Resident Evil: Genesis

Author:  Keith R.A. DeCandido

Published By: Pocket Star Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            I had just seen Resident Evil: Retribution in the theaters and found myself yearning for more T-Virus action.  Plus, Halloween’s coming and I needed my horror fix.  So, I broke out a copy of a book I had been saving for just this moment - Resident Evil: Genesis by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

            Resident Evil: Genesis is a novelization of the first Resident Evil live action movie.  The main character, Alice Abernathy had joined the Umbrella Corporation after a stint at the Treasury Department left her desiring more.  Realizing she would never get what she wanted - a job with the Secret Service - she decided to work for a company that could respect her talents…and the fact that it paid a lot more for those talents didn’t hurt.  Unfortunately, when she is placed in charge of security at the Raccoon City secret underground lab location known as The Hive, she realizes that the Umbrella Corporation is into much more than technological advances benefiting society.  In fact, what they are currently working on could have horrific consequences for the world.

            Of course, Alice forgets all of this when The Hive’s Artificial Intelligence, known as the Red Queen, activates the defense system, hitting Alice with a dose of nerve gas and rendering her unconscious.  When she comes to, she realizes she can’t remember anything about herself or the mansion she finds herself in.  She has no idea who the cop is in the mansion with her, nor the soldiers that invade the mansion and take her along for a journey into The Hive.  It isn’t until the group, along with a nerve gassed passenger found in the train on their way down to The Hive, encounter the occupants of the secret laboratory that memory starts flooding back to Alice.

            But she doesn’t have time to relish in that memory returning.  No, she and her new acquaintances find themselves battling the defenses of the Red Queen and fighting for their lives against the people who worked in The Hive…the people who have died, but somehow have come back to life…the undead who are hungry for human flesh and blood.  Now, the only thing that Alice and her new friends want is to make it back out of The Hive alive, possibly with the T-Virus, the cause of this whole nightmarish debacle they find themselves in.  But will they be able to escape the zombies of The Hive or will the Red Queen find a way to ensure that the group never makes it back to the surface again?

            I couldn’t wait to read Keith R.A. DeCandido’s take on the original Resident Evil film.  I had already read his novelizations of Apocalypse and Extinction and I found them to be amazing reads.  I had particularly enjoyed the way he added back stories of specific characters and behind the scenes action and thought processes that we never would have seen in the movie.  Resident Evil: Genesis is no exception.  In fact, the book starts out with scenes we never saw in the film - scenes explaining how Matt Addison got his sister, Lisa, to infiltrate The Hive and find out what Umbrella was up to in its secret lab; scenes explaining the relationship between Alice and Spence; scenes explaining how Alice and Lisa met and more. 

            I loved learning the back stories of the members of the commando team that enter The Hive and what goes through their minds as they fight the monsters they find below.  There are some repetitive moments as Alice and Spence begin to remember things, but even the movie had stuff like that in it to make the shocking revelations toward the end of the tale more poignant.

            Keith R.A. DeCandido is a very descriptive writer and his style keeps your eyes glued to the pages.  You may have thought you liked these characters in the film, but, by supplying back stories and allowing you into the minds of these characters, you will find that you love them that much more after reading his novelization.  Resident Evil: Genesis is a perfect companion to the original film and a great read for fans of the Resident Evil games and movies.


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