Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

The last few years have seen a surge in zombie stories – The Walking Dead, World War Z, so forth and so on. What links them all is the fact that the zombies have been humans. This begs the question, what if the zombies were of the four legged variety? This is the question asked and answered in this week’s review.

What begins with a single cow that just would not die quickly becomes an epidemic of massive proportions. Britain’s livestock are transformed in to sneezing, drooling, lust filled, flesh craving four legged zombies. When the disease spreads to all four legged creatures, Britain is put in to total lock down.

With no one entering or leaving the country, this places the fate of the nation (and possibly the world) in the hands of three of the most unlikely individuals. Terry, the slaughterhouse worker who encountered the original cows and lived to tell the tale; Geldof, the unwilling vegan teen with a serious skin problem; and Lesley, an inept reporter who bungles the biggest story of her life. Together, these three have to team up and try to potentially unlock a cure and save the world.

The world is so screwed.

Co-winner of the Terry Pratchett ‘Anywhere But Here, Any When But Now: First Novel Award’, Apocalypse Cow is well deserving of the award. Fast paced and very funny, I honestly had a hard time putting this book down. Logan has a definite knack for description as he uses words to paint pictures that seem to jump off the page. He has a way of twisting the things we know, or think we know, with new and often horrendous results. Much like Terry Pratchett, Logan takes the ideas we are familiar with and forces us to look at them in a new way.

The characters are believable in the way they are written and how they act and react to the situations around them. I would have liked to have known more about Geldof’s father’s backstory and am hoping that in the second novel – and there is a second novel, I checked – we will learn more about him.

While Logan’s flair for wordplay is reminiscent of Terry Pratchett, Apocalypse Cow is quite different. Particular scenes are darker and even more graphic than some might be comfortable with. While the original premise does seem rather light hearted and tongue in cheek, the execution of the story isn’t always.

Personally, I really enjoyed this book and will be looking for the sequel at the library. However, this book might not be for everyone, especially younger readers or those who might be squeamish.

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