Resident Evil: The Final Chapter   (Tim Waggoner)

At the same time as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – the latest instalment in the Resident Evil science fiction action-horror film series (based on the survival horror video game franchise of the same name) hits the cinemas, the British publishing house Titan Books comes with the official movie novelisation of the aforementioned blockbuster, coming from the pen of Tim Waggoner, a prolific American author writing in the sci-fi, fantasy, horror and thriller genres, who has in the past produced a number of other novelisations of well known fiction franchises, such as Grimm, Stargate SG-1 and Supernatural TV series.

The storyline of the novel (as well as the film) picks up about three weeks after the events shown in the previous instalment Resident Evil: Retribution, and follows Alice as she, alongside her friends Ada, Jill and Leon, is lured to Washington by Albert Wesker, under the pretext to defend the last remnants of the humanity who are taking a stand on the grounds of White House against the hordes of undead, but instead he uses them solely for his own ends – to eliminate Dania Cardoza, his last major rival in Umbrella Corporation's ruthless inner war for the total control of the organisation.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter isn’t one of the best science fiction novels around, owing to the mediocre film that served as the source material.

Deceived, all Alice’s friends die for this unworthy goal, but Alice miraculously survives and soon happens upon the Red Queen who informs her that Umbrella developed an airborne antivirus that can not only stop the infection, but in the process destroy also all those infected by the T-virus that caused the pandemic. There is a catch though – the cure for the outbreak is stored at a safe location within the Hive - Umbrella's top-secret research facility located underneath Raccoon City – and Alice has only 48 hours to get there and release the antivirus.

Alice loses no time and immediately sets off for Raccoon City, but is soon captured by armed men and imprisoned inside a hold of Umbrella's armoured vehicle that is followed by an enormous army of undead and is heading for the same destination - Raccoon City, on a mission to wipe out one if the last remaining large groups of survivors that found a refuge there. To Alice's total shock, the vehicle is commanded by Dr. Alexander Isaacs – the very Isaacs whom she had personally killed (or at least she thought she had) a long time ago. It turns out that the version of Dr. Isaacs she dispatched was only a clone, leaving the original to personally oversee the final decisive onslaught of Umbrella Corporation against the last remnants of the human race.

The author was limited in what he could do by the rigid restraints of the film's script.

Incredibly, Alice manages to escape Dr. Isaacs's transport on a stolen motorbike and at last, with only some 8 hours to spare, she reaches Raccoon City where she discovers, and joins, a small band of survivors, including her old friend Claire Redfield. Alice wants to head immediately for the Hive, but the survivors persuade her to first make a stance against the incoming hordes of the undead and other assorted mutant monsters unleashed on them by Dr. Isaacs. Against the overwhelming odds, with Alice's help and cunningness, they defeat the undead and finally, now with only little over an hour to spare, Alice, accompanied by Claire and some of her friends: Doc, Michael, Abigail and Christian, set out for the Hive, located at the bottom of an immense crater gaping at the spot where once stood the centre of Raccoon City.

In a nerve-racking race against time, Alice and her companions finally make it into the Hive, only for Alice to see her friends being taken out, one by one, by the security measures, sophisticated traps, and assorted monstrosities within, until only she and Claire remain alive to face Isaacs and Wesker and, with some little help from the Red Queen, try to wrestle from them the antivirus which is the humanity's only hope.

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter isn’t one of the best science fiction novels around, but so isn’t the film that served as the source material for this official movie novelization. It is clear that the author was trying his best, but was severely limited in what he could do by the rigid restraints of the film's script. Still, he managed to turn an under-average, what frankly should have been straight-to-DVD movie sequel, into an above-average science fiction novel – and that is by no means a mean feat.