World War Moo by Michael Logan
World War Moo is a direct sequel to Apocalypse Cow. It is entirely possible (in fact I’m pretty damn sure I can guarantee it) that there will be spoilers here if you haven’t read book one. There I’ve said it. Now if you proceed you have no-one to blame but yourself.
It began with a cow that just wouldn’t die. Yep. That’s right. They’re still un-dead, and now the disease has spread to humans. The epidemic that transformed Britain’s bovine population into a blood-thirsty, brain-grazing, zombie horde…err…zombie herd… is threatening to take over the globe in Michael Logan’s World War Moo.
And there’s not much time left to stop it. All of Great Britain is infected and hungry. The rest of the world has a tough choice to make. Should they nuke the brits right off the map — men, women, children, cows and all — in the biggest genocide in history? Or should they risk global infection in a race against time to find a cure? With hungry zombies attempting to cross borders by planes, trains, boats, and any other form of transport available, it’s only a matter of time before the virus gets out.
And if it does, there’s only one answer. This means war.
Way back in 2012 I read Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan. I was immediately jealous. Why? Well, I’ve only ever had one idea for a story of my own. It was called Grains and was going to be about vegetarian zombies (they are scarier than you think, dammit!). Then along comes Logan with his flashy, crowd pleasing zombie cattle. I quickly realised that it was far better executed than anything I could ever hope come up with. Damn the man and his bovine mayhem! Time passed and my jealousy moved on elsewhere. Three years later, and I had finally reached the stage where I could almost look at the book fondly, and what happens? Logan’s only gone and bloody done it again.
World War Moo picks up a couple of years after the events in Apocalypse Cow. The world economy is suffering due to the financial drain the British crisis has placed on it. Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done soon. Needless to say, the military have come up with one very definitive option that will put an end to all this infected nonsense quick smart. Will there be a human cost? Depends on how you define human, doesn’t it?
The characters are a who’s who of oddballs and weirdos. Geldof Peters is a teenager keen to return to the UK to see if he can discover any news regarding the fate of his missing mother. Fortunately, his grandfather is incredibly wealthy and is willing to pay for mercenaries to help Geldof along the way. Ruan Peat is another teen, whose story couldn’t be more different from Geldof’s. She has managed to stay alive and un-infected for the entire duration of the crisis. Lesley McBrien makes a welcome return. The ace investigative journo is still feeling guilty over her part in the events in Apocalypse Cow. Setting out with the best of intentions leads her back to Scotland and right into the heart of another international crisis. Can the intrepid reporter make amends for the problems she has caused?
In an interesting twist on your standard zombie mythos, the infected in Logan’s novels aren’t actually dead. They just have some REALLY serious anger management issues, will eat pretty much anyone, and have a rather lusty outlook. Essentially, all base urges and emotions have been ramped up to the nth degree. The infected do still function as people up to a point, and various different factions have developed within the British Isles. The UK government still exists, after a fashion, and there is even a resistance movement try to learn how to cope with being infected. Is there a potential solution to these problems that can save the poor unfortunates who are suffering? It turns out a laid back attitude, copious amounts of special grown-up time and funny smelling herbal cigarettes may hold the key.
Let’s cut to the chase here. World War Moo isn’t Shakespeare, but then I don’t really think it is supposed to be. Is this novel going to change your life? Probably not. Are you likely to experience anything close to a life changing epiphany? I would think not. Will you be presented with a deliciously silly and entertaining novel featuring a cracking little plot and some fun characters? Oh hell yes! Look no further thrill-seeker, your requirements have been met. Once again Logan has done a grand job of mixing gross out comedy, with just a dash of satire, and some more horrific elements. I have a sneaking suspicion, an inkling even, that there may still be a bit more left to this story. I do hope so; both books in this series have been thoroughly enjoyable so far. I can only hope that Mr Logan gets the opportunity to unleash his unique brand of chaos one more time.
World War Moo is available in the US, and via import in the UK*, from St Martin’s Press now. My advice is check it and its predecessor out now. I mean it’s not vegetarian zombies, but it’s alright if you like that kind of thing… (I’m not bitter, honestly).
*I do hope World War Moo gets a proper release in the UK. In my humble opinion it entirely deserves one!