The Dead Have Awakened
It is 10 years after the global apocalypse. The Phage, the zombie virus that brought the world to its knees, has mutated, restoring the minds of its undead victims: their personalities, their memories... even their dreams. The living dead are no longer the mindless monsters that drove mankind to the brink of extinction.
But they still possess their insatiable hunger for human flesh.
Kept Like Animals
Brent Scarborough is a veteran survivor. He has been dodging the undead for nearly a decade. When he learns there is a city controlled and populated by living human beings, a place they call Home, he and his companion, Harold Killian, head immediately for this refuge of the living.
But they are captured on the last leg of their journey. Harold is killed, and Brent is imprisoned in a terrible zombie gulag, a nightmarish facility where the living are kept like animals and forced to breed for their hungry zombie masters.
Refusing to be defeated, Brent forges alliances with his desperate fellow inmates. His only goal is escape, but bearing down on the facility is a herd of mindless chompers, zombies who have not yet reawakened, and it is the largest and most destructive herd the living and dead have ever seen!
Set 10 years after the events in the popular zombie novel Mort, Cattle is a no-holds-barred action horror novel that is as original as it is fearless. Author Joseph Duncan (who formerly wrote under the pen name Rod Redux) has pulled out all the stops in his latest post-apocalyptic novel.
©2014 Joseph Duncan (P)2015 Joseph Duncan
Well worth reading
This was my first but won't be my last
Not specifically - enjoyed it all
The unique ability of Ian M Walker to bring individual characters to life made this one of my favourite audio books to date.
Every minute of the book was brought to life in my mind,
Very easy to listen to narrating voice, bravo.
I didn't want it to finish and can't wait for the next book from this author narrated by Mr Walker.
Great story kept me hooked until the end, another fantastic Joseph Duncan book.
HE MIGHT NOT BE THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE SILVERWARE DRAWER
Holly Cow, this is really good!!! This is the best book I have listened to all year. I have repeatedly said that Cell by King is my favorite Zombie book and I have read a ton, but now that has changed. This catches your attention right from the start and you might be a little worried that is going to become the same old same old and then the story takes an about face and becomes like no other Zombie book you have read. Such a unique take on the genre. The story continues to build, get better and get better as it goes along.
YOU APOLOGIZE A LOT
Warning, do not attempt to eat a meal, while listening. There are some gut wrenching gross moments in this book. It is not full of them, but the ones presented do the trick. Off hand I am thinking of a certain amputation scene. There are also others. They are included in order to further the story, they are not gore for gore sake. I'M SORRY
OF COURSE I CAN, I'M FROM TENNESSEE
Now for another very strange part of the listening experience. The narrator is extremely different. At first you may think he sounds a little YA or amateurist. Keep listening, I promise he will grow on you. The naïve voice he gives to the main character actually plays into the horror. The narrators' voice, often sounds like he has cotton in his mouth. I was convinced that he and the writer were from Australia or some British Colony. I figured he was talking weird to sound American Southern. It is like a cross between The Swedish Chef on Sesame Street and Forrest Gump. Instead of Arkcansaw, it is R-Kansas. His friends or not his buddies, but his chums. Rear lawn instead of Backyard. A Gain instead of again. I looked the author up and he is from Southern Illinois. Anyways, it works, it works very well.
This is a horror, and done well. My first Joseph Duncan, but not my last.
"The narrator made this book for me"
The Narrator's performance
Herold, he was sort of the glue that held the narrative together.
Spoiler Alert: I liked the way the narrator handled the dead friend Harold. The character went through several iterations (live, imaginary, zombie) and Mr. Walker managed to make them all work and yet not conflict with each other. His use of voice allowed one to get a since of each representation without interrupting the flow of the story or conflicting with other versions of the character.
I finished listening to Cattle today and I have to say it was definitely the narrator's performance that made it for me. I was intrigued by the way he managed to give each of the character's voices distinct enough to identify yet unobtrusive enough that they did not interrupt the flow of the narrative. I also appreciated the way he handled some of the more delicate subject matter. Well worth a listen.
"Cohesive, asks tough questions"
The title sums everything up nicely. It explored the idea of how even sentient beings can see it in their best interest to succumb to a life as food for another form of life. It also made me very uncomfortable and made me think with some of the decisions the characters in the farm had to make.
There is a very young girl that needs to get pregnant in order to survive. I won't share the details of this part, but virtually every circumstance in her situation is absolutely awful.
Ian reads the book with his natural British accent. I'm not sure that would come across through text, though sometimes the wording of the narration did seem distinctly British, but it was a nice touch.
"What would you do to survive?"... This is why I don't have a job in marketing...
Though I am a bit tired of the zombies coming out of the woodwork of popular culture, and I did have to put forth quite the effort to suspend disbelief that these zombies can talk and think despite the amount of damage they must have sustained since turning in the first place, I found Cattle to be an interesting take, and worth the listen. Instead of simply being another scenario where there is a group of survivors against impossible odds, and "Surprise, THESE zombies came about in a unique way!," it actually twisted the zombie scenario in order to tell a completely different kind of story, and ask some hard questions about humanity. Not only was the story quite good, but Joseph Duncan's writing is evocative and visceral, which helped to make up for what I didn't like about the story.
As for the narration, I understand that this is Ian Walker's first full-length audio book. Despite his struggle with American accents, the occasional difficulty understanding some of the zombie dialogue, and mostly negligible noisiness in sound quality, he did a remarkable job. His voice and accent are pleasant, he's very expressive with his narration without going overboard, and he was a perfect fit for the story itself.
I gave the story and the narration 4 stars each, but they work so well together that the final product is more than the sum of its parts. A great team, and I look forward to listening to more from both of them.
"Interesting take on Zombies!!"
I haven't read the print version, but in a market flooded with zombie books, I thought this one stood out. I was intrigued by how the author gave the zombies levels of intellect which upped the stakes.
This was my first audiobook by Ian M. Walker and he did very well. He is extremely listenable and I love the gravely tone to his voice. His pacing was really nice and held my attention and I will definitely listen to more books read by him.
"A incredibly unique take on Zombies."
A Unique and Energetic Read.
I had no real idea what to expect going into this but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did. It was such a refreshing take on the Zombie genre. The blurb above sums up the book so I'm going to get to my thoughts.
One of the main things that stand out for me in this book is the Zombies. I adored the fact that the author took the Zombies and put his own twist on them. Zombies are scary anyway, but add in Zombies that talk and are sentient, well then you have something even scarier! The zombies of the Phage are coming back, but a few of them are coming back to almost human. The only thing (apart from appearance) that separates them is their thirst for blood and hunger for flesh. These zombies then decide that since humans are becoming scarce, they will capture and breed humans to have sustenance. Being captured by Zombies is bad enough but being forced to have sex to feed these things is worse!!
Another thing that stands out are the characters. They are so well written and developed that they jump off the page. Brent has been on the run since the Phage first came and has thus far managed to stay safe, but all that changes when he makes a silly mistake. He is captured and sent to a "Breeding Camp". He knows he needs to escape but how can he pull it off? Brent was such a likable character and one you feel for. He is just an all round nice guy and when he was caught, I was like Noooo!! He keeps his head the whole way through and is such an awesome hero.
Anyway, I loved this. It was fast paced, well written and a refreshing Zombie tale. You are drawn into the book right from the start and it's pretty much non stop the whole way through. I started the book and had it finished within a day because I could not stop listening to it!! I had to see what happened next. I really hope we see more from these characters and from this world!!
The narrator did an amazing job with this book, he really brought the book to life. His tone for the Zombies was so creepy and gave me chills. He gave each character his all and it shows.
"What ruined it? The conversation or the narration?"
Sigh... it is so hard to rate a book when certain parts of it drive you crazy but overall it is (or should have been) a decent story. Do I subtract points for the long-winded conversations within the main character's head, or for the dream sequences (man, oh man, I really REALLY dislike dream sequences - a novel is already fiction/fantasy, why add another lame layer to that?)
Way too much conversation among characters and way too many words... it is a zombie novel but it has a feeling as if the author thought he was writing literary fiction... they talk incessantly, if not to each other, then the main character to himself: all talk, no action.
It could have been better if there was some action and less "author trying to make some point/moral", and if he had created characters that felt real. And a plot/goal would have helped too... most of the story has no forward momentum, just descriptions of XYZ...oh, yes, how horrible, so let's chat about it for 15 minutes.
I am usually very tolerant of narrators (i.e. unless they actively annoy me, they'll get an average rating, at worst). This one was... not a fit for the story. He actively annoyed me - his female voices made all the women sound like idiots, and some of the men spoke so... thickly... that they didn't sound much better. He did have different voices for most of the characters, including the zombies - it's just that the voices were nearly all... wrong, somehow... they didn't sound like real people, but rather like people trying to enunciate clearly while speaking with a regional accent (all with the narrator's British accent underlay). 2 hours from the end there was a character with an accent so thick/stupid that it was literally not intelligible... no, seriously, literally not intelligible. Fortunately he only had about 20 minutes of speaking time, but, it was just the final rub the wrong way.
There is some swearing (not a lot), no detailed sex and it wasn't really very gory, although the author tried. The underlying concept is mature and unpleasant though.
"Surprised by how much I liked it"
I do not typically like zombie novels. Zombies stories, movies, and tv shows are everywhere it seems. That said, I felt compelled to listening to this one after hearing talk about how the narrator voiced the zombie characters. Wow. Mr. Walker did a fantastic job with those zombie voices! The narrator voice was also well done. He was consistent and well paced throughout the entire book, and has a voice that I find easy to listen to. I particularly enjoyed the voice for the main female character in the book.
The story was so much better than I expected. I found it's ideas interesting, and parts of it caused me to recoil a bit. But that's what makes a book interesting, right? I want a book to surprise me, make me laugh, or make me shiver. The writing was good, and as the book neared the end it required I stay up a bit later to get to the ending. Some characters seemed to be more fleshed out than others, and I was most intrigued by the character of Harold.
I frequently measure a book by how long I think about it after I am done listening to it. This one is going to keep me thinking for awhile, and I will definitely be recommending this book to friends.
"New Take On Zombies"
The voice artist provides very distinct and well textured character voices.
Harold, good character, great interpretation by the voice artist.
I would have if I could have, it was definitely exciting and engaging. A well paced story.
Overall a great take on the zombie genre.
I just finished listening to Cattle. If you enjoy the post-apocalypse genre, I highly recommend this audio-book. The author and reader paint a grim picture of a battered and overrun America, but there is always hope to survive and determination to maintain even the slightest thread of human dignity in the face of unimaginable horrors.
Yes! It was great. This is one of my favorite's now.
Brent following his life kept me on edge. Through out the entire book.
This is the 1st audio I've listened to by Ian M Walker. He was great. Perfect zombie voices.
Yes when Brent was locked up as a breeder. I also loved how he never gave up and trying to break out and run too freedom.
This was an OMG great audio book. The author did a great job coming up with a new and different zombie apocalypse book. I do not normally listen to books like this but I would listen to this one again.
The book starts out following Brent through this terrifying new world for humans. Yes your worst fears have come to life in this book. We are the cattle. And of course the Zombie's have intelligence. Which is even scarier. I got so hooked on listening to what happens next to Brent. I couldn't turn the audio book off. I thought the author did a good job trying to make this a real life situation. Which keep me going all the way to the end. I couldn't tell you how many times I thought. Yeah I could see that happening in an apocalyptic world.
Brent is so interesting. I liked that the author tried to keep him a decent guy in a world gone wrong. I felt to many emotions listening to the audio. I found myself rooting for the characters. Especially things like run, run and run faster!
The narrator Ian M. Walker was amazing. I loved the voices he used for the characters. My favorite voices were the different zombies. He did the rough zombie voices perfect! He also had a great character voice for the black girl. I felt so sorry for her and any woman that would be caught up in this world.
I received this audio free in exchange for a honest review.
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