with an eccentric and amazing cast of characters that have been given free reign to be vulnerable, to be alive, to have emotions and express their fears rather than simply react to situations. With some of the most interesting characters being the settings. The locations hosting this yarn have personality, they have teeth and they definitely have intentions, usually cruel. They will play a part in this story as large or larger than some of the human characters themselves.

Mercedes’ writing is fluid and gorgeous, as always, able to convey anything and everything, quickly and precisely, manipulative and exciting. The story she tells here is intricately woven, deceptively floaty and not without its fair share of punch. When THAT certain thing happens, dropping out of nowhere (except it doesn’t, if you think about it), you’re not ready for it. Like an elbow to the breadbasket, it takes the wind out of you. It hurts, and you may need a moment to compose yourself before you continue, because you have to continue, you are invested.

The only negativity that I can place on Pretty Little Dead Girls is that it’s fleeting style is not going to be for everybody. It requires a certain level of faith, a certain empathy that some genre fans, for whatever reason, just may not be receptive to. But… If you want to try a read that is a little different than what you’re used to, a little different than anything else out there, something that may challenge how you feel, what you feel, then check out Pretty Little Dead Girls, it is wonderful.

“When he met Bryony’s eyes, he was nearly knocked down by the force of her soul. A sweet soul, to be sure, but a strong soul. A courageous and carefully optimistic soul, and a soul that would be forced to endure the most gruesome and unspeakable tragedy. She would be broken, and razored, and her pink lips and her soft fingers and the insides of her elbows, and oh, oh, oh! Her fate was carefully engraved into the irises of her eyes with jewelers’ tools.”

Overall score: an enthusiastic 5/ 5

Zakk is a big dumb animal!

“Ah, truly brilliant reader. You are so accurate, and yet so misled at the same time.”

**Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher on the promise of an honest review. These are my unbiased feelings. This is a revised review from its original release.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. stkingauthor says:

    Spot on review. I didn’t feel as strongly about the read but i did find it pleasurable, despite it’s shortcomings.


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