When I hear “city of the dead”, I either think about the Green Day song Jesus of Suburbia or Resident Evil‘s Raccoon City, arguably the most famous zombie-infested city in pop culture. This time, it’s the city I’m talking about.
Notice that this is the 3rd book in the RE novelization series. I skipped the second one, Caliban Cove, because I just cannot wait to read about my favorite game in the franchise, Resident Evil 2. I’ll eventually get to that second one but now it’s all about Leon and Claire, my favorite video game couple.
It closely follows what looks like the “Scenario 1 as Leon / Scenario 2 as Claire” configuration. When I played it, I did it the other way around. Although I’m not quite sure. I recently finished watching a Let’s Play of RE2 and Leon didn’t get to meet Marvin when he was Scenario 2 so I figured… eh, anyway. Leon S. Kennedy’s first day as a rookie cop for RPD turns out to be a start to a nightmare. Claire Redfield, hasn’t heard from her brother, Chris (from the first book/game), in a while so she decided to go to Raccoon City to look for him. What she encounters there is anything but a happy reunion. The city was overrun by the undead.
I love how the author was able to do justice to the game. It followed each turn as closely as possible. As a huge fan of the game, I appreciated that she didn’t skip anything important. Actually, I don’t think she skipped anything. The item pick-ups maybe, but all the cut scenes were there. I loved Sherry’s portrayal. Whenever it’s her POV, the writing shifts into somewhat a kid voice. The author added insight to Sherry that was missing in the games. I loved those parts where she thought about her parents, about hiding alone, about Claire. The romantic potential between Ada and Leon was downplayed a bit in favor of the action. Again, it’s no walkthrough but it’s pretty faithful to the original game.
As with the previous one, there are very interesting ways to acquire extra ammo. How I wish they showed the usage of herbs and the ink ribbon. The journey through the RPD station was easy to follow and very exciting.
Fans of the game and franchise will be surprised that even though you – we – are familiar with the games, there are still things in this book that will surprise. I personally like the inner conversations the characters have with themselves as well as the author’s overall interpretation. And even if you’re not familiar with the game, you can still come along for the ride. It’s thrilling and scary and very exciting.
Recommendation: An easy read for survival horror fans. Not to mention, Leon S. Kennedy fan