So far, there are seven books in the Resident Evil series; of those, five of them are based on entries in the videogame series of the same name. The most recent, Zero Hour, is a prequel in much the same way that the game Resident Evil Zero was. Well, ha ha, that’s an understatement, since it’s not only a novelization of that game, but also the most by-the-numbers novelization of the whole series.
Credit where it’s due, the author has taken on a somewhat herculean task here. It’s hard to write the book of a game whose main focuses (after shooting zombies, I mean) are holding onto ammunition and solving crazy spy puzzles, without devolving into ridiculous parody. Somehow, she manages to take it all seriously, in part by paradoxically keeping the characters aware of the farce of it all. There are things you accept in a game that nobody would in real life, and the ability to roll their eyes at having to light the lamps in the right order to release the gate is exactly the same kind of ability that keeps them sane in the face of bio-engineered hordes thirsty for their blood. And, y’know, their juicy, delicious brains.
On the downside, like I said, this is the least good adaptation. Sure, the characters are allowed to get out of some fights in a way that the game characters are not, and sure, they laugh at the craziness, but I’m pretty sure I don’t remember ever reading a quite so faithful account of what weapons and ammo are picked up when, and how close they are to running out. But, other than how badly that grates, it’s a perfectly serviceable book of its type, and as in other entries in the series, she adds touches here and there that make the book hers outside the confines of the games. Still, if you don’t just absolutely adore the whole Umbrella-verse, there’s no point to picking it (or any of the others) up.