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AvPG Reviews Out of the Shadows

I have just uploaded a review for Tim Lebbon and Titan’s latest Alien novel, Out of the Shadows. Released earlier this year in January, Out of the Shadows takes place prior to Aliens and takes the controversial idea of bringing Ripley into the foray:

“It was nice to see story elements where encounters with the Alien truly take their toll – something I don’t think we see quite enough – and it all built up towards the big red button moment in a logical and believable way. However, despite how well Tim Lebbon wrote Ripley and how much I enjoyed getting inside her head, I really don’t see why Ripley’s character had to be included. The plot would not have lost much without her.”

It isn’t all doom-and-gloom however, as Tim managed to craft some great new characters and write a really enjoyable story. You can find more of my thoughts in our review section. Beware minor spoilers

Tim Lebbon also took the time to sit down and answer some of our questions in a follow-up interview: “They wanted the story set between the first two films, suggested that the android we all know and love had inserted himself into the shuttle’s computer, and also mentioned the necessity that Ripley could not remember what happens to her in this book.” Beware significant spoilers!



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Comments: 4
  1. BountyHunter
    I have finally sat down and started reading this.  I am really enjoying it so far, except for one thing.

    Fi nding
    Fl ower
    Fl esh

    All through the book.  It's kinda driving my OCD into overdrive.  Do later printings fix this?
  2. SM
    Both tubes are front and centre just as Mother says "You now have one minute to abandon ship".  Then you can see them again at the start of Ripley doing her sign off.

    There's no angle in Aliens where you can see the second one.
  3. Mr. Clemens
    Quote from: SM on May 25, 2014, 01:32:23 PM
    Finally read this.

    I was very sceptical of bringing Ripley back.

    Spoiler

    Overall, I think it works really well as a survival story.  We're thrown right into things early with no pissfarting around, and the characters get everything they need to know about the Aliens (mostly) from the returning miners so we don't have to spend a bunch of time waiting for the characters to catch up with us, the reader.

    It also dispenses with a bunch of characters early leaving us with a core group who are easier to develop.  Unfortunately none of them really do.  They do have individual personalities, but nothing much more than that.  Hoop was a bit of a cliche, but decent enough.

    As for Ripley - Lebbon did enough with Ash's subterfuge for Ripley's presence to actually make some modicum of sense.  But I don't think he really captured Ripley's character.  She talked to herself too much for starters. The focus on Amanda was understandable but overdone.  Up to the point where she begs to have her memories erased, which I didn't buy at all.  I don't think that's something Ripey would ever do.  I think Lebbon sold the process okay, but not Ripley's act of actually doing it.

    If it was that simple why didn't she do it to get rid of her nightmares in Aliens?  And on the subject of continuity issues - she had scars left by the patching up that she never questions in Aliens?  Hoop didn't dress Ripley in the robe she was wearing at the end of Alien and start of Aliens.  And Lebbon missing the gun stuck in the hatch and constant references to a single hypersleep pod in the shuttle was mildly annoying.

    And speaking of annoying - an acid gun that could hurt an Alien?  Really shoddy idea.  And why didn't they get Sneddon to the medpod as soon as they redocked with the Marion??  Lots of attention lavished on Ripley, but Sneddon seem to get shafted.

    But, as I said, overall a good survival story, that was probably elevated by having Ripley and Ash in it, but also let down by having Ripley and Ash in it.  If that makes sense.

    [close]

    Agreed on all points. I'd also say it wasn't good enough to read  again, but good enough that I'll read the next one.
  4. SM
    Finally read this.

    I was very sceptical of bringing Ripley back.

    Spoiler

    Overall, I think it works really well as a survival story.  We're thrown right into things early with no pissfarting around, and the characters get everything they need to know about the Aliens (mostly) from the returning miners so we don't have to spend a bunch of time waiting for the characters to catch up with us, the reader.

    It also dispenses with a bunch of characters early leaving us with a core group who are easier to develop.  Unfortunately none of them really do.  They do have individual personalities, but nothing much more than that.  Hoop was a bit of a cliche, but decent enough.

    As for Ripley - Lebbon did enough with Ash's subterfuge for Ripley's presence to actually make some modicum of sense.  But I don't think he really captured Ripley's character.  She talked to herself too much for starters. The focus on Amanda was understandable but overdone.  Up to the point where she begs to have her memories erased, which I didn't buy at all.  I don't think that's something Ripey would ever do.  I think Lebbon sold the process okay, but not Ripley's act of actually doing it.

    If it was that simple why didn't she do it to get rid of her nightmares in Aliens?  And on the subject of continuity issues - she had scars left by the patching up that she never questions in Aliens?  Hoop didn't dress Ripley in the robe she was wearing at the end of Alien and start of Aliens.  And Lebbon missing the gun stuck in the hatch and constant references to a single hypersleep pod in the shuttle was mildly annoying.

    And speaking of annoying - an acid gun that could hurt an Alien?  Really shoddy idea.  And why didn't they get Sneddon to the medpod as soon as they redocked with the Marion??  Lots of attention lavished on Ripley, but Sneddon seem to get shafted.

    But, as I said, overall a good survival story, that was probably elevated by having Ripley and Ash in it, but also let down by having Ripley and Ash in it.  If that makes sense.

    [close]
  5. HuDaFuK
    Interesting reads, thanks. You clearly enjoyed the book a lot more than me, but I did think it was well-written. It was the Fox-imposed crap that spoiled it for me. A shame, because Lebbon comes across as a nice guy.

    Also, completely missed that W-Y reference in The Grey!
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