Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.
This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.
As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. This does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
As with every Shaun David Hutchinson novel, this book is a little bit weird but a whole lot amazing. It’s about the apocalypse, unknown universes, change, expectations not quite meeting reality and everything in between.
Elena Mendoza witnesses the start of the apocalypse at the Starbucks where she works, or at least that’s what the lady on the cup tells her. When she witnesses her crush being shot, she miraculously has the ability to heal her. Not only that, but the shooter vanishes into a void in the sky. As her world gets even more unbelievable, Elena has to confront the fact that the world may be ending- and she’s the only one who can stop it.
Despite the fantastical premise, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza is really rooted in reality, or at least the main themes (mentioned above) are. I love books that bend genres a little bit so this definitely fit in that vein.
The highlight of this novel is the characters, though. Elena’s family and friends are just so well-written and complex and I just loved them. If you’re a fan of character-driven narratives as opposed to plot-driven ones, I think this would be the perfect novel for you. Because of the character-driven nature of this book, I can’t comment too much on the plot but I did really like where it went as well as the various illusions to Hutchinson’s past novels.
Overall, I recommend The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza if you’ve liked Hutchinson’s past novels or are looking for something a bit out of the box.