Dark Resurrection is the six of Dark Horse’s Universal Monster novels but unlike its predecessors, Michael Paine’s novel isn’t a direct sequel to the classic movie but a re-imagining. Imhotep’s backstory is slightly retconned and a new story is woven around Ardath Bey. It’s a nice little page-turner but unfortunately never really holds together. The old suspension of disbelief wears a bit thing as the cursed Joss Brandt starts having family members dropping dead left, right and centre, all in mysterious circumstances, but is still is worried about throwing a birthday party for his aging gran.
The other problem is that Paine has forgotten this is a mummy novel and instead delivers a shed-load of zombies, as corpses galore rise from the dead to rip the living apart. At first these scenes are quite chilling, but soon follows an increasingly familiar formula; a previously unseen member of the Brandt dynasty (who largely don’t seem very nice at all) are torn asunder and found dead before the action immediately shifts back to an increasingly confused Joss.
So much of the novel is spent with these undead killings, that when we finally get to the conclusion it feels as if Paine has rushed to tie up all the strands that have flapped around like a bunch of rotten bandages for the previous 200 pages.
It’s just a shame that Ardath Bey only really makes an impact on the plot in these final, rushed pages and even more of a shame that you can’t ever imagine Boris Karloff acting out the character that is supposedly based on the role he so perfectly created.
This one should have probably stayed in the tomb…
2 (out of 5) tana leaves