Back in 1999, Universal studios released The Mummy, starring Brendan Frasier and Rachel Weisz - and Oded Fehr as a titular character. The film was a big hit and we would see the release of two sequels, with a third scheduled to be released in the summer of 2008.
When I received The Mummy: Dark Resurrection by Michael Paine, I was hoping it would be a continuation of that saga. I was disappointed when it wasn’t. Instead, it is actually the fifth in a series of Universal Monsters tie-in novels.
It uses the film from 1932 as its basis, but takes place in current times where we have Josh Brandt trying to continue his father’s legacy of unearthing an ancient Egyptian tomb. We learn what happened to his father, who mysteriously disappeared on a previous excavation.
The uncovering of the tomb of an Egyptian princess starts to affect Josh’s sister who has multiple personality disorder, which then causes her to take on the princesses’ personality. On top of dealing with his sisters new persona, in comes Ardath Bey, who claims to have known Josh’s father and might be able to reveal what happened to him.
Ardath Bey just might be the ancient being known as Imhotep, who was released when Josh’s father discovered his tomb. The new tomb Josh has discovered containing that Egyptian princess was Imhotep’s betrothed.
With any good tomb uncovering comes a curse. This one starts killing all of Josh’s expanded family. The family members meet horrible fates, and there’s no shortage of violence or horror, but when the book turns to a previously unseen Brandt member, you know the reason the plot has shifted is just to kill them off. I found that somewhat jarring and unnecessary.
Even though the title of the book is The Mummy: Dark Resurrection, I wouldn’t strictly classify this tale as a mummy story, but instead a Zombie book with Mummy overtones. I say this since Imhotep uses animated corpses to do his bidding, and what we have is the walking dead rather than the undead.
This book seems to be an amalgam of several writing styles that can take you out of the novel. The Mummy: Dark Resurrection wasn’t my cup of tea, however I do think it’s an interesting attempt on a classic creature. The author left some unanswered questions that could be answered in a follow-up novel.