After the beautifully sad, yet hopeful The Book Thief, I wanted to read something that was a little lighter. Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan fit that need. The name of this book is just ridiculous and yet it was the name that drew me in. The fact that it was about zombie cows sold it. Animals typically aren’t portrayed as zombies, so I found this book to be a slight alternative to the regular zombie books out there.
It all starts with scientists that aren’t exactly thinking of doing science for the good of mankind. They create an experimental bio-weapon that is only transferable between animals, but not birds. The bio-weapon, however, doesn’t work quite as planned, instead turning animals into “zombies.” Sadly, the hope of the nation – Scotland and eventually England – lies with three unlikely heroes: Lesley, a sad excuse of a journalist, Geldof, a teenager whose hippie mom is blind to her son being allergic to the hemp clothing she makes him wear, and Terry, a slaughterhouse worker who is an almost recluse due to the death stench that clings to him.
These three heroes come together due to a loose “family” relationship between Terry and Geldof. After some tragic and somewhat humorous deaths, Terry, Geldof, and Lesley must find a way to get the story out about the origins of the bio-weapon. Which proves rather difficult given the number of animals running around Scotland doing their best to kill every human. And, oh yea, the heroes are also being pursed by the government lab that is trying to keep the story of the bio-weapon under wraps.
There are some gruesome descriptions in the book – more dealing with the slaughterhouse than the zombie animals. I found myself cringing a few times and really wanting to become the vegetarian I secretly want to be. I liked the idea of animal zombies since I’ve never really seen anyone take that approach before. I wouldn’t say I loved it – seemed like there was just something missing – but did enjoy the different storyline. Overall, this is about the ability of humans to come together and save the world from the cow apocalypse.