New York City, 2214: The streets are clogged with the Jelly-addicted and the homeless, while the elite cluster in glittering office towers. Among them: the ruthless head of an entertainment conglomerate who seeks revenge by giving a maniacal artist his ultimate desire: an alien. Damon Eddington will shock the world and with his newest composition, the Symphony of Hate. Wrapped within its bizarre music can be found the most tortured of human sounds, combined with the razor-steel screams of a Homeworld alien. Yet the supreme cry continues to elude him and, obsessed with completing his musical creation and controlled by his need for the life-form’s harshest voice, Eddington knows that the sound he seeks lies deep inside the ruthless creature he has named Mozart. And he will stop at nothing to free it….
When I finished reading the comic version of Music of the Spears I was amazed. An Aliens comic where the story was truly amazing and the characters so alive? It was fantastic. So I set my eyes on the novelization by Yvonne Navarro, knowing it would be much deeper.
Music of the Spears is a character story in every sense of the word. In particular, it’s about how different characters react to obsession. In the case of the main character, Damon Eddington, his is an obsession fuelled by passion, drugs and a burning hatred.
His is where the story really shines as we follow his descent into madness. Like Damon, all the other obsessions revolve around the Alien or, as he is better known in the novel, Mozart. One character is obsessed with retrieving Mozart for the company he works for. Another wants to prove her theory of attachment.
Another area where this novel shines above the rest is in its treatment of the Aliens. This isn’t another novel filled with crazy scientists. Damon is interested in Mozart’s screams for music. It’s about music! In an Aliens novel. It’s so unique.
This brings me onto company involvement. Not “the” company but two separate companies: Biotech and Synth Sound. Whereas games, movies and other novels all focus on the greed of one particular company, Music of the Spears is all about conflict. Yvonne really emphasized the lengths these companies go to one-up each other.
Music of the Spears is one of the newer of the older novels so the writing isn’t stale like some of the originals. In fact, it’s quite engrossing and really well written. However, the references to the previous novels are sometimes confusing.
Yvonne has a tendency to refer to the Aliens as “Homeworld creature”. This can sometimes be confusing as it may refer to the Aliens which survived the Earth (homeworld) infestation – which is where Rice’s Alien in fact came from, a hive remaining on Earth. He was still called a Homeworld creature. But sometimes the novel is actually written as if it isn’t even set on Earth. At other times it’s like they’ve captured aliens from another planet that they refer to as Homeworld.
The novel does build nicely upon foundations laid in Genocide and continues the theme of rebuilding, an Earth recovering from the infestation. Specifically, Music of the Spears deals with the social and entertainment side of the recovery: music, obviously.
All-in-all Music of the Spears is one of the best novels, old and new. The story is so unique, the characters so alive and interesting. Yvonne crafted a wonderful world from the comic and expanded it very creatively and interestingly. This is one novel I can see being re-read endless times. From Corporal Hicks at AvPGalaxy, I award Aliens Music of the Spears a well earned 5 out of 5.