The 100 Books Project: Underworld.

Pretty much, you’re screwed. Patting yourself on the back is kind of like giving an aspirin to a dead guy; pointless.

“Resident Evil 4: Underworld” by S.D. Perry

When I embarked on the challenge to read through all six of the Resident Evil novelizations that I had, I knew I was going to be in for a little bit of a challenge, and not in the ‘this is heavy, contemplative, world-changing stuff’ way. I actually enjoyed the first two books quite a lot; they were fun, tongue-in-cheek, and understood exactly what they were: books based on a shoot-’em-up game about zombies. By book three, however, the formula was getting a little bit old. I could expect it for the books directly based on the games, since they’re expected to suit the familiar material, but the series is also peppered with a few original novels of adventures not rooted in a particular game. Underworld is one of those original novels, and it wastes a perfectly good opportunity to break into some interesting territory away from the formula, but it, disappointingly, clings to it like a flesh-eating monster clings to a buxom blonde in very little clothing.

The formula is starting to get old. Really old. Underworld, despite being an original novel and therefor open to the opportunity for a little creativity, sadly follows the same story that the previous books have: a group of people, this time survivors from all the previous volumes, find themselves in an Umbrella Corporation facility, this time in the salt flats of Utah, and bust in to encounter all sorts of terrible experiments and fend off the actions of some corrupt Umbrella employee. Yawn. We get it. We know at least the main characters are going to survive onto other books, so there’s no real threat there, and the rigorous set-up of traveling between different “levels” stayed firmly in place, despite the fact that it really didn’t have to. There were glimmers of character development and story, but they were just that…glimmers. The only thing I felt I gained from this installment of the series didn’t come until the very end, in an epilogue that sheds some interesting light on a character who, as far as I understand it, is original to the books anyway.

That last glimmer of a story was well placed; it definitely makes me a little more intrigued to read the last two books in the series to see if they develop it a little further, rather than just leaving me to read the last two books to satiate a sense of finality and completeness.

And then I’ll just remind myself that they’re novelizations of zombie video games, and maybe I’m holding them a higher standard than I should be. Ah, well. Onto Number 5…

Books read: 26/100.

And, one last thing, I’d like to thank Melynnda* for recently subscribing to the blog! Welcome aboard! It’s really great to have you here, and I’ve been enjoying your blog so far, too!


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