Book Review: Apocalypse Cow

Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

The blurb: When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.

Abattoir worker Terry Borders’ love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his days spent slaughtering cows; teenage vegan Geldof ‘Scabby’ Peters alternates between scratching furiously at his rash and baiting his overbearing New Age mother; and inept journalist Lesley McBrien struggles forlornly in the shadow of her famous war correspondent father and the star journalist at the Glasgow Tribune.

When Britain begins a rapid descent into chaos and ministers cynically attempt to blame al-Qaeda, Lesley stumbles upon proof that the government is behind the outbreak. During her bumbling quest to unveil the truth, she crosses paths with Terry and Geldof, and together they set out to escape a quarantined Britain with the evidence and vital data that could unlock a cure for the virus.

Standing in the way are rampaging hordes of animals, a ruthless security agent and an army ready to shoot anybody with a case of the sniffles on the off-chance the virus has mutated.

Three losers. Overwhelming odds. A single outcome: the world is screwed.

My review: I don’t do Zombie books. I don’t do Zombies full stop. They completely freak me out, my imagination is already too crazy without mindless, unreasoning dead things to contend with! However, the title appealed to me so much that I had to suppress those feelings and give it a go. This was the perfect tonic to reading the bittersweet Black Heart Blue. This book is nonsensical but scarily realistic! Meaning that the development of a bio-weapon that accidentally leaks into the general populace doesn’t sound that far fetched!

I definitely won’t be looking at squirrels the same way again! I loved this and have already bought a copy for my brother as I think it’s hilarious and didn’t want to give mine away. It reminded me strongly of Shaun of the Dead, an irreverent look at Zombies, not shying away from the violence and single-minded nature of the un-dead.

But it’s not governed by Zombies. There’s a very pacy plot here too, the human characters have real emotions and I cared about them. It was also interesting to see how people reacted under situations of immense stress and self enforced captivity. What would you do if you had to hide from rampaging sheep and a very real death threat from rats? Would you be a hero? Or would you only try to save yourself. There’s some interesting, deep philosophical questions here as well as laugh out loud moments.

I couldn’t put this book down, it’s a perfect tonic for anyone who needs cheering up. And a concept that has stayed with me on late nights, watch out for the animals!

9 out of 10 stars! *********

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