Resident Evil: Extinction

Author:  Keith R.A. DeCandido

Published By: Pocket Star Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            After reading the novelization of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, I knew I had to get my hands on the rest of Keith R.A. DeCandido’s Resident Evil books.  He had done such a good job with Apocalypse, that I just knew he would do the other films justice.  My next acquisition was Resident Evil: Extinction.

            Resident Evil: Extinction picks up where the events of Apocalypse left off.  The world has been overrun by flesh-eating zombies thanks to the T-Virus created by the Umbrella Corporation.  Unable to contain the virus, the corporation has gone underground and Dr. Samuel Isaacs has been tasked with finding a way to get the world back to normal.  He believes that Project Alice holds the key.  If Alice could alter the T-Virus and make it enhance her abilities rather than transform her into the living dead, perhaps her blood is the key to a new, more potent antivirus.  Unfortunately, that means he has to recapture her as, since her escape from Umbrella’s Detroit base, she has gone underground.

            In fact, Alice has been traveling the United States alone, looking for any sign of human life and helping to liberate any survivors from the grips of the undead.  She keeps aware of the times and locations of Umbrella’s satellites as they have been used to track her whereabouts.  In her travels, she comes across a journal in which hopeful entries have been made about Arcadia, Alaska.  Isolated from the rest of the continent, it appears to be free from undead and possibly a safe haven for survivors. 

            Jill Valentine has been traveling alone as well, performing in the same capacity, liberating as many survivors as possible before moving on to a new location to help more.  She trusts no one and has lost track of Carlos Oliveira since she dropped off survivors some time ago with his roaming caravan.  In Baltimore, Jill finds survivors being starved out of existence by a band of criminals hording all of the cities supplies.  That doesn’t sit well with the former police officer, so she decides to set things right. 

            Meanwhile, in the deserts of Nevada, Carlos and LJ have joined up with Claire Redfield to form a caravan of survivors.  The group’s search for fuel and food lead them to the Desert Trail Motel, some hundred plus miles from Las Vegas.  Their overnight stay is met with an attack from hordes of crows infected with the T-Virus and hungry for human flesh.  The group is about to be decimated when Alice suddenly appears, using her psionic powers to destroy them. 

            Alice’s tale of a possible haven doesn’t sit well with Claire, but the convoy, now down to twenty-some-odd people need a ray of hope to cling to.  Unfortunately, there is no way they can make it to Arcadia without fuel and food.  Alice suggests that they head to Las Vegas as they city will be most likely to boast a huge store of supplies, despite the fact that large cities are sure to have an equally large sum of undead.  Unbeknownst to Alice, Dr. Isaacs has triangulated on her location by tracking the use of her psionic powers and he has a surprise in store for her at Las Vegas.  He’s been experimenting on the undead, the results of which can be catastrophic for the members of the caravan.

            Resident Evil: Extinction follows a very important pattern.  The beginning of the novel flashes back and forth.  The use of flashbacks allows us to see the events left out of the movie, explaining how Carlos, Alice, LJ and Jill had gotten split up and the disappearance of Angie.  We are made to understand why Alice travels alone and Angie is nowhere to be found.  Also, we are finally allowed some insight into what happened to the character of Jill Valentine as she is nowhere to be found in the movie, but suddenly reappears in Resident Evil: Afterlife.  I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel as I felt that there were several gaps that needed filling between the two film.  Questions that were never answered in the movies were answered in DeCandido’s novelization.

            The second half of the book is dedicated to the present with Alice joining the caravan and their journey into Nevada and Jill’s organizing of Baltimore’s survivors to rise up against the bandits holding them at bay.  Even here, more details are offered up than in the film.  You would think that all the new additions would ruin the continuity, but all it does is enhance the experience for the fan.

            DeCandido’s novelizations have proven to be fun and rather descriptive reads.  They add to the fan’s experience by cluing them into their favorite characters’ whereabouts and offer insight into their thoughts and actions throughout the film.  The You become so engrossed in the story and so invested in the characters that you actually feel a bit let down when the ride is over, thinking, “Hey, I want more!”  And I plan on getting my hands on more - I still have to check out Resident Evil: Genesis, DeCandido’s novelization of the original Resident Evil film.  I have to see a novelization of Afterlife, but one can only hope it will be written by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

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