2017 was the year we saw Titan Books publish the first Alien and Predator anthology novels. Aliens: Bug Hunt was released earlier this year, just before Alien Day and Predator: If It Bleeds is due out mid-October.
I enjoyed Aliens: Bug Hunt. I wasn’t blown away by it. There was only one short I really disliked and two or three shorts that really stood out but overall I found the book to be okay. Predator: If It Bleeds just kept on entertaining me.
The anthology opens with Devil Dogs, a short story by Tim Lebbon. Lebbon is a name which should be familiar to fans who have been keeping up with the recent expanded universe releases. He penned the fantastic Alien and Predator crossover trilogy collectively known as The Rage War. Like his short in Bug Hunt, Devil Dogs serves as a prequel to The Rage Wars, expanding on the history of Akoko Halley and her unit, the Devil Dogs.
It’s a solid opener and I think a great editing choice to open the book with a familiar and recent Predator author. From an editorial point of view, I would have appreciated a little paragraph before the shorts that served as sequels/prequels explaining as such for the readers who may not have read the earlier piece the short is related to.
Devil Dogs is one of a few shorts that builds on existing Predator stories. Devil Dog’s is a prequel to The Rage War, Steve Perry is back with Rematch, a sequel to his last Predator novel – Turnabout (another great Predator novel). It was great to see some follow-up to the Predator’s interest in survivors from previous hunts and to return to those characters.