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AvPGalaxy Reviews The Alien – Out of the Shadows Audio Drama

Audible and Dirk Maggs’ audio dramatization of Alien – Out of the Shadows was released on Alien Day 2016. Its announcement came out of nowhere, included in that initial Alien Day announcement and from that moment I was looking forward to its release. Having now listened to the drama, I have uploaded my review of the Alien – Out of the Shadows audio drama:

“As with Ash and Ian Holm, Sigourney Weaver was unable to return to reprise her role as Ripley. Stepping into those immensely large shoes is Alien series alumni, Laurel Lefkow, who played the role of Katya in Rebellion’s Aliens vs. Predator (2010) She is remarkable as Ripley. Aside from a few moments early on where Lefkow sounded like she was pronouncing Nostromo as Nostroma, she just slipped into the role as if it were her own. I sometimes forgot I was not listening to Sigourney Weaver.”

The cover art for Alien: Out of the Shadows.  AvPGalaxy Reviews The Alien – Out of the Shadows Audio Drama

The cover art for Alien: Out of the Shadows.

Make sure you visit our reviews section and check out our review of the Alien – Out of the Shadows audio drama. Have you listened to Alien – Out of the Shadows yet? What did you think? Let us know down below!



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  1. HuDaFuK
    I just think the way they included Ripley and Ash is so forced and feels absurd and lame.

    This was my big issue with it. I quite liked the original stuff, but awkwardly working Ripley into it almost killed it for me. I could see the mind-wipe finale coming a mile off and was groaning pretty hard. It's a shame because if Fox hadn't have insisted on that - maybe just include Ash in some antagonistic way without Ripley - it could've been a lot better. The whole novel trilogy was like that - great ideas often spoiled by dumb ones.

    Other than that the story has been okay, the description of humanoid aliens with dog heads feels pretty goofy too.

    Ah yes, the poochoids. I completely forgot about them!
  2. 426Buddy
    Well yeah its just my opinion. I just think the way they included Ripley and Ash is so forced and feels absurd and lame.

    Other than that the story has been okay, the description of humanoid aliens with dog heads feels pretty goofy too.

    But hey to each their own, I'll try and wait until I've finished it to pass final judgement.

    I wouldn't really say humanoid, they got four legs and two arms and are really super tall.


    Ah I was misremembering, yeah that's not so bad.
  3. The Alien Predator
    Well yeah its just my opinion. I just think the way they included Ripley and Ash is so forced and feels absurd and lame.

    Other than that the story has been okay, the description of humanoid aliens with dog heads feels pretty goofy too.

    But hey to each their own, I'll try and wait until I've finished it to pass final judgement.

    I wouldn't really say humanoid, they got four legs and two arms and are really super tall.
  4. 426Buddy
    Well yeah its just my opinion. I just think the way they included Ripley and Ash is so forced and feels absurd and lame.

    Other than that the story has been okay, the description of humanoid aliens with dog heads feels pretty goofy too.

    But hey to each their own, I'll try and wait until I've finished it to pass final judgement.

  5. 426Buddy
    So is "Out of the Shadows" considered canon at this point as well?

    I'm about 3/4 of the way through the audio drama and I'm just not feeling the love. I think the drama is very well done but i'm not really caring for the story much at all.
  6. Engineer
    So which scenario holds more weight as being 'canon'? :-O

    PS. No matter what, Cameron's volcanism still holds true... It's just a question of which cause is responsible for shutting down the beacon...
  7. SM
    If you look at Terry Rawlings script, there are slates to cover the sequence where Dallas turns it off.  But until Isolation, it was assumed the volcanic damage to the Derelict has turned it off.
  8. HuDaFuK
    Speaking of Isolation, anyone ever read Alien the illustrated story? I'm guessing the folks who created Isolation didn't as the warning signal was switched off by Dallas in that interpretation. Or maybe they purposely ignored it?
    If I'm not mistaken, the signal was switched off also in Alan Dean Foster's novelization by Dallas.  I would have preferred to leave things that way ideally.  But it's no biggie.

    As SM says, the beacon's fate was never addressed in the films (beyond the fact it obviously got switched off at some point, because no one's hearing it in Aliens), so the game had free reign to decide how exactly that happened.

    It doesn't matter if it happened in a comic, because in the film Dallas obviously never goes near it.
  9. Perfect-Organism
    We will only be able to judge significance once the other issues come out.  If Mandy's character reappears and her inclusion is a logical intrinsic part of the story then it will be ok.  Otherwise if Ripley was just a passerby then it would have indeed been silly.  We'll only be able to judge in hindsight at some point in the future.
  10. SM
    Creative Assembly weren't beholden to story points that didn't make it to the screen.

    Quote
    As it stands, if Defiance takes place before Isolation, Amanda will still have no significance as she hasn't even encountered any xeno's yet.

    Defiance takes place just after Isolation, but the Amanda flashback is before Isolation.  And that seems to be a bit of a narrow definition of 'significance'.
  11. LordCassusSnow
    I doubt Amanda Ripley will have any significance in Defiance. I didn't finish Isolation yet so i have no idea if Defiance could take place after the events of A.I.. If Fox is planning a sequel to Isolation in the future, however, then A. Ripley might be a character no one can touch right now but only to reference and shoe horn for more cash. As it stands, if Defiance takes place before Isolation, Amanda will still have no significance as she hasn't even encountered any xeno's yet. Speaking of Isolation, anyone ever read Alien the illustrated story? I'm guessing the folks who created Isolation didn't as the warning signal was switched off by Dallas in that interpretation. Or maybe they purposely ignored it?
  12. HuDaFuK
    There was some neat world-building at the start. It did get terribly red-shirty later on though.

    I honestly struggle to pick a favourite from the trilogy. They all had stuff I really liked, and all had glaring faults.
  13. Corporal Hicks
    I would've preferred Colonial Marshalls, but I liked the dynamic of putting Brackett in there, him having a history with Anne Jorden, then having his actions directly lead to the crisis.  Then they're practically wiped out in around 3 days.

    I really wish it had been the Marshalls too. That would have worked perfectly. I was very fond of the whole frontiersman aspect of the novel. I thought they was really well portrayed.

    Sea of Sorrows had too many characters - so many that even James Moore lost track of them.

    True enough. I liked all the primary and secondary characters though. I think my fondness for it came primarily from how much I thought it felt like the older novels.
  14. SM
    I would've preferred Colonial Marshalls, but I liked the dynamic of putting Brackett in there, him having a history with Anne Jorden, then having his actions directly lead to the crisis.  Then they're practically wiped out in around 3 days.

    Sea of Sorrows had too many characters - so many that even James Moore lost track of them.
  15. Corporal Hicks
    Out of the Shadows was way better than it had a right to be considering the premise.  River of Pain, despite some continuity glitches, was my favourite of the initial three novels.

    Really? Mine would probably be Sea of Sorrows but I think because it evoked such a strong feeling of the old EU in me. Why River of Pain? Don't get me wrong, I liked them all (solid 7s for me) but I just couldn't get over the Colonial Marines.
  16. The Alien Predator
    I'm loving River of Pain, but I feel the Ripley scenes, which are basically just scenes lifted out of ALIENS, are not necessary.
    Wait... WHAT?!? Ripley is in River of Pain too?!? How's that work?!

    Yea, it didn't feel THAT forced to me... More like cleverly implemented. :-)

    PS. On the subject of "forced inclusion" I only really felt that about Hicks in A:CM. I was skeptical about A:I and Amanda Ripley at first, but that turned out very natural and pleasant. I was a little skeptical about out of the shadows too, and as it turns out I actually liked how they went about that too. I'm currently skeptical over river of pain, but I'll keep an open mind until I get around to reading it!

    I was very sceptical about A:I, but overall they made it work really well.

    Out of the Shadows was way better than it had a right to be considering the premise.  River of Pain, despite some continuity glitches, was my favourite of the initial three novels.
    Hmm... Sounds like we agree on A:I and out of the shadows. That's good to hear about River of pain; I'm looking forward to that one. :-)

    There's just a couple of Ripley scenes taken from the movie and added in the novel like the briefing from Aliens where she explains why she blew up the Nostromo to the Company and then some bits where Burke and Gorman arrive to her apartment I think. But Ripley herself plays no part in the actual events of the novel.
  17. Engineer
    I'm loving River of Pain, but I feel the Ripley scenes, which are basically just scenes lifted out of ALIENS, are not necessary.
    Wait... WHAT?!? Ripley is in River of Pain too?!? How's that work?!

    Yea, it didn't feel THAT forced to me... More like cleverly implemented. :-)

    PS. On the subject of "forced inclusion" I only really felt that about Hicks in A:CM. I was skeptical about A:I and Amanda Ripley at first, but that turned out very natural and pleasant. I was a little skeptical about out of the shadows too, and as it turns out I actually liked how they went about that too. I'm currently skeptical over river of pain, but I'll keep an open mind until I get around to reading it!

    I was very sceptical about A:I, but overall they made it work really well.

    Out of the Shadows was way better than it had a right to be considering the premise.  River of Pain, despite some continuity glitches, was my favourite of the initial three novels.
    Hmm... Sounds like we agree on A:I and out of the shadows. That's good to hear about River of pain; I'm looking forward to that one. :-)
  18. SM
    Yea, it didn't feel THAT forced to me... More like cleverly implemented. :-)

    PS. On the subject of "forced inclusion" I only really felt that about Hicks in A:CM. I was skeptical about A:I and Amanda Ripley at first, but that turned out very natural and pleasant. I was a little skeptical about out of the shadows too, and as it turns out I actually liked how they went about that too. I'm currently skeptical over river of pain, but I'll keep an open mind until I get around to reading it!

    I was very sceptical about A:I, but overall they made it work really well.

    Out of the Shadows was way better than it had a right to be considering the premise.  River of Pain, despite some continuity glitches, was my favourite of the initial three novels.
  19. Engineer
    Yea, it didn't feel THAT forced to me... More like cleverly implemented. :-)

    PS. On the subject of "forced inclusion" I only really felt that about Hicks in A:CM. I was skeptical about A:I and Amanda Ripley at first, but that turned out very natural and pleasant. I was a little skeptical about out of the shadows too, and as it turns out I actually liked how they went about that too. I'm currently skeptical over river of pain, but I'll keep an open mind until I get around to reading it!
  20. LordCassusSnow
    Fox will shoe horn the Ripley name into anything at this point, even if it derails canon, just so they can sell more copies of stories that can obviously stand alone and still be great. That being said, anyone else read Aliens Defiance yet? Just wanted to know how many other eyes, aside from my own, rolled at the seemingly forced inclusion of a cameo from Amanda Ripley that had no significance to the story. A cameo of an old David 8 droid would have at least put a smile on my face.
  21. Corporal Hicks
    This is the first Alien book I've ever "read", and now I really want more.  Anyone have any suggestions?

    I would suggest trying the rest of the series out (Sea of Sorrows, River of Pain and then onto The Rage Wars). Perhaps pick up the original Out of the Shadows and go from there!

    Quote
    EDIT:  Yesterday I decided to boot up Isolation just to look around in the shuttle from Last Survivor.  Out of the Shadows makes a big deal about there only being one cryo pod in the shuttle.  However, there are two!  I just remember standing there in the game, looking back and forth, and just laughing at the realization.

    Yeah, that was one of the complaints when the original came out. I'd never noticed until it was pointed out.  :-[
  22. Perfect-Organism
    I finished listening to the audio drama yesterday.  I thought it was terrific.  I've listened to just over half a dozen audio book these last three weeks and I got to say Out of Shadows was the best experience out of all them.  When I bought it I didn't even realize what I was getting into, but when I soon realized this was more than the usual audio reading I knew I was into something special.

    This is the first Alien book I've ever "read", and now I really want more.  Anyone have any suggestions?

    EDIT:  Yesterday I decided to boot up Isolation just to look around in the shuttle from Last Survivor.  Out of the Shadows makes a big deal about there only being one cryo pod in the shuttle.  However, there are two!  I just remember standing there in the game, looking back and forth, and just laughing at the realization.
    I'd be inclined to say read "sea of sorrows" or "river of pain" next. They're part of the same trilogy.

    I think you'll really enjoy the book Out of the Shadows.  It nails the vibe of Alien and Aliens on the head.  Yes, the premise is forced, but it just works well as a sci-fi novel.  It is a page turner.  It is well written.

    I found that there were a lot of flashbacks that Ripley was having about Amanda that did not get included the same way they were in the book, but in the audio-drama, it was done even better.  It was due to the different medium that's all.  The book is an excellent Alien story that I am sure you will enjoy.
    Thanks for the input, here! :-)

    I would say River of Pain was not really part of the trilogy.  It's a prequel to Aliens.  I think all 3 books were trying to set up loose threads that a subsequent author could spin into a yarn from.  River of Pain actually bugged me a bit ultimately.  The loose thread is that a little girl and a colonial marine escaped from Hadley's Hope.  To me that is too patronizing.  It was done in a pre-Blomkamp reality I think.  It basically suggested that, since the majority of the public wanted hicks and newt to survive (but they didn't), then let's give the readers the opportunity to have the next best thing.  Awful.  Just give hicks and newt a chance or let them be dead.
  23. Engineer
    I finished listening to the audio drama yesterday.  I thought it was terrific.  I've listened to just over half a dozen audio book these last three weeks and I got to say Out of Shadows was the best experience out of all them.  When I bought it I didn't even realize what I was getting into, but when I soon realized this was more than the usual audio reading I knew I was into something special.

    This is the first Alien book I've ever "read", and now I really want more.  Anyone have any suggestions?

    EDIT:  Yesterday I decided to boot up Isolation just to look around in the shuttle from Last Survivor.  Out of the Shadows makes a big deal about there only being one cryo pod in the shuttle.  However, there are two!  I just remember standing there in the game, looking back and forth, and just laughing at the realization.
    I'd be inclined to say read "sea of sorrows" or "river of pain" next. They're part of the same trilogy.

    I think you'll really enjoy the book Out of the Shadows.  It nails the vibe of Alien and Aliens on the head.  Yes, the premise is forced, but it just works well as a sci-fi novel.  It is a page turner.  It is well written.

    I found that there were a lot of flashbacks that Ripley was having about Amanda that did not get included the same way they were in the book, but in the audio-drama, it was done even better.  It was due to the different medium that's all.  The book is an excellent Alien story that I am sure you will enjoy.
    Thanks for the input, here! :-)
  24. Hennex Forest
    I finished listening to the audio drama yesterday.  I thought it was terrific.  I've listened to just over half a dozen audio book these last three weeks and I got to say Out of Shadows was the best experience out of all them.  When I bought it I didn't even realize what I was getting into, but when I soon realized this was more than the usual audio reading I knew I was into something special.

    This is the first Alien book I've ever "read", and now I really want more.  Anyone have any suggestions?

    EDIT:  Yesterday I decided to boot up Isolation just to look around in the shuttle from Last Survivor.  Out of the Shadows makes a big deal about there only being one cryo pod in the shuttle.  However, there are two!  I just remember standing there in the game, looking back and forth, and just laughing at the realization.
  25. Perfect-Organism
    I think you'll really enjoy the book Out of the Shadows.  It nails the vibe of Alien and Aliens on the head.  Yes, the premise is forced, but it just works well as a sci-fi novel.  It is a page turner.  It is well written.

    I found that there were a lot of flashbacks that Ripley was having about Amanda that did not get included the same way they were in the book, but in the audio-drama, it was done even better.  It was due to the different medium that's all.  The book is an excellent Alien story that I am sure you will enjoy.
  26. Engineer
    Ok so I just finished this audiobook!

    Wow! I'm in agreement with Perfect-Organism. This has been one of my top favorite alien experiences, along with alien isolation and the movies themselves!

    Now I have to ask. I own the book, but haven't read it yet. How much different is the book compared to this audio drama? More detailed, less detailed? Did they make any huge storyline changes for better or worse? Or maybe storyline additions? Any thoughts of interest comparing this audio drama to the book?

    I'm more highly motivated to read the book now. I loved the story. I even enjoyed how they wrapped it all up. This may even replace "Aliens: Rogue" as my favorite book in the EU. I feel like if they had strayed away from Ripley, it would have been a great story too, but I honestly didn't mind so much that ripley was in this story (didn't make it better or worse to me). But again, I still have to finish reading my current book, "ringworld" (which is also really good, for you sci fi junkies out there; if you like halo, "ringworld" was one of the inpirations for that series).

    PS. For my second free audiobook, I did end up choosing "predator: incursion."
  27. Corporal Hicks
    Yes, it's everything I expected it to be but we'd still be saying it was great even if the novel was absolutely abysmal. That's the beauty of the audio drama format.

    I disagree with you there. I think the excitement of the first drama and the fact that it sounds so perfect probably does elevate our opinions of it but if it was a wank story, we'd be complaining. The original novel was a solid foundation for this.

    Quote
    Laurel Lefkow is absolutely spot on as Ripley. Forget about getting Sigourney to do voicework. Get this woman to do it at a fraction of the cost. I see what you mean about "Nostroma" - weird one... I'd have expected the producer to have pointed out such an obvious mistake.

    It was a weird one. She eventually starts saying it Nostromo though.

    Quote
    Some questions. What's the deal with the "dog-people" they met? Where did the Eggs come from originally on the mine? They killed a young Queen and they said there were lots of Queen Alien Eggs which would create more Queens? Why would there be multiple Queens in one place?

    The dog-aliens are a new species introduced in Out of the Shadows. They come up again in The Rage Wars. The miners find the eggs in the ship first. They'd have more Queens to establish more hives further away.

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    Quote
    I was also pretty disappointed there was no guns. I was hoping we were going to get some pulse rifle sounds or something to add to the action. Oh, and do the subsequent novels follow on from this story?

    The second book loosely follows on from this one. It's set on the same planet but post-Resurrection and features a relation of Ripley. That was more combat based and I felt very much like the older EU novels.

    Quote
    Reading both your reviews, you seem to have a downer on the original novel so if you had the choice between a long novel and a condensed audio drama, would you always opt for the audio?

    I wouldn't say I had a downer on the novel. I enjoyed the novel. I think the novelty of this is playing on us quite a lot at the minute so I wouldn't really want to say yet.
  28. Engineer
    I wish you good luck xenozipper!

    But on another note, I'm 7 chapters down 3 to go! Still loving this. I swear, sometimes I forget that's NOT sigorney! Aliens sound horrifying! So far, I mostly like the story. One of my favorites in the EU, and I'm not too turned off by ripley's inclusion yet (we'll see if I feel the same when it ends and the inevitable happens to re-set the stage for aliens to take place). I also love the references to alien isolation (which are new, right? Not originally in the written book?).

    But so far, I'm in agreement with a lot of the reviews I've seen! Masterfully done with a couple minor issues/annoyances (like "nostroma").
  29. XenoZipper
    I have limited tech. No computer. Just my iPhone and an Xbox (primarily for Alien: isolation and Halo).

    I setup the audible stuff through my phone. I intend to cancel shortly after I listen to my full audiobook(s). And I'm impressed enough with what I've heard so far that I intend to purchase the audiobook through iOS's bookstore too (I want it permenantly without monthly subscriptions, and I want them to make enough money to continue with these audio dramas!)

    Fair enough there, whatever works for someone. I just have a laptop for all my internetting/computing needs. The only thing my phone can do is text & make phone calls, there's not even an option for internet that's how old it is haha I have a PS3 but I very rarely ever do any online gaming, most of the games I play are 1 player games anyway & I'm not interested in doing death match type stuff with others, I get bored of it really fast. That being said, I do lose out on cool stuff like this for not having any recent tech. I feel like I'm being punished for not wanting to conform with everyone else :P I'd have no problem if I could just buy it digitally & have the mp3 be ready for immediate download after purchase like when you buy something from Bandcamp but no, they want you do use the Apps n such. Like I said, I'll eventually find an alternate way to hear this. I'm not playing with the Audible stuff anymore, that left a stale taste in my mouth.
  30. Engineer
    I have limited tech. No computer. Just my iPhone and an Xbox (primarily for Alien: isolation and Halo).

    I setup the audible stuff through my phone. I intend to cancel shortly after I listen to my full audiobook(s). And I'm impressed enough with what I've heard so far that I intend to purchase the audiobook through iOS's bookstore too (I want it permenantly without monthly subscriptions, and I want them to make enough money to continue with these audio dramas!)
  31. Darkness
    Okay, I listened to the drama today. Yes, it's everything I expected it to be but we'd still be saying it was great even if the novel was absolutely abysmal. That's the beauty of the audio drama format. Laurel Lefkow is absolutely spot on as Ripley. Forget about getting Sigourney to do voicework. Get this woman to do it at a fraction of the cost. I see what you mean about "Nostroma" - weird one... I'd have expected the producer to have pointed out such an obvious mistake. Some questions. What's the deal with the "dog-people" they met? Where did the Eggs come from originally on the mine? They killed a young Queen and they said there were lots of Queen Alien Eggs which would create more Queens? Why would there be multiple Queens in one place? When I first started listening to this.. I thought okay, it's obviously an alternative timeline to when Ripley goes into hypersleep. But I thought it was pretty good how they had her memory wiped and put back in the Narc as if nothing happened.. even though a memory wipe is pretty much impossible in this series? And contrary to your review Hicks, I was pretty sick of her banging on about Amanda. We had one scene in Aliens about it and that was enough for me. I was also pretty disappointed there was no guns. I was hoping we were going to get some pulse rifle sounds or something to add to the action. Oh, and do the subsequent novels follow on from this story?

    Reading both your reviews, you seem to have a downer on the original novel so if you had the choice between a long novel and a condensed audio drama, would you always opt for the audio?
  32. XenoZipper
    Woah woah woah! That's not right! They advertise that you can cancel at anytime and still keep your books! Call customer service! It was a pretty painless effort for me, and you may luck out and get a second book for free too! :-)

    Yea the site is set up kind of weird. I honestly couldn't even find a proper place to cancel the subscription, it was more or less just taking off my credit card number from the billing address so ensure I wasn't going to be charged at the end of the month but I couldn't find where you actually cancel the subscription. Out of the Shadows WAS in my library as I did use my 1 credit to get it but yea, now that I took my credit card # off, they say there's a problem with my billing & Out of the Shadows is no longer in my library. Bit of a pain in the ass honestly playing with all of this. Like I said though, no ones fault but my own for not staying in touch with tech. I just don't have much of an interest in any of the tech stuff people use today so I never bothered going the route of iPhone or Pad & still don't really have an interest to do so. I'll eventually find some other way to be able to listen to it I suppose.
  33. Engineer
    Woah woah woah! That's not right! They advertise that you can cancel at anytime and still keep your books! Call customer service! It was a pretty painless effort for me, and you may luck out and get a second book for free too! :-)
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