Zero Hour (Resident Evil #0) Review

Zero Hour (Resident Evil Series #0) is a 2004 science fiction horror novel written by S. D. Perry, published by Pocket Star Books, and based on the Resident Evil: Zero Hour video game. Sent to investigate a series of grisly murders in Raccoon City, S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team scrambles into action. On the way to the scene, Bravo’s helicopter crashes. Although everyone survives, what they discover next is gruesome: an overturned military transport truck riddled with corpses — and that’s only the beginning of their nightmare.


Positives:

  • Billy and Rebecca are great characters
  • Descriptive writing
  • Interesting story
  • Suspenseful atmosphere
  • Great pacing
  • Marcus is a memorable antagonist

Negatives:

  • n/a

Plot:  The main story follows Rebecca Chambers and the other members of her Bravo team who are sent to investigate the murders reported in Raccoon forest.  Things go awry when their helicopter goes down and they find an abandoned train that’s filled with the undead and the surrounding forest monstrous creatures involved with the Umbrella Corporation.  Rebecca is aided by a military death-row inmate named Billy Coen. Together, not only do they navigate the dangers of mutant creatures and solve the mystery of Umbrella, but also stop Dr. James Marcus from enacting his deadly scheme. The story is pretty exciting and suspenseful goes at a pretty big pace.  Almost as soon as the story starts off things are happening, with scares and thrills around every corner.  Love how the story leads into the events of Umbrella Conspiracy.  Does a great job of giving more exposition into the origins of Umbrella and it’s involvement in T-Virus.  The story is pretty good and engaging from start to finish. (3 out of 5)

Characters: The two lead characters are S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) member and rookie medic Rebecca Chambers and death-row inmate Billy Coen. Chambers is a surprisingly good character and I really like her growth.  Her character feels so out-of-place at times because she seems so innocent.  If this were a horror movie, it would be hard to see her survive.  But that’s okay, because she’s a really likable character and does show quite a bit of smarts, courage, and  strength.  Billy is a great character too and it’s crazy that he gets caught up in this incident.  At times, he does feel like the mysterious misunderstood cool guy troupe (which he is) but he has a lot of great presence and good chemistry with Chambers.  I like the developing arc between the two and how they play off each other, helping each other to survive.  Rebecca’s team consist of Edward, Sully, Enrico, and Kevin and they’re pretty likable.  And I like that they’re actually useful though they don’t get enough time in the spotlight. The main antagonist of the novel is Dr. James Marcus who is a pretty flat villain with an awesome secret.  He isn’t Dr. Marcus at all.  He’s a bunch of mutant leeches who come together to look like Marcus, who share his memories due to the Queen Leech merging with Marcus’ dead body.  The characters are pretty decent, but mostly enjoyable.  (3 out of 5)

Writing:  Thumbs up to S. D. Perry for such effective writing for a spooky thriller and a great addition to the Resident Evil series. The writing does support a pretty tense atmosphere which was really enjoyable.  It very much feels like a Resident Evil book with the description of the various B.O.W.s (zombies, mutant slugs, zombie dogs, mutant animals and of course, a tyrant) being between creative and grotesque.  The book is a pretty fast paced page turner and there is some pretty intense action.  There is the puzzle elements that although feel a little silly when considering realism (or close to it) are familiar to the Resident Evil mythos.  There are some minor differences between the book and the game but it’s not enough to ruin the reading experience.  The writing actually pretty decent, though it makes for an exciting read.  (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Zero Hour (Resident Evil #0) is an awesome read.  Some fans of the games will not like some of the small changes but it was alright in my opinion.  The novel features good writing by Perry, great characters, an awesome antagonist, a good story, and a lot of action and suspense.  Zero Hour (Resident Evil #0) gets 3 out of 5.

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