Resident Evil: Caliban Cove

Author:  S.D. Perry

Published By: Titan Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                Well, itís that time of year again.  Autumn is here, the leaves are changing color and Halloween is on the way.  Television stations are counting down to Halloween and horror films are appearing in movie theaters.  That means itís time for the zombie fix.  I decided to start my Autumn/Halloween season with the second book in the video game-based novel series, Resident Evil: Caliban Cove.

                This book starts almost two weeks after the events of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy.  Instead of being labeled heroes, the surviving members of the Raccoon City S.T.A.R.S. team find themselves being ridiculed, blamed for incompetent investigating and suspended from duty pending full investigation.  Apparently, the Umbrella Corporation was able to sway the minds of several high ranking members of Raccoon City government, police department and even the S.T.A.R.S.  Thus, all of the reports filed by the survivors regarding the incident at the Spencer Mansion have been buried and no one will ever know the atrocities committed by the scientists of Umbrella Corps.

                Well, of course, this doesnít sit well with the surviving members of the Raccoon City S.T.A.R.S.  Approached by David Trapp, a member of the Exeter, Maine division of S.T.A.R.S., Rebecca Chambers, Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield and Barry Burton regarding a possible Umbrella Corps incident on an island off the coast of Maine, they are all in.  Especially when they are attacked by members of their own service.  Unfortunately, the only member qualified for this particular mission is the young Rebecca Chambers, trained combat medic and biochemist.  The rest of the team must lay low and seek out S.T.A.R.S. members who havenít been compromised.

                Rebecca heads off with David and three members of his Exeter team to the Umbrella Corps facility at Caliban Cove, hoping that, with help from their mysterious confidential informant Trent, they can find enough information at the Cove headquarters to nail Umbrella Corps.  What they find is much more disturbing.  A psychotic scientist has taken control of the facility and changed the scope of the T-Virus, creating zombies that degenerate at a much slower rate; zombies that can be controlled.  The new strain works a great deal faster than the last. 

                Things are bad when they realize that Umbrella has created fish-like Leviathan creatures that swim around the island.  Things get worse when they find Trisquad teams, teams of three zombies that can actually aim and fire weapons, guarding the complex.  Then, one of the team members becomes infected.  Can Rebecca and the Exeter S.T.A.R.S. find the information they need to expose Umbrella Corpsí evil doings and stop the mad scientistís plans for the world, or will they all succumb to the newly enhanced T-Virus?

                I wasnít sure I was going to enjoy a Resident Evil novel with only one character that I had any clue about.  Could Resident Evil: Caliban Cove even match the intensity of the original novel?  Yes, it can!  Caliban Cove is every bit as intense as The Umbrella Conspiracy.  The new characters are every bit as likable as the original characters and when one of them becomes infected, you find youíre just as upset as the rest of the team.  The new zombies are rather intriguing and this book actually explains the zombies we see in Retribution.  I was also intrigued by the Leviathans and wonder how something like that could exist in the ocean and not somehow infect everything around it.

                I liked Rebecca Chambers in the first novel, but I enjoy her even more in this one.  Puzzle-lover Karen Driver is pretty cool and the banter between her and the dangerous-looking, laugh-loving John Andrews is hilarious.  At first you are led to believe that trouble by his past David Trapp might be a possible love interest for Rebecca, but then we wonder if it will actually be pretty boy Steve Lopez.  And the fact that you actually care about that in the midst of a zombie story is pretty interestingÖa sign that you are totally absorbed in the characters S.D. Perry is writing about.

                The zombie action may not start right away in Caliban Cove, but once it does, the action is intense and the puzzles the team has to solve to get to the laboratory and the mad scientist are intriguing.  I enjoyed Resident Evil: Caliban Cove so much, I decided to check out the next book in the series, City of the Dead.

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