First off, only one new guest post today–an interview over at Keeping Up with the Rheinlanders, where I’m answering the dreaded “Tell us five interesting things about yourself.” It always reminds me that I’m really not interesting at all…but head over if you get a chance and see for yourself–and yes, there’s a giveaway! (And also thanks for the great review of Royal Street!)
If you’ve missed some of the earlier spots during the week, you can scroll down to find the links. There are lots of giveaways.
Now, I’m excited today to be bringing you a book that I’m cheating on a bit because it’s not really a drive-by review in that I didn’t stop at page 50. Actually, I finished it. I had to finish it. I couldn’t NOT finish it. So let me introduce you to a delightfully perverse novel that will be out next Tuesday (in the US; it was previously released in the UK) called Apocalypse Cow.
ABOUT APOCALYPSE COW: If you think you’ve seen it all — WORLD WAR Z, THE WALKING DEAD– you haven’t seen anything like this. From the twisted brain of Michael Logan comes Apocalypse Cow, a story about three unlikely heroes who must save Britain . . . from a rampaging horde of ZOMBIE COWS! Forget the cud. They want blood. It began with a cow that just wouldn’t die. It would become an epidemic that transformed Britain’s livestock into sneezing, slavering, flesh-craving four-legged zombies. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his maths teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn’t recognize a scoop if she tripped over one. As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world? Three losers. Overwhelming odds. One outcome . . . Yup, we’re screwed.
Drive-by Review: Well, obviously, I loved this book, probably because I’ve been somewhat perplexed by the onslaught of zombie novels in the last few years. I’m not sure why, but I don’t like zombies. In fact, I need to rewrite the lyrics to the old Boomtown Rats song “I Don’t Like Mondays,” only my version will be “I don’t like zombies.”
Now, putting that video in here isn’t as weird as one might think. (Never mind that I was a big B-Rats fan and it gave me an excuse to listen to them for the first time in twenty years.) The mastermind behind the band was vocalist Bob Geldof, who was quite the social activist and went on to organize the big Live Aid benefit among other events. One of our heroes in Apocalypse Cow is Geldof, the socially awkward, eczema-riddled son of a socially active (read: fanatical) woman who named her only child after her hero Bob Geldof. Of course, Geldof is quite embarrassed by his name–and his mum–and is relieved when the bullies in his school call him Gandalf.
So that gives you a feel for what I think is a quite brilliant satire of the zombie craze. There are layers of in-jokes that, if you don’t get them, still leave plenty on top to make you laugh. I mean, there’s something about slobbering, revenge-seeking undead bovines that sets me off.
Admittedly, this book is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. You probably know whether or not you enjoy well-done satire. Apocalypse Cow is irreverent. It’s over-the-top outrageous. No one is safe, from football fans to the president of France. People behave badly. There’s some blood and gore and, okay, the bulls get a little smexy with some of their victims. (See what I mean by over the top?) But it was a fun, fun read that had me literally laughing out loud at least once every couple of pages as our unlikely heroes seem to be the only ones capable of stopping the Moo-ving apocalypse.
Want to win an ARC of Apocalypse Cow? Just leave a comment and tell me what YOU think of zombies. Have you read any of the recent rash of zombie fiction? Does zombie romance kind of give you the heebie-jeebies?