Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Author:  Keith R.A. DeCandido

Published By: Pocket Star Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            I had been aware of the presence of Resident Evil novels for some time.  The books I had seen were based on the popular video games and, as much as I enjoyed the games, for some reason, I just wasnít interested in reading books based on a video game.  When the Resident Evil films hit the theaters, the books made a resurgence, but I had no idea that someone had been commissioned to write novelizations of the movies.  I was only recently made aware of the presence of such novelizations.  Of course, that meant most of them were already out of print by the time I decided to check them out.  It took some doing, but I managed to get my hands on a copy of Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

            Taking place just after the events of the first film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse takes us back to the mansion where Alice and Matt are just escaping the underground Umbrella Corporation lab facility known as The Hive and the hundreds of zombies and other monsters now residing there.  The two are swiftly removed from the area by Umbrella Corporation security and brought to another secret location.  Meanwhile, the rest of the security team foolishly re-opens The Hive.

            Fast forward and we arrive in Raccoon City, the latest location to experience the terror of the walking undead.  Here we meet Jill Valentine, a Raccoon City Police Officer placed on suspension for having filed a report about mysteriously undead creatures she had confronted in the Arklay Mountains.  Now, everything she had warned the RCPD about was coming to fruition and Jill Valentine wants out of the city.  We meet L.J. Wayne, a street hustler whose past brushes with the law donít come close to the trouble he is in now, surrounded by zombies in the RCPD Police Station.  We are introduced to Terri Morales, a disgraced former television news reporter for Raccoon 7, out to get the story that will turn her career around. 

            Meanwhile, Alice is just waking up in a deserted hospital wing in Raccoon City.  As soon as she becomes conscious, she realizes that the scientists at Umbrella Corporation have altered her in some way.  As she enters the zombie-infested streets, she soon learns all that they have done, like enhancing her athletic abilities, speed, strength, sight, hearing and more.  All she wants is to get out of Raccoon City, find out what happened to her and Matt and make the Umbrella Corporation pay.

            And while all this is going on, there are still Umbrella Corporation security personnel attempting a search and rescue in the city, attempting to save anyone who hasnít yet been infected while taking out as many zombies as they can.

            They are all brought together by one person, Dr. Charles Ashford, the man who created the T-Virus.  He has already been evacuated by the Umbrella Corporation, but his daughter is still somewhere in Raccoon City.  Unbeknownst to the people who are watching over him, Dr. Ashford uses Umbrella Corporation resources to contact the survivors in the city and send them to the school where his daughter was last scene.  In exchange, he has promised to provide the individuals with a way out of the city.

            Can Alice and her new friends find and rescue Dr. Ashfordís daughter before the Umbrella Corporation wipes Raccoon City off of the map?  And even if they do, what other surprises will the Umbrella Corporation have in store for them?

            I have read many movie novelizations in the past and have not always been very happy with them.  Often times, the novels are written based on early versions of the script and, therefore, are missing key elements or contain elements that throw off the continuity of the plot.  I was happy to discover that Keith R.A. DeCandido stayed pretty much faithful to the film in its final version. 

            I also loved the extra tidbits that he threw in - the back stories of each of the characters, giving us insight into the actions of these characters throughout the story.  Stuff that wasnít in the film like why Jill was suspended from RCPD; where Alice worked prior to the Umbrella Corporation and why she joined their security team; the back story behind the big, bad guy, Cain; backgrounds of the security team led by Carlos Oliveira; things about L.J.ís past and more.  We even get a glimpse into the thoughts going on inside each of the charactersí heads, including Nemesis.

            The book was a super fast read.  I found myself completely absorbed in it.  No sooner had I opened the book than I had finished reading it and couldnít wait to get my hands on the next novel in the series.  In fact, prior to reading these novels, I had no interest in the novels based on the video games, but now, I want to read those as well! 

            Iíd like to commend Keith R.A. Candido for a job well-done.  The monetization of Resident Evil: Apocalypse is perfectly in tune with the movie and a fun and exciting read.


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