Publisher: Pocket Books
Author: S.D. Perry
Release Date: 5/1/1999
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
The Good: Captures the personality and atmosphere of the RE series, new setting is tense and dangerous, great ending
The Bad: Can feel a bit rushed in spots
I started this 7 book Resident Evil series before I even opened this site, so after the review for number 7 is up I will do a Final Thoughts to recap the first 4. This series is an original story by S.D. Perry. She takes the Resident Evil characters that we know, adds some new ones, and a few little twists of her own such as new monsters and Umbrella schemes. It is well done and feels almost better than what Capcom has going. These books were written in the late 90’s after Resident Evil 3 was released, so don’t expect anything from anything past that game.
Underworld sees The ex-S.T.A.R.S team consisting of Leon, Claire, Rebecca, and newcomers John and David. These two characters are introduced in the earlier books and are solid memorable characters. A mysterious man named Mr. Trent, who has been giving them clues to help shut down Umbrella, finally reveals himself fully, almost, to the team this time around. They want to go to Europe to help Chris and Jill, but he sends them on a different mission in Salt Lake City, Utah to retrieve a code book from a Mr. Reston. This little facility called “Planet” is part of White Umbrella’s division where they are testing new species out. The team heads there but a lot of things go wrong in this underground facility.
S.D. Perry does a good job of giving you multiple perspectives on the same situation. Leon and John are stuck in a series of tests that span four rooms throughout most of the book. You get their perspective, then she will cut to Reston’s perspective as he sees it all on the camera monitors. You get the insight from every major character and she does a good job chopping up the story and bringing it full circle at the end of the book. Each one is like this and it is highly entertaining, Perry fully utilizes the RE world and captures the characters we have grown to love while still making us hate Umbrella for their horrible experiments.
On the surface, Claire, Rebecca, and David are trying to find their way down, but are being intercepted by an Umbrella spook squad to wipe them out. Reston is a conniving coward and you grow to really hate this greasy slimeball. You get a perspective of the characters personalities that can’t shine through in a game, you basically get to know them more. Underworld is a fantastic book for RE fans, but I highly recommend you starting at book zero.