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AvP Merchandise => Alien-Predator Literature => Topic started by: Hudson on Aug 19, 2014, 04:55:43 PM

Title: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Aug 19, 2014, 04:55:43 PM
So I made it a goal to read a bunch of Alien novels. A friend of mine is working at a conference this winter that's going to host Alan Dean Foster, so I wanted to read his novelizations and mail them to my pal to get autographed. I also thought, what the hell, since Brian Evenson wrote No Exit and is mostly known as a literary writer, I'd read that as well. I'm a creative writing student and I'm pretty sure I've had faculty that know him personally. Then I thought, fine I'll read all of the original novels and the three novelizations. I'll just come back here to post my two-cents on everything (since the only Alien books I've read so far are AvP: Prey and Original Sin) as I go through. You can chime in or throw rocks at me, or whatever. I'm not planning on reading the comic adaptations unless people recommend them. I'm more interested in the original stories outside the novelizations. Anyway, I've only gotten through 2 so far:

Alien - 3/5

I'd call this, to say the least, an "interesting" read. I don't really read a lot of sci-fi books, so if this is a good reference point as to the style of writing that permeates the genre, I can't say I'm all that interested to continue. Not that it was "bad" bad, but there are definitely a lot of loose adverbs floating around and the dialogue was just plain bad in many cases. A lot of telling writing, versus showing, which is what any instructor will harp on in a workshop. I'll cut Foster some slack because obviously he hadn't seen the movie or really been able to capture any of the characters from prior knowledge, unless he saw some dailies (which I doubt but I'm not sure) in which case there's no excuse. Parker in this novel is completely different from his film counterpart in a really awkward way I found. But obviously, seeing the film first, I'm biased. But I think I'm entitled to be since this is a novelization and not an original work.

I also had kind of a problem with focalization constantly changing from character to character, multiple times on a page even. Keeping a chapter from one character's point of view and shortening the chapters would've worked a lot better I think. Also, just the dialogue in general, Jesus. So much of the dialogue is really clunky and unwieldy and thank God the movie exists or I'd go crazy.

Overall it's a decent read I think, really insightful and kind of a cool alternate take on the story. After nearly 20 years spent watching Alien it's cool to get sort of a new perspective on the tale and it was worth spending a day off work reading. I'm studying a lot of literary work right now, so I'm pretty picky when it comes to the actual prose, and this seemed really rushed. It makes sense because it was an assignment sort of thing with a strict deadline.

Original Sin - 2/5

I took the weekend to re-read this, first time since 2005 and since Prometheus and whatnot. Again, pretty bland writing. Dialogue is really wishy-washy, no real swearing or anything which is baffling with the inclusion of Johner. Like this is a book based off of a young adult film series, marketed to teenagers. There were some moments where I could picture Ron Perlman in makeup saying the lines, and a lot of moments I couldn't. Same with Call. Vriess was almost completely useless and there were characters like Rama and Krakke who were totally unnecessary and taking up space that could have been devoted to building on the already established characters. Also, there was absolutely no reason to include so many botonist, scientist characters. They just became names. I'm thinking, oh great here's this guy Seigo who I know nothing about after 30 pages of him being introduced. Oh, here's Hendricks, a woman who's only description and interiority points to her being a ditz, which doesn't explain any reason for her to be around.

The story itself: stupid. What are there, like 5 cumulative pages of explaining the Alien mythos and tying up loose ends? I would use the term wishy-washy again just to describe the book overall. There's nothing edgy about it. It's a really safe story. Also, the aliens themselves are barely in it at all, and when they are there's nothing interesting going on. It seemed like a gimmick to have these space forest locations, but they don't seem fully realized or described. Friedman was not putting me in a place effectively at all. If you hadn't seen Resurrection before reading this, you'd have a hard time being able to physically picture anyone I think, or the Betty's appearance. On the aliens again, the only place they appear is in the forests, which is such a waste. The majority of the book places other forces at the forefront of being a threat to the characters. The shadow organization, etc. Remember that 10 or so minute timespan (or it seemed like 10 minutes) in the Alien 3 assembly where the alien is trapped and there's 3 or 4 consecutive scenes of just characters talking? It's dumb, boring, not scary, not suspenseful. When you've got a novel with ALIENS printed on the front in big, yellow letters, you need to give me ALIENS. The characters didn't even seem that afraid of the aliens. Ripley's like, "Oh here we go again," which is funny because that's what Weaver was always saying in interviews is the instinct to write her as, except by people like Cameron, Giler, and Hill. If the characters are bored, I'm guaranteed to be bored. It doesn't capture the spirit of the best films in the series, or even the best moments in the not-best films. Just really weak and boring as a book. I mean it was actively uninteresting to me, not just passively boring. It was like the book tried to not do anything character or setting wise to interest a reader who is a fan of the films. Mala'kak I believe is what the now-engineers were referred to as. Great, formulaic way to make up a name for an alien species. Think of two one-syllable made up words and put an apostrophe between them. Well done.

If Michael Jan Friedman is a fan of the films, he either had his hands tied by Fox in telling this story, or he just has no idea how to show his enthusiasm for the series.

Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Ultramorph on Aug 20, 2014, 03:08:15 AM
Nice reviews!

I too read Original Sin back when it first came out, and I remember thinking it was pretty bland, too. The Loki and Mala'kak angle came out of left field and went nowhere. I think it was an example of studio restrictions. As far as the Dark Horse Press books go, I think even "Steel Egg " was better, since it at least took some risks, even if they misfired spectacularly.  :laugh:

"Sea of Sorrows" did a better job picking up the post- Resurrecrion story, even if it had its own share of flaws.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 20, 2014, 03:12:43 AM
Dunno if Huddo wants us spamming up the thread with our own reviews or not, but this is the thoughts of the me from 8 years ago:

QuoteRandom thoughts after reading this a few weeks back.

-   Call was the only character who rang true from Resurrection.  We hardly heard from Vriess.  Johner was okay-ish.  Ripley was too much of a contradiction – she goes all out to help people, but speaks to them like they're crap.  Didn't match the softer, more human character we saw at the end of Resurrection.  Her words to the dying Simoni were excrutiatingly bad.
-   Simoni was really just a vessel for information for Ripley.  Although his death was unexpected, it would've been better if he remained alive to create conflict amongst the crew, rather than having the neat ending where the status quo at the beginning is matched perfectly at the end (to say nothing of Amanda Ripley conveniently being a journo).  The pilot chick and Rama didn't have much to do, and Krakke was very similar to the ditched St Just from earlier drafts of Resurrection.  Would've preferred a bit more backstory for the new crewmembers – or indeed ANY backstory.
-   Speaking of the such things, the whole sequence of escaping through garden/ forest/ jungle is derivative of earlier drafts of Resurrection.
-   The backstory regarding the Jockies or Malakak or whatever they were called was very silly.  The fact it contradicted the existing EU and it's stance on Jockies was neither here nor there, but it takes the conspiracy theory hinted at in the films to a ridiculous extreme.  Much better to leave these things mysterious.
-   Something being up with Cody and the other woman was flagged too early since they showed up on the Betty very unexpectedly.
-   Didn't really have a problem with the Aliens being more numerous and having big heads.  Different stuff happens with the Aliens in each film, and Ripley only theorised as to what was going on, so rather than definatively saying "This is what's what", it's only hinted at.

Overall it did keep me reading, but more to find out what other aspects of the universe had been mucked around with, than any real need to find out what happens to the characters.  In that regard I think some of the earlier novels worked better, without being encumbered by established characters.  I'm definitely interested in what happens to Ripley and co. post-Resurrection, but this didn't especially thrill me.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 20, 2014, 09:28:59 AM
Some nice thoughts. In regards to Foster and his POV jumping, it's my biggest issue too. He does it in all three novelizations. I can't remember if he does it in anything else - I recently picked up the STID novelization he wrote but haven't looked at it yet. The novelizations I can't rate - I think they have to be read, simply because of the differences. They're interesting in that matter.

Original Sin - I can barely remember. I read it once. I had to re-read my own review on the site to remember it. I remember hating the whole Loki/Jockey angle - although I do love the idea the reason behind why they needed the Aliens. I can't say I'm in any fuss to re-read it.

The whole DH Press run, I found lacking. It had moments - the first half of No Exit, the first half of Cauldron but over all, not great.

I'm much liking Titan's run so far - but it still has it's issues.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Aug 20, 2014, 10:14:42 AM
Agreed on the other points.

Simoni was pretty silly, unnecessary. His death was completely blah.

I just ordered all of the DH novels and the two new Alien novels, so I'll be back here now and then if I get time to read them. The semester's starting up and I'm about to have a shit ton of reading and writing to do, but I'll get myself through these eventually.

Anyone who wants to hijack this thread is welcome to do so.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 20, 2014, 11:33:30 AM
I read all four Alien novelisations not that long ago, in fact they were the first movie novelisations I'd ever read. I liked them all, in one way or another.

Alien was probably the least interesting purely because most of the changes it made kinda made things worse for me (like the eyes on the Facehugger and Alien), but it was still a well-written read and really tense at times.

Aliens was the best of the bunch, it added some great extra scenes. The only negative was the removal of all the harsh language, which really was distracting, I mean they're f*cking soldiers for c*nts sake.

Alien 3 started brilliantly but went downhill, you could Tell Foster's heart wasn't in it by about halfway through. It did explain a few things a little better though.

Alien Resurrection was kinda crap in terms of how it was written, but ironically I thought it was by far the most interesting of the bunch in terms of the stuff it added to the story, and it actually filled in a couple of gaping plot holes in the film.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 20, 2014, 10:13:53 PM
Which gaping plot holes?
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Aug 20, 2014, 11:18:11 PM
I read the young adult AR novelization (which exists for reasons that still confuse me) so I think I'm good. I don't really care about the "actual" novelization.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 21, 2014, 07:02:41 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 20, 2014, 10:13:53 PMWhich gaping plot holes?

Why the Chestburster inside Purvis doesn't hatch for hours or even days after the rest of the kidnapped civilians impregnated with him, for one.

It also fixes Wren magically knowing exactly how many Aliens are left, even though he couldn't possibly be certain at the time.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 07:37:31 AM
I wouldn't call Purvis' thing a "plot hole", but yes, it is addressed.

And Wren's numbers were always wildly innaccurate depending on the script (where he said "twenty" - which I think was repeated in the novel?)
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 21, 2014, 07:46:27 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 07:37:31 AMI wouldn't call Purvis' thing a "plot hole", but yes, it is addressed.

I would. Everyone else pops and the USM have a nice bunch of Aliens to be playing around with for what seems like a decent amount of time, except this one guy who for some reason doesn't burst all the way through them climbing all over the Auriga, right up to the point where they've virtually escaped. No explanation is ever given for why this one takes so long in the film, when in every other film Chestbursters pop pretty rapidly after implantation. (Except Ripley's, which was a Queen. But they never even offer that as an explanation in the movie.)

Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 07:37:31 AMAnd Wren's numbers were always wildly innaccurate depending on the script (where he said "twenty" - which I think was repeated in the novel?)

Yeah, in the book he says twenty. Except what he says is they originally bred twenty. That makes sense. He'd know that. In the film he says there are twelve left at the point he is asked. There's no way he could possibly know how many Aliens are still alive at that point, unless he's been watching all the carnage on a video monitor somewhere and counting how many have been killed in the breakout.

I know, hardly the biggest issue with the film, but it's always bugged the hell out of me.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 08:20:26 AM
Quote(Except Ripley's, which was a Queen. But they never even offer that as an explanation in the movie.)

I always considered that as the moot explanation (beside Purvis being countdown clock).  He even does the thing of feeling it inside him like Ripley does.

QuoteYeah, in the book he says twenty. Except what he says is they originally bred twenty. That makes sense. He'd know that. In the film he says there are twelve left at the point he is asked. There's no way he could possibly know how many Aliens are still alive at that point, unless he's been watching all the carnage on a video monitor somewhere and counting how many have been killed in the breakout.

He was with Call and the Betty crew, so all he knew was that there were all the Aliens, minus the one Ripley just shot.

What bugged me more was that both numbers - twenty and twelve - are wrong compared to the number of hosts brought on board.

And his delivery of "Twelve" in the film, is way better than "We originally bred twenty".  Especially considering how long the little chats they have in the film are already.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 21, 2014, 08:28:44 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 08:20:26 AMI always considered that as the moot explanation (beside Purvis being countdown clock).  He even does the thing of feeling it inside him like Ripley does.

I suppose. Doesn't really help that when it does pop it looks nothing like the infant Queen from Alien 3. But then again, neither did the one taken from Ripley.

I just find it odd that they had an explanation all set up for it (a stupid one, but in the stupid world of Alien Resurrection it kinda worked) and then decided to cut all trace of it from the film. Like they were actively trying for things to make less sense.

Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 08:20:26 AMWhat bugged me more was that both numbers - twenty and twelve - are wrong compared to the number of hosts brought on board.

Yeah, that whole situation really annoys me. Again, it really wouldn't have taken much effort to make the numbers tie up.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 08:40:42 AM
QuoteDoesn't really help that when it does pop it looks nothing like the infant Queen from Alien 3.

Too young.  Ripley's embryo took around 3 days to gestate.  Purvis' was maybe gestating for 24 hours tops.

QuoteI just find it odd that they had an explanation all set up for it (a stupid one, but in the stupid world of Alien Resurrection it kinda worked) and then decided to cut all trace of it from the film.

If you mean the thyroid thing - I think Crispin came up with that.  Don't recall seeing it in any of Whedon's scripts.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 21, 2014, 08:59:31 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 08:40:42 AMToo young.  Ripley's embryo took around 3 days to gestate.  Purvis' was maybe gestating for 24 hours tops.

Then surely it wouldn't be able to survive birthing that early? I mean yeah, he was getting shot to shit by Wren, but you can't just shave off two thirds fo your typical gestation period and expect to survive.

Plus, what the hell is with it giving Purvis superpowers?!

Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 08:40:42 AMIf you mean the thyroid thing - I think Crispin came up with that.  Don't recall seeing it in any of Whedon's scripts.

Ah I see. Well I thought it was far better than no explanation.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 11:12:07 AM
QuoteThen surely it wouldn't be able to survive birthing that early? I mean yeah, he was getting shot to shit by Wren, but you can't just shave off two thirds fo your typical gestation period and expect to survive.

Might've tried to do a Newt Queen and find another host.

QuotePlus, what the hell is with it giving Purvis superpowers?!

The same burster that allowed him to survive underwater so long with a restricted lung capacity.
Or adrenaline.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 21, 2014, 11:15:17 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 11:12:07 AMThe same burster that allowed him to survive underwater so long with a restricted lung capacity.
Or adrenaline.

He gets shot quite a few times, pretty sure that would at least incapacitate anyone just from the physical damage alone. He certainly wouldn't be throwing evil doctors around the room, no matter how much adrenaline in his body.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Aug 21, 2014, 05:00:47 PM
I got Aliens in the mail today and started reading it:

[facepalm] "Come here, Jonesey, you ugly old moose, you sweet ball of fluff, you!" [/facepalm]

Oh boy...

EDIT:

On this note, another gripe I had with Alien (and the paragraph following the above quote) was that there was a piece from Jones's POV. Not like a major section, I think it's maybe a page at the most, but seriously, WTF?

EDIT 2:

Also, I don't want to keep coming off as an ass when I describe these books. Despite my comments on Alien and Aliens Original Sin, I'm really glad that I decided to start reading these books and I'm having a good time going through them so far. I was never interested before, but now as a writing student and someone who wants to commit to a career within fiction, or writing at the least, I'm more curious. I have a tentative goal down the road of being able to publish enough to get the attention of whoever is publishing Alien novels at a point when I can convince them to let me write one. It's a more realistic goal than wanting to direct the next movie at least!

Plus, I'm reading Infinite Jest right now, and as much as I've really gotten into David Foster Wallace this past year, these books are pure storytelling. Literary fiction always wants something from the reader, these books don't expect anything other than your attention while they lay something out and put you in a different place for 300 pages.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 09:17:24 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Aug 21, 2014, 11:15:17 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 11:12:07 AMThe same burster that allowed him to survive underwater so long with a restricted lung capacity.
Or adrenaline.

He gets shot quite a few times, pretty sure that would at least incapacitate anyone just from the physical damage alone. He certainly wouldn't be throwing evil doctors around the room, no matter how much adrenaline in his body.

Nevermind Johner, Purvis is not the man with whom to f**k.

Or he was a robot.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 22, 2014, 08:30:28 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 21, 2014, 09:17:24 PMOr he was a robot.

Same model as Bishop II?
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 22, 2014, 08:39:08 AM
He was a robot designed by the Bishop II robot.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Aug 22, 2014, 05:12:52 PM
Looks like a "f**k you" on page 80. Didn't get rid of all the swearing I see.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Oct 23, 2014, 06:24:53 PM
Aliens 4/5

Finally finished it this morning. It's been a busy semester, so not a lot of time to do outside reading, OR I either do so much reading for class that I'm just not interested in reading for fun. Hence the time I've spent playing A:I lately.

So, this book is definitely an improvement upon Alien in terms of writing. The POV was much more tight, and it seemed like ADF had more fun writing it. It's not perfect. Some of the dialogue is god-awful, but I was really struck by the initial description of the Sulaco. It was a really earnest passage and I was really pleased with that.

I also enjoyed the increase in character interactions as opposed to the film. The Colonial Marines have a lot of good moments in the early parts of the book. Unfortunately, like in the film, Gorman is relegated to being just a background character after being pretty important in the first half. I was hoping for something more on this front, but it kind of seemed like the third act of the novelization was a little rushed to meet a deadline. Doesn't surprise me. I read from the operations battle to the end today in maybe an hour or so. It goes by fast and it seems to be a little more loosely written than the rest of the book.

Probably won't pop back in here for a while. I have a ton of literary things I need to read for class and for fun. Perhaps I'll get a couple of these read in December/January.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 23, 2014, 08:17:01 PM
Nice review. Covers a lot of the thoughts I have on it.

Alien 3 suffers from the acceleration at the end far worse than the second book.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Nov 10, 2014, 12:41:43 PM
So I'm slowly re-reading the Alien novelization again. They've just brought Kane back on. It's been years since I last read it. As I mentioned earlier, the POV jumps are still jarring but I expect them now so it's not too much of a big deal - just very weird.

I do love Foster's use of the language though. Only time I can ever think of where I read the word brobdingnagian. I quite liked the opening bits about dreaming as profession. He does pad out the novel with some lovely lit bits.

And I'd completely forgot he had the eye on the face-hugger.



Stolen from Val's blog.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Nov 10, 2014, 12:44:36 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Nov 10, 2014, 12:41:43 PMI quite liked the opening bits about dreaming as profession.

I really enjoyed how all three of his novelisations started with similar dream-centric bits.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Nov 10, 2014, 01:03:58 PM
Aliens is a nightmare IIRC?
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Nov 10, 2014, 01:08:02 PM
She has a nightmare - a different one to the Chestburster one we see in the film - on Gateway. I don't think we ever find out what she's dreaming at the very start. It just talks about it in a similar way to the opening of the first book.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Nov 14, 2014, 10:39:57 AM
So I was reading more of the book last night and came across a mention of Arcturus. Obviously it's a real star and this was well before Arcturians were mentioned but it made me chuckle.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 28, 2015, 04:17:27 PM
No Exit 3/5

No Exit starts off really well, engaging, lets you know whose story this is going to be and puts you in his head. I found Kramm to be a good character to root for, not 100% fully developed but with a good enough backstory. The writing is way better than Original Sin, Evenson is actually a literary writer known more for original literary material and for teaching than he's known for writing licensed fiction.

I found the story to be interesting for the most part, incredibly violent and even a little disturbing at points. BUT, again the Aliens don't seem to be the primary threat. There are some decent moments with Aliens, but there never seems to be a huge amount of drama when they're present. I don't feel a lot of fear towards the Aliens coming from the characters. Sometimes Kramm, but not even that much. He comes off as being more methodical and calculated than afraid.

The ending is awful, actually the whole 3rd act really, otherwise this would get a 4/5 from me. WTF happens to Braley? Loose end there. HUGE loose end. The character of Bjorn becomes more and more ridiculous as time passes. Some of the other named characters aren't really characterized, Kelly and Jolena to be specific. The last 100 pages remind me a lot of Alien 3, people running around in the dark, except this sequence cheapens the Aliens considerably. Feels really really really rushed. Odd. Seemed uncharacteristic of the writing in the first half or perhaps 2/3rds of the book. I would even use the word boring.

And then of course the story just stops. I think I read in an interview that he ran out of time. It's pretty stupid how they just rush these books out instead of trying to create a quality product. I seem to remember a masterpiece from 1979 that's actually quite a literate and dynamic film, much more than "just a monster movie." Why these books are let off with being sub-par in the context of a film series that is certainly not sub-par I will never understand.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Jul 27, 2015, 04:22:29 PM
Aliens: Criminal Enterprise 3/5

This was better than Original Sin and No Exit, but the story pretty much has nothing to do with the Aliens. I feel like I read somewhere that that was an issue a lot of people had with it. I thought the writing was better than both Original Sin and No Exit, but the story itself seemed kind of cookie-cutter. Criminals on a criminal planet, okay. A lot of the characters were forgettable, and either not really all that intimidating (as I feel we were meant to believe) or just kind of annoying. In fact, there were too many characters in this book. Way too many characters also get brought in late. Too many people die in too short a time span for me to really care that much about anyone. Again, the ending seems rushed.

I didn't really mind all that much that the Aliens take kind of a back-seat to the rest of the narrative. It's whatever; I'm a sci-fi fan and I'll read the book anyway. BUT, there's pretty much no mention of their life-cycle at all, and what mention there is of them having secret caves, lairs etc. is never brought up later. The Aliens could have been exchanged for any anonymous monster. It feels as if this story has simply been plugged into the Aliens univers having been taken from some other series.

That said, it was short as hell, only 220 pages or so, and it was a decent read. I thought the character-based story worked, although it wasn't a GREAT story per say and the protagonist(s) kind of fade into the background near the end of the book. A lot of things just aren't resolved though, or their resolutions aren't satisfying. Particularly the payoffs in relation to the human antagonists. Just not that satisfying. Mentions of the Grant Corporation I thought were interesting...but again, I feel like it could have been any organization because I'm not completely sure how specific the references went. It took me a little longer to read this than No Exit since I was reading other stuff concurrently, so my thoughts might not be totally as focused.

Overall though, I thought it was decent and preferred it to No Exit, the score for which I'm lowering from a 3 to a 2.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Jun 03, 2016, 04:11:14 AM
Hey, I'm back again!

Aliens: Earth Hive 3/5

I've never really been interested in these, but I received a gift card to Barnes & Noble and wanted to pick some things up, and there it was, The Complete Aliens Omnibus Vol. 1 right there, and I couldn't help myself. And I'm very happy about it because this was a good book, probably my favorite of the Aliens novels I've read so far to be honest, so I'm really excited for Nightmare Asylum. The three books I've read in the Dark Horse series have ranged from complete shit to decent at best. As a writer myself I have to say Steve Perry's writing is exactly what you need for this book. He can write a good sentence, varies the length of his sentences so they don't feel repetitive and monotonous. He moves the story along and engages the reader, although I recognize he had limitations to work with since the story itself was not of his design. The comic isn't particularly my favorite; I've always felt the first one is a bit convoluted and doesn't focus enough on what's truly compelling (the overtaking of Earth by the Aliens). Overall I don't really find the characters in this one to be all that memorable. Massey is completely ridiculous for instance, and the way he's established is so over the top I'm surprised it didn't make me laugh out loud (again, Perry's not at fault for this since he's adapting something). The descriptions of Earth being overrun are really abrupt and lack any kind of human drama since they're basically focalized from the point of view of a government scientist...or whatever it is that Orona really does. It's definitely a cop-out that so much of the novel is focalized through Wilks', yet it's a 'plot-twist' for Bueller to be an android...even though Wilks knew the whole time...and Bueller knew the whole time. I was really hoping for a kind of Deckard Blade Runner deal here where Bueller didn't know until he was cut in half. Generally a really fun, quick read though, which isn't what I can say for Original Sin or either of the novelizations, although the Aliens novelization is mostly a good read.

But... what the f**k is up with SO MANY utterances of "Chreesto!" or "Buddha!" ? Especially Buddha. I wish I would've tallied these up, because it just reeks of the author's hand. Stephen King does this similarly with his dialogue a lot, where I feel you're just hearing his voice and not really the developed voice of fully realized characters. I mean come on, there are a TON of different characters who say Chreesto or Buddha and it's not like 'f**k' is completely eliminated here or anything, so I just felt that was really goofy and needed to comment. It drew a lot of my attention.

Generally though, I wasn't anticipating this book to be a fun read, but I did have a lot of fun reading it.

Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jun 03, 2016, 09:35:04 AM
Ha! The Buddha thing got me too. I liked Earth Hive, I always have but I find it a little too pedestrian of late. I think Nightmare Asylum rocks though!
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Jun 03, 2016, 03:19:29 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Jun 03, 2016, 09:35:04 AM
Ha! The Buddha thing got me too. I liked Earth Hive, I always have but I find it a little too pedestrian of late. I think Nightmare Asylum rocks though!

And of course, several chapters into Nightmare Asylum and there's been at least one Buddha. *facepalm* As long as Spears doesn't say it. I can't take his character getting ruined.

One thing I left out of this was actually I don't really buy the past relationship between Wilks and Billie. Of course we know the vague details surrounding their backstory and can fill things in when considering that they're standing in for Hicks and Newt, but our interior access to their minds doesn't veer much toward the specific events they experienced together on 'Rim' in most cases. Sure they have nightmares, but that's not the same thing. It just feels like a placeholder for exposition to me instead of being fully realized in order to differentiate it more from the events in Aliens. I just don't buy any type of bond between these two characters, and considering what they've been through together it feels absent. And again, I'm not really sure I can fault Perry for this because from what I understand the writers of these Aliens novels are always under someone else's thumb. The good thing is that it feels like Perry had fun writing the book, unless he's a good enough writer to deceive us in that respect.

Interestingly, Diane Carey logged on Amazon in 2007 and posted her own rebuttal review (http://www.amazon.com/review/R3G9S1VEFTYGOV/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1595820329&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books) of Aliens: DNA War (which I'm planning to take a look at this summer):
QuoteSorry some readers didn't like the new twists, but readers should realize that any media tie-in book like Aliens, Star Trek, Star Wars is a collaborative effort between the publisher, studio, and author. In the case of the different behavior of the aliens in this book, I was specifically asked by the publisher to come up with some traits, methods, abilities, behavior that had not been seen before. Some readers also did not like Star Trek TNG: Ship of the Line, in which Kelsey Grammer's character returns for more than a cameo, suggesting that I was infatuated with the momentary appearance and got carried away. In fact, I never saw the episode with Kelsey Grammer's appearance. I was asked by the franchise licensors (Pocket Books and Paramount Studios) to write a book with that character as a main character in response to fan enthusiasm, so I did. Be aware that content in media tie-in books is not always solely the conception of the author, but part of a marketing plan from those who own or license the property.

Authors cannot arbitrarily enhance or alter these owned properties. Each book must be approved by the owner or licensor before it can be published, and therefore becomes a kind of "canon." I'm somewhat surprised that long-time fans and frequent readers of licensed properties are tuned in to every micro-detail, yet don't know that their beloved venue is tightly controlled, and not by the authors.. Apparently many reviewers are not aware of the cramped box within which professional writers must work. It's hardly a "whim" business. What readers find in these books is not always the author's idea.

PS I am not giving a star rating to the book, because I'm the author; I only put "3" because the review menu required it.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Jun 09, 2016, 02:43:32 PM
Aliens: Nightmare Asylum 3/5

Ok, this is now the best Aliens novel I've read. I was impressed that Perry was able to fill the story out for 30 chapters, which was the same structure as book one, which was based on a comic series that lasted two more issues. Couldn't have been an easy task, and I remember he used to have a thread going here so I might have to scroll through and see if anyone asked him about that process.

Despite the fact that Spears is a fairly cliche character in the world of storytelling (Colonel Kurtz anyone?) I was glad to see there were at least 2 times where Perry fleshed out his backstory by going the route of the flashback to give us some more info. It was a bit iffy that it turns out he killed someone at age 9, but I felt the story of him essentially getting statutorily raped by a senior enlisted instructor was risky and unexpected.

Overall this one just works better because the story gets to the point right away. Earth Hive becomes a little convoluted with the sheer amount of characters (who are mostly just names) you're expected to keep track of across at least three different plot lines. This story is just about a crazy general and the people trying to resist him. I'm not without my gripes though. I didn't think much was done with Powell in the novel. I remember him being a likable character in the comic, but here he's just relegated to being a dweeb. He exists to make Wilks look more "like a man." I mean...he's a Colonial Marine major, so I don't get where this "non combat soldier" thing comes in. The USCM mythos definitely takes a hit with that characterization. Definitely constructed for the adaptation. In the comic I remember being shocked when he gets shot, in the novel I didn't really care and it's hardly even dwelled upon. Also, Perry's tendency to add in nearly anything he can at any given time that reflects some type of sexual thought or dialogue can get really out of place and awkward really fast. Near the end, Wilks has Billie insert some kind of vaginal block so she doesn't piss herself in the space suit? Is this what I'm to understand? Then he asks if she needs help adjusting it and she comments something to the extent that if he helps her it will be too arousing/distracting for her and they'll end up f**king. This mere pages after Wilks has realized he's "old enough to be her father" and I believe she had also acknowledged that. But for some reason we needed a quick diversion so we were all sure that they wanted to bang? That part was straight up f**king weird and needed to get cut out. It made no sense at all.

Earth Hive and Nightmare Asylum are both pretty good, definitely better than the 3 Dark Horse novels I've read which for the most part seemed ambivalent that "Aliens" was even printed on the cover. Still haven't gotten into any of the Titan Books originals yet but hopefully this summer.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Jun 16, 2016, 03:45:05 AM
Currently on a camping trip typing this on my phone.

The Female War 3/5

Hm, so I enjoyed this because I didn't reply remember the comic as much as the first two. More characters than Nightmare Asylum, and more developed overall. I liked the idea of the Queen Mother (that's what it's called right?) sending transmissions into people's dreams. It was a bit goofy how they rounded everyone up who had the dreams. SD Perrys influences on the writing seemed obvious at certain points, especially the annoying dialects that pop up in dialogue, shortened words with apostrophes and whatnot. Kind of annoying. Couldn't make it through without a Buddha or Christo once again. The inclusion of Ripley obviously had to come through from the comic and the little plot twist salvaged it for the most part.

I mean I guess the ending worked but it's pretty anticlimactic to say "ok there's going to be an explosion but not for six months" and also there needed to be some more resolution for Ripleys character here.

DNA War 2/5

I was expecting something really bad here but the story itself didn't bother me too much. Flying facehuggers: dumb. Aliens fighting each other: dumb. The mad scientist villain was irritating as hell and while characters need to have dialogue at cross purposes to create engaging conflicts, there was just so much arguing between people that went nowhere it ended up being frustrating to read. No real likeable characters of note. The first person narration didn't capture an interesting voice or interior access, could've easily been in third person. Rory's focalization of the story is pretty bland. I had kind of a tough time picturing things spatially. I wanted to punch a baby after what felt like the thousandth time facehuggers were compared to scorpions and the tunes on the Aliens backs were referred to as snorkels. It takes too long to get to the point. The ending felt inevitable which is the right way to do it, but it felt completely expected. It wasn't awful but it wasn't good. Definitely better than Original Sin that's for sure.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Nostromo on Jun 16, 2016, 06:11:06 AM
ROFL "I wanted to punch a baby". Ahhh DNA War..I remember reading that excrement...
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jun 17, 2016, 07:56:32 AM
I've just about purged the DH Press novels from my memory. I remember them being pretty meh with Criminal Enterprise being the best and Steel Egg being utter wank and No Exit being such a disappointment as it started so incredibly well.

The thing I was disappointed most with Female War was no resolution to the Jockey storyline.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Jul 02, 2016, 08:00:35 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Jun 17, 2016, 07:56:32 AM
The thing I was disappointed most with Female War was no resolution to the Jockey storyline.

Yeah, while I mostly enjoyed the rest of it, that was notably absent.

Steel Egg 2/5

So, I love that John Shirley felt he needed a personal introduction to the book to explain to us that he solved the problem of how chestbursters grow into xenomorphs. Because they f**king eat. Wow.

This book again suffers from the same problems as Original Sin and DNA War, not a single character I feel the need to root for. Not even any characters who I love to hate. No good villains. Reynolds as a mad scientist felt pretty typical. There could've been some type of reversal revealing him as a more well rounded character, but nope. Mad scientist all the way, completely unredeemable sociopath from square one. Nothing relatable about him in the least bit. Can't say I'm surprised. The Alien series is pretty anti-scientist. Look at Ash in Alien or Wren in Resurrection, and then of course the countless ones in the comics and I'm also guessing the other Bantam book adaptations as well.

Also, for being the 'first' encounter with Xenomorphs...again, wow. So, a ship finds a derelict alien spacecraft and find eggs on board. Well f**k me if that isn't the exact plot of Alien. Nicely done, very creative. Shirley also is clearly not actually a fan of the property. You can tell by his incessant use of 'The Company' throughout the book. This book was published in 2007, Weyland-Yutani was no secret. Even shitty AvP worked in tons of back story for the Weyland side of things and whatnot, but Shirley decided he'd needlessly retcon this stuff to add in the UN vs. Communism angle. What's up with the nationalism I've encountered here? Steel Egg is somehow an anti-communist story, which in 2007 is pretty worthless unless Shirley thought it was still 1957. He even worked in a line that their discoveries would be the greatest 'since Eric the Red discovered America.' Okay, man. You do you, I guess. There was a line about the CANC ending all freedom on planet Earth if they took the giant ship back with them, which received an audible laugh from me. This is just stupid, clumsy subtext to me at best, and at worst it's actually a misguided attempt to turn the Alien series into some kind of pedestal for idiots to air their political grievances. Ironically, Alien is actually an anti-capitalist series if it's going to be classified as taking any political stance. And I have to say, if anyone found the UNIC ship named 'Al Gore' to be remotely humorous, I both envy you and feel bad for you at the same time. "Haha, in the future Al Gore will have a spaceship named after him because Global Warming turned out to be real!"  ::)

Also noticed in DNA War that Diane Carey felt necessary on 2 occasions to remind readers how bad Stalin was. Twice! The second line was something like "Lenin was bad, Stalin was worse." First of all, it's not a f**king contest who the worst dictator in history was, which is the exact mentality of people like her who need everyone around them to know that 'Stalin was the worst!' Again, all that's happening here is the author's outing herself as some kind of reactionary, and what a laughable soapbox to be standing on when no one reading these books is here for that kind of bullshit. But that's DNA War.

Steel Egg just suffers from the same issues that all of these Dark Horse Press novels have so far (still have Cauldron to go). They don't feel like Alien tonally at all. The dialogue is shit in most cases, characters simply aren't characterized. The Aliens are barely a threat, and when they are they're not scary at all. It just really seems to me that the DHP editor overseeing this 6 book series and the representatives from Fox who oversaw it on their end just didn't give a shit about the property at all. I think it was evident to me from reading No Exit. If Brian f**king Evenson can't turn out a complete Aliens novel with what he had done in his career up to that point, then no one writing in this series was going to be able to. Criminal Enterprise is certainly the most complete, well-rounded of the 5 I've read, and even it barely has anything to do with the title characters.

Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Apr 20, 2017, 04:10:41 PM
Alien: Out of the Shadows 4/5

This was easily the best Alien novel I have read to date. While the three novels in the original comics adaptation series were an improvement on the Dark Horse novels, and Criminal Enterprise & No Exit aren't alllll that bad, Out of the Shadows improves on them all. I think what mostly does it is consistency of tone. This feels a lot more like the films than any of the other books I've read, even the novelizations in some cases. I thought Ripley was written well, Lebbon had a good grasp of her character. She's usually overwritten. Original Sin was terrible in how it dealt with Ripley. I thought the story was fairly well handled, felt very much in the spirit of the first two films. The level of tension and the general simplicity of the story with the Aliens always at the forefront of the conflict made this a real page turner. This is probably the first Alien novel I've read where I found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading it, and looking forward to returning to it as soon as I could. Lebbon can really write a sentence, and the book was actually pleasurable to read from a language perspective. Very easy to read for extended periods of time. Of course, some of the retconning is a little goofy and you might struggle accepting it as canon, but I appreciated its engagement with the films and I thought it was well done.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Russ840 on Apr 20, 2017, 09:38:46 PM
I recently listened to the Audio book of Out of the Shadows. I really enjoyed it. Yeah the retcon is a bit weak but hey, who cares. It does not ruin anything.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Apr 20, 2017, 10:04:51 PM
I mostly just thought it was a lot of fun for once, whereas some of the previous Alien novels had been mind-numbing. Steel Egg was pretty dumb.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Russ840 on Apr 20, 2017, 10:10:22 PM
I wont go near those books. They sound awful.

Im generally more of a comic man so all the books that are novelisations of comics, im not that bothered about reading. Apart from Berserker. That has piqued my interest.

This being an original novel was a sell for me and it helped that they weren't disliked so mich like the DHP press novels.

Have you read River of Pain and Sea of Sorrows ? 
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Apr 20, 2017, 10:23:54 PM
QuoteCriminal Enterprise is certainly the most complete, well-rounded of the 5 I've read, and even it barely has anything to do with the title characters.

That was largely the point of those books I believe.  Tell stories in the Alien universe where the Aliens aren't the focus.

What I did like about Steel Egg was a couple of the death passages.
Spoiler
One guy cuts himself open to try and remove the burster before it kills him, and another forces the ships medic to operate on him to remove it, only for to kill him and then the medic.
[close]
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Apr 21, 2017, 01:41:32 AM
I remember those scenes feeling gruesome/effective, just mostly feeling total indifference toward the characters. It was an overall boring read I thought. Might muscle my way through Cauldron this summer.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Apr 21, 2017, 01:50:20 AM
I'm re-reading all of them at the minute (finished Original Sin, Steel Egg, No Exit and Criminal Enterprise - Cauldron up next).

I think I like Criminal Enterprise the best, though No Exit was decent too (lack of ending notwithstanding).  I recall Cauldron being similar to your above description - some gruesome/ effective scenes, but largely uninteresting characters.

Criminal Enterprise at least had a few interesting characters.  Tommy and Pete were a bit thin, but some of the supporting characters (eg. Didi, Trace) weren't just clichéd criminals.  And Danelle crammed a shit tonne of f**ked-upedness into the Fantasia science staff in the space of about 3 pages.  I want a book about those guys.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Apr 21, 2017, 09:12:51 AM
I read all the Bantam Aliens books a little while ago; I plan on getting the DH Press ones in the future, when I'm not so strapped for disposable income.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Apr 21, 2017, 12:26:12 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Apr 21, 2017, 09:12:51 AM
I read all the Bantam Aliens books a little while ago; I plan on getting the DH Press ones in the future, when I'm not so strapped for disposable income.

They are all pretty rare and expensive for what ends up not being worth the cost and hassle of tracking down a decent copy. You should be able to wait for Titan to re-anthologize them the same way they're doing with the Bantam books. Omnibus 5, 6, and 7 should be the DH novels if they hold to their current pattern.

Although, curiously, it doesn't appear that they're going to re-anthologize the DH Predator novels.

QuoteI'm re-reading all of them at the minute (finished Original Sin, Steel Egg, No Exit and Criminal Enterprise - Cauldron up next).

What were your thoughts on Original Sin this time? I read it once when it came out, and the last time whenever the post in this thread is dated. Hated it both times, easily my least favorite of the 5 of those that I've read.
Title: Re: Alien/Aliens Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Apr 22, 2017, 02:50:34 AM
I didn't hate Original Sin the first time or the second time.  But I didn't like it that much either.  Ripley seemed inconsistent from where we left her in Resurrection.  She seemed to have regressed.  The Elgyn, Hillard and Christie replacements were a bit meh.  Krakke was interesting but quite derivative of St Just who was dropped from Resurrection before they started shooting.  Rama existed solely to die and be replaced by Angie. And speaking of derivative, the action in the second half seemed based on the deleted jungle scene from Resurrection.

And in terms of the Jockeys (Mala'kak) and the history of Amanda Ripley, they were a bit easier to digest this time knowing they weren't even remotely official.  It was disappointing that the USM was completely absent.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on May 12, 2017, 01:25:57 AM
Thought I'd check back in:

Aliens: Bug Hunt 2/5

I posted about this in the primary thread for the book, but I thought I'd just restate it here: Not very good. My overall impression is that, as usual, the authors hired to write these aren't really all that familiar with the series. By that I mean that they haven't read other licensed Aliens writing and aren't familiar with the EU beyond what Fox tells them. There were a total of 3 out of 18 stories in this anthology that I thought were worthwhile. Unlike the 3 novels from 2014, the stuff that connects with the movies in these stories has a fanfiction feel to it, and not the feeling of something that fits in with canon. Specifically referring to the characters from Aliens who make an appearance. One of my favorite stories--although it has a terrible ending--involved some connections with Alien 3, which I thought was the most interesting move.

Alien: Sea of Sorrows 3/5

My visceral reaction to this is that the book could be reviewed by listing all of the missed opportunities. It takes place in the 2400s but I don't feel a whole lot of difference coming from Out of the Shadows. They're held up by an elevator? There don't seem to be any medical advances. James Moore's writing isn't as good as Lebbon's overall at the sentence level. I thought the telepathy stuff was pretty vague. There were too many characters, as is a usual problem with these books. Moore also seemed to misunderstand the final shot of the Alien Resurrection special edition to think that the Auriga crashed into Europe, when I thought it was Africa? Mostly I thought this had an interesting start and then just kind of disintegrated into the third act of Alien 3. There wasn't a whole lot new brought to the franchise. We could've had some interesting 25th century stuff. We could have had an interesting trace of Ripley's descendants, and instead there's only a vague connection listed. We never get to find out what happened to Ripley 8. And if this is really meant to be the actual canonical ending to the Alien franchise, it's pretty underwhelming. Overall though, not bad. Still better than all of the DHP books. Just didn't bring anything new to the franchise.

Started River of Pain. Golden's writing is already a tier down from both Lebbon and Moore. Yeesh.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 12, 2017, 01:53:33 AM
Too many characters was definitely a problem with Sea of Sorrows.  He mentions a number of characters at the start, then more characters than that number get named.  Some actually get personalities, but most are barely even names. It gets very unclear towards the end who is alive and dead to the point that Ferguson simply disappears from the narrative as they get out of the mine and make for the ship.

Spoiler
I found the end and lack of a resolution for Decker a little annoying too.  The Company have their Alien, his only friend Adams had a hugger on her bonce.  And whatever bond he might've developed with the mercs is destroyed when he tries to shoot Elway and Adams.
[close]
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on May 12, 2017, 03:57:44 AM
Seems like they wanted it to lead into something else...but so far nothing indicates that there will be a follow up.

Also, I do have to say I did appreciate the shorter chapter format. I think that's a good move in any narrative that heavily relies on tension to move the plot forward. Made this go by fairly quick. I noticed one of the books in the new Omnibus is like that too, maybe Alien Hive, It has like 77 chapters.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 12, 2017, 04:13:35 AM
Yeah some of them are only a couple of pages.  It does give the impression of things moving at a fair old clip.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on May 13, 2017, 02:13:36 AM
Alien 3 3/5

Decided to give this a read today. I had previously listened to the Peter Guinness Audible version on a car trip but didn't really count that as having read it. He did a good Brian Glover, I'll say that.

Also, when I got to page 95, a real spider crawled over the top of my book and onto the page I was reading and I may have nearly died.

Anyway, the beginning of this is off to a strange start but mostly I found it to be a generally quick and entertaining read, kind of a book version of the Assembly Cut but with some other added differences. You can tell the ending was rushed. Chapter XIV includes quite a bit and the novel comes to a very abrupt halt. Foster's writing feels improved in this book compared to the first Alien, where he was constantly changing focalization multiple times per page. Here, there's more focus regarding the point of view. Of his three I think he had the most fun writing Aliens, and it's the most fun to read. I think, especially near the last third of the book, you can tell that he wasn't all that interested in writing this.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on May 14, 2017, 10:57:57 AM
Quote from: Hudson on May 13, 2017, 02:13:36 AM
Decided to give this a read today. I had previously listened to the Peter Guinness Audible version on a car trip but didn't really count that as having read it. He did a good Brian Glover, I'll say that.

His Glover was bang on. It was uncanny.

QuoteAlso, when I got to page 95, a real spider crawled over the top of my book and onto the page I was reading and I may have nearly died.

:laugh: I think I would have as well.

QuoteAnyway, the beginning of this is off to a strange start but mostly I found it to be a generally quick and entertaining read, kind of a book version of the Assembly Cut but with some other added differences. You can tell the ending was rushed. Chapter XIV includes quite a bit and the novel comes to a very abrupt halt. Foster's writing feels improved in this book compared to the first Alien, where he was constantly changing focalization multiple times per page. Here, there's more focus regarding the point of view. Of his three I think he had the most fun writing Aliens, and it's the most fun to read. I think, especially near the last third of the book, you can tell that he wasn't all that interested in writing this.

The shifting between perspectives thing did throw me through a loop the first time I read Alien and I completely agree with it seeming that ADF lost interest while writing the end of Alien 3 (and I can't fault him considering the difficult time he had on the project). I can never rate the film novelizations though. I enjoy reading them to see the differences and expansions with the actual films.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on May 29, 2017, 10:58:50 PM
Alien - River of Pain 2/5

I wasn't impressed by this. Aside from the annoying caricature of how the military works beyond less accurate than even Aliens' portrayal, I also thought the writing was less impressive than in the first two novels in this trilogy. The word wildcatter in its variations being used insistently throughout this book merely because the word was mentioned in passing during a deleted scene in the film ended up annoying me probably more than it should have.

Also, John Marachuck? Anybody? Bueller...? I thought the story was pretty bland. The thought that this was told as being a result of the events of Alien rather than being told as a prelude to the events of Aliens was intriguing, but the story didn't grab me. The Colonial Marine characters were pretty boring. It was a terrible retcon. Much like many of the stories in Aliens Bug Hunt, the retcons in this novel do everything in their power to cheapen Aliens. I don't really understand why it is the Fox reps can't seem to help themselves from making the Aliens EU absolutely ridiculous at times. Overall this was a letdown, and as a follow up to the first two, pretty damn unsatisfying.

Alien The Weyland Yutani Report 3/5

This was gorgeous to look at, but overall very meh. It shows that the continuity of these films is a mess that the Fox people can't seem to get straight. Canonical references between this book and some of the newer novels felt inconsistent. The retelling of the facehugger removal scene in this book isn't even present in River of Pain, although Captain Brackett is referred to in the Weyland Yutani Report.

I enjoy the idea of metatext, and thought the Robert Morse penned journal was a very cool addition. I was worried it would be bad, but I thought it was well done and felt right for his character.

Cool to look at, loved the artwork, but overall a very bland read.




Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 31, 2017, 07:05:13 AM
Just re-read Cauldron.  About as good as when I first read it.  That is to say, not very.  Carey has some good ideas, and there's some appropriately gruesome passages, but there's two problems.

1) She tries to force this whole idea about old style shipping into a futuristic setting.  Things don't work like that in Alien.  People spends weeks or months in hypersleep; cargo doesn't go from one ship, to another ship to another ship over the course of a couple of days.  It needed to draw more from contemporary freight and not some old romantic notion of ships bells and bosuns and cockswains, etc.

2) The dialogue is excrutiating, which leads to the characters coming across as excrutiating.  I dunno if her Isle of Man accent/ slang was accurate, but her attempts at Australian were pretty mediocre.  She'd fill a sentence from Dan with stuff that was getting close to how an Australian would speak - then use the word 'diaper'.  Which we don't.  This was fairly constant throughout.  It would've been better to not write the accented language, and just mention "the Australian drawl" every now and then to remind the reader.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Jun 02, 2017, 07:48:30 PM
Quote from: SM on May 31, 2017, 07:05:13 AM
Just re-read Cauldron.  About as good as when I first read it.  That is to say, not very.  Carey has some good ideas, and there's some appropriately gruesome passages, but there's two problems.

1) She tries to force this whole idea about old style shipping into a futuristic setting.  Things don't work like that in Alien.  People spends weeks or months in hypersleep; cargo doesn't go from one ship, to another ship to another ship over the course of a couple of days.  It needed to draw more from contemporary freight and not some old romantic notion of ships bells and bosuns and cockswains, etc.

2) The dialogue is excrutiating, which leads to the characters coming across as excrutiating.  I dunno if her Isle of Man accent/ slang was accurate, but her attempts at Australian were pretty mediocre.  She'd fill a sentence from Dan with stuff that was getting close to how an Australian would speak - then use the word 'diaper'.  Which we don't.  This was fairly constant throughout.  It would've been better to not write the accented language, and just mention "the Australian drawl" every now and then to remind the reader.

Dialect is almost always more cumbersome to read as opposed to just a passing reference that the person has an accent. Case in point: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. The dialogue in that book is a slog, to say the least.

Cauldron is on my list after I finish the Resurrection novelization. I can't say I'm all that excited for it. I didn't hate DNA War. It wasn't boring at least, but still, it's not good. The first-person narration was a missed opportunity at creating an interesting voice (you could easily change the pronouns to third person for the narrator and you'd never know it was originally in first) and the facehugger stampedes were a bit much.

Based on Carey's interview here and also her defensive Amazon review of DNA War, she has struck me as someone who phoned in her paychecks on this project.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 02, 2017, 09:20:27 PM
Never read DNA War.  I'll pick it up when it's re-released.

I'm massive fan of Irvine Welsh, who writes almost nothing but dialect and first person, so I'm hoping the first person in DNA War is better than the dialect in Cauldron.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 26, 2017, 12:23:01 AM
Just read DNA War (thanks SiL for the lend).  It's like reading a different author.  Carey has the same gross bits like she did in Cauldron, but overall the dialogue between the characters is miles ahead of the painful stuff in Cauldron.  Perhaps it's because she created a this hostile dynamic between the Rory, his mother and his sister, and also made Rory pretty flawed as a hero.

I think overall the story got a bit repetitive with the 'we're leaving, oh but we can't' that dominated much of the narrative.  The rolling Aliens and flying facehuggers didn't really add much to proceedings - but in general DNA War was pretty good.

Also re-reading the Aliens novelization and came across this...

[During the initial sweep of the colony]
Someone ventured a couple of lines a capella from Thor's storm-calling song at the end of Das Rheingold.  It sounded like Hudson, but Ripley couldn't be sure, and no one owned up to the chorus.

That ADF one spooky mofo.  ;D
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 06, 2018, 05:37:05 AM
Predator 2/5

I find that this is more of a novelty artifact and worth reading for the pure interest of its quirkiness than it ever will be a decent book. While the writing displays an appreciation for language early on, I think it begins to get lazy as we go. Constantly referring to characters like Dillon, Billy, Hawkins, and Ramirez as "the black man," "the Indian," "the Irishman," and "the Chicano" respectively just got boring, beyond the fact that the racial stereotyping became notably problematic when these constant repetitions are coming from the objective third-person narrator. I'm not sure if this comes from Paul Monette, Jim & John Thomas's original script, or the editors of the book. I thought it got a little old that Dillon was constantly referred to in the context of his race, in just about every instance he is attributed interior thoughts or described by someone else. Particular instances include something along the lines of "...for all intents and purposes, he was the whitest man in the room..." or "...he'd be as welcome as he would at a KKK rally..." and he's straight up referred to as a "nig-nog" by Blain or Mac (I can't remember which, both characters are more profane in the novelization) and directly as "n***er" shockingly by Schaefer. "Spic" or "spick" ends up being used by Mac (who by absence of constantly being referred to as 'the black man' can be assumed to be white here) several times to refer to Ramirez, but in this instance we're meant to take it as an expression of apolitical military camaraderie. And I still find that unearned, considering this is coming from a white author, based on a screenplay by white authors, none of any of whom served in the military either to my knowledge.

Some interesting deviations here include a very abstract characterization of the Predator itself, and some odd motivations for it to hunt and study humans. There's actually a bizarre inner conflict happening with the character, or at least that's how I take it. Something not explored in the movie, because here I believe the Predator to be an embodiment of the earlier concept for the creature, and not what eventually ended up on screen. It's able to take the shape of other animals, and its skin directly changes color I believe. Its blood is orange, and its ship features significantly near the end of the book.

One bat-shit-crazy difference in the novelization included an alteration to the scene where Billy senses the Predator ahead of the team after they leave the destroyed guerrilla camp. In the film, Dutch confronts Billy who admits that it's probably nothing. In the novelization, HE READS THE PREDATOR'S MIND AND THEN FAINTS. This scene was insane! There are other deviations from the film's plot that make the novel worth at least one read.

Overall though, the novelization of Predator does an even poorer job than the film of concealing the fact that there's really no plot. Considering the visual emphasis of the film medium, the final act of Predator goes over just fine. The special effects are impressive as hell, the musical score is dramatic, etc. Unfortunately, there's none of that to redeem the fact that, in the novel, Major Schaefer is the most boring, flat character present. By the time all the stereotyped characters disappear, we're left with nothing but a blank slate and no dialogue. Thankfully, this portion of the story lasts a mere ten pages or less, and then we're done. The problem is, we don't really have any idea what Schaefer desires. For a novel, that's what we need. And for an effective narrative that does its job, we need some kind of change. Does Schaefer become a pacifist for having seen what he's seen? That's just an example of a possibility. The answer is, who knows? Nothing really comes to fruition here. I don't really know if Shaefer gets what he wants or not. As a film, it works as entertainment because of the spectacle. As a novel, it's written with a skilled hand a times, but at other times it feels lazy, and notably problematic even beyond the fact that there's not really a plot with regards to the protagonist.


Alien Resurrection 4/5

This is a delayed reaction, considering I finished this in the fall but never returned to post my update here. I've enjoyed logging my reviews of these novels by the way. In drawing this out over a few years, it's been interesting to come back and read my reactions. In some cases, I don't remember the books very well. With Resurrection, I would actually argue that the novelization is the definitive version of Joss Whedon's screenplay. Bluntly, it's better and more complete than the film and gives the audience a more worthy narrative. I was really impressed by this book, most specifically the separate narrators focalizing the story, and just generally the expansion on every character in the film. I felt like I knew just about everyone in the movie better after reading this book. In particular, I found DiStephano of note as his character appears throughout the novelization and he's built up until he finally joins the group of characters on their quest. I also really enjoyed the sequences focalized through Christie and any expansion of his character, considering he feels a bit absent in the film for my taste. I do think this suffers from some of the same problems as the movie in the way that most of the interesting characters buy the farm early on. Perez, Christie, Elgyn, and Gediman plays a more significant role in this but again spends most of the narrative out of sight, out of mind. The italicized sections that kind of dove into Ripley's interior and the Aliens were handled pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised by this book overall and will label it my favorite of the original four films' novelizations.



I find that my 'active' engagement in my fandom with the Alien and Predator franchises seems to come in what I'd describe as waves. Maybe lasts a few months and then I kind of transition away. Last year I read six or seven books or so around spring and I think I might be gearing up to go through another wave of reading through these. I also just ordered Predator 2, and for Christmas received the If It Bleeds anthology. To be honest, whether I find these books good or bad, I always am enjoying the experience of reading them, even the boring ones like Steel Egg or River of Pain.

I'm still on the fence about making the financial commitment to track down the Dark Horse Predator series.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 06, 2018, 11:11:01 AM
Funnily enough, I was thinking about the Predator novelisation just last night. I agree with most of what you say. It's not a good book; in particular the fact that most of the characters are unlikable racists really undermines any investment you might have in them.

The main interest in reading is just to see how wildly different that earlier version of the titular creature was, but even that ends up being to the novel's detriment because it's just so out there compared to the film.

If you can manage to get a hold of it (no easy feat), the second film's novelisation is infinitely better.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 06, 2018, 02:27:43 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 06, 2018, 11:11:01 AM
Funnily enough, I was thinking about the Predator novelisation just last night. I agree with most of what you say. It's not a good book; in particular the fact that most of the characters are unlikable racists really undermines any investment you might have in them.

The main interest in reading is just to see how wildly different that earlier version of the titular creature was, but even that ends up being to the novel's detriment because it's just so out there compared to the film.

If you can manage to get a hold of it (no easy feat), the second film's novelisation is infinitely better.

I thought Schaefer's use of the N-bomb completely undermined any chance he would have to be the last chance at a likable character in the book. Instead all we learn about him is he was raised Baptist and he might be from Minnesota?

Also, how about the implication that Ronald Reagan is directly involved in their mission?

I'm paying around $18 for the second one, and I'm intrigued based on what I've read about it online. It also sounds more profane than its film counterpart.

I'm not sure how I feel about the earlier version of the Predator. I find it very interesting, but it's underdeveloped and abstract. At the end of the book, I'm still not quite sure what's going on with it. The film version is crystal clear, but motivations in the earlier screenplay draft are more muddled.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 06, 2018, 02:43:20 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 06, 2018, 11:11:01 AM
Funnily enough, I was thinking about the Predator novelisation just last night. I agree with most of what you say. It's not a good book; in particular the fact that most of the characters are unlikable racists really undermines any investment you might have in them.

I'm glad I wasn't imagining that. I thought the book was weirdly consistently racist with how it was describing everyone.  :-\ Like all the novelizations though, I can't help but recommend it just for all the differences with the actual film.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 06, 2018, 05:15:27 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Feb 06, 2018, 02:43:20 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 06, 2018, 11:11:01 AM
Funnily enough, I was thinking about the Predator novelisation just last night. I agree with most of what you say. It's not a good book; in particular the fact that most of the characters are unlikable racists really undermines any investment you might have in them.

I'm glad I wasn't imagining that. I thought the book was weirdly consistently racist with how it was describing everyone.  :-\ Like all the novelizations though, I can't help but recommend it just for all the differences with the actual film.

Is this one you've reviewed on the main page? I've looked at your full-length reviews of the Alien adaptations, but I can't seem to find your complete thoughts on the Predator ones.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 06, 2018, 06:38:55 PM
No, I never reviewed this one and I've only done half the Alien ones. They're on my list of things to do but sometimes I just wanna read them and not think about the review. lol
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Feb 07, 2018, 12:16:05 PM
I checked that the author died of AIDS a long time ago. Wikipedia had this interesting thing about him:
Paul Landry Monette (October 16, 1945 – February 10, 1995) was an American author, poet, and activist best known for his essays about gay relationships.
Title: Re: Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 07, 2018, 09:49:17 PM
Quote from: Wweyland on Feb 07, 2018, 12:16:05 PM
I checked that the author died of AIDS a long time ago. Wikipedia had this interesting thing about him:
Paul Landry Monette (October 16, 1945 – February 10, 1995) was an American author, poet, and activist best known for his essays about gay relationships.

Yeah. I found it fascinating to note how the first few pages reference that--by this point--he'd written two books of poetry. He later went on to win the National Book Award for a memoir in 1992.

You can look up his NBA winning speech online, in which he self-deprecatingly refers to his poetry writing in the past, among other things he seemed to hold in a low regard by that point in his career. I assume he lumps this book into that category.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Feb 08, 2018, 09:50:17 PM
That perhaps explains the hateful undertones in the book.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 11, 2018, 09:45:55 PM
Predator 2 3/5

This wasn't as unexpectedly different from the finished product as the first film's novelization, and Simon Hawke's writing at the sentence level is pretty cut-and-dried compared to Paul Monette's, but I guess I would say this is technically 'better.' I was looking to see the extra scenes which contributed to the original NC-17 version of Predator 2, although I'm not so sure there's a ton in here. The sequence in which King Willie is attacked by the Predator seems to be identical from the movie, when I had assumed there was a lot more missing. All that's present in the novel that isn't in the movie is that he takes an Uzi out and shoots up the alley when the Predator first drops down. Heinemann has a quick subplot present in the novelization (which by all accounts was filmed) in which he's sort of a good cop fallen from grace, a former friend of Harrigan's. But now the two are enemies because of how much of a bureaucrat Heinemann has become (this is identical to Schaefer & Dillon's friction throughout the first novel, and to a lesser extent the film). Leona's husband, Rick, appears for once scene in the bar Ray's where the gathering is stated to be for Leona's birthday. Some other interesting deviations include scenes which are focalized by Tony Pope & Captain Pilgrim, among others such as Ramon Vega, who gets a fairly detailed passage of contextual backstory. The Predator's death is actually notably different in the novelization as well. This book is known for sections in italics which come from the Predator's perspective. I think they're pretty successful and they do an interesting job of tying the first film's events in while also explaining some more of the final chase sequence (the Predator's trying to get back to the ship because he's suffocating). While I would say the first film's novelization is--for all intents and purposes--a bad book, the Predator 2 novelization was actually less interesting to read. It doesn't expand on the characters to the extent that the Alien Resurrection novelization does (we learn just a tad bit more about Harrigan), and it doesn't deviate from the finished product to the extent that say Predator or Alien 3 do from their respective films.

I think this book is worth reading, but the price (I paid about $11 for the first book and $18 for this one) is pretty steep for what doesn't end up being as much of a fascinating novelty or artifact as Monette's Predator.

EDIT:

So I decided to really commit to assembling my collection of Alien/Predator novels. I placed a bunch of orders on Amazon for the Dark Horse Predator novels (3/4 of them at least, not South China Sea yet). I ended up having some time to waste today and I walked over to the used bookstore near where I work.

I ended up placing an order cancellation request for Predator Forever Midnight because the store had a brand new copy for half the price that I ordered it! Talk about a satisfying moment. Even the guy taking my money at the register said, "Don't think we can get this one anymore." The craziest thing is they have a very extensive used bookstore in their basement, and it doesn't contain any of these books. Somehow managed to find it brand new, unread.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 13, 2018, 08:35:08 PM
Nice.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 14, 2018, 08:52:11 AM
Quote from: Hudson on Feb 11, 2018, 09:45:55 PM
So I decided to really commit to assembling my collection of Alien/Predator novels. I placed a bunch of orders on Amazon for the Dark Horse Predator novels (3/4 of them at least, not South China Sea yet). I ended up having some time to waste today and I walked over to the used bookstore near where I work.

I ended up placing an order cancellation request for Predator Forever Midnight because the store had a brand new copy for half the price that I ordered it! Talk about a satisfying moment. Even the guy taking my money at the register said, "Don't think we can get this one anymore." The craziest thing is they have a very extensive used bookstore in their basement, and it doesn't contain any of these books. Somehow managed to find it brand new, unread.

You really can't argue with that! The Predator ones are just gold dust these days. I've got no spares left. I have come into some spare DH Press Alien ones but they're pretty easy to get new thanks to Titan.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 14, 2018, 09:32:23 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Feb 14, 2018, 08:52:11 AMI have come into some spare DH Press Alien ones but they're pretty easy to get news thanks to Titan.

;D

:P
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 19, 2018, 11:03:07 AM
What do you need?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 03:09:49 PM
I don't have any of the DH Press books yet. To be honest, I've not even looked, are any of the Aliens ones especially troublesome to get hold of?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 19, 2018, 03:35:08 PM
No Exit, perhaps, as it was the last one but in all honesty, I don't think so. And you've got the reprints anyway.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 04:01:59 PM
Yeah, I'd feel like a bit of a dick taking the whole lot off you :laugh: But having just had a quick gander on Amazon, the cheapest I can find No Exit for is near enough 20 quid, with others going for significantly more than that, so if your offer's still good...

I'd much rather have individual issues than omnibus editions, so sadly the new reprints don't much interest me.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 19, 2018, 06:06:03 PM
AvP Prey 4/5

I decided to revisit this one over the weekend with a plan to follow it up by reading Berserker and then AvP War, saving Hunter's Planet for last as it seems to be kind of an alternate 'non-canonical' sequel at this point.

This is what I would consider to be one of the (if not the) iconic narratives of the Alien/Predator expanded universe. The novel form is the definitive version of the story, for me personally at least. The original comic features outdated art, and suffers from typical pacing/characterization issues as any graphic novel would. Not to say the graphic novel is bad, but I find that it's dated whereas this novel survives better in the twenty-first century. One of the things that most impresses me about the novel is its pacing, and the characterization. Each focalizing character (whose eyes we experience a scene through) feels well drawn and dynamic. The important players in the story all want something, including the Predator characters. "The novel is a machine of desire," writes Douglas Glover in his fiction-writing craft book, "Attack of the Copula Spiders," and each of the characters present in "Prey" are well developed and operate based off of their human (or otherwise) desires. The pacing of the novel also features a structure which holds off an outright Xenomorph invasion until somewhere near the middle, similarly to the original films. AvP Prey has a nice slow-building narrative until everything comes to a head and inevitably reaches a fever pitch. This gives us time to know the people and the setting, and I never felt like the opening parts of the book were moving slowly. Everything here feels readable and entertaining and purposeful. There's a lot of momentum, even in scenes which primarily feature dialogue. A lot of this is the result of what I'd call a well-plotted story. Every scene seems to have a specific function. I don't find that there's anything "extra" that I'd take out. The reader is always learning something important.

After a quick read (this might by my third read overall) I think I only have a couple gripes off the top of my head: 1.) I still don't appreciate all the human attributions laid onto the Predators. Any time one of them is described as "smiling," I felt this was inappropriate. I'm also iffy on their direct dialogue sounding so human. As impressive as the world-building is w/r/t the Predator society and the backstory of the principle character Dachande, a lot of this really detracts from the audience perceiving the Predators as "monsters," which is how they originated in media. They still come off as dangerous, for instance I think half the human body count probably comes as a result of Predator attacks, but the Predator 2 novelization did a fine job of portraying a civilized society without making the Predators come off as essentially Klingon ripoffs. Their culture still feels very familiar and human, as opposed to unfamiliar and alien. 2.) Does Ackland ever face any kind of consequences for being such a tool? It seems like the remaining human characters in the colony are just able to escape, which is detrimental to a sense of tension we get as a reader. Or did I miss something here? Seems like these people just drive away in RVs (sorry, AVs) and get away scot free.

Other than a couple gripes, this really is a memorable and essential text in the Alien & Predator universe. It's a dirty shame that Paul W.S. Anderson got away with the crime of creating a cheap knock off of this story, instead of adapting it. Not to mention the fact that this book works as a great feminist text which feels very much in the tradition of the Alien series.

Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 04:01:59 PM
Yeah, I'd feel like a bit of a dick taking the whole lot off you :laugh: But having just had a quick gander on Amazon, the cheapest I can find No Exit for is near enough 20 quid, with others going for significantly more than that, so if your offer's still good...

I'd much rather have individual issues than omnibus editions, so sadly the new reprints don't much interest me.

Sure enough it does seem that No Exit is starting to creep up in price. Although, it's not celebrated like South China Sea, so I can't see it becoming unattainable. Humblebrag: I got my copy signed by the man himself, Brian Evenson.

I know how you feel about wanting the individual editions too. I never had the Bantam Spectra books other than AvP Prey, so I just felt like tracking down the individual first-editions would've been pricier than getting the Omnibus anthologies. They do look kind of goofy on the shelf.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 06:16:33 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Feb 19, 2018, 06:06:03 PMI know how you feel about wanting the individual editions too. I never had the Bantam Spectra books other than AvP Prey, so I just felt like tracking down the individual first-editions would've been pricier than getting the Omnibus anthologies. They do look kind of goofy on the shelf.

Yeah, it would definitely be easier and probably cheaper to just get the omnibus editions, but unfortunately I'm anal about things like this :laugh:

With the Bantam books it was moot anyway because I collected them just before the omnibus versions were announced. The only one I remember struggling to get for a reasonable price was Berserker (which is a shame because it's definitely the best of them if you ask me) but I lucked out finding a decently-priced copy for sale in the end. The rest were a matter of pennies.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 19, 2018, 07:34:30 PM
Just started Berserker last night, through the first three or four chapters. I did notice Perry's already snuck in one "Buddha" which I can only take as a reference to her dad. I also caught one "Jesus f**king Buddha" in Prey.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 07:36:34 PM
I assumed, "Buddha!" was an expletive, akin to us saying, "Jesus Christ!"

An attempt to show that religion has changed and probably diversified in the future.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 19, 2018, 07:39:26 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 07:36:34 PM
I assumed, "Buddha!" was an expletive, akin to us saying, "Jesus Christ!"

An attempt to show that religion has changed and probably diversified in the future.

I think that's a generous read. I felt it was way too conspicuous in Earth War. Just reeked of the author's hand as opposed to a plot point, kind of like the way Stephen King uses the term "gooseflesh" when I probably hear it more commonly referred to as "goosebumps."

EDIT: To be fair, Earth Hive is heavily oriented toward religious thematic content.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 07:42:06 PM
I wasn't necessarily suggesting it was a major plot point, just a way of showing that things have changed in the future.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 19, 2018, 07:55:04 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 07:36:34 PM
I assumed, "Buddha!" was an expletive, akin to us saying, "Jesus Christ!"

An attempt to show that religion has changed and probably diversified in the future.

Yeah, I remember one of the comics or novels using 'Jesus H Hubbard' too.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 19, 2018, 10:33:17 PM
Maybe this is just an indicator that I'm easily annoyed by things and should be more patient before misreading something.  :P
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 20, 2018, 08:25:23 AM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 19, 2018, 04:01:59 PM
Yeah, I'd feel like a bit of a dick taking the whole lot off you :laugh: But having just had a quick gander on Amazon, the cheapest I can find No Exit for is near enough 20 quid, with others going for significantly more than that, so if your offer's still good...

I'd much rather have individual issues than omnibus editions, so sadly the new reprints don't much interest me.

I'm not too sure exactly what I got in the lot but I'll need to check. If no-one else claims any off me before I send you Predator 2 back, I'll just pop them all in there.


Quote from: Hudson on Feb 19, 2018, 10:33:17 PM
Maybe this is just an indicator that I'm easily annoyed by things and should be more patient before misreading something.  :P

Ha. I can see where HuDa is coming from but I always found it a little "eh?" too.  :laugh:


Quote from: Hudson on Feb 19, 2018, 06:06:03 PM
After a quick read (this might by my third read overall) I think I only have a couple gripes off the top of my head: 1.) I still don't appreciate all the human attributions laid onto the Predators. Any time one of them is described as "smiling," I felt this was inappropriate. I'm also iffy on their direct dialogue sounding so human. As impressive as the world-building is w/r/t the Predator society and the backstory of the principle character Dachande, a lot of this really detracts from the audience perceiving the Predators as "monsters," which is how they originated in media. They still come off as dangerous, for instance I think half the human body count probably comes as a result of Predator attacks, but the Predator 2 novelization did a fine job of portraying a civilized society without making the Predators come off as essentially Klingon ripoffs. Their culture still feels very familiar and human, as opposed to unfamiliar and alien. 2.) Does Ackland ever face any kind of consequences for being such a tool? It seems like the remaining human characters in the colony are just able to escape, which is detrimental to a sense of tension we get as a reader. Or did I miss something here? Seems like these people just drive away in RVs (sorry, AVs) and get away scot free.

More recently I ended up letting my dislike for the Yautja culture colour my view of the book. And of course the Alien's being stomped upon. Which was unfair a bit, I think, as it was actually a pretty good book! Reading your review, I do now fancy a re-read of Prey.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 20, 2018, 08:32:57 AM
Books? Free books? I'll pay postage.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 20, 2018, 08:34:53 AM
Let me check exactly which ones I snagged in the deal and I'll let you all fight it out.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 20, 2018, 08:36:55 AM
Foit ya for it.



Shit that reminds me I have to send back SiL's copy of DNA War...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 20, 2018, 08:59:29 AM
My life is incomplete without those unicycling Aliens.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 20, 2018, 09:09:26 AM
Dem battleballs.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 20, 2018, 09:24:06 AM
Quote from: SiL on Feb 20, 2018, 08:32:57 AMBooks? Free books? I'll pay postage.



On a serious note though, I'd quite like to bagsie No Exit as it looks like it'd be the biggest pain for me to get. The rest are fair game if you wanna get in on the freebies.

Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Feb 20, 2018, 08:25:23 AMIf no-one else claims any off me before I send you Predator 2 back, I'll just pop them all in there.

That was gonna be my next question :laugh: You even opened it yet, bitch?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 20, 2018, 09:28:39 AM
Not yet mate. Honestly, I've just not been in the mood for too much at the minute. I keep starting books and not finishing them (which is sacrilege as far as I'm concerned).
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 20, 2018, 09:40:30 AM
No worries, I'm only joking. I haven't read a thing for weeks either so I can't really judge!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 21, 2018, 09:37:47 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Feb 20, 2018, 08:25:23 AM
More recently I ended up letting my dislike for the Yautja culture colour my view of the book. And of course the Alien's being stomped upon. Which was unfair a bit, I think, as it was actually a pretty good book! Reading your review, I do now fancy a re-read of Prey.

When I was younger, the yautja concept was troubling to me and it soured my taste. This time, I accepted that Steve Perry's read on the Xenomorphs is that "they're stupid," and he wanted to balance them out by making the Predators into round characters. The Predator is a character in the first two films, but a flat character. Not really nuance. It has one goal and that's it.

In Prey, even a character like Tichinde who's meant to come off as frustrating and insolent is actually portrayed as more nuanced if you take a closer look. I generally just bought into the well-done characterization throughout the novel. It's something I tend to struggle with in my own writing.

[spoilers]

In terms of the Aliens in Prey, I think they're meant to  be taken as stupid bugs, but I found they actually do fairly well for themselves. I mean, there's not a single Predator character who survives the book before a new one is introduced at the end. The Aliens wipe them out, save for the Predators who kill each other. Beyond that, it takes nearly half the novel for adult Xenomorphs to enter into the equation, so I felt the buildup to their arrival also did a good job of treating them with a decent amount of respect.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 21, 2018, 09:47:51 PM
Been trying to read Prey again for months. Keep getting waylaid.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: happypred on Feb 22, 2018, 07:10:30 AM
I enjoyed both Prey and Hunter's Planet quite a bit.

I may even have enjoyed the latter more. Pretty fun writing all around
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 22, 2018, 08:01:12 AM
Hunter's Planet I really need to re-read. I've only read it the once and I have memories of it just being awful but I can't say why.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 22, 2018, 11:25:47 AM
I've had Hunter's Planet ages, but I've still not read it. I skipped ahead to War because I loved Berserker so much and wanted to see what became of the surviving characters, then I kinda burned out on the novels and never got around to reading it.

It's an alternate sequel to the first, right?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 22, 2018, 11:44:22 AM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 22, 2018, 11:25:47 AM
I've had Hunter's Planet ages, but I've still not read it. I skipped ahead to War because I loved Berserker so much and wanted to see what became of the surviving characters, then I kinda burned out on the novels and never got around to reading it.

That's why I don't try and binge read series anymore. I binged Hitch Hiker's Guide and by the last 2 books I was so fed-up. I always try and swap between different series now.

QuoteIt's an alternate sequel to the first, right?

That's right.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 22, 2018, 07:10:49 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Feb 22, 2018, 11:25:47 AM
I've had Hunter's Planet ages, but I've still not read it. I skipped ahead to War because I loved Berserker so much and wanted to see what became of the surviving characters, then I kinda burned out on the novels and never got around to reading it.

It's an alternate sequel to the first, right?

I'm currently progressing through that sequence now, nearly finished with Berserker, hoping to read War this weekend, maybe tomorrow or Saturday since it's so short, and then Hunter's Planet before moving on to the DHP Predator novels.

Hunter's Planet I read forever ago, when I was in jr. high. It's odd that they didn't try to adapt War into a continuity that follows Hunter's Planet, because as I understand there's a plot hole that forces readers to choose one or the other (HP or War) as the sequel to Prey.

They need to bring S.D. Perry back to novelize Three World War, and then we can have a true AvP trilogy in novel form.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 22, 2018, 10:48:45 PM
QuoteThat's why I don't try and binge read series anymore. I binged Hitch Hiker's Guide and by the last 2 books I was so fed-up. I always try and swap between different series now.

Same.  I think I've read one (and listened to another) non-Alien related book since the end of 2015.  If what I'm reading is really good, it's not hard to maintain enthusiasm, but finishing one then starting to read another can be a bit of a struggle.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 23, 2018, 08:13:13 AM
Quote from: Hudson on Feb 22, 2018, 07:10:49 PM
They need to bring S.D. Perry back to novelize Three World War, and then we can have a true AvP trilogy in novel form.

I would love that. I really would! I think the newer series would be ripe for adaptations too. Don't get me wrong, I've loved having original novels but the idea of novel of the comics is just something I so associate with Alien and Predator that I've always got this little desire for more.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 23, 2018, 09:49:18 AM
Not that it'll happen but I love to see Life & Death as a novel.  It read a lot better on the page, and didn't come across quite as epic as it could've in comic form.

I think Three World War would also benefit from a novel to finish off Machiko's story, AvP's not going anywhere at the minute.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: XenoScorcher on Feb 23, 2018, 11:05:44 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Feb 22, 2018, 08:01:12 AM
Hunter's Planet I really need to re-read. I've only read it the once and I have memories of it just being awful but I can't say why.
I agree. It ages like a fine wine though lol. It's better now than it was.

Sent from my LG-H831 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 23, 2018, 07:57:52 PM
Aliens: Berserker 3/5

This wasn't as great as I was expecting, but I appreciated S.D. Perry's writing. The characters in the novel range from being interesting (Teape) to caricatures (Pulaski), but generally they're all entertaining presences in the story and she's able to move the plot along with momentum and enough immediate and overarching tension. I had a bit of trouble with the beginning of this though, because we work our way into the story a bit awkwardly by beginning with Sturges (minor character) focalizing the opening, and then begin transitioning to the relevant characters. I was drowning in name soup, even though there aren't that many people. I would much rather have had the opening here focus on one person, perhaps Jess or Lara, and then slowly introduce the others. The ending didn't really jump out at me because the descriptions of large battles with Aliens aren't really that interesting in prose form, as opposed to the visuals of the graphic novel (Berserkey, by the way, was not one of the Aliens comics that I grew up reading, so it's less familiar to me overall). Something that intrigued me in the novel was the consideration of sexual harassment/sexual assault in the workplace, revolving around Lara's interactions with Pop Izzard. I felt these passages reflected a nuanced maturity in the writing and added some very authentic and engaging motivation for Lara's character. Also, that Perry handles these issues as a woman writing science fiction is probably something she wasn't praised or even acknowledged for in 1998, but certainly would be now.

While I generally really do enjoy Berserker, my biggest problem is the tension of the Aliens themselves. This is an 'advanced' narrative in the EU Alien mythos, meaning the Xenomorphs are nothing special at this point. There's no mystery to them, and the only fear our characters have towards them is really a result of the fact that there are so many which appear in this story. The weight of the Alien menace as an immediate threat feels diminished to me every time I experience a story where the characters are familiar with them. For instance, in AvP Prey, I feel a lot more tension surrounding the Aliens. And to use another S.D. Perry example, not a lot of tension stemming from the Aliens in Criminal Enterprise either, as once again, the characters are familiar with Xenomorphs as a ubiquitous threat across the galaxy. Other than the sometimes boring 'action' passages, the kind of meh opening and the lack of a payoff regarding a villain who's not really built up enough for me to feel enough satisfaction at their demise, this book was a fun read and what I would call one of the better Aliens novels I've experienced thus far. It should be one of the later books read by a fan though, probably at least after the Earth Hive trilogy.

Generally, this book hits all the notes: Colonial Marines (at least their technology), spaceships, loads of Aliens, and a Weyland Yutani conspiracy. I think all we're missing are synthetic humans.

Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Feb 23, 2018, 08:13:13 AM
I would love that. I really would! I think the newer series would be ripe for adaptations too. Don't get me wrong, I've loved having original novels but the idea of novel of the comics is just something I so associate with Alien and Predator that I've always got this little desire for more.

There's also a lot of opportunity in the novelization of a graphic novel feeling bolstered and revised. Some of the pacing in the comics is awkward and characterization gets muddled, but the writer adapting it into prose gets a chance to clarify everything and give us a closer, more definitive version of the narrative after the first pass has been made. With the original novels (thinking of No Exit here), the writer gets one shot to create everything in a short amount of time, without the opportunity to spend enough effort really polishing it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 24, 2018, 08:46:40 PM
What I liked about the ending of Berserker was the payoff for Ellis, which resonated a lot more thanks to the insights into his past.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 24, 2018, 09:03:24 PM
Quote from: SM on Feb 24, 2018, 08:46:40 PM
What I liked about the ending of Berserker was the payoff for Ellis, which resonated a lot more thanks to the insights into his past.

That's a good point too. I guess I just didn't feel like I hated Pop as a villain as much as the story kept telling me I was supposed to, and that lack of satisfaction resonated with me more.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: happypred on Feb 25, 2018, 06:06:58 AM
Hunter's Planet only has cybernetically enhanced super-xenomorphs...no regular xenos or predaliens. So alien fans may be put off.

The prose is as good as, if not better than, Prey's.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 26, 2018, 08:23:16 AM
Quote from: Hudson on Feb 23, 2018, 07:57:52 PM
This wasn't as great as I was expecting, but I appreciated S.D. Perry's writing.

Sacrilege!  :o It was probably my favourite of the Alien novels. I thought Berserker was one of the ones that really had the Aliens actually feel terrifying again - primarily through Teape and his role on the team. With the novel actually expanding on his inner-thoughts throughout the whole experience made it standout more.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Hudson on Feb 27, 2018, 02:35:42 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Feb 26, 2018, 08:23:16 AM
Quote from: Hudson on Feb 23, 2018, 07:57:52 PM
This wasn't as great as I was expecting, but I appreciated S.D. Perry's writing.

Sacrilege!  :o It was probably my favourite of the Alien novels. I thought Berserker was one of the ones that really had the Aliens actually feel terrifying again - primarily through Teape and his role on the team. With the novel actually expanding on his inner-thoughts throughout the whole experience made it standout more.

I mean, of the ones I've read, it's better than:
- Sea of Sorrows
- Alien 3
- The Female War
- Nightmare Asylum
- Earth Hive
- Alien
- Criminal Enterprise
- No Exit
- DNA War
- River of Pain
- Bug Hunt
- Steel Egg
- Original Sin

So I'd say it's a pretty good book. Out of the Shadows, Resurrection, and Aliens are the books I'd definitively label as better books.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 27, 2018, 09:41:59 AM
It sounds trivial, but the Aliens novelisation was ruined for me by the bone-headed decision to remove all the swears.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 27, 2018, 10:00:04 AM
Since the only VHS copy of the film I had for ages was the modified-for-TV version with most of the swearing removed (they missed Drake's 'MOTHERf**kERS!!'), and I'd only seen the initial release once in the cinema, the lack of swearing in the novel was a complete non-issue.  I was mainly interested in the character insights and deleted scenes.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 27, 2018, 10:06:05 AM
I imagine as a kid it wouldn't have bothered me. But reading it first as an adult, it just took me right out of it. Anyone who knows anything about people in the military, especially the guys on the ground, knows they generally swear. A lot. The way they talk in the novel feels really forced and unrealistically sanitised.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 27, 2018, 10:29:56 AM
'Cos it was.  ;D
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 27, 2018, 10:37:42 AM
I mean, when they turn one of the most iconic lines in cinema into "Get away from her, you!", is it really surprising that a comic adaptation got the shaft?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Mar 03, 2018, 03:09:06 AM
So I finally decided to read the old bantam novels (I'd read every comic so it didn't really appeal to read the same story without artwork) but Hicks convinced me that the novels had some merit so I went and purchased Titan's Omnibus collections. I started with the AVP collection primarily because I'd never read Hunter's Planet.

First off was Prey based on the original AVP comic and my all time favorite Dark Horse story. Although I appreciate all the characters being further fleshed out compared to their comic counterparts, I still felt that I enjoyed the comic more so than the novel. Also I wasn't a fan of the anthropocentric thoughts coming from a Predator. But it was still a solid read nonetheless

Next up is Hunter's Planet. This story had potential but I think it ultimately missed the mark. Particularly Machiko felt like a different character entirely. Missed opportunity on not detailing the T-Rex hunt from the Predators perspective! Cyborg xenomorph soldiers were a unique take on weaponizing the beast. Interestingly both Hunters Planet and War detail issue 0 of War.

Lastly is War which I felt added the most to the characters. I really felt for the Berzerker survivors. This novel really fleshed out the 5 issue comic which In turn further enhanced the original story for me.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Mar 05, 2018, 02:50:45 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Mar 03, 2018, 03:09:06 AMSo I finally decided to read the old bantam novels (I'd read every comic so it didn't really appeal to read the same story without artwork)...

Rogue's well worth a read as it differs quite a bit from the comic. Several characters have different fates, and it adds a much expanded cast and even entirely new sub-plots to the story, all of which improve it for me.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Mar 06, 2018, 12:02:37 AM
@hudson I concur completely. I'm having a blast reading these and gaining new insights regarding the characters, as well as the interesting additions or changes from the source material. I simply can't help but compare and contrast the two mediums lol.

@HuDaFuk I plan on reading it (already bought the omnibus containing Rogue and Labryinth). I just finished Vol 1 (Earth Hive, Nightmare Alsylum, Earth War). And all three were much more substantial with the plots in comparison to the comics which were often busy and sometimes unclear. Female War was quite a bit different as well (who built Ripley though?!). Again I feel these novels truly enhanced the original stories (I went and bought the new oversized fancy editions with the original script after reading the novels). Next up is Vol 2 with Genocide and Alien Harvest.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Mar 24, 2018, 02:57:05 PM
Just finished "Rogue" and of the 15 or so novels I've consumed this year, this story was the most fun to read. The comic was always among my favorites and of the Bantam novels it currently is my favorite. I was also very impressed with the writing as the words truly translated into a continuous visual in my mind; especially the action sequences. @Hudafuk The changes from the comic actually strengthened the already great story to the point where I now prefer how the events transpire in the novel much more than the comic. @Hudson I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this one considering your writing background (the novel is dedicated to Steve Perry and I can see the influence but I personally think she outdid Steve's stories on this one).

Also finished "Genocide" and "Alien Harvest" both stories added a good deal to their comic counterparts. From character development to additional storylines and scenes, the novels tend to "slow cook" these 4 issue storylines and I for one am all for it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Mar 26, 2018, 11:13:17 AM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Mar 24, 2018, 02:57:05 PM@Hudafuk The changes from the comic actually strengthened the already great story to the point where I now prefer how the events transpire in the novel much more than the comic.

Yeah, the greatly expanded cast of civilian characters and the sub-plot involving their mutiny in particular really adds some depth and breadth to the story.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Mar 26, 2018, 04:28:27 PM
I remember the book version of "Rogue" gave the marine character Choi a much more badass death.
Also, it made the marines much more competent, with many of them surviving their detour in the hive with only blank ammo (and making explosives out of the blanks).
It was the first Alien novel I read (about 17 years ago) and I still think it's the best one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Mar 27, 2018, 12:11:06 PM
Yes! When the marine contingent and the civilian mutineers finally meet, I straight up fist pumped in excitement haha! It was such a pleasure to read.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Mar 27, 2018, 04:36:41 PM
I think there was also a scene exclusive to the book of a scientist doing some snooping on Kleist and waking up as a head in a jar on his shelf.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Mar 27, 2018, 07:23:54 PM
There was a similar scene to that in the comic - that went nowhere.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Apr 03, 2018, 10:58:13 AM
After re-reading the comic at the weekend, I'm also re-reading the novelization now. I can't remember the last time I read it but I'm flying through it pretty well so far. Already noticing a lot of improvement over the comic.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: TheBATMAN on Apr 15, 2018, 07:59:18 PM
Recently read Aliens Original Sin for the first time. Quite a bizarre story where not a lot really happens save for a few chapters with startling pre-Prometheus revelations about the origins of the Space Jockeys. The core story itself I found really quite mundane about a sparsely populated botanical colony with a number of garden domes. The characters populating this place were not very interesting save for maybe the main administrator and his head of security, Shepard. A new breed of Alien is also present that is larger and with a bigger head. Although there is only a single egg and facehugger in the story there are multiple Aliens present which is explained thanks to a multiple chest-burster scenario which would later feature in AVP Requiem.

We get Ripley back and she is portrayed here as some kind of vigilante antihero and since the events of Resurrection the surviving crew of the Betty have sworn total allegiance to her. Ripley's mission seems to be about raiding various installations and using Call to hack into the mainframe to discover what the likes of Earth Gov and Weyland-Yutani knew of the Alien and the Space Jockey. One character, Simioni, seems to have been invented simply for the sole purpose for Ripley to explain via exposition all the unanswered mysteries from the original Alien film. Needless to say, the explanation is very, very poor and I'm glad the films never went down this route, although its clear the novel tries to set up the Loki as a new villain for the expanded universe.

Aside from perhaps Call, I was surprised the Betty took a backseat in this story. Vriess for example sits out a majority of the action simply because his paralysis means he cannot lower himself down from the Betty into the botanical dome. Johner is just the same as always and the new crew members are largely uninteresting and simply serve as canon fodder for the aliens.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this story. It has a very mundane premise and the story is nothing we haven't seen a dozen times before. The author seems to be totally reliant on the inclusion of Ripley and the revelations about the Space Jockeys and sadly neither worked for me here.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xenomrph on Apr 16, 2018, 08:59:41 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Apr 03, 2018, 10:58:13 AM
Already noticing a lot of improvement over the comic.
I found that to be the case with most of the novelizations, to be honest.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Apr 16, 2018, 06:22:40 PM
Finished the the last of the Bantam novels: Labryinth, Music of the Spears and Frenzy. All three added lots of extra backstory for the characters, which is what I've come to really appreciate with the novelizations of the comics. All three were pretty much faithful adaptations that didn't stray much from the source material. I'll be picking up the Predator omnibus soon but I won't be starting any new novels until Cold Forge comes out!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Apr 17, 2018, 07:36:37 AM
Quote from: Xenomrph on Apr 16, 2018, 08:59:41 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Apr 03, 2018, 10:58:13 AM
Already noticing a lot of improvement over the comic.
I found that to be the case with most of the novelizations, to be honest.

Yeah, that's the general trend, thankfully. There's been some "ehhh, wish you hadn't done that" or "I wish they'd have expanded on this" but in general, the novelizations have all done good jobs at fleshing everything out.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Apr 17, 2018, 08:18:35 AM
The only Bantam book I disliked was Hive. I really struggled to finish it. I remember it being a boring story full of flat-out unlikable characters.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Apr 17, 2018, 08:31:11 AM
Did you feel the same about the comic?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xenomrph on Apr 17, 2018, 08:34:33 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Apr 17, 2018, 07:36:37 AM
Quote from: Xenomrph on Apr 16, 2018, 08:59:41 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Apr 03, 2018, 10:58:13 AM
Already noticing a lot of improvement over the comic.
I found that to be the case with most of the novelizations, to be honest.

Yeah, that's the general trend, thankfully. There's been some "ehhh, wish you hadn't done that" or "I wish they'd have expanded on this" but in general, the novelizations have all done good jobs at fleshing everything out.
The only time I found I preferred the comic was with 'Labyrinth'. The novel just doesn't capture the comic's absolutely perfect artwork, and it changes up the order of some events and reveals that I felt the comic handled better.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Apr 17, 2018, 10:36:38 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Apr 17, 2018, 08:31:11 AMDid you feel the same about the comic?

I've not actually bothered to track it down, mostly because I disliked the book.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Apr 17, 2018, 11:55:43 AM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Apr 17, 2018, 08:18:35 AM
The only Bantam book I disliked was Hive. I really struggled to finish it. I remember it being a boring story full of flat-out unlikable characters.

There was a whole bunch of invented characters on the Dolomite with a subplot that really wasn't needed.  The original comic had some pretty average writing (which the 'invented characters' actually went a little way to addressing), and the novel didn't improve on it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Apr 26, 2018, 04:32:37 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Apr 26, 2018, 04:25:10 PMAvP: War 2/5

This didn't have the energy that either Prey or Berserker did, and as a third part in that trilogy I just didn't feel really satisfied with the way that either of the preceding narratives tie together. It's pretty unremarkable when Noguchi finally meets up with Jess, Ellis, and Laura. Then the book just feels like it's over. I think the lack of a novelization for Three World War would help us.

Mirrors my thoughts exactly. A disappointing conclusion to two of the better books.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on May 23, 2018, 11:03:29 AM
I just remembered I'd had this saved as a draft for a month - https://www.avpgalaxy.net/literature/reviews/aliens-rogue/
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 23, 2018, 11:18:32 AM
Rogue remains one of my favourites out of the novels I've read. It's one of only two or three outside of the film novelisations that I've read more than once.

You forgot to mention perhaps the most baffling change of all though - the fact Cray dies in the book despite apparently surviving in the comic!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 23, 2018, 11:30:53 AM
The novel plays out the same as the comic - he gets his arm cut off and the sonic cannon overloads.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on May 23, 2018, 12:05:36 PM
You're thinking Kleist, SM. Cray was the spy. He makes it out in the comic but dies in the book.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 23, 2018, 12:47:32 PM
Oh, yes.  :laugh:

I was wondering what HuDa was on about.

So very tired...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on May 23, 2018, 05:45:57 PM
Kleist pops up in some other story later right?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on May 23, 2018, 05:54:28 PM
Yeah, he shows up at the end of Colonial Marines as the leader of the Bugmen or something.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 23, 2018, 08:31:54 PM
Yeah somehow he becomes The Father.

With his arm grown back.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 24, 2018, 09:55:49 AM
My thoughts on The Cold Forge: https://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/index.php?topic=58851.msg2291109#msg2291109 (https://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/index.php?topic=58851.msg2291109#msg2291109)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 10, 2018, 10:13:51 PM
I'm hard pressed to think of a better written book.  Berserker perhaps.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jun 11, 2018, 12:49:21 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Jun 10, 2018, 05:24:35 PMTo answer to my proclamation that this isn't the 'best written,' I would point you to Steve or SD Perry's sentence-level writing as far superior, and the same goes for Lebbon's in Out of the Shadows.

I honestly find Steve Perry's writing pretty poor. It always strikes me as a little immature. Like teen-fiction masquerading as an adult story or something.

His daughter's work is far better, and I like Lebbon's style very much, but I absolutely stand by the assertion that I've never read an Alien book as well-written as this one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 25, 2018, 06:09:11 AM
A better written Alien book...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 25, 2018, 06:40:38 AM
The tense immediately stuck out as 'Is the whole book like this?', but after a couple of pages became a non-issue.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jun 25, 2018, 10:46:41 AM
I didn't even notice :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 16, 2018, 08:27:18 AM
Just some quick thoughts on a few novels I've (re-)read recently.

Predator: Incursion

I was way behind on getting the Rage War trilogy. Happy to say this didn't disappoint. Refreshingly different, well-written by Lebbon, loved the star-trotting style and large cast of characters. I guess there isn't much of a plot as such, but it moved along at a nice pace and I was constantly engaged. A really good start to the trilogy.

Alien: Sea of Sorrows

Second time through this, mostly to refresh my memory ahead of getting the audio drama. I think this might be my favourite of the 2014 novels, not necessarily because I think it's the best, but because it had the least issues that really annoyed me (Out of the shadows had Ripley in a palce she couldn't have been, leading to the ridiculous deus ex machina mind-wipe scenario, while River of Pain contained too much that contradicted the film and generally felt like a huge missed opportunity). Too many faceless characters, but some nice world-building at the start and it did recall some of the old Bantam novels in its style.

Alien: Invasion

Didn't like this quite as much as the first - it suffered a little from "middle entry syndrome", lacking either a strong beginning or end, and felt like it didn't progress all that much. Also the war kinda disappeared for much of the novel; would've been nice to get a little more info on how it was progressing throughout the book. Still, this was nevertheless another very good read. Can't believe it took me until this second novel to notice the incredibly obvious Mass Effect parallels, I wonder if that was coincidence or if Lebbon is a fan?

Also re-read Alien: The Cold Forge, but I've already gone on enough about how much I love that novel.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 16, 2018, 10:58:47 AM
I thought the mind wipe worked perfectly fine in OotS.  We knew it was going to happen, so it hinged on how Lebbon sold it.  There's a good reason for Ripley to need it, and it was a great way to build on the medpod technology to treat combat trauma.

Plus Ripley's presence drove the whole plan to escape.  Without her there's no trip down to the mine.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 16, 2018, 01:38:31 PM
The fact I saw it coming a mile off didn't make it any less of a lame plot device in my eyes.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 16, 2018, 01:57:49 PM
I found it something of a looming distraction. There's a constant question of "so how do they handle this?" I mean, it's not so distracting when you already know but going in there the first time.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Aug 16, 2018, 05:04:29 PM
It's nice that Ripley stuck the harpoon gun back under the door before going to sleep in the end of OotS.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Aug 16, 2018, 07:14:16 PM
Hehehe.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 16, 2018, 08:21:54 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Aug 16, 2018, 01:38:31 PM
The fact I saw it coming a mile off didn't make it any less of a lame plot device in my eyes.

If you read the blurb, you can't not see it coming before you even open the book.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Aug 16, 2018, 08:25:32 PM
That's because it's a bad idea in the first place is the point.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 17, 2018, 07:59:59 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 16, 2018, 08:21:54 PMIf you read the blurb, you can't not see it coming before you even open the book.

I refer you to my previous post:

Quote from: HuDaFuK on Aug 16, 2018, 01:38:31 PMThe fact I saw it coming a mile off didn't make it any less of a lame plot device in my eyes.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Aug 17, 2018, 10:31:00 AM
As much as I liked Out of the Shadows, I agree that Ripley shouldn't have been added, even if the characterization was great, same goes for Ash.
They could have done something different to drive the plot.

And as someone stated, the Harpoon gun continuity is altered.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 17, 2018, 10:40:50 AM
Pales into distant insignificance next to the number of hypersleep pods error.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Aug 17, 2018, 10:42:31 AM
Yes, there was supposed to be two in the shuttle right?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 17, 2018, 10:49:25 AM
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Aug 17, 2018, 04:51:10 PM
Continuity or no continuity, the inclusion of Ripley retroactively going on another adventure feels contrived.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Still Collating... on Aug 17, 2018, 11:04:59 PM
Welcome to another episode of " Adventures with Ellen ".
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Aug 17, 2018, 11:16:48 PM
"Ripley's Space Adventures"
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 18, 2018, 11:04:54 AM
Quote from: The Old One on Aug 17, 2018, 04:51:10 PM
Continuity or no continuity, the inclusion of Ripley retroactively going on another adventure feels contrived.

Indeed. However, like (another thread where I'm referring back to SM) SM has said in the past, Out of the Shadows is far better than it has right to be. Yeah, it's contrived and looking for the reset button is distracting but it's still a good read.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 18, 2018, 11:23:40 AM
Yep.  It really shouldn't have worked as well as it did.

Same with Isolation.  The premise of including Amanda was a recipe for disaster that was just the opposite.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Aug 18, 2018, 02:17:27 PM
I can buy Isolation more for a number of reasons;
The beacon.
Amanda Ripley's mother disappeared in a specific area of space,
she basically stayed there until she found something; and she did.

It's believable that a child looking for their parent, a parent they know disappeared on Elm Street
might encounter the same monster if they went looking for them there.
It's not the same as the protagonist, or an ancestor or a descendant by chance encountering Freddy Krueger
in a completely separate place and time. That feels contrived.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 18, 2018, 02:23:44 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Aug 18, 2018, 11:04:54 AMHowever, like (another thread where I'm referring back to SM) SM has said in the past, Out of the Shadows is far better than it has right to be. Yeah, it's contrived and looking for the reset button is distracting but it's still a good read.

Oh yeah, it's a good read. The Ripley thing just never stopped annoying me though. It felt like there was a far better book waiting to breakout without shoehorning her into it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Aug 18, 2018, 02:46:54 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Aug 18, 2018, 02:23:44 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Aug 18, 2018, 11:04:54 AMHowever, like (another thread where I'm referring back to SM) SM has said in the past, Out of the Shadows is far better than it has right to be. Yeah, it's contrived and looking for the reset button is distracting but it's still a good read.

Oh yeah, it's a good read. The Ripley thing just never stopped annoying me though.
It felt like there was a far better book waiting to breakout without shoehorning her into it.

This; Ripley's inclusion undermined the rest of the book.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Still Collating... on Aug 18, 2018, 05:09:44 PM
I also found it silly she had to be included in the book but I agree with SM and Hicks. A lot better than I expected at the time. Ripley didn't ruin the experience for me, I even enjoyed the way she was written. Literally the biggest problems with the book I have is the harpoon-gun and number of cryotubes. 

On the other hand, River of Pain really annoys me like no other entry. It has really good bits but the bad ones make the whole thing sour for me. The premise was just stupid even though the writer wrote some characters pretty well and I did like his take on the aliens. But the inclusion of marines (not the writers fault though), the contrived escape ship, over usage of scenes from Aliens, messing up the Derelict's layout, reusing Newt's Tale and other stuff really pulled me out of the story.

As far as retroactively adding to the lore, I do agree that Alien Isolation and Out of the Shadows are good examples, the best IMHO. 
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Aug 18, 2018, 05:17:27 PM
I don't agree with Out of the Shadows being included in that line up, but to each their own.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 18, 2018, 05:49:06 PM
Quote from: Still Collating... on Aug 18, 2018, 05:09:44 PM
On the other hand, River of Pain really annoys me like no other entry. It has really good bits but the bad ones make the whole thing sour for me. The premise was just stupid even though the writer wrote some characters pretty well and I did like his take on the aliens. But the inclusion of marines (not the writers fault though), the contrived escape ship, over usage of scenes from Aliens, messing up the Derelict's layout, reusing Newt's Tale and other stuff really pulled me out of the story.

If they'd have just made them Colonial Marshalls...The escape ship thing...was interesting. Kinda interesting callback to the original script for Aliens actually.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 18, 2018, 06:12:59 PM
Yeah, I really wish that'd come out a few months later so they could've worked Isolation's Marshals into it.

But Collating's right. There was just too much in that book that killed it for me.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 18, 2018, 09:14:29 PM
Quote from: Still Collating... on Aug 18, 2018, 05:09:44 PM
I also found it silly she had to be included in the book but I agree with SM and Hicks. A lot better than I expected at the time. Ripley didn't ruin the experience for me, I even enjoyed the way she was written. Literally the biggest problems with the book I have is the harpoon-gun and number of cryotubes. 

On the other hand, River of Pain really annoys me like no other entry. It has really good bits but the bad ones make the whole thing sour for me. The premise was just stupid even though the writer wrote some characters pretty well and I did like his take on the aliens. But the inclusion of marines (not the writers fault though), the contrived escape ship, over usage of scenes from Aliens, messing up the Derelict's layout, reusing Newt's Tale and other stuff really pulled me out of the story.

As far as retroactively adding to the lore, I do agree that Alien Isolation and Out of the Shadows are good examples, the best IMHO.

RoP was the best of the bunch.  Also had the most continuity issues.  And missed opportunities.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: TheBATMAN on Aug 18, 2018, 09:21:30 PM
I thought River of Pain was perfectly fine up until it started to imitate Newt's Tale. That's where it went downhill for me. They should also have replaced the Colonial Marines with the colonial marshals as a nice world-building tie in to Isolation.

I've been very impressed with the Titan line of novels so far though.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Still Collating... on Aug 18, 2018, 11:08:56 PM
Overall, I love what Titan are doing. I enjoyed all of their original Alien/Predator novels, mostly The Cold Forge as of now. The Alien anthology didn't really work for me, liked about half of the stories there, going through the Predator anthology now and loving it so far! The Rage War trilogy was something I could have never expected to see and I really enjoyed it. It had problems but it was so fun at the same time.

When I step back and look at the situation, Titan has been really trying new things with these novels and IMO it's working. The worrying situation regarding the future of the Alien/Predator films is really sad and it makes me feel better seeing the effort that's been given to the novels. I really appreciate that we're getting new stories in the lore that actually seem to be of quality.

I've come at a stage where I'm literally more excited about the entries in the expanded universe more than the actual upcoming movies.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Aug 19, 2018, 05:46:41 PM
They over-bloated the Hadleys Hope situation with River Of Pain, Fire & Stone and one of the Bug Hunt stories. River of Pain was my least favorite of the trilogy.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Aug 26, 2018, 11:18:01 PM
Just read "Predator: Concrete Jungle" for the first time in novel form. Some differences from the comic include the Predator attacking an NYPD shooting range instead of the subway (I think this may have been to differentiate the subway scene from Predator 2 as the novel came out in '95 and the comic was out in '89). But it also added to the sense that the Predators were goading Schaefer by targeting his friends and enemies. Also in the comic Schaefer defeats the Predator in the jungle by smashing a salt shaker in its eye and pushing it off a cliff; in the book Schaefer goes to rip it's mask off, which makes the Predator re-adjust his mask allowing Schaefer to push the pred off the cliff. Also a lot more reference to Dutch (he pretty much tells Schaefer exactly what went down in Central America). As for Nathan Archer's writing... it was kind of weird. For example instead of a new spaced paragraph to start a new scene he would write "and two miles uptown so and so was doing this" and the perspective would shift to that character (in the same paragraph!). I found that jarring. But I still enjoyed this interpretation of "Concrete Jungle". Now on to "Cold War" (picked up the Predator omnibus so I'm making my way through it).
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Aug 30, 2018, 12:02:06 AM
"Cold War" completed. Very similar to its comic counterpart; however the first person perspective greatly enhanced the tension within the story. Some differences I noticed was Schaefer attacking a pred with a military shovel/axe here in the novel whereas he attacks the pred with his helmet in the comic. Ligachev in the comic whereas it's Ligacheva in the novel (the Russian ambassador's name differed as well). Nathan Archer still shifted scenes and perspectives mid-paragraph but maybe I was used to it so it bothered me less this time around. Fun read nonetheless and think I may prefer the novel experience more so than the comic for "Cold War".  On to "Big Game" (my favorite of the Pred comics).
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: TheBATMAN on Oct 07, 2018, 02:18:05 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Aug 26, 2018, 11:18:01 PM
Just read "Predator: Concrete Jungle" for the first time in novel form. Some differences from the comic include the Predator attacking an NYPD shooting range instead of the subway (I think this may have been to differentiate the subway scene from Predator 2 as the novel came out in '95 and the comic was out in '89). But it also added to the sense that the Predators were goading Schaefer by targeting his friends and enemies. Also in the comic Schaefer defeats the Predator in the jungle by smashing a salt shaker in its eye and pushing it off a cliff; in the book Schaefer goes to rip it's mask off, which makes the Predator re-adjust his mask allowing Schaefer to push the pred off the cliff. Also a lot more reference to Dutch (he pretty much tells Schaefer exactly what went down in Central America). As for Nathan Archer's writing... it was kind of weird. For example instead of a new spaced paragraph to start a new scene he would write "and two miles uptown so and so was doing this" and the perspective would shift to that character (in the same paragraph!). I found that jarring. But I still enjoyed this interpretation of "Concrete Jungle". Now on to "Cold War" (picked up the Predator omnibus so I'm making my way through it).

I've been meaning to revisit this beauty for years. After the lackluster 'The Predator' i'm itching now to go back to a time where these stories actually felt a part of the Pred 1/2 universe.

Another great addition I remember that I'm sure is missing from the comic is the group of Predators that come to retrieve their fallen comerade's body in the jungle and take out General Phillip's special forces team who also want it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Oct 08, 2018, 05:19:25 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Oct 06, 2018, 04:39:25 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Aug 30, 2018, 12:02:06 AM
"Cold War" completed. Very similar to its comic counterpart; however the first person perspective greatly enhanced the tension within the story. Some differences I noticed was Schaefer attacking a pred with a military shovel/axe here in the novel whereas he attacks the pred with his helmet in the comic. Ligachev in the comic whereas it's Ligacheva in the novel (the Russian ambassador's name differed as well). Nathan Archer still shifted scenes and perspectives mid-paragraph but maybe I was used to it so it bothered me less this time around. Fun read nonetheless and think I may prefer the novel experience more so than the comic for "Cold War".  On to "Big Game" (my favorite of the Pred comics).

Have you completed Big Game yet? I really remember enjoying that comic, but seeing some reviews of the book describing it as bland. I haven't read any of those original three adaptations yet, definitely excited for Concrete Jungle as kind of a 'true' sequel to Predator.

Yes, it was written by the husband and wife writing duo known as Sandy Schofield (who also wrote Aliens: Rogue). I was a huge fan of the Rogue novelization and Big Game is probably my favorite Predator comic so I had high hopes with this one. The authors really emphasized the Navajo lore in this book (the comic only mildly touched on this) with each chapter starting with an excerpt from Nakai's twin brother (who died prior to birth) watching over Nakai from the spirit plane. So that may be where some people have trouble suspending their disbelief; however, I enjoyed this aspect and felt it helped create a more original Predator story. It really added to the feeling that Nakai's purpose/destiny was unfolding before my eyes to a point where the final sentence of the novel actually gave me goosebumps. My main complaint is that Nakai's grandfather is already dead during this novel which contradicts the second comic with Nakai "Blood on Two Witch Mesa" where his grandfather recounts an encounter with a Predator during the manifest destiny days. All in all I enjoyed this Predator novel and hope that we get another two omnibus's (omnibi?) with the Dark Horse Press novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 08, 2018, 08:27:52 PM
I was really excited for Cold War when I found out it was written by the same duo as Rogue, one of my favourite Alien books, but honestly I found the first two Predator novels so lacklustre I never got around to reading it.

I really must have a look at it one day.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Oct 08, 2018, 08:44:02 PM
Cold War and Concrete Jungle bothered me with the whole "Dutch's brother knocks predators in hand-to-hand combat" thing. It should be pretty clear from PREDATOR that no matter how strong the guy is he won't stand a chance due to streng difference. I don't get why couldn't the writers just make the characters focus on guns instead.

Big Game was better than both, don't remember how the predator is taken out, but I don't think is by pushing or hitting him with his own mask, the predator in this one was more interesting.

Still none were as bad as Forever Midnight, now that one did everything, humanized predators to the point of satire, completely changed the way they were portrayed and behaved in the movies, bad characters, lots of cannon fodder predators, laughable additions to predators' biology.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: razeak on Oct 18, 2018, 06:53:47 PM
Yes, any human doing more than a bruise using their bare hands to a Predator seems absolutely silly. I guess Dutch's backhand had enough force to snap the Predator's head around for a second, but I doubt there was much in the way of concussive force with a head like that. I've boxed and wrestled for 20 years and it just seems unlikely in my opinion to do more than sting to something like that. Maybe it would be akin to punching a gorilla.

I'm listening to the Out of the Shadows audio drama. It's good overall. Definitely a lesson in reading dialogue aloud before you finalize it. The emotion in the voices doesn't quite live up to the severity of their situation at times like when the acid hits the viewport.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: razeak on Oct 19, 2018, 09:28:48 PM
I finished the Out of the Shadows audio drama. As before, good overall. The story wooooooorks, but feels a little hamfisted. I enjoyed the novel and the drama. Would fit better as an elseworlds type story imo. It just feels like it steals a little bit of the thunder of Aliens narrative wise.

I started River of Pain. Wow the dialog is jarring. Not a fan of Anne or her dialog. Yikes.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 19, 2018, 11:15:52 PM
I enjoyed RoP as a book more than OotS, but the OotS audio drama was WAY better than the RoP drama.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: razeak on Oct 21, 2018, 11:35:46 PM
I feel the same way so far. Still new territory for me either the audio dramas. Interesting stuff.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 22, 2018, 10:09:47 AM
Quote from: SM on Oct 19, 2018, 11:15:52 PMI enjoyed RoP as a book more than OotS, but the OotS audio drama was WAY better than the RoP drama.

Likewise re:the dramas, which is a little surprising because the River of Pain voice cast was bloody superb.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 22, 2018, 10:20:55 AM
I know.  Too much overacting - particularly from Salmon, who is usually pretty good.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: razeak on Nov 01, 2018, 03:36:40 AM
I finished the audio drama. Decent to good story. It's a bit reptitive, but the voice acting was absolutely laughable. Theybhad a scene toward the end that the actor sounded like he was intentionally mocking an American Southerners accent in a very overblown way. Much of it was way too wordy and if people spoke like that all the time, I would become a hermit.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Huggs on Nov 01, 2018, 04:23:43 AM
There's a few rough lines here and there, but I loved it. The narcissus recovery was a particular favorite scene of mine. Shadows is undoubtedly the superior, but after like 5 listens of each, I'd say it's not by much. Even it had a few wild lines, like the "vestibule" thing.

Regardless of their flaws, I hope they keep these dramas coming. This is good entertainment. Much more solid than I'd ever expected, and far closer to a good Aliens film than the new movies.

Now if only they would do a predator one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: razeak on Nov 01, 2018, 05:15:11 PM
I enjoyed it. I just got pulled out too much by the issues above. I definitely hope they keep doing the dramas. I drive a lot for work travel to teach in different areas of the state so I may find myself finding more from the genre.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Nov 10, 2018, 12:41:37 AM
Finally picked up and read Vol 5 of Titan's omnibus which includes the first two Dark Horse Press releases Original Sin and DNA War. I missed out on the DH Press novels when they were first released so I was pretty excited to read these.

First up, "Original Sin" a sequel to "Resurrection" (which is a bold choice in the first place) following Ripley 8 and the crew of the Betty on another Aliens adventure. Michael Jan Friedman hits us with quite the bombshell here detailing a secret organization who's been in contact with the space jockey species for quite some time, exchanging humans (to breed Xenos with) for peace. This mirrors a fairly common conspiracy theory regarding a pact between humans and Grey aliens "allowing" the abduction and experimentation of humans in exchange for technology and peace. The novel details how this organization's insider information led to the issuance of order 937 and thus, the events of Alien (Hence the title "Original Sin"); however, this revelation ultimately leads us to the organization's target: a small nature preserve space station with a handful of people. Ripley and company, having recently gained insight into Loki's dealings, arrives at the preserve and essentially saves the day, The End. It almost felt as if this were the first episode to a series as the only intriguing part was over before it ever even took hold. I did enjoy the imagery of xenos stalking the characters through a jungle setting. I also generally enjoyed the dialogue as I was able to "hear" the characters' voices. All in all it was a decent read.

I'll post my review of DNA War in another post.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Nov 15, 2018, 06:46:52 PM
"DNA War" by Diane Carey chronicles a dysfunctional family on a faraway world, full of natural wildlife and infested with xenomorphs. I found this story to be somewhat of a hybrid between "Genocide" and "Harvest" as there are two fighting factions of xenos, a ship with a perimeter shield (Genocide); as well as humans camouflaging themselves amongst xenos (Harvest). The novel focuses on main character Rory as he tries to convince his mother, renowned scientist Jocasta Malvaux and her team, to evacuate the planet. Rory, a cop on earth, is chosen to head this operation which sees the xenomorph infestation ruining a planet whose environment and atmosphere is perfect for human habitation. His team is carrying a load of Poison Packers, robots who shoot poison darts at anything without native DNA and that includes humans and xenos. This leads to my first gripe in the novel which is why aren't the robots programmed to always shy from human DNA, I mean obviously humans created them so it seems a simple solution. But alas that would make for a less exciting story, so Rory must locate his mother's team and extract them before loosing the robots. I enjoyed the action scenes in this novel from stampeding face huggers to the huge xeno vs xeno brawl; however the human interactions got somewhat redundant towards the end. Jocasta is one of the more interesting "mad scientists" within the EU in my opinion. The marines and crew were likable, but I didn't really connect with any of Jocasta's researchers. Last but not least: flying facehuggers.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Nov 16, 2018, 09:19:17 PM
Just finished "Cauldron" by Diane Carey (making my way through Vol 6 of the Omnibus). A story of two freight starships exchanging crates of cryo frozen animals along with our favorite aliens and the chaos that ensues. Typical human greed is responsible for the stowaway aliens who then make short work of the first freighter; and then thanks to ships with automatic everything, (they make note of how captains and crews will soon fall to the wayside) the ship attaches to a second freighter full of teenaged cadets headed to a colony known as Zone Emerald. The ships are to transfer all types of animals from livestock to extinct species (with a few aliens in there to mix it up). The young cadets not only have to step up against Aliens but also a sociopathic Captain. What follows can be summed up as teenagers vs aliens vs the animal kingdom. This was a fun read with good action sequences and characters that I was rooting for. It really got my hopes up for the upcoming YA novel Echo. Seeing these teenagers overcoming such overwhelming odds was enjoyable and stressful as well. Solid read indeed. Next up "Steel Egg".
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Nov 18, 2018, 09:56:52 PM


From what I remember I was really let down by Steel Egg. I remember Cauldron being a pretty good read though. I especially liked the trap the Aliens set.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Nov 18, 2018, 10:15:29 PM
Cauldron was mostly very average, with some of the most excrable dialogue in any Alien release (on a par with A Comic Book Adventure).  It was hard to believe the superior DNA War was by the same author.



Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: felix on Nov 19, 2018, 02:11:33 AM
I wish they reprint Predator: South China Sea in omnibus form.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Nov 19, 2018, 03:14:43 AM
Quote from: SM on Nov 18, 2018, 10:15:29 PM
Cauldron was mostly very average, with some of the most excrable dialogue in any Alien release (on a par with A Comic Book Adventure).  It was hard to believe the superior DNA War was by the same author.

While I was reading Cauldron I wondered how Australian fans would feel about the Aussie character's dialogue; it seemed kind of stereotypical Australian lingo (but that's from an American perspective mind you). When I read I tend to create a specific voice for characters so if anything it was a challenge to switch from American accent (most of the characters) to Irish accent (Ned and Robin which also seemed very stereotypically Irish) to the Australian accent. However it was easiest during the Australian lines because the author wrote out the accent (although I thought this may be insensitive to Australian readers). But I must say I felt the action sequences were pretty cool, the imagery of the grizzly bear stomping an alien was brutal. I think that Diane Carey can really write action, however her dialogue isn't quite as strong, as is prevalent in both books by her.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Nov 19, 2018, 03:45:08 AM
I have a vague recollection of the Australian lingo being pretty dire - but no more dire than most of the other dialogue.

Cold Forge was something of an improvement in that regard, but there were a couple of bits there too that I pointed out as not being terribly 'Australian'.  Don't know if they addressed them.

In both cases there's always the 'it's 200 years in the future' get-out-of-jail-free-card.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Nov 19, 2018, 11:30:07 AM
Quote from: SM on Nov 19, 2018, 03:45:08 AMCold Forge was something of an improvement in that regard, but there were a couple of bits there too that I pointed out as not being terribly 'Australian'.  Don't know if they addressed them.

Not once did Dick Mackie mention barbecuing prawns. F*cking 0 out of 10.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Nov 19, 2018, 03:04:20 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Nov 18, 2018, 09:56:52 PM
https://thumbs.gfycat.com/VioletRealisticBoar-size_restricted.gif

From what I remember I was really let down by Steel Egg. I remember Cauldron being a pretty good read though. I especially liked the trap the Aliens set.

Having just read Issue 1 of Gibson's A3 the first two chapters of Steel Egg go into the political factions of the time, one of which really mirrors the UPP, as both consist of a communist faction of countries. Steel Egg's communists seems centered around China though. They go by CANC Chinese/Asian Nation Cooperative.

I believe you're referring to the trap where the Alien
Spoiler
was pushing air into a dead mans lungs to make him groan as though he were still alive
[close]
ya that was a wonderfully gruesome scene.

Quote from: felix on Nov 19, 2018, 02:11:33 AM
I wish they reprint Predator: South China Sea in omnibus form.

You and me both
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jan 06, 2019, 02:28:47 PM
Aliens: Steel Egg, the first ever prequel story done in the EU; written by John Shirley and released in 2007, follows a crew who stumbles upon an anomaly orbiting Saturn's moon Iaepetus. The anomaly which turns out to be an alien spacecraft contains a few eggs from our favorite bio-mechanical creatures. The story begins by giving the reader a run down of the current political climate detailing a space territory race between a North American faction of countries (which the Company is beginning to gain control of) and an Asian faction. Both factions want the anomaly but the North American faction, led by Captain Corgan, make contact first.  However, treachery ensues leading to the Asian factions hostile attempt at taking over the craft all while xenomorphs decimate the personnel of both crews.

I liked how powerful and deadly the xenos were portrayed in this story; when the crew ran into one someone always died and the xeno would duck back into the vents. No cannon fodder here. I also liked how the characters reacted to seeing their first chestburster with the other two impregnated characters opting to try self removal instead (spoiler: it doesn't go well). I found it interesting that the tech within the alien craft was controlled by a sonic key/flute which mirrors the engineer bridge in Prometheus. I also found it interesting that the xenomorphs were used as a bio weapon from one ET species against the species who piloted the craft. My main issue is that the story is somewhat a rehash of the original movie, with a derelict alien craft, full of desiccated alien remains and unopened eggs; and since it's a prequel it somewhat cheapens the narrative of Alien. Also wasn't a huge fan of a sentient ET going by Larry lol.

All in all it wasn't the best but I still found some enjoyment from the novel. Now that the Omnibus Vol 7 is out I'll be reading and reviewing "Criminal Enterprise" next.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Ultramorph on Jan 06, 2019, 02:51:55 PM
What was the alien's name in Steel Egg? Larry? Definitely a strange novel.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jan 06, 2019, 02:58:54 PM
Haha ya it was Larry. Weird choice right?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Jan 06, 2019, 06:34:51 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jan 06, 2019, 02:28:47 PM
I liked how powerful and deadly the xenos were portrayed in this story; when the crew ran into one someone always died and the xeno would duck back into the vents. No cannon fodder here.

That was the best the part of it for me. I was suprised it was from the same guy that wrote Forever Midnight, which had the most cannon fodder predators of all time.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jan 06, 2019, 10:57:38 PM
Quote from: Samhain13 on Jan 06, 2019, 06:34:51 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jan 06, 2019, 02:28:47 PM
I liked how powerful and deadly the xenos were portrayed in this story; when the crew ran into one someone always died and the xeno would duck back into the vents. No cannon fodder here.

That was the best the part of it for me. I was suprised it was from the same guy that wrote Forever Midnight, which had the most cannon fodder predators of all time.

Unfortunately I haven't read any of the DH Press Predator novels. I'm hoping we still get them from Titan in Omnibus form but my hope is waning.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jan 08, 2019, 01:06:10 AM
Don't rush.

More than anti-communist in Steel Egg, I got the impression Shirley was simply quite right wing.  I've no idea if he is or that's just the world he wanted to portray but calling the baddies CANC(er) and the goodies UNIC isn't terribly subtle.  He even has one character helpfully mock the name UNIC at one point by likening it to 'eunuch' in case it wasn't screamingly obvious.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jan 11, 2019, 06:49:52 PM
@Hudson I was really disappointed at the lack of internal dialogue/interior access for main characters in The Predator novelization, yet the authors give us a two page long backstory of a random nobody character.

As for Aliens: Criminal Enterprise by S.D. Perry, I found the story really entertaining; chronicling an illegal drug manufacturing plant on a faraway planetoid, using xenos as a "natural" shield for the facility. Focusing on a pair of brothers, one of which is being blackmailed to pilot a drug run in exchange for the life of the other younger brother; while they navigate the surly (and criminal) personalities living in the complex. With a rival drug gang and a corporate hit squad both aiming to cripple the operation, this was certainly a unique Aliens story.

Perry did a great job with the characters; by the end of the story I felt as though I understood each one's motivations. This, however, leads to my only nitpick which is that Perry writes the same scene through different perspectives (which I feel mostly just pads the page count instead of furthering the story). This was the first of the DH Press novels that actually referenced concepts from the comics; Bionational, Grant Corp and NeoPharm all were mentioned (the latter two being responsible for the hit team). The aliens were portrayed as a never-ending force, overcoming all defenses with sheer numbers (though plenty were still killed off). My favorite part of the story is when the three plot lines converge, making for a very fun read with the final pages.

All in all I really enjoyed "Criminal Enterprise" and am now moving on to the final of the DH Press Aliens novels "No Exit".
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Jan 11, 2019, 10:08:15 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Jan 08, 2019, 12:42:13 AM
The book is staunchly anti-communist for no discernible reason

Quote from: Hudson on Jan 08, 2019, 12:42:13 AM
I also remember Diane Carey dropping in some anti-communist sentiment a couple times in DNA War, specifically referencing something like Stalin "was even worse" than Hitler.

Interesting.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 26, 2019, 04:47:19 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Feb 25, 2019, 10:12:44 PMBut strangely, it seems as if AvP: War is really just a plagiarized retcon of Hunter's Planet in some glaring ways.

Other way around. Although War the novel was published after Hunter's Planet, it's based on the comic of the same name, which came out in '95, two years before Hunter's Planet was published.

As I understand it (never actually read Hunter's Planet, despite owning it for years) they're both alternative sequels to the original AVP novel, so it's no surprise they feature some of the same characters.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 27, 2019, 06:37:18 PM
Huh. No idea why I'd got it in my head it came out in '97!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 27, 2019, 06:39:29 PM
If only there was a Wiki you could check...  :P
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 27, 2019, 06:42:43 PM
Oh, shut up :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 27, 2019, 06:49:21 PM
I saw that sly edit you did there...  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 27, 2019, 07:09:51 PM
Typo, bitch, the date in the infobox was accurate :P
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Mar 03, 2019, 11:48:07 AM
I think that Top Knot came from the comics first.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Mar 04, 2019, 12:12:56 PM
Shorty and Topknot both come from AVP 2 comic which later became issue 0 for War. AVP 2 ran from Jan 92 to Feb 93 in small shorts. Both Hunters Planet and War (novel) include this short as a chapter or two.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Mar 04, 2019, 02:18:13 PM
Thanks for clearing that up!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Mar 04, 2019, 09:43:50 PM
Also read this a few months ago. Was put off by the continuity problems but I knew about them beforehand.
There was some nice stuff from the Yautja perspective that we don't get often. The original Predator novel trilogy had none of that.

Attila the Hun was an odd character for me. It seemed that there was sexual relationship between Machiko and him, sort of her using him as a sexbot or something (that I read between the lines). Later in the book he starts "unlocking his special features" and realizes he is some kind of sleeper "Resistance" fighter agent-bot, so they go on adventures taking down the Company. Hey, maybe they will meet up with Amanda Ripley.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Mar 05, 2019, 07:31:56 AM
LOL ridiculous EU inventions.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Mar 05, 2019, 09:01:44 AM
I had completely forgot about the robo-Aliens. I've got a soft-spot for the Xenoborgs because of how much I loved that game. The only Aliens in Hunter's Planet are the robos, aren't they?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Mar 05, 2019, 05:47:52 PM
Ugh, No thank you. lol.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Mar 11, 2019, 06:03:48 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Mar 11, 2019, 05:47:05 PM
Another complaint is that this guy, Sloane, is a bit invincible. I get that the title Turnabout positions Sloane as the hunter of the hunters (and we've even got that tired old tagline on the cover to emphasize it), but there are just a lot of points in here that he sneaks up on Predators and sort of feels like an overpowering Superman force against them. Similar complaint that I had in The Cold Forge when humans were sneaking around Xenomorphs in scenes.

That was my main issue with it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlazinBlueReview on Mar 15, 2019, 09:28:56 PM
Got a ? for everyone. Are the novelizations better than the comics??
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Mar 15, 2019, 09:48:57 PM
Depends on which ones, but for me most of them are for sure.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlazinBlueReview on Mar 15, 2019, 09:54:22 PM
Quote from: Samhain13 on Mar 15, 2019, 09:48:57 PM
Depends on which ones, but for me most of them are for sure.

Okay. Thank you very much
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Mar 16, 2019, 01:43:30 AM
Quote from: BlazinBlue88 on Mar 15, 2019, 09:28:56 PM
Got a ? for everyone. Are the novelizations better than the comics??

Mostly not.  Female War is a possible exception, mainly 'cos the comic is below par.  And maybe Berserker.  The novels are generally decent but the comics are better for mine.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Mar 16, 2019, 04:55:48 AM
I think Berserker and Music of the Spears worked better as books. The novel for Harvest is a very different experience and well worth the read, but "better" I'll leave in the eyes of the reader.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Mar 16, 2019, 09:31:53 AM
Quote from: BlazinBlue88 on Mar 15, 2019, 09:28:56 PMGot a ? for everyone. Are the novelizations better than the comics??

Of the ones where I've read both novel and comic, the books have been far superior. But that might be because I'm not big on comic books.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlazinBlueReview on Mar 16, 2019, 12:30:50 PM
Thank you guys. I have access to the first three Complete Aliens Omnibus. Tryin to track down 4-7 or very least 6 - cause it has Steel Egg.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Apr 24, 2019, 06:45:27 PM
Apart from the Aliens' portrayal in some parts, Steel Egg was quite meh. Quite liked it on my first time but it wasn't as enjoyable in my last rereading of it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 02, 2019, 07:53:45 PM
Re-read Alien Harvest (aka the novel adaptation of Aliens: Hive) because it's the only Bantam Aliens book I'd not written a synopsis for of the wiki. Mostly because I f*cking hated it first time around.

I started off thinking it wasn't half as bad as I remembered, but by the last quarter I was really struggling to finish it. Not only is the main character fundamentally unlikable, he's also incredibly boring and flat, meaning I couldn't even bring myself to care that I didn't like him. And I couldn't tell if it was the content or the writing style, but practically everyone and everything around him is incredibly boring and flat as well; the only character who even comes close to being interesting is the android Gill, but he's still hampered by the book's dialogue, which is naff throughout - everyone talks like they're in an advert for life insurance, speaking in that really forced, overly formal style that no real human being has ever actually used in real life.

Of all the Alien novels I've read, this is easily the worst, and probably the only one I actively dislike.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 02, 2019, 10:18:01 PM
To be fair the source material for that had its fair share of issues.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 03, 2019, 08:32:06 AM
I figured that probably played a part in it.

One day I'll actually get around to reading the original comics. I think I might even have Hive as part of Aliens magazine.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 13, 2019, 01:22:53 PM
Quote from: Hudson on May 03, 2019, 06:02:38 PMTo be fair, I find that most dialogue in genre writing is pretty forced. *shrugs*

That's a valid observation, but I found it particularly bad in that book.

Finally got around to reading Hunter's Planet while I was away last week. I recall Hicks not having much good to say about it in his review, so I was kinda surprised by how much I enjoyed it. A couple of things towards the end got a bit silly (the anti-corporate conspiracy angle especially didn't come across as very believable) and admittedly it was rather light on action (most of it is slow-build, and then when the finale does finally arrive it seems to be completely one-sided and over in the blink of an eye), but my overriding feeling throughout was that Machiko and Attila were simply really well-written. Bischoff did a great job with both, they came across as by far the most engaging and developed characters I can recall from any of these Bantam books (perhaps not surprising given that this is 95% original rather than a comic adaptation, but Machiko at least has her origins in the comics). Attila in particular had me laughing fairly regularly with his dry wit.

On balance I found this to be the better of the two alternate Prey sequels, largely because War was just such a let-down off the back of the two excellent novels from which it follows on.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on May 13, 2019, 07:19:02 PM
To be fair, that's one of the oldest reviews on the site and I have not actually re-read it since then because of my memories were so bad.  :laugh: It's been on the to-read-again list for a while.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 14, 2019, 08:49:02 AM
I'd agree with all of that.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wysps on May 14, 2019, 10:55:46 PM
It was also written around the same time as The Deadliest of the Species - seems like during that period the writers were trying to figure out how the series was going to reconcile the human-Predator teamups.  I wouldn't be surprised if this influenced Bischoff's direction to some extent... 
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wysps on May 16, 2019, 07:16:59 PM
Quote from: Hudson on May 15, 2019, 03:02:00 PM
Quote from: Wysps on May 14, 2019, 10:55:46 PM
It was also written around the same time as The Deadliest of the Species - seems like during that period the writers were trying to figure out how the series was going to reconcile the human-Predator teamups.  I wouldn't be surprised if this influenced Bischoff's direction to some extent...

When I think about it, it was really just an amped up version of the AvP Prey climactic sequence. But instead of one human and one Predator teaming up, it was a group of humans and a Predator clan.

I haven't read DotS in years. Should I even? After grad school I'm almost afraid to.

I feel like I'm one of the few people that actually likes DotS, despite a lot of its faults lol. Idk, I appreciated it more after I read it the second time - and ironically it was after grad school for me as well. I don't know if I'm just more forgiving of the confusing writing after so many years of reading worse AvP comics/books, or the fact that I came to like the heroine of the story more as I "got older". I have a biased opinion on the matter  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: 426Buddy on May 16, 2019, 10:06:43 PM
DotS is the worst Alien or predator comic ive ever read, and ive read and own all of them.

Ill take Xenogenisis over DotS any day lol.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 17, 2019, 11:53:10 AM
That's always a tough call.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 02, 2019, 11:21:20 PM
I read AvP: Prey God know how many years ago and just finished re-reading.  It was about as good as I remember.  That is, very good.  Only real criticism is Dachande and Machiko seem pretty impervious to acid.  It often rates a mention when Aliens are getting shot, but generally seems to conveniently miss them.

Oh, and good lord there are a lot of typos.

I've often said that the AvP flick borrowed so much from the first comic/ novel that it would make an adaptation redundant.  Yeah, nah, I think if they did a close adaptation it would blow Andersons film so far out of the water, that no one would care.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Jul 03, 2019, 10:31:49 AM
Sadly movies rarely fully adapt source material. A lot of those movies based on video games for example, always deviate from the source material, most of the time in a massive way to the point its not even recognizable outside of the title and some characters.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Stitch on Jul 03, 2019, 12:40:51 PM
Quote from: The Cruentus on Jul 03, 2019, 10:31:49 AM
Sadly movies rarely fully adapt source material. A lot of those movies based on video games for example, always deviate from the source material, most of the time in a massive way to the point its not even recognizable outside of the title and some characters.
Yep, which is why Mortal Kombat is still the best videogame movie.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 17, 2019, 08:25:54 AM
Predator: Forever Midnight

The opening Predator attack on the heroes' ship was really well done, I thought. I especially loved the ship's computer calling out the off-screen deaths of the crew as they happened, that was both creepy and darkly comic.

Sadly once the action hits the planet's surface this novel just gets totally wtf. It seemed to consist entirely of great ideas executed in really terrible ways; I feel like a different author could've made an infinitely more satisfying novel out of the same premise. Plus it just goes overboard with the amount of random flora and fauna it describes. I get it, there's some weird shit on this planet, I don't need to read a detailed description of some bizarre, nonsensical organism every five pages.

The characters were all pretty cardboard, the Predators seemed to range between highly lethal and totally incompetent depending on the scene, and the finale felt rushed. Not impressed.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 22, 2019, 07:10:36 PM
Predator: Flesh and Blood

So much better than the previous one. The family intrigue was nicely done and kept it refreshingly grounded despite the future setting, the lead human and Predator characters were engaging, and the Predators in general were handled far better than in Forever Midnight. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 30, 2019, 12:26:59 PM
Predator: Concrete Jungle

My enjoyment of Flesh and Blood inspired me to go back and give this another go. I remembered not liking this all that much first time around, but I always suspected that was at least partly down to the fact I read it off the back of a nine-book Bantam Aliens marathon and was just burnt out on AVP tie-in literature. True enough, I enjoyed it more second time around, although it's still not without its flaws. The story gets a bit silly by the end and I remain less than thrilled by Nathan Archer's thoroughly workman and generally uninspired prose. It also didn't feel like it expanded much beyond the comic. Still, some neat stuff I'd completely forgotten about, like Schaefer retracing Dutch's steps through Central America and finding the locations from the film. OK but not great.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 29, 2019, 09:28:31 AM
Been re-reading the Alien movie novelisations over the last few weeks.

Alien remains probably the best of the ADF adaptations, it's genuinely tense and scary at times. Some nice added insight into the characters.

With Aliens, it may sound kinda silly, but the deletion of all the harsh language really harms the overall experience, by virtue of making the soldiers come across as unrealistic and false. It never stops being distracting.

If Alien 3 kept up the quality with which it starts, it might pip Alien for me, but sadly you can really tell Foster had lost interest by the end. The final bait and chase sequence in particular feels entirely phoned-in.

Possibly controversial, but I think I like Alien Resurrection the most out of the original four. It seems to genuinely improve upon the movie in a way the preceding ADF novels don't. Admittedly it starts with a lower bar, but still, it really adds a lot to the story.

Just starting Alien: Covenant now. I like that Foster starts all of his novelisations with a discussion on dreams.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 29, 2019, 09:50:16 AM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Aug 29, 2019, 09:28:31 AM
Possibly controversial, but I think I like Alien Resurrection the most out of the original four. It seems to genuinely improve upon the movie in a way the preceding ADF novels don't. Admittedly it starts with a lower bar, but still, it really adds a lot to the story.

Just starting Alien: Covenant now. I like that Foster starts all of his novelisations with a discussion on dreams.

I agree there. And I have the same thoughts on the Covenant novelization.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 29, 2019, 10:29:48 AM
Yeah, I remember enjoying Covenant a lot.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Aug 31, 2019, 11:04:12 PM
I did, mostly apart from unnatural extension of dialogue where the film is superior, and I wasn't entirely brought in by his descriptive writing. And didn't really change what needed changing from the plot.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 17, 2019, 10:41:09 AM
Finished the Covenant adaptation a while back. As with the Resurrection novelisation, I definitely find it superior to the movie, although it still suffers from the same problem of going downhill badly in the second half (admittedly the fault of the source material rather than ADF's writing).

Then, after a bit of a break break from AVP, I continued with a re-read of the Predator and Predator 2 novelisations.

The first of these is as bizarre as I remember it being - aside from featuring what is essentially an entirely different titular creature compared to the one in the film, I just can't get my head around the way it seems to want to make Dutch and his men total pricks. Most obviously there's the fact they're all openly racist towards both Dillon and the local Hispanic rebels. I don't recall ever reading another book where the main cast were so genuinely unlikable.

Predator 2's aces though. Revisiting these books has cemented it as my favourite of all the film adaptations. I genuinely think this contains perhaps the best portrayal of the Predator itself found in any of the EU books - it manages to shed some interesting light on them without ever over-humanising them, and the insights into the City Hunter's thoughts and motives really add to the story. I also get a kick out of the bits written from Tony Pope's point of view; taking such a minor supporting character and putting him front and centre, even if only briefly, was such a neat, unexpected touch, and his character works better here than it did on the screen. It's a shame this has never been reissued by Titan, because copies are incredibly hard to find at a reasonable price these days. One thing I had forgotten tough, it's a terrible book for anyone who likes novels they can just pick up and put down - the entire 230-page story consists of just eight chapters :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Oct 17, 2019, 08:22:08 PM
Also liked the Predator 2 novelization. The Tony Pope POV-s just drop off in the middle of the book and would have liked some kind of final POV from the Predator in the end. But he gets his last thoughts before entering the ship I think.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Saith on Oct 17, 2019, 11:56:23 PM
Quote from: Wweyland on Oct 17, 2019, 08:22:08 PM
Also liked the Predator 2 novelization. The Tony Pope POV-s just drop off in the middle of the book

Damn, I'll have to find a copy.

I'm using Tony in my story, continuing on a few years later from the LA events. He is a fun character to explore. It's been good to flesh him out a little more and add some depth.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 21, 2019, 03:11:43 PM
Aliens: Steel Egg

I'm not sure why I was quite so surprised after reading Predator: Forever Midnight by the same author, but this was so bad I almost couldn't finish it. Bits and pieces were vaguely passable, but so much of it is just bizarre and awful, and by the time the heroes are running around with a pink Michelin Man alien called Larry it's just gone completely off the rails. I'm not sure which of Shirley's two novels are worse - probably this, because as shit as Forever Midnight is, its at least mostly about Predators. The Aliens felt like they were an afterthought in this and he really only wanted to write about Larry and his chums.

I thought Alien Harvest was bad, but this is without doubt the worst Alien novel I've read yet.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 21, 2019, 07:39:06 PM
I thought Shirley wrote the Aliens pretty well.  It was the humans that were severely lacking.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Oct 21, 2019, 08:18:16 PM
The portrayal of the aliens was the best part. 2 aliens outnumbered by a team of armed humans and they still dominate most of the time.

Everything else was okay to meh. Forever Midnight has like its own tier on my ranking due to how much worse it was for me next to all the others.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 21, 2019, 08:20:36 PM
Some of the stuff with the Aliens on the Hornblower was quite well done, and until he literally pulled the embryo out I thought the scene where the guy goes nuts and tries to vivisect the Chestburster out of himself was effectively gruesome. But too much of the book was dedicated to the Giff, who only ever came across as completely daft. And as you say, SM, the human stuff was a real slog. I mentioned how awful Shirley's dialogue was in Forever Midnight when I reviewed that, and it was equally bad in this.

Oh yeah, a guy also fights an Alien with a sword and shield.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 21, 2019, 08:24:02 PM
Overall I didn't mind Steel Egg too much despite its myriad issues (Cauldron was way worse from that run of books), but Reynolds is possibly the laziest cliché ridden character in any Alien media.  It was as if he'd been written as one-dimensional and the next draft would try and flesh him out - but Shirley forgot.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Oct 21, 2019, 08:25:07 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Oct 21, 2019, 08:20:36 PM
Oh yeah, a guy also fights an Alien with a sword and shield.

I remember a guy killing an Alien with a crossbow to the head. Sword and shield? Must have not lasted very long.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 21, 2019, 08:29:57 PM
Quote from: SM on Oct 21, 2019, 08:24:02 PMCauldron was way worse from that run of books

Damn. I was hoping these two Shirley novels would be the nadir.

Quote from: Samhain13 on Oct 21, 2019, 08:25:07 PMI remember a guy killing an Alien with a crossbow to the head. Sword and shield? Must have not lasted very long.

Same guy. Attacks it with the sword, survives, then finishes it with the crossbow.

This was after we meet the friendly (non-penis head) alien called Larry. I was really struggling to get through it by that point.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Oct 21, 2019, 08:39:41 PM
Apart from some alien sequences in Caudron, everything else is average to bad. But this scene where
Spoiler
2 aliens cooperate together to manipulate the insides of a dead human to stimulate screaming so they can bait other hosts
[close]
was one of the creepiest part of the series.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Oct 21, 2019, 09:26:48 PM
I remember enjoying Cauldron well enough. The part Samhain mentions is f**king ace. But over all, all the DH Press stuff was pretty meh or ok aside from Steel Egg. This was legitimately naff. Criminal Enterprise was the best, but its characters weren't likeable or massively interesting to compensate for that.

After Forever Midnight, Predator had it much better!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 21, 2019, 10:54:00 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Oct 21, 2019, 09:26:48 PM
I remember enjoying Cauldron well enough. The part Samhain mentions is f**king ace. But over all, all the DH Press stuff was pretty meh or ok aside from Steel Egg. This was legitimately naff. Criminal Enterprise was the best, but its characters weren't likeable or massively interesting to compensate for that.

After Forever Midnight, Predator had it much better!

Yeah I think Criminal Enterprise was the best too.  I found it better on the second read.  DNA War often gets shat upon but it was decent.  Hard to believe the dire Cauldron was by the same author.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Oct 22, 2019, 07:37:17 PM
Agreed on the vocal cords scene from Cauldron, that was some nasty stuff.
And Criminal Enterprise was probably the best out of the DH books, if not Original Sin.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 22, 2019, 08:03:40 PM
Original Sin was a little better on second reading but still mediocre.  It didn't really bear much similarity to the film it was based on.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 22, 2019, 08:37:36 PM
That book's insanely expensive for some reason.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Oct 22, 2019, 10:02:22 PM
Out of those ones, I have soft spot for Dna War for whatever reason, so its my favorite after that its Criminal Enterprize.

Quote from: HuDaFuK on Oct 22, 2019, 08:37:36 PM
That book's insanely expensive for some reason.

Original Sin? I got it through the Omnibus Volume 5 and it was quite cheap. Amazon even had it available on Brazil, cheap shipping too, that was a first. Its one of my least favorites though.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Huggs on Oct 22, 2019, 11:05:16 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Oct 22, 2019, 08:37:36 PM
That book's insanely expensive for some reason.

That's odd. I picked up an original copy off ebay a couple of years ago for like 3 bucks.

Dang thing was basically brand new.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 23, 2019, 09:43:19 AM
Quote from: Samhain13 on Oct 22, 2019, 10:02:22 PMOriginal Sin? I got it through the Omnibus Volume 5 and it was quite cheap.

The omnibus is cheap, original copies seem to go for a fortune, which I find strange.

I get why No Exit and South China Sea are so expensive - being the last books from DH they probably weren't printed in great quantities, much like Berserker from Bantam, original copies of which also fetch a premium. But there doesn't seem to be any logical reason why Original Sin should cost so much more than the rest.

I've often wondered whether its status as the only official Resurrection sequel might have something to do with it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Dec 11, 2019, 06:20:17 PM
After another break I'm back on the franchise novelisations, starting with the only one I'd not read before - The Predator. I thought it was thoroughly average, although purely by virtue of not including the two dumbest things in the movie - the idea of a Predator invasion as a result of global warming, and that final scene - it was automatically an improvement on the film. It probably goes without saying, but I really think they dropped the ball in having Morris rework it in line with the film. Would've made for an infinitely more interesting read if they'd stuck with Golden's original draft.

And finally, I've made a start on AVP. Only a couple of chapters in but I'm already reminded what a great job Cerasini does with it, I really enjoy his style. Almost makes me wish he'd accepted Requiem (almost).
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Dec 29, 2019, 11:56:03 AM
I have read the avp novel, I think there was five predators in that maybe, also another Predator besides Scar gets facehugged but I think it gets killed. Its been ages since I read it so I can't remember the details.
I think Marc was dealing with an earlier script or draft or something.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Dec 29, 2019, 03:17:45 PM
Yep, there's a couple of extra Predators who get pnwd by the Aliens. One of them gets pinned down by Grid so a Facehugger can jump him (pretty cool scene tbh), then later when Lex and Scar are fleeing the pyramid they bump into him. He bursts right in front of them, but Scar immediately blows him and his darling new baby away.

The AVP novel adaptation is definitely a solid read. Lots of extra detail and motivation for the characters, especially Sebastian and Weyland. It doesn't really fix any of the faults with the story but it's a good novelisation. Plus it reinstates the kind of violence that's conspicuously absent from the film.

Also read Predator: Cold War over the last few days. Found this kinda boring tbh. The story had real potential but the Predators are barely in it and when they do show up they're there for maybe a page or two before either disappearing again or being killed. Not an especially bad book, just incredibly dull.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Dec 30, 2019, 09:00:31 AM
Honestly, of the old Predator novels I only really enjoyed Concrete Jungle. I read Big Game most recently and was really disappointed by that. Felt so phoned in.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Dec 30, 2019, 01:57:12 PM
Really?! I thought "Big Game" was the best of the Predator comic novelizations. I wasn't a fan of Nathan Archer's writing though for both "Concrete Jungle" and "Cold War". Whereas Sandy Schofield did a solid job on both "Big Game" and "Rogue".
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Dec 30, 2019, 11:24:37 PM
I felt like Concrete Jungle's novelisation was pretty depressing story. In a good way.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jan 02, 2020, 01:44:19 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Dec 30, 2019, 01:57:12 PMWhereas Sandy Schofield did a solid job on both "Big Game" and "Rogue".

I'm kinda looking forward to that purely because I enjoyed Rogue so much.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Jan 29, 2020, 10:04:28 PM
I've got to give a number of the older ones a look.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jan 30, 2020, 08:35:07 AM
DNA War

There was so much random, bizarre bullshit in this I feel like I should've hated it, but for some reason I ended up quite enjoying it in the end. Really liked Carey's prose, and I dug the main character. The only really excruciatingly dumb part was when
Spoiler
the f*cking Facehuggers started flying like a flock of swallows :laugh:
[close]
Most of the other wtf stuff was kinda half-explained in the end.

That said, I can't recall the last time I read a book with this many obvious goofs. Carey really failed at keeping track of the numbers of anything in it - first there are 6 Marines on the ship, then there are 8, then there are only 5 etc. The worst mistake was when one character died only for them to be mentioned as still being alive a couple of pages later.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jan 30, 2020, 09:52:43 AM
That happened in Sea of Sorrows too - but there was more people to keep track of in that one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Jan 30, 2020, 01:52:57 PM
As someone who's read most of the novels now I imagine, any recommendations?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jan 30, 2020, 05:22:55 PM
My two cents - of the old Bantam books, Rogue and Berserker are great.

Not sure I'd recommend any of the DH Press Aliens books I've read yet :laugh: But Predator: Flesh and Blood was a really solid read. Still working my way through these.

As for the newer Titan novels, I'm pretty sure you've already read the ones I'd recommend.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Jan 30, 2020, 11:04:50 PM
Fair enough, much more to go?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jan 31, 2020, 08:40:10 AM
No Exit was definitely strong. It's just that last section of the book, and an absence of an actual conclusion that ruin it. Criminal Enterprise is probably the strongest over-all of DH Press' stories.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jan 31, 2020, 11:10:33 AM
Quote from: Hudson on Jan 30, 2020, 10:41:02 PMNow that I think about it, I guess I didn't like it as much as I remember, but I went in bracing myself for a horrible book, and it's definitely not that.

Same. I get the feeling it's one I'll like less and less the more I think about it, but at the time I found it entertaining enough.

Quote from: Fiendishly Inventive on Jan 30, 2020, 11:04:50 PMFair enough, much more to go?

Of the DH Press Aliens run, I've yet to read Cauldron, Criminal Enterprise and No Exit, although I've got them waiting to go.

I've also not read the last two Predator books from DHP. I've got Turnabout but God knows if I'll ever manage to track down a copy of South China Sea, which by all accounts is ace.

Other than those, Covenant - Origins and Echo, I think I've read everything.

Oh wait, I've not done Predator: Big Game yet either, although I've had it ages. The early Predator novels just didn't click with me so I've been putting it off, despite liking what Schofield did with Rogue.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 22, 2020, 02:34:27 PM
Aliens: Cauldron

A book of two halves if ever I've read one.

Everything on the Virginia (the first of two ships on which this is set) was ace, with some unexpected twists and well-written and -staged Alien interactions. In particular, there was that awesome moment where the Aliens manipulate a victim to lure others to them. I especially loved that the novel
Spoiler
spent a substantial amount of time setting up the characters and sub-plots on this vessel, right up until the moment the Aliens are unleashed. Then when you next visit, almost everyone's dead and the rest are interested only in trying to control a situation that's already basically lost. That was fantastic.
[close]
Also dug that, in true Alien fashion, the Aliens are mostly never seen clearly by anyone during these scenes, just glimpsed fleetingly and in part.

Sadly, practically everything that took place on the other ship, the Umiak, started out kinda weak and just went downhill from there. The teen characters didn't sound like any teenager I've ever met (and I used to be one) while events became increasingly silly as things went on. The final few chapters in particular were tough going for how dumb they were, coupled with a sense that Carey was running out of either time or interest when writing them. That said, even here there was another excellent display of Alien tactical intelligence and a really cool Alien death that briefly livened things up.

Such a shame the whole novel wasn't on the level of the Virginia scenes or the other brief highlights, because if it were I think this would've been one of the best Alien novels I've read.

p.s. I bet SM loved the Aussie kid's dialogue in this :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 22, 2020, 11:12:39 PM
Don't recall if it was as clunky as Cold Forge, but it was certainly clunky.

Cauldron was possibly the worst of the DH Press books.  It was strange that DNA War was half decent after Cauldron.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 24, 2020, 02:15:35 AM
Quote from: SM on Feb 22, 2020, 11:12:39 PMDon't recall if it was as clunky as Cold Forge, but it was certainly clunky.

Cold Forge at least had the decency to spell things properly. Cauldron actually included the words "noyce", "troy", "worsh" and "loik" ;D

Quote from: SM on Feb 22, 2020, 11:12:39 PMCauldron was possibly the worst of the DH Press books.

Nah, for me Steel Egg is waaaay out in front on that one!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 24, 2020, 03:40:56 AM
Steel Egg had a couple of decent sequences, and the Giff's were an interesting idea.  But the characters were generally appalling, with Reynolds being the most one dimensional cliché in any Alien book.  And there was the hamfisted politics as well.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 24, 2020, 08:30:52 AM
Agreed on Steel Egg being the worse. Such an absolute disappointment. I'd actually been looking forward to that one the most out of all of the DH Press novels. It's hard to think Shirley was an award winning horror author. At least his entry in If It Bleeds was actually good.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 24, 2020, 12:35:11 PM
The bits of Steel Egg that impressed me probably amounted to all of 10 pages. The rest of the book was almost total dreck. I struggled to get through it in a way I never have with any other AVP novel.

As I said, I actually thought everything that took place on the Virginia in Cauldron was really well done, and that probably amounted to about a third of the book. As for the rest, only at the very end did it start to get really bad, and even then I don't think it was as awful as much of Steel Egg.

Both books suffered from similar problems with really terrible dialogue, with people talking like they're in a shit TV advert, but it seemed like a less consistent issue in Cauldron and was mostly confined to the teens. Once they became the sole focus of the book, that's when it really dropped off.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Feb 24, 2020, 07:38:45 PM
QuoteBoth books suffered from similar problems with really terrible dialogue, with people talking like they're in a shit TV advert, but it seemed like a less consistent issue in Cauldron and was mostly confined to the teens.

I thought the teens - while pretty bad - were the least of the issues with character and dialogue.  Ned and his sister seem to have grown up pretty isolated so you could excuse the godawful words they were given.  The crew though... dialogue that bad is rare outside of fanfic. 

The best bit of Cauldron was the Alien making the dead guy make noises.  The water tank was kind of inventive too.  Otherwise, probably the worst Alien novel.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 24, 2020, 07:50:28 PM
Quote from: Hudson on Feb 24, 2020, 03:11:24 PM2019 novel review blurbs roundup:

Not got Echo yet (waiting on the paperback) but I agree completely with the other two.

Quote from: SM on Feb 24, 2020, 07:38:45 PMI thought the teens - while pretty bad - were the least of the issues with character and dialogue ... dialogue that bad is rare outside of fanfic.

I honestly remember Steel Egg being so much worse on the dialogue front - as was Forever Midnight by the same author.

That's not to say there wasn't some seriously ropey stuff in Cauldron. But again, as an issue it seemed bizarrely specific to the Umiak scenes. I don't recall having any problems with the Virginia crew's chat.

It's also weird because I thought Carey's dialogue in DNA War was generally pretty good. Some of it was certainly odd, but in that book it seemed fitting for the characters. Strange that she got it right in one novel and so wrong in another.

As a final aside, I've definitely noticed a trend with these DH Press Aliens novels in that they typically seem to start quite well, but sooner or later go to pot - Original Sin was sort of OK but then had no real conclusion, Cauldron went downhill once you were off the Virginia, DNA War started getting totally wtf in the final act, and Steel Egg became a shitshow pretty much immediately after some halfway engaging opening scenes. From what I've heard this downward trend is true of No Exit as well.

But f*ck it, I'm reading Predator: Turnabout now and it's fantastic. Wish Perry, Sr. had written all his EU books this well, he's like a totally different author on this one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Old One on Feb 26, 2020, 01:00:46 PM
Yes it's a real good one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 26, 2020, 09:16:00 PM
Finished Turnabout; absolutely ripped through it. As Hudson says, it's minimalist but really engaging and never boring. Ending was predictable but otherwise I can't fault it. Got a good giggle out of the sneaky reference to Perry's Yautja take on the Predators, ditto the cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger as himself :) So far, this and Flesh and Blood have taken a Predator-sized dump all over the DH Press Aliens books.

I'm gonna give Rematch another look next purely because I'd not read the book to which it is a sequel the first time around. After that, Phalanx ;D
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Apr 30, 2020, 02:12:23 PM
So, after years of coveting it, I just finished South China Sea a few minutes ago.

First of all, let me say this - despite the reverence typically shown for this book, I think I wound up liking Turnabout more. Which kinda surprised me. Ultimately I think it boils down to the extreme simplicity of Turnabout's plot - there's not an ounce of fat on it, and the bare-bones nature of it reminded me favourably of the original film. By contrast, the other Predator (and indeed Alien) novels I've read have tended to have a lot more going on, and Turnabout shines in the way it jettisons just about anything and everything superfluous to its main story.

Now that that's out of the way, and before this starts sounding like a negative review (it's absolutely not), I need to mention the one area where this book kicks all kinds of ass - it's titular antagonist. Good God if this guy hasn't immediately become my favourite Predator of all time. Aside from being one seriously unkillable BAMF, he's also a total c*nt when it comes to tormenting his prey, and I bloody loved it. A few highlights of Predator dickery include:

Spoiler
  • Running up to some unsuspecting dudes in a field and f*cking liquefying one of them where he stands just to let the others know he's around.
  • Tearing out some guy's head and spine so he can lob it into a minefield to check there are mines there.
  • Wilfully ignoring a goon who's paralysed with fear while Mr. Pred stands next to him doing some recon of the surrounding area, then when he's done he just grabs the guy and throws him off a ledge to his death.
  • Hurling the severed heads of the dozens of people he's just killed over the wall of the fortress where the survivors are holed up.
  • Lastly, my personal favourite - the bit where he stands outside said fortress blasting the anguished screams of all the men he's just slaughtered so the people inside can hear.
[close]

He's an absolute sadist, and it's excellent. Loved it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: 426Buddy on Apr 30, 2020, 02:45:37 PM
Cool, I'll PM you my address so you can send it on over lol :laugh:

Did you get it for a reasonable price?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Apr 30, 2020, 04:22:38 PM
Quote from: 426Buddy on Apr 30, 2020, 02:45:37 PMCool, I'll PM you my address so you can send it on over lol :laugh:

Afraid this is going on my shelf with the rest (when I actually get a shelf for my AVP books) ;D

Quote from: 426Buddy on Apr 30, 2020, 02:45:37 PMDid you get it for a reasonable price?

Not too bad. Still like three times the price of a brand new book, but that's considerably less that I'd seen it selling for before.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: 426Buddy on Apr 30, 2020, 05:37:09 PM
I wish titan would do a hardcover re-release
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 01, 2020, 07:49:31 AM
I continue to find it a little odd that they reissued the DH Press Aliens novels but not the Predator ones.

At least Aliens: Berserker is more widely available since they did the omnibus collections, because that's a great read.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on May 01, 2020, 05:44:14 PM
They'll be some daft legal licensing issue that makes no sense to normal people.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on May 01, 2020, 10:22:31 PM
I remember something about the license expiring from Bryan Thomas Schmidt when there was talk of a 'If It Bleeds' follow up.

(Fun fact - Stephen King just released a book call 'If It Bleeds' so you'll need to go a few pages into Google to find the Predator book now or be more specific).
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on May 24, 2020, 09:16:36 PM
Finished Aliens: Criminal Enterprise a few days ago.

By far the best of the DH Press Aliens novels I've read thus far (although tbh that's not saying much - No Exit is still pending but otherwise this is probably the only one I'd call worthwhile). As I've come to expect from S. D. Perry, its a thoroughly solid and enjoyable read. Definite Alien 3 vibes at times with its predominantly criminal cast. And I dunno if it's just because Perry, Jr. was behind the keyboard, but this definitely reminded me of the old Bantam novels in terms of style and tone, way more so than any of the other DH Press books. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jun 19, 2020, 10:03:06 AM
Completed the DH Press Aliens run with No Exit last week.

As has been said before, this was potentially the best/most interesting of this particular Alien run, hampered by a rushed final few chapters full of some truly mad shit - at one point
Spoiler
a man beats a bunch of Aliens down with another Alien that he's swinging around by its tail like mace :laugh:
[close]
It's a huge shame because it isn't until the final few (very short) chapters that this goes from being a really interesting and quite different read to a silly mess - I'm talking maybe the final 30-40 pages. Everything else about it was top notch and I loved the main character.

This whole starts-well-but-eventually-falls-apart trend really has permeated these Aliens books from DH Press.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jun 19, 2020, 01:10:13 PM
I think I'd rate them best to worse:

1. Criminal Enterprise
2. DNA War
3. No Exit
4. Cauldron
5. Original Sin
6. Steel Egg
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Jun 19, 2020, 01:16:03 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Jun 19, 2020, 10:03:06 AM
Completed the DH Press Aliens run with No Exit last week.

As has been said before, this was potentially the best/most interesting of this particular Alien run, hampered by a rushed final few chapters full of some truly mad shit - at one point
Spoiler
a man beats a bunch of Aliens down with another Alien that he's swinging around by its tail like mace :laugh:
[close]
It's a huge shame because it isn't until the final few (very short) chapters that this goes from being a really interesting and quite different read to a silly mess - I'm talking maybe the final 30-40 pages. Everything else about it was top notch and I loved the main character.

This whole starts-well-but-eventually-falls-apart trend really has permeated these Aliens books from DH Press.

Spoiler
His name is not Mondo is it?  :laugh:
[close]
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 19, 2020, 11:51:07 PM
I think the switch from detective story to when they actually engage the Aliens should've come faster in No Exit.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jun 20, 2020, 11:00:05 AM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jun 19, 2020, 01:10:13 PMI think I'd rate them best to worse:

1. Criminal Enterprise
2. DNA War
3. No Exit
4. Cauldron
5. Original Sin
6. Steel Egg

Fair. For me:

Criminal Enterprise is way out in front, and the only one that was consistently good.
I'd probably put No Exit second, because even with the terrible finale, 90% of it was an excellent read.
Third would be Original Sin, because while it was never anything more than thoroughly average and by-the-numbers, it at least didn't fall off a cliff like most of the others.
I struggle to separate DNA War and Cauldron. Cauldron had the better moments, but a greater percentage of the book was crap; DNA War was more consistently good but had far worse instances of bizarre wtf bullshit in it.

The less said about Steel Egg the better. f**k that book.

Overall this run was poor. Almost without exception the Bantam and Titan books are much better; only Criminal Enterprise sits comfortably alongside them. Steel Egg, meanwhile, is far and away the worst Alien novel I've read.

Quote from: The Cruentus on Jun 19, 2020, 01:16:03 PM
Spoiler
His name is not Mondo is it?  :laugh:
[close]

:laugh: Touché.

Quote from: SM on Jun 19, 2020, 11:51:07 PMI think the switch from detective story to when they actually engage the Aliens should've come faster in No Exit.

To be honest, the fact there weren't Aliens in it for so long was one of this things I appreciated. It made it feel different.

It's just a shame that once they eventually appear in numbers it falls apart.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 21, 2020, 10:35:08 AM
All those DH Press books spent a lot of time focusing on things other than the Aliens.  And generally suffered for it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jun 21, 2020, 11:32:54 AM
The Cartwheeliens and flying facehuggers really took the edge off DNA War I must say.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jun 26, 2020, 03:33:25 PM
I just finished Aliens Genocide from volume 2 of the omnibus novels. This book was pretty odd. I couldn't stand the constant talk of calling the Aliens 'bugs'. That really bothered me and there were several times I almost felt like I was reading a Starship Troopers type of book.

The royal jelly was an interesting subject but I feel like the storyline of harvesting some type of blood/goo/liquid from a 'being' has been done several times.

There was also little to no description of the aliens besides tall, more ferocious, red and black etc.

It wasn't necessarily horrible but I doubt I'd ever read it again.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 27, 2020, 10:15:18 AM
Genocide did harvesting royal jelly first.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Jun 27, 2020, 01:07:26 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jun 26, 2020, 03:33:25 PM
That really bothered me and there were several times I almost felt like I was reading a Starship Troopers type of book.

That's actually great way to put it
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jun 28, 2020, 02:59:58 PM
So I finally got my hands on all 4 DH Press Predator books and just finished the first one  "Forever Midnight" by John Shirley. Well overall this was pretty much the wackiest Predator story I've read. I wasn't expecting the story to take place in 2117 on a distant planet but I ended up liking the descriptions of the planet and the corresponding wildlife (kind of reminded me of Zagreus from Alien Echo). Also interesting to note that this novel had the Predators abducting humans and dumping them on this "preserve planet" to hunt (sound familiar?); so in some ways we have another case like Predator 2 where a Dark Horse story may have influenced the film as this novel released in '06 four years before "Predators". For the most part I enjoyed the action sequences in novel. However, I really disliked the Predator POV as it seemed rather silly, as did a certain mind control aspect. The human characters weren't especially interesting and I really didn't like how he treated Georgie (she went from a badass, Do whatever it takes soldier to an unreasonable antagonist with no clear reasoning why). The Atavites were mildly interesting but somewhat underutilized and the Karna was somewhat amusing (Shirley seems to love English speaking ET's as this character reminded me of Larry from Steel Egg). This is my first foray into the term Hish and I'm not so sure about it as they seemed incompetent (40 preds total on a hunt?!). Overall I probably wouldn't recommend this, Shirley pretty much missed the mark on both of his DH Press novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jun 28, 2020, 09:57:30 PM
Rodriguez wrote the original Predators story back in the mid-90s.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jun 28, 2020, 11:17:53 PM
Totally forgot about that script! although both the script and this novel are way over the top in a bad way. I remember you saying Shirley read somewhat right wing in regards to "Steele Egg" and that continues on in this book where one of the ships is named the "John McCain" (for those that don't know McCain was Obama's opposition for president in '08).
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jun 29, 2020, 08:15:00 AM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jun 28, 2020, 02:59:58 PMSo I finally got my hands on all 4 DH Press Predator books and just finished the first one  "Forever Midnight" by John Shirley. Well overall this was pretty much the wackiest Predator story I've read.

I hated that book but the DH Press Predator run skyrockets after that; the other three are absolutely ace.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jun 29, 2020, 09:19:22 AM
Agreed. I think Predator had the worse of DH Press' books, and the best of them too.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jun 29, 2020, 02:39:59 PM
That's reassuring!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jun 30, 2020, 07:53:32 PM
Finished Alien Harvest to complete the Omnibus Vol. 2 novels. This book was odd. The first half was really tough to get through and didn't seem to really start picking up until Stan takes the Xeno pills.

The relationship between Julie and Stan made no sense and her whole "Thief" thing got tiring, real quickly.

I didn't like how Genocide and Harvest explained the aliens and the hives. I had a hard time believing that Julie, Stan and the Android Gill could make it through a hive alive. That and how the writers always referred to the Aliens as dumb, I personally never thought of them like that, or as bugs.

Also, the ending of Harvest didn't make any sense. Why Stan was taking back to the hive and not Julie????

Nonetheless, not horrible but by no means great.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 01, 2020, 08:31:24 AM
That one's easily my least favourite of the Bantam run.

Other than a couple of awesomely graphic Alien kills
Spoiler
(especially loved the bit where that one mutineer gets his face peeled off)
[close]
I really struggled with it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jul 01, 2020, 09:28:02 AM
The last time I tried to read Harvest I did struggle to get into it. Can't remember the novel version that well.

Though Genocide I really loved. I really enjoyed Grant's character journey in that one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 01, 2020, 10:15:16 AM
Harvest, Genocide and Rogue were all inferior to the source material. And the source material for Harvest and Rogue we wasn't the strongest to begin with.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 01, 2020, 11:03:39 AM
I didn't mind the Genocide novelisation, but I think I stopped a quarter of the way through Harvest. I love reading Harvest, but that's 99% the moody artwork and 0.5% android ants. The remainder is the story.

I think my favourite of the old adaptations is Berserker. Substantially better than the source material, and the source material was already a pretty solid effort on its own.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 01, 2020, 02:10:39 PM
Berserker is easily the best of the Bantam books if you ask me.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 01, 2020, 10:08:40 PM
Yep.

Genocide was pretty good, but seemed to take much longer to get to the planet in the novel.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 01, 2020, 10:21:19 PM
Seems like I'm going to be needing to pick up the graphic novels once I'm done with the omnibus books.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jul 02, 2020, 05:42:02 AM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Jul 01, 2020, 02:10:39 PM
Berserker is easily the best of the Bantam books if you ask me.

And one of the best Alien novels all around IMHO. Stephani elevated that story so much.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 02, 2020, 06:35:19 AM
She took all the cool elements they could only touch on in the comic and really gave them some depth. That and Tribes are my favourite of the stories all up.

Honourable mention to Music of the Spears as one of the better-than-the-source novels. I loved the novel growing up and was kind of disappointed when I read the comic in the omnibus.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 02, 2020, 07:46:34 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Jul 02, 2020, 05:42:02 AMAnd one of the best Alien novels all around IMHO. Stephani elevated that story so much.

Definitely. Until The Cold Forge came along I always said it was my favourite of the novels.

Quote from: SiL on Jul 02, 2020, 06:35:19 AMThat and Tribes are my favourite of the stories all up.

I always forget about Tribes. Need to re-read that. I remember absolutely loving it, and Dorman's art is just superb.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Jul 02, 2020, 11:24:17 AM
The novel version of Berserker is a little darker too with the main character's way of dealing with Pops is far more cold blooded. I think its great when novels add more to a story or change things up a little because that way it isn't simply retread, you get suprised by the differences.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jul 02, 2020, 05:04:00 PM
Just finished "Flesh and Blood" by Michael Jan Friedman and Robert Greenberger. This was certainly an improvement over "Forever Midnight". This novel also took place on another planet in the 22nd century but luckily the story still remained somewhat grounded. The interior access to the predators was told in third person (which I much prefer) and actually made sense as it really only focused on the "Hunt" with a bit of Hish politics that revolved around customs/traditions regarding what's honorable during a hunt. I liked the human characters well enough and I really enjoyed the end of the story. Overall I would recommend giving this one a read. Next up "Turnabout".
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Jul 02, 2020, 06:59:18 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jul 02, 2020, 05:04:00 PM
This novel also took place on another planet in the 22nd century but luckily the story still remained somewhat grounded.

Is the date actually mentioned? Do you know the page?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jul 02, 2020, 08:29:29 PM
Well the lawyer says baseball leagues were ruined '22 so I pretty much figured that meant 2122 and the story took place a few years later.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 05, 2020, 04:30:40 PM
Finished Alien Rogue and out of the first three Omnibus novels, this was one of the best! After Alien Harvest I wasn't too sure where the series would go but I wasn't disappointed.

Finally the characters were written out as not complete idiots. The marines and civilians in the story had conversations about strategy, rather than just running into a room and hoping for the best. There wasn't one character that bothered me in the entire novel which can be rare.

I liked how the science base was already established and by the time the main character Joyce arrives, the doctor and his experiments are already underway. The cloned bodies was the heads detached and still linked up to the human body was really interesting and unique.

I did notice some similar things between this book and the Alien Resurrection movie although I feel this book did the material better. The doctor in the book, Kliest, reminded me of the doctors in that movie and the doctor from Day of the Dead.

I also felt that the author(s) finally went into depth with tunnels and hives, something I felt was glossed over from the previous novels.

I did think it was odd that there were two or three times the author(s) randomly mentioned the color and density of pubic hairs haha.

Overall, I thought this was a great edition, so far, in the Alien novels. Starting up Labyrinth soon 😎
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Jul 05, 2020, 08:38:28 PM
Quote from: SiL on Jul 01, 2020, 11:03:39 AM
99% the moody artwork and 0.5% android ants.

Sounds tasty
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 06, 2020, 07:53:12 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jul 05, 2020, 04:30:40 PMFinished Alien Rogue and out of the first three Omnibus novels, this was one of the best! After Alien Harvest I wasn't too sure where the series would go but I wasn't disappointed.

Rogue's one of my favourites too, and the first one I enjoyed a lot when reading through the Batnam novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 06, 2020, 08:21:27 AM
Na-na-na-na na-na-na-na Batnam!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 06, 2020, 08:31:38 AM
:laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Jul 06, 2020, 10:18:25 PM
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 09, 2020, 11:29:16 PM
Finished Aliens Labyrinth....I might say this could be the worst so far, or at least tied with Alien Harvest.

The plot not hugely new but the author could have worked out more like in Rogue with the doctor doing messed up testing and combing the alien and human dna. The two characters of Crespi and McGuinness have got to be up there with the worst in regards to how they act and overall development, not to mention some of the stupidest.

Doctor Church was an interesting character and his backstory was one of the best things about the book, also Crespis. Other than that this was pretty hard to get through.

I do like the fact the book concentrated on just three characters instead of multiples but by designing McGuinness and Crespi the way the author did, I felt myself bored with them.

Maybe if they concentrated more on Church as the main character and reading the book from his view, I would've enjoyed it more. Oh and for a book called Labyrinth, there sure wasn't any story around it until the very end and even then, very little in the way of description.

Music of Spears is next...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 09, 2020, 11:40:09 PM
A lot of those problems stem from the comic. Crespi is the most God-damned flip-floppy protagonist who immediately believes the last thing he heard. I don't think the Labyrinth of the title is the literal labyrinth at the end, but more metaphorical.

I like the comic for the art and the flashback is great horror but I do think it is easily the most overrated story in the catalogue.

Apparently Music of the Spears and Berserker -- my two favourite of the Bantam novels -- are in a single omnibus together so guess who just spent $26.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 09, 2020, 11:54:42 PM
Despite having a lot of good stuff (the hive flashback is still possibly the best single issue of any Aliens comic), Labyrinth is definitely over-rated.  One of the best things about Labyrinth is Plunket's art so you already lose something when moving to text.

I don't mind Crespi - his inability to take decisive action and constantly changing his mind if kind of Shakespearean (though it does make you wonder how he achieved such a high rank).

But they were so close to subverting the clichéd mad scientist that it's almost frustrating to read these days.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 10, 2020, 12:00:32 AM
I can forgive him being wishy-washy up until the end; after everything he's seen to that point, he still ends up believing Church one last time? Church is right; he is a fatuous ra-ra boy (but that's probably how he got his rank.)

I think the novel improved on a few places in character development and world building. Probably the biggest improvement is while it loses Plunket's art, it also loses all of the laughably over the top gore (the Alien pitching that skull at the dropship remains the most ludicrous thing in an otherwise serious comic I've seen.)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 10, 2020, 12:20:22 AM
Go read DotS or Xenogenesis again.  ;D
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 10, 2020, 01:00:33 AM
Yeah, it was very hard to not only try to relate to Crespis position but his thinking, I couldn't get behind anything he was thinking or doing.

Plus Church had crazy enough strength to bend a gun but gets pushed over a railing because McGuiness has super strength all of a sudden???

I didn't like the ending when I finished it but the more I let it sink in it made sense to end it that way. First read in the series that it ended kind of dark.

Once I'm done with the omnibus novels I'll go and get the graphic novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 10, 2020, 01:03:39 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 10, 2020, 12:20:22 AM
Go read DotS or Xenogenesis again.  ;D
That's why I specified "otherwise serious", I refuse to believe those are anything but piss takes cover to cover :laugh:

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Jul 10, 2020, 02:15:09 AM
How about Aliens: Colonial Marines issues one through twelve ten?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 10, 2020, 02:27:39 AM
Generally decent, up to the last three issues or so when it takes a dive.  And then a bigger dive in the last issue.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Jul 10, 2020, 06:30:15 AM
Quote from: SiL on Jul 10, 2020, 12:00:32 AM
The Alien pitching that skull at the dropship remains the most ludicrous thing in an otherwise serious comic I've seen

Oh come on! It's awesome ! :D
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 10, 2020, 06:43:59 AM
It's not the act so much as the Alien being such a deadly shot.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 10, 2020, 08:17:32 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jul 09, 2020, 11:29:16 PMFinished Aliens Labyrinth....I might say this could be the worst so far, or at least tied with Alien Harvest.

I was definitely a little disappointed by Labyrinth given its reputation but it's by no means among the worst novels. It's a decent read, it's just uneven. The hive flashback is exceptional; the framing story isn't bad, but it's not especially great either, and the fact the hive bit is so good just makes the rest of the novel seem weaker by comparison.

I'd still put it leagues ahead of Alien Harvest.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 10, 2020, 09:31:52 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 10, 2020, 06:43:59 AM
It's not the act so much as the Alien being such a deadly shot.
Oh no I got problems with it aaaall the way down :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jul 10, 2020, 12:22:08 PM
Agreed that "Labyrinth" is overrated. The hive scene with Plunkett's art is certainly one of the most twisted moments in the whole Dark Horse run but I was always annoyed that Church was just walking Xeno's on a leash because apparently if a xeno is born from a sheep it's more docile; which I find dumb. I've always preferred Rogue and was pleasantly  surprised when the novel was an improvement over the comic.

Finished "Predator: Turnabout" yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Steve Perry really did a good job on this one and there wasn't one instance of Predator POV (which I prefer but considering his output on "AVP: Prey" I was fully expecting the Pred POV). The human characters were all believable and fleshed out and I especially liked Sloane. Surprisingly the Predators weren't in the story all that much but their presence was felt throughout which I found very refreshing. I also liked how the Predators were originally on a hunting trip for Grizzlies before humans entered the mix. My only complaint is I found at least two dozen typos which took me right out of the story (C'mon Editors!). So far the DH Press Predator books get better with each subsequent release and now I'm about to start the highly lauded "South China Sea".

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 10, 2020, 01:18:20 PM
The idea of an Alien being born from a sheep being more docile is specifically mentioned in Rogue though, not Labyrinth ???

Church's leash was a full body harness with high voltage current for disciplinary measures, not a literal leash attached to a collar on the Alien or something.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jul 10, 2020, 02:27:39 PM
Really?! I could've sworn it was from Labyrinth! Oh well guess I have to give it another read lol. And regardless I don't like seeing Xeno's on leashes! Dr Church aka Xeno King aka Paul Exotic  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jul 10, 2020, 06:35:47 PM
Yeah, Rogue's whole thing was breeding docile Aliens through selective breeding.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: 426Buddy on Jul 10, 2020, 08:57:54 PM
I never had any issue with the gore in Labyrinth or the Alien throwing the skull, I thought it was pretty excellent myself. I love everything about Labyrinth except for the story as a whole :laugh:. But I loved the gore, the art, most of the set pieces, and I really liked Church as a villain.

Crespi always felt useless, lost, and easily manipulated to me. I really wanted to know more about what Church was actually doing, what his real research actually entailed. The end felt abrupt and left me confused as a child.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 10, 2020, 09:09:02 PM
Quote from: 426Buddy on Jul 10, 2020, 08:57:54 PM
I really wanted to know more about what Church was actually doing, what his real research actually entailed. The end felt abrupt and left me confused as a child.

Exactly. What he was doing was far more interesting than anything else and could've expanded on it much more. Loves his backstory, pretty intense.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Jul 10, 2020, 10:02:26 PM
Wasn't he trying to create human-alien hybrids and ways to weaponize/control aliens?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 10, 2020, 10:07:31 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jul 10, 2020, 02:27:39 PM
Really?! I could've sworn it was from Labyrinth! Oh well guess I have to give it another read lol. And regardless I don't like seeing Xeno's on leashes! Dr Church aka Xeno King aka Paul Exotic  :laugh:

:laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: 426Buddy on Jul 10, 2020, 10:13:37 PM
 Now everytime I see that panel with church walking the Alien I'll think Paul Exotic :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlazinBlueReview on Jul 11, 2020, 02:48:49 AM
How are the three stories in The Complete Predator Omnibus?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jul 17, 2020, 08:06:13 PM
Finally finished "Predator: South China Sea" and this was quite the action packed story brought to us by Jeff Vandermeer. The Pred here was completely badass and wrecked shit left and right; which left the human characters completely unsettled (as it should be). Speaking of, pretty much all the characters had solid back stories that influenced their actions and I really appreciated that. The Predator POV moments focused on hunts (previous and current) as well as tactics which I thought felt natural and not out of place. There were a couple of new weapons introduced that I found interesting but also seemed somewhat over the top. The only thing that I wasn't on board with was the fate of the character Nikolai which was a weird WTF moment to say the least. All in all still a really good book and now I can confidently say that I've finally read the entirety of the Predator EU.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 19, 2020, 04:03:03 PM
Finished Music of the Spears. This was a very different, but interesting story set in the Alien Universe. I had a little bit of a hard time trying to figure out where this book was going but by the time it picked up, I'd say I was pleasantly surprised.

Maybe because it was such a departure from the first few stories but I really liked the story focused mainly on the three characters (Eddington, Brangwen and Darcy) and insight into their thinking process and actions throughout the book. The author did a good job of setting up a rather bleak NYC and what the Jelly has done to some of its inhabitants. She got into much detail of what the substance does to an individual and the spiral they go down.

Maybe because it was different from having marines run around (which I don't mind), navigating through mazes and surprisingly not one Android, but I liked the setting mostly taking place in the lab with trying to produce music from the screams of the Alien.

I still don't know how I feel about MedTechs Security Force using an alien by the name of Ol Blue to navigate and find the missing egg/alien that Synsound stole from their laboratory. Or the fact that they even had a secret lab to begin with, which seems odd considering that Earth is still being rebuilt. It also seemed pretty easy for these 'ninjas' to sneak in, with no security cameras present in the hive lab and destroy the watcher aliens with swords.

But the focus on Eddington making his 'Symphony of Hate' and what he was willing to do in order to achieve it, was pretty crazy. I also liked how it ended with Brangwen and especially Darcy. She clearly loves the alien (Mozart) and what he represented, the lasting affects of her time with the alien completely changed her. As it did everyone else.

Beserker is next...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Jul 19, 2020, 07:47:29 PM
It's dark. I'd say even for an Alien story

Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jul 19, 2020, 04:03:03 PM
surprisingly not one Android

Well, apart from these weird synthetic rock bands. And there was synthetic copy of Mozart in the end


Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jul 19, 2020, 04:03:03 PM
The author did a good job of setting up a rather bleak NYC

Oh yeah. That prologue really get me on board
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 19, 2020, 09:50:35 PM
Quote from: Kradan on Jul 19, 2020, 07:47:29 PM
It's dark. I'd say even for an Alien story

Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jul 19, 2020, 04:03:03 PM
surprisingly not one Android

Well, apart from these weird synthetic rock bands. And there was synthetic copy of Mozart in the end


Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jul 19, 2020, 04:03:03 PM
The author did a good job of setting up a rather bleak NYC

Oh yeah. That prologue really get me on board

Oh yeah, the synth groups were a really intriguing idea. I even pictured that actually happening in the future.

Out of the novels, this one took me the longest to read. It was more thought provoking then most imo.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 20, 2020, 11:10:58 AM
Finally got round to reading the published version Prototype.  I found I enjoyed it more this time around.  I also found that I contributed more to this book without credit than many others where I have been credited.  :D
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: felix on Jul 20, 2020, 01:38:29 PM
I hope someday Titan re-releases the original Predator novelization.

I had a copy but lost it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Jul 20, 2020, 09:26:27 PM
You can still find some copies

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/title/predator/author/paul-monette/
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Jul 21, 2020, 03:32:38 PM
Quote from: SM on Jul 20, 2020, 11:10:58 AM
Finally got round to reading the published version Prototype.  I found I enjoyed it more this time around.  I also found that I contributed more to this book without credit than many others where I have been credited.  :D

:D

So I wanted to ask for a while - you somehow involved with Alien franchise, right ? What exactly you do ? What's your position and how much influence on final material do you have ? What's your jo description ?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: 426Buddy on Jul 21, 2020, 03:55:57 PM
Thats classified information :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 21, 2020, 09:38:34 PM
I read drafts and provide feedback on things like continuity and timelines.  Well I used to.  Sometimes they adopt it, sometimes they don't.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: j0nesy on Jul 21, 2020, 09:51:22 PM
Quote from: SM on Jul 20, 2020, 11:10:58 AM
Finally got round to reading the published version Prototype.  I found I enjoyed it more this time around.  I also found that I contributed more to this book without credit than many others where I have been credited.  :D

would the credit, or lack thereof, be down to tim waggoner? or the editor (steve saffel, if i remember correctly)?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 21, 2020, 10:45:29 PM
Both Steves - Tzirlin and Saffel.

Though to be fair, being credited isn't the norm in my experience, and the authors got their feedback from two main sources - the two Steves.

Tim Waggoner doesn't know who the hell I am but he's welcome.  :)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlazinBlueReview on Jul 22, 2020, 12:14:52 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 20, 2020, 11:10:58 AM
Finally got round to reading the published version Prototype.  I found I enjoyed it more this time around.  I also found that I contributed more to this book without credit than many others where I have been credited.  :D

Ordered it today. Be here on Thursday. It's in my backlog of stuff to read (Isolation, Hunters and Hunted, Predator Omnibus, Alien Omnibus Vol. 1)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 22, 2020, 12:16:01 AM
I have to get back to Hunters and Hunted.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: j0nesy on Jul 22, 2020, 03:08:22 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 21, 2020, 10:45:29 PM
Both Steves - Tzirlin and Saffel.

Though to be fair, being credited isn't the norm in my experience, and the authors got their feedback from two main sources - the two Steves.

Tim Waggoner doesn't know who the hell I am but he's welcome.  :)

haha, we know who you are and that's what counts  :)

Quote from: BlazinBlue88 on Jul 22, 2020, 12:14:52 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 20, 2020, 11:10:58 AM
Finally got round to reading the published version Prototype.  I found I enjoyed it more this time around.  I also found that I contributed more to this book without credit than many others where I have been credited.  :D

Ordered it today. Be here on Thursday. It's in my backlog of stuff to read (Isolation, Hunters and Hunted, Predator Omnibus, Alien Omnibus Vol. 1)

the alien: isolation adaptation? if you enjoy saving the best till last... start with isolation  :P
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Jul 22, 2020, 04:55:55 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 21, 2020, 09:38:34 PM
I read drafts and provide feedback on things like continuity and timelines.  Well I used to.  Sometimes they adopt it, sometimes they don't.

Thanks


Quote from: j0nesy on Jul 22, 2020, 03:08:22 AM
the alien: isolation adaptation? if you enjoy saving the best till last... start with isolation  :P

Rough
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 22, 2020, 08:28:20 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jul 17, 2020, 08:06:13 PMThe Pred here was completely badass and wrecked shit left and right; which left the human characters completely unsettled (as it should be).

As a novel I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous one, but as a character the Predator in it rules.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jul 23, 2020, 11:33:05 AM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Jul 22, 2020, 08:28:20 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Jul 17, 2020, 08:06:13 PMThe Pred here was completely badass and wrecked shit left and right; which left the human characters completely unsettled (as it should be).

As a novel I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous one, but as a character the Predator in it rules.

I agree. I think "Turnabout" was my favorite of the bunch but I could see some fans not liking the lack of Predator moments in that one.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Jul 23, 2020, 01:58:33 PM
They're both top-tier for me. Both 10/10s.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Jul 23, 2020, 07:39:39 PM
Turnabout and South China Sea were just so good and its interesting how completely different books they actually are.
They might even be better than all the Aliens books, except perhaps the Cold Forge.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 24, 2020, 07:43:00 AM
That's actually a fair shout.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Jul 24, 2020, 12:58:18 PM
Yeah they're both excellent reads and easily the best in the entire DH Press run.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: lightsyder on Jul 24, 2020, 06:51:24 PM
Someday I hope to be able to read those DH press Predator books.  Shame they were published with gold ink, at least I assume they were based on ebay prices anyway....
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 29, 2020, 07:37:46 PM
Finished Aliens Berserker and really liked it. Loved what they did with the MAX mech and the overall concept of HK teams was cool.

I felt bad for Teape being the front man who'd purposely get dragged into the hive but I suppose someone's gotta do it ha. Also liked how they had masks they could wear to protect them from facehuggers although I'm not sure why everyone wouldn't wear one, just to be safe.

Took a little bit to get into but when it starts it really doesn't hold back.

Side note: I've noticed that in particular scenes of the waves and waves of aliens that are getting blown apart on ships and the amount of acid that comes out of multiple bodies dripping through several floors on a spaceship, why hasn't any of them gone completely through the ship/space station and would that cause anything/anyone to be sucked out through those levels into space? I don't remember anything being mentioned about shields....just curious.

Onto the next one...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 29, 2020, 11:26:58 PM
DS 949 was pretty big.

And alien acid can sometimes have a variable pH depending on the plot...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 30, 2020, 01:34:25 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 29, 2020, 11:26:58 PM
DS 949 was pretty big.

And alien acid can sometimes have a variable pH depending on the plot...

Gotcha. Didn't think it was a plot hole necessarily but more curious if this ever got addressed or showed up in any of the comics/novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlazinBlueReview on Jul 30, 2020, 01:54:26 AM
Working on Hunters and Hunted.

Then deciding which to read next - Alien Isolation, Prototype, Alien Omnibus v1, Predator Omnibus, or The Cold Forge
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: j0nesy on Jul 30, 2020, 02:05:58 AM
cold forge gets my vote!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 30, 2020, 03:16:44 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jul 30, 2020, 01:34:25 AM
Quote from: SM on Jul 29, 2020, 11:26:58 PM
DS 949 was pretty big.

And alien acid can sometimes have a variable pH depending on the plot...

Gotcha. Didn't think it was a plot hole necessarily but more curious if this ever got addressed or showed up in any of the comics/novels.

Nah.  It really is dependent on the needs of the story and how the artist and writer work together.  If you look at something like Earth War, there's a couple of sequences there where the characters are literally surrounded by thousands of Aliens, blasting away with pulse rifles and they escape without a scratch.  Sometimes, if it's minor, it's easy to ignore; sometimes it's not.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 30, 2020, 07:35:46 AM
Berserker was comfortably the best of the Bantam run for me.

Reminds me a little of The Cold Forge in a way - on the face of it a very basic, by-the-numbers story, but so well fleshed-out it becomes something far more.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jul 30, 2020, 08:31:14 AM
I don't think Cold Forge is especially by-the-numbers.  The premise - Aliens loose on a space station - is certainly straight forward, but there's a LOT going on in Cold Forge
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jul 30, 2020, 08:34:22 AM
Oh definitely, but I was referring to the basic set-up. The back cover blurb, for instance, makes it sound generic as hell.

It was all that extra embellishment that made it so good.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 04, 2020, 03:17:53 PM
Finished Aliens Original Sin and out of the bunch so far, it was the easiest and quickest to read, not sure if that's a good thing.

I really didn't mind the story, I've personally come to like A:R over the years, flaws and all so it was nice to see the returning characters.

I didn't mind the whole secret Loki group and the Malaka species either. It made more sense to me then what happened with David creating the aliens.

Nothing inspiring about the characters, though. I wished the author would've focused more on Call, Johner and Vriess.

Plus it ends in a way where it seems it was supposed to set up more continuation but I've found no other novels do, so that's kinda lame.

I think the book could've fleshed out more pages, easily another 100. I also liked the setting in the botanical base.

DNA War is next....
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: lightsyder on Aug 06, 2020, 08:34:10 PM
Getting ready to dive into some Alien novels.  I'm going to order Prototype since I'm also getting ready to read the Defiance / Resistance / Rescue comics so I might as well do it all in order.

On that note, is the Isolation novel worth reading?  I played and loved the game so I thought it might be a fun read but I've seen some negative reviews for it.

Any other must reads I should look for?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Aug 06, 2020, 09:02:27 PM
If you wanna know more of Amanda's backtory, then yes - it's worth a read

If you wanna pure Isolation experience recreated in text form - nah, skip that one, play game instead
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 06, 2020, 09:05:39 PM
Quote from: lightsyder on Aug 06, 2020, 08:34:10 PM
Getting ready to dive into some Alien novels.  I'm going to order Prototype since I'm also getting ready to read the Defiance / Resistance / Rescue comics so I might as well do it all in order.

On that note, is the Isolation novel worth reading?  I played and loved the game so I thought it might be a fun read but I've seen some negative reviews for it.

Any other must reads I should look for?

I started reading the novels for the first time in February. I wasn't quite sure where to start so I personally went with order of release. So I began with Aliens Omnibus Vol. 1 and am now on Vol.5. I haven't read anything newer yet.

But I'd recommend starting with the Earth War trilogy which is volume one of the omnibus novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: lightsyder on Aug 06, 2020, 09:11:34 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 06, 2020, 09:05:39 PM
Quote from: lightsyder on Aug 06, 2020, 08:34:10 PM
Getting ready to dive into some Alien novels.  I'm going to order Prototype since I'm also getting ready to read the Defiance / Resistance / Rescue comics so I might as well do it all in order.

On that note, is the Isolation novel worth reading?  I played and loved the game so I thought it might be a fun read but I've seen some negative reviews for it.

Any other must reads I should look for?

I started reading the novels for the first time in February. I wasn't quite sure where to start so I personally went with order of release. So I began with Aliens Omnibus Vol. 1 and am now on Vol.5. I haven't read anything newer yet.

But I'd recommend starting with the Earth War trilogy which is volume one of the omnibus novels.

That trilogy and Genocide I have read.  Got those back when they came out.  Loved them back then.  I have been eyeing those collected editions for the non comic adaptations so I may just go after some of those to get going after prototype.


Quote from: Kradan on Aug 06, 2020, 09:02:27 PM
If you wanna know more of Amanda's backtory, then yes - it's worth a read

If you wanna pure Isolation experience recreated in text form - nah, skip that one, play game instead

Yeah the game was a great experience.  More of Amanda's back story might be fun though.  Does it go past the game ending any or does it end the same way?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 07, 2020, 08:08:06 AM
Quote from: lightsyder on Aug 06, 2020, 08:34:10 PMOn that note, is the Isolation novel worth reading?  I played and loved the game so I thought it might be a fun read but I've seen some negative reviews for it.

My advice is don't bother. It's a thoroughly disappointing translation of the game. There are far better recent novels. In fact it's probably the worst book Titan have put out since they got the licence.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Aug 07, 2020, 08:53:27 PM
Quote from: lightsyder on Aug 06, 2020, 09:11:34 PM
Does it go past the game ending any or does it end the same way?

I've read it once and IIRC it ends the same way game ends. I think, I would've remembered if it had played out differently
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: lightsyder on Aug 07, 2020, 10:26:47 PM
Thanks for the feedback on Isolation.  Sounds like it may just go to the bottom of the read list
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Perfect-Organism on Aug 07, 2020, 10:33:55 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 04, 2020, 03:17:53 PM
Finished Aliens Original Sin and out of the bunch so far, it was the easiest and quickest to read, not sure if that's a good thing.

I really didn't mind the story, I've personally come to like A:R over the years, flaws and all so it was nice to see the returning characters.

I didn't mind the whole secret Loki group and the Malaka species either. It made more sense to me then what happened with David creating the aliens.

Nothing inspiring about the characters, though. I wished the author would've focused more on Call, Johner and Vriess.

Plus it ends in a way where it seems it was supposed to set up more continuation but I've found no other novels do, so that's kinda lame.

I think the book could've fleshed out more pages, easily another 100. I also liked the setting in the botanical base.

DNA War is next....

I found reading this book to be a torturous experience.  It took me a long time but I got through it.  I don't remember anything from it really.  Just made no impression.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Darwinsgirl on Aug 08, 2020, 12:00:35 AM
Question...

I generally read books in the order in which they are written. Is this recommended with the ALIEN novels?

Thanks in advance.  :)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 08, 2020, 01:42:07 AM
Yes, though in most cases it doesn't really matter.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 08, 2020, 04:48:14 AM
Quote from: Perfect-Organism on Aug 07, 2020, 10:33:55 PM


I found reading this book to be a torturous experience.  It took me a long time but I got through it.  I don't remember anything from it really.  Just made no impression.

I can see that. It was an easy read, I think I liked it mainly for the characters that returned but even then it was short. I think it was intended to continue but clearly didn't.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 08, 2020, 05:09:53 AM
I didn't find it torturous - just a bit 'meh'.  Ripley has gone backwards as a character.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 08, 2020, 10:43:02 AM
Quote from: lightsyder on Aug 06, 2020, 09:11:34 PMDoes it go past the game ending any or does it end the same way?

It adds the epilogue from the web series, but that's it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 08, 2020, 11:03:42 AM
The series was supposed to be more complex and the book was supposed to go a bit further in having Amanda picked up.  Budget saw to the series ending being scaled down.  Not sure why the intended ending for the book getting trimmed.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Aug 08, 2020, 11:07:28 AM
Ran out of ink, clearly.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 08, 2020, 11:15:25 AM
That shit ain't cheap.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Tichinde on Aug 08, 2020, 10:58:35 PM
Spoiler
Stalking Shadows surprised me. I bought the book for Predators (obviously) but I actually just ended up getting pissed when they showed up since they kill the characters I grew so fond of. Highly recommend either way though, it's a pretty realistic gritty but hopeful look at a man set in the universe of alien big game hunters and his relationship with his colleagues. Its also incredibly satisfying to see some of the preds they came up with. In particular Chapter 4 has a new subspecies of pred that is pretty cool. We get a few details on a female yautja, and we get another (awful) attempt at predator dogs. Either way the characters carry the story and you get to see why Dutch is such a prick in the P: HG audio logs. He actually has a character that might not develop too much but he's not just a stone cold assassin, he's generally portrayed really well and is a total badass through the entire book.
[close]

Thats my mini review
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 08, 2020, 11:41:18 PM
Thanks for the spoilers.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Dachande on Aug 09, 2020, 12:06:45 AM

Quote from: SM on Aug 09, 2020, 12:03:04 AM
It's a new book and there's no mention of Dutch in the blurb.

Perhaps edit the post with spoiler tags instead of being a tit.

I've edited the post with spoiler tags.

Regardless of whether you think something is a spoiler or not Tichinde. It is still worth putting any details from new products in spoiler tags, as not everybody might know as much as you do going into something.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Tichinde on Aug 09, 2020, 12:16:22 AM
Alright but just to set the record straight SM:



Its in the publisher summary
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 09, 2020, 12:25:03 AM
I read the blurb on Amazon.
Spoiler
No Dutch.
[close]
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Aug 09, 2020, 12:40:14 AM
I had no idea he was in it until this thread too.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Aug 09, 2020, 01:47:51 AM
The back cover Blurb prominently states that he's back.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Aug 09, 2020, 01:53:26 AM
So it do.



Descriptions I'd been reading just kept mentioning "an unexpected ally."
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 09, 2020, 01:59:57 AM
Me too.

If that's the case, the publisher spoiled it and not Tichinde.

Apologies.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Tichinde on Aug 09, 2020, 04:01:31 AM
It's all good. In the future I'll be more careful.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Voodoo Magic on Aug 09, 2020, 02:26:43 PM
Should be...

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Perfect-Organism on Aug 10, 2020, 01:09:54 PM
Spoiler
  Alan?  Alan?   :laugh:
[close]
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 10, 2020, 01:21:02 PM
For many years now, yes. Have you never seen that?  :o
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 11, 2020, 12:32:45 AM
To be fair, the only official release I can think of off-hand that mentions it before this book is the Predator 2 novelisation, and that's a bitch to get.

It's also in the first film's script, but take that as you will given that it didn't make the film.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 12, 2020, 06:25:04 AM
Finished Aliens DNA War...wtf did I just read!? Hands down this was the worst alien book I've read so far. The characters are beyond horrible (Rory and Bonnies conversations were quite cringe worthy) from how they acted to talking was just plain hard to read.

I don't mind that the author tried something different with the aliens and facehuggers, but I can't stand behind the rolling or flying aspect.

The PPs were interesting until they weren't. Ok, so they hunt and kill anything on the planet that isn't native. So, in order to get by two of these machines from killing his group, the main character throws alien body parts at the PPs in order for them to start firing at each other, ultimately destroying them!? The things cost millions of dollars and are supposed to be top of the line, yet they get a little alien dna on them and they go stupid? You'd think with the amount of traveling and destruction, there'd be some dna spray that'd hit the machine at some point...

The big reveal wasn't that all surprising and I'm not sure why the scientists just told them the real reason why the aliens are acting different, it wasn't top secret material or anything.

Plus there's a random bat type creature named buttercup who belongs to the most annoying character I've read for this series named Bonnie.

The scene where they find the huts in the beginning and the stealth suits they wore, were the only cool things about it...

I had a really hard time with this one and barely made it through...I might take a break after this before moving onto Cauldron.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 12, 2020, 07:09:54 AM
I rate DNA War above Cauldron.  ;)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Aug 12, 2020, 08:05:07 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 12, 2020, 06:25:04 AM
I might take a break after this before moving onto Cauldron.

Quote from: SM on Aug 12, 2020, 07:09:54 AM
I rate DNA War above Cauldron.  ;)

Word of the day is - reassuring

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 12, 2020, 08:57:26 AM
As I've mentioned before, I struggle to separate DNA War and Cauldron.

Cauldron is absolutely a book of two halves. I'm spoiling nothing in saying its set on two separate ships - I thought everything that happened on one of them was fantastic, whereas everything that happened on the other was mostly crap (and got worse and worse as the novel went on). It has some genuinely excellent moments in it, but they're few and far between.

I found DNA War to be more consistent overall, but there was nothing particularly special in it and the bad/wtf bits in it were way worse than anything in Cauldron.

In general, all of these DH Press Aliens books start OK but sooner or later fall off a cliff.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Perfect-Organism on Aug 12, 2020, 12:22:02 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Aug 10, 2020, 01:21:02 PM
For many years now, yes. Have you never seen that?  :o

Actually no I have not.  I only follow Predator stuff very casually and occasionally.  I find it hilarious that Dutch's first name is Al.  "Hey everyone, Al says for us to get to the chopper", just doesn't carry the Same name strength as we're used to in "Dutch".
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 12, 2020, 02:48:24 PM
Quote from: Kradan on Aug 12, 2020, 08:05:07 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 12, 2020, 06:25:04 AM
I might take a break after this before moving onto Cauldron.

Quote from: SM on Aug 12, 2020, 07:09:54 AM
I rate DNA War above Cauldron.  ;)

Word of the day is - reassuring

Oh lord....

Oh f**k...same author for Cauldron...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 13, 2020, 08:03:39 AM
I remember the first half of Cauldron being fantastic, with some interesting stuff regarding the Alien in the back-end. But I don't tend to revisit the DH Press stuff.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 13, 2020, 09:40:20 AM
I'm the opposite.  The first half of Cauldron seemed to be taking place in some other universe than wasn't related to Alien and populated with one dimensional cardboard cut outs spouting the clunkiest most unrealistic drivel in an Alien book.  There was a couple of cool bits later on with the Aliens, but overall I think I rate it the worst Alien novel.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 20, 2020, 11:21:46 PM
I forgot to mention that in DNA War there was a scene of facehuggers running around. Now, I've never thought of it until I read that but what's the lifespan on them? Are they only in the eggs or have they ever run around like the aliens do and do any other lore mentions them like that? I've always assumed they were in the egg until needed...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Aug 20, 2020, 11:29:15 PM
Aliens shows they can last at least a few weeks in tubes, but we don't know what was in the liquid and whether it played a part in keeping them alive.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Aug 20, 2020, 11:33:37 PM
Not quite sure on the official canon status of the Tongal shorts, so I'd definitely say to take them with a grain of salt, but Alien: Alone features a Facehugger surviving for a pretty extended period of time (though slowly dying as it goes) with no host in its presence.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Aug 21, 2020, 05:46:05 AM
I always thought facehuggers "have permission to die" only when their job is done
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 21, 2020, 10:13:03 PM
Quote from: Kradan on Aug 21, 2020, 05:46:05 AM
I always thought facehuggers "have permission to die" only when their job is done

This makes sense 😎


Finished Cauldron... I really hope that Diane Carey (the author of this and DNA War) never again returns to the Alien universe. I noticed she wrote a few Star Trek books and after learning that, makes a lot of sense.

Cauldron felt like a few different books, mixed together and then she realized she forgot the main ingredient, Aliens.

This book was hit and miss. I surprisingly liked the scene where the alien made the human scream, but did not like when it appeared with another human who the alien made talk...Rather confusing.

The kids were beyond annoying, though I didn't mind one or two of them. Some of them are overly smart like Leigh and Pearl...oh yes, Pearl. So she makes a comment at the end that she was supposed to be one of Aliens because her DNA is all messed up....and then that was that.  And the whole Adam drugging the grownups to take over the ship was beyond ridiculous and I thought he would've given a good reason why, he doesn't, period. Plus the kids don't really even fight Adam on releasing the captain and all watch as he's made to see his family heirloom melted down to nothing...

The reasoning the aliens escaped, for chickens to be cooked, was pretty ridiculous as well and after there released, take over the ship in a matter of an hour, from what I read. Also, the ship they were originally released on  (the Virginia) docked with the Umiak (the kids ship), is never mentioned again after more than half the crew of the Umiak departs. What happened to the rest of the crew and aliens, left on the Virginia?

I did like the releasing of all the animals throughout the cargo hold to mess with the aliens. That part was pretty cool and an alien going up against a saber tooth and mammoth was a neat idea. Plus I feel she described the aliens as more horror and brutal than she did in DNA War, so there's that.

The random pirates/smugglers that showed up delivers absolutely nothing to the story other than a baby getting ripped out of one of the female pirates and Robin taking care of it, which is even hardly mentioned.

It ends with the remaining kids splashing and swimming around in a container which was filled with aquatic life...yeah...

Once again, I don't mind authors taking the aliens in a different direction and trying new things, but this author misses more than hits.

Maybe because I was warned previously about the novel but I think I still hold DNA War as the worst, followed right behind this one.

Steel Egg is next...


I've also noticed after reading the last few I've found no mention of the prior novels in the omnibus after volume 4 or 5, not sure. The last three novels I've read mentioned that humans have heard of Aliens but don't have much detail on them. Are these newer books not involved in the previous storylines? Are they just there own story?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Aug 22, 2020, 03:23:00 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 21, 2020, 10:13:03 PM
I've also noticed after reading the last few I've found no mention of the prior novels in the omnibus after volume 4 or 5, not sure. The last three novels I've read mentioned that humans have heard of Aliens but don't have much detail on them. Are these newer books not involved in the previous storylines? Are they just there own story?

The Bantam stuff (from Earth Hive to Berserker) are adaptations of Dark Horse comics from their original continuity where Aliens eventually  invade Earth and become a known entity.

The Dark Horse Press novels (from Original Sin to No Exit) are a reboot timline that doesn't take any of that material into account, and I don't think the particular novels reference one another, either.

The current novels, from Titan, represent yet another reboot. And it seems that even within the Titan stuff, there are some contradictions between the books that came out pre-Alien: Covenant and those that came out after.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 22, 2020, 04:55:50 PM
Quote from: Nightmare Asylum on Aug 22, 2020, 03:23:00 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 21, 2020, 10:13:03 PM
I've also noticed after reading the last few I've found no mention of the prior novels in the omnibus after volume 4 or 5, not sure. The last three novels I've read mentioned that humans have heard of Aliens but don't have much detail on them. Are these newer books not involved in the previous storylines? Are they just there own story?

The Bantam stuff (from Earth Hive to Berserker) are adaptations of Dark Horse comics from their original continuity where Aliens eventually  invade Earth and become a known entity.

The Dark Horse Press novels (from Original Sin to No Exit) are a reboot timline that doesn't take any of that material into account, and I don't think the particular novels reference one another, either.

The current novels, from Titan, represent yet another reboot. And it seems that even within the Titan stuff, there are some contradictions between the books that came out pre-Alien: Covenant and those that came out after.

Thanks for the breakdown! I honestly don't mind that they don't all follow one another, but was more curious on the timeline for the novels so this helps.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 22, 2020, 11:48:10 PM
QuoteThe current novels, from Titan, represent yet another reboot. And it seems that even within the Titan stuff, there are some contradictions between the books that came out pre-Alien: Covenant and those that came out after.

I don't believe there's any contradictions from book to book - just the pre-Covenant books and Covenant itself.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Aug 23, 2020, 12:02:24 AM
Ahhh, that makes sense. TCF and Phalanx are the only ones I've actually read, myself.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 24, 2020, 07:35:28 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 21, 2020, 10:13:03 PM
This book was hit and miss. I surprisingly liked the scene where the alien made the human scream, but did not like when it appeared with another human who the alien made talk...Rather confusing.

It's been a long while since I last re-read Cauldron but I remember this being a stand-out moment.

Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 21, 2020, 10:13:03 PM
Steel Egg is next...

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 24, 2020, 07:43:27 AM
:laugh:

Yeah, Steel Egg was rough. Comfortably the worst in my eyes.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 24, 2020, 07:45:25 AM
Annoyingly was the one I was looking forward to the most back then. But yeah, that's awful.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 24, 2020, 08:50:16 AM
Cauldron was way worse than Steel Egg.

But Reynolds was way worse than any character in any Alien media ever.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 24, 2020, 09:02:06 AM
Respectfully disagree on the former point.

Cauldron had a fair few decent moments throughout, and took a while to really go to pot. Steel Egg was basically shite from the moment they find the titular egg in the opening pages.

Shame because it has probably my favourite cover art from that run.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 24, 2020, 09:47:35 AM
f**king Griff.  :-X
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Aug 24, 2020, 10:19:29 AM
Who ?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Aug 24, 2020, 11:43:16 AM
Larry  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 27, 2020, 06:25:57 PM
Finished Steel Egg and I got to say that this last run of novels haven't met up to the previous Bantam ones.

I'm still digesting it but it had moments I didn't mind and started to lose me the more the author introduced the Giff species and their flying Diamond shaped hover boards...ugh...

Reynolds was a rather interesting character for being a piece of shit ha. I wouldn't have minded more insight from his point of view.

The UNIC, CANC and the company description were interesting in setting up what earth was going through in regards to planetary exploration and settlements. I also really liked how the author described the facehuggers attack on the humans, I felt he made the most descriptive explanation on how they attack ones face.

Other than that, it was a mess. Each time they were in the steel egg spaceship I just rolled my eyes and hoping they'd move on. The description of the Giff species was kinda confusing to me and the author really focused on them, it took it from a horror type of novel to fantasy, and not in a good way.

Maybe if he left out the Giff and diamond skateboards it would've grabbed me more, who knows.

Other than that there really isn't much more to say about it, honestly. It was kinda just bland, blah...

Up next is Criminal Enterprise...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 27, 2020, 10:03:52 PM
Criminal Enterprise was probably the best of the DHP run.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 27, 2020, 10:08:40 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Aug 24, 2020, 11:43:16 AM
Larry  :laugh:

I completely get this now
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Aug 28, 2020, 09:28:43 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 27, 2020, 10:03:52 PM
Criminal Enterprise was probably the best of the DHP run.

The Aliens side of it, absolutely.

A couple of the Predator books have it beat for me.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Aug 28, 2020, 11:25:55 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 27, 2020, 10:08:40 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Aug 24, 2020, 11:43:16 AM
Larry  :laugh:

I completely get this now

LOL

Quote from: HuDaFuK on Aug 28, 2020, 09:28:43 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 27, 2020, 10:03:52 PM
Criminal Enterprise was probably the best of the DHP run.

The Aliens side of it, absolutely.

A couple of the Predator books have it beat for me.

Agreed that Criminal Enterprise was indeed the best of the Aliens DHP run but the latter two DHP Predator novels were far superior to any of the Aliens ones. Really not sure why Titan hasn't rereleased them in omnibus form.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 30, 2020, 04:49:50 AM
Just read I Was A Teenage Lesbian Alien Killer again.  Very straight forward story told well with a refreshing approach.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Aug 30, 2020, 11:04:56 AM
Took me a moment. Echo?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Aug 30, 2020, 04:18:19 PM
Quote from: SM on Aug 30, 2020, 04:49:50 AM
Just read I Was A Teenage Lesbian Alien Killer again.  Very straight forward story told well with a refreshing approach.

I might just have to read that next 😎
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Aug 30, 2020, 11:31:58 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Aug 30, 2020, 11:04:56 AM
Took me a moment. Echo?

Indeed.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Aug 31, 2020, 07:42:37 AM
Now I'm intrigued to check it out
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 02, 2020, 07:35:06 PM
Finished Out Of The Shadows by Tim Lebbon. The way Ripley was shoehorned in had me scratching my head... But generally speaking I quite enjoyed it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Sep 03, 2020, 12:05:07 AM
It's a premise that should not have worked at all - but kinda did.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Sep 06, 2020, 02:13:05 AM
Finished Criminal Enterprise....Drugs, sex and violence, oh yea!

Thank god I finally read a good book from this run of the series. The last three made me seriously contemplate taking a break for awhile but I found myself getting into CE almost right away.

The fact that it takes a different approach to what I've read in the previous books, definitely helped. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the whole drug dealers plot but there were two other stories going on within that, which helped. SD Perry seems to be consistent with her writing and I'm happy with this one as well.

The characters are what drew me into this even more, their all assholes ha. But with a little background of each, without devoting an entire history behind them, was nice. I'm fine with reading about characters you don't particularly like.

I also liked how the aliens were written. This was one of the first books where the author didn't get into an extreme detail of them and what they do to the humans, but when their taking away and carried off to the hive, it felt dark. They knew what would happen, us as the reader knows, and that's it. Although out of pure curiosity, I wouldn't have minded a chapter devoted to one of the humans waking up and describing being attached to a wall with the others that they had known.

The ending trailed off a little but other than that, I really liked it. There were even moments of reading it that I could see on film or tv.

No Exit is next...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Sep 06, 2020, 06:59:31 AM
No Exit was patchy, but not too bad.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Tichinde on Sep 06, 2020, 03:06:38 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Aug 28, 2020, 11:25:55 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Aug 27, 2020, 10:08:40 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Aug 24, 2020, 11:43:16 AM
Larry  :laugh:

I completely get this now

LOL

Quote from: HuDaFuK on Aug 28, 2020, 09:28:43 AM
Quote from: SM on Aug 27, 2020, 10:03:52 PM
Criminal Enterprise was probably the best of the DHP run.

The Aliens side of it, absolutely.

A couple of the Predator books have it beat for me.

Agreed that Criminal Enterprise was indeed the best of the Aliens DHP run but the latter two DHP Predator novels were far superior to any of the Aliens ones. Really not sure why Titan hasn't rereleased them in omnibus form.

hehehe, yeah... me too... I am also unsure why they haven't rereleased them. Would. love. to. read. them. some. time.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 06, 2020, 05:24:43 PM
I don't really want to read any that are adaptations of the graphic novels. I always try to work out what is and isn't.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Sep 07, 2020, 07:42:57 AM
Quote from: Tichinde on Sep 06, 2020, 03:06:38 PM
QuoteAgreed that Criminal Enterprise was indeed the best of the Aliens DHP run but the latter two DHP Predator novels were far superior to any of the Aliens ones. Really not sure why Titan hasn't rereleased them in omnibus form.

hehehe, yeah... me too... I am also unsure why they haven't rereleased them. Would. love. to. read. them. some. time.

https://www.spring.org.uk/images/no_sleep.jpg

Considering how easy it was for them to do Aliens, and how much they know Predator is wanted, I assume there's some legal hiccups that prevents them from doing it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Sep 08, 2020, 08:06:47 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Sep 06, 2020, 02:13:05 AMNo Exit is next...

About 75-80% of No Exit is really good and a refreshingly different take on the idea of Alien infestations. Then the final few chapters just get totally daft.

It's shame because if it had kept up the quality throughout it would've been the best of that run. I've heard before that the author basically ran out of time and had to rush the ending, and that he freely admits to the drop-off at the end.

Quote from: FatStu on Sep 06, 2020, 05:24:43 PMI don't really want to read any that are adaptations of the graphic novels. I always try to work out what is and isn't.

Everything published by Bantam Books is a comic adaptation, with the exception of AVP: Hunter's Planet, which is an original story apart from a single chapter that adapts a comic book short.

Everything published since by DH Press and Titan Books is original stuff.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Sep 08, 2020, 08:46:14 AM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Sep 08, 2020, 08:06:47 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Sep 06, 2020, 02:13:05 AMNo Exit is next...

About 75-80% of No Exit is really good and a refreshingly different take on the idea of Alien infestations. Then the final few chapters just get totally daft.

It's shame because if it had kept up the quality throughout it would've been the best of that run. I've heard before that the author basically ran out of time and had to rush the ending, and that he freely admits to the drop-off at the end.

We spoke to him 10 years back. I asked him about the end.

QuoteAvPGalaxy – The main criticism regarding No Exit was the abrupt way you changed from psycho-thriller to an action piece. The best description I saw was that "you really get the feeling that it wasn't the last half the author wanted to write, that there was some kind of mandate passed down". Was that the way you always planned it or was it something DH asked you to include?

Brian Evenson – Well... I guess there are several things I could say about that. There's definitely a transition there that may be partly due to me and partly due to the desire for a certain amount of action on the part of the powers that be. I can't speak for the powers that be and what they were thinking. I think on my side of the equation there were two things that had an impact. First, at a certain point I was thinking a lot about the way in which "Alien" and "Aliens" are radically different (in the same way that the two parts of my Aliens novel are) but yet somehow still kind of work together.

Second, the action component of it was originally meant to be shorter and to be followed by a more claustrophobic thing going on on the moon base that would return us to the kind of psycho-thriller thing we'd begun with. But once I was writing, I realized that the section taking place on the planet needed to be developed a lot more and that if I wanted to do what I did with the end that I'd need another 100 or 150 pages, which wasn't possible in the confines of the series. At the same time I tried to write the two halves in such a way that they'd balance against themselves, like what happens when you do a back-to-back reading of "Alien" and "Aliens". Despite that abrupt shift, I've heard from a lot of people that it's their favourite Alien novel (but of course those that don't like it probably aren't writing to me...).

https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/interviews/brian-evenson/
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Sep 08, 2020, 09:40:06 AM
I thought it might've been from your interview but I wasn't sure enough to say!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 08, 2020, 07:32:11 PM
Just finished the Alien Isolation novel. Started it immediately after playing the game. Quite enjoyed it for what it was.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Sep 13, 2020, 05:05:59 PM
Finished No Exit and I'd say your guys' thoughts on this novel were pretty accurate.

The start of the book is probably one of the best that I've read in the Alien series, I mean, it had me immediately! It was so different and unique and I really enjoyed how the author set the mood, for the first half of the book anyway.

If the book would've focused on Kramm as a "Alien Detective" solely, I probably would've been far more interested in the book but once he gets to the planet to investigate, he meets a character named Frances and it kind of dipped from there. Her character seemed at times to know a lot more of what was going on and then wouldn't understand anything so I found her character hard to like, hard to even understand.

It seemed that once they escaped the planet, the book looses steam and at times, couldn't quite figure out which direction to go. It would pick up in some spots and die in others.

I did like the planet idea, where the characters get diverted to, as a test subject hive location. A mouse maze so to speak where they're being monitored by scientists on a nearby moon.

When the action picked up in the third half it felt kind of clunky and although I like the character of Bjorn, it's never quite explained how this guy could have almost super human strength.

Kramm and Braley were great characters who should've had some more interaction time together. Hell, there should have been more of Braley but as Hicks pointed out in his review of this book, he just drops out about half way through and is never mentioned again, which is a shame.

I read the interview Hicks did with the author which really helped me in terms of where the author was wanting to go with the book as it ends abruptly. It's a shame because I would actually like to see what happens next with the remaining characters on the moon base.

The author did a great job of explaining Kramms fear of the dark and being in such closed spaces as vents and tunnels.

I still think this was one of the better stories from DH runs but still felt short of being really, really great! I wonder what the book would've been if the author had stayed with the Alien Detective part and still had Braley be apart of the story. Get rid of Frances and stick with Bjorn.

After reading back to back Aliens novels and fear of possibly getting burnt out, or not liking a future novel because I've read the same scenario just recently, I'm taking an Alien book break. Once I've finished My current book I'll be back at it with Out of Shadows.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Sep 14, 2020, 10:29:02 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Sep 13, 2020, 05:05:59 PM
The start of the book is probably one of the best that I've read in the Alien series, I mean, it had me immediately! It was so different and unique and I really enjoyed how the author set the mood, for the first half of the book anyway.

I feel the same. Last time I reread it I was like... this really could have been the best one if it was like the start through it all.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 16, 2020, 11:52:49 PM
Just finished Sea Of Sorrows. Quite liked it!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 19, 2020, 10:45:43 PM
River Of Pain is a harrowing read.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Sep 20, 2020, 10:04:05 AM
Is it?

I found that book, much like Newt's Tale, was a colossal missed opportunity. Nothing like as horrifying as it should've been.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Sep 20, 2020, 10:19:48 AM
Best of that trilogy in spite of the missed opportunities.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Sep 20, 2020, 05:12:07 PM
I want Hadley's Hope Fall story so badly. River of Pain was almost there
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 21, 2020, 12:56:34 PM
Just finished Predator Incursion. Rather enjoyed it!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Sep 21, 2020, 12:57:50 PM
I'm due a re-read of the Rage War myself, but I remember really enjoying the series. My only real quibbles were in Incursion and they were gone for the rest of the series.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 22, 2020, 07:16:13 PM
Alien Invasion was brilliant. These would make GREAT films.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Sep 23, 2020, 09:09:08 AM
I think I liked Invasion the least out of the three. That's not to say it's in any way bad, I just enjoyed the other two more.

Really liked their epic scope. A welcome change to the standard formula of isolated events, and well-executed to boot. I do wonder how intentional the parallels with the Mass Effect trilogy were though.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 25, 2020, 01:14:57 PM
Just finished Aliens Vs Predator: Armageddon. Huge fun, great trilogy. Do like Tim Lebbon.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Sep 25, 2020, 02:26:46 PM
It is a really solid trilogy. There's also a short story in both Aliens: Bughunt and Predator: If It Bleeds by Lebbon that feature Halley before the events of the trilogy.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wweyland on Sep 25, 2020, 09:29:43 PM
What's the consensus on the worst book in the whole Alien/Predator/AvP line? I am voting for The Predator novelization, Predator: Forever Midnight and Alien Covenant: Origins probably in that order.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Sep 26, 2020, 12:15:38 AM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Sep 25, 2020, 02:26:46 PM
It is a really solid trilogy. There's also a short story in both Aliens: Bughunt and Predator: If It Bleeds by Lebbon that feature Halley before the events of the trilogy.

Yeah, Ive got that. Will dig in soon.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Sep 26, 2020, 09:01:44 PM
Quote from: Wweyland on Sep 25, 2020, 09:29:43 PMWhat's the consensus on the worst book in the whole Alien/Predator/AvP line?

Steel Egg, with Forever Midnight a close second.

Those two were comfortably worse than everything else, I thought.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Sep 26, 2020, 09:23:26 PM
Cauldron.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Sep 27, 2020, 03:03:20 AM
Quote from: SM on Sep 26, 2020, 09:23:26 PM
Cauldron.

Good god this book was horrible. And Steel Egg ugh
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Tichinde on Sep 28, 2020, 12:22:21 AM
Okay, so I finished "The Predator: Hunters and Hunted" and I have a few complaints but it was a decent book, very good at building up the human characters.

Spoiler
Okay so this is the one that took me out of the universe the most. The Predator constantly talks about honoring the hunt and being really skilled for his race yadda yadda. He talks about how good he is, about how he's an honorable hunter and he breaks the code quite a few times. So he kills a dog with a smart disc (dog's aren't really worthy prey for an 8 ft tall monster), I guess as he says "this wasn't hunting, this was survival" but I didn't really understand that to be honest. He's running through the marsh of Florida, why the f**k does he stop and kill a dog and the humans walking it? just weird, maybe he was hungry, since he skins one of the humans leg and eats it. Also, if he was this ELITE hunter that is so good, why does he have trouble with an American Alligator? I'm not saying the American Alligator isn't a powerful specimen... but this is a far stretch away from South China sea's Predator wrestling a 20 foot crocodile and winning fairly easy. He literally gets hit by an alligator, I just don't get it. Pred seemed so underpowered and that really kinda took me out of the story.
[close]
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Sep 28, 2020, 05:02:32 AM
Can't say I had any problems with it
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Oct 04, 2020, 10:14:50 PM
Just finished the second Aliens Omnibus from Dark Horse. Bit hit and miss. Nice art though
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: FatStu on Oct 06, 2020, 12:27:30 PM
Second Predator Omnibus was an improvement.


The second AVP omnibus is a bit lame.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Oct 07, 2020, 10:37:04 AM
That's because most of it is DotS!  :'( :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Oct 07, 2020, 10:49:51 AM
Ah the crazy one. I'm tempted to read that again in a futile attempt to understand it more.  :-\
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 16, 2020, 05:45:56 AM
Finished Alien: Out of the Shadows

I was pretty hesitant when I read that the book took place between the first and second alien films and had Ripley coming back. The outcome after finishing the book is half and half. I know this was the first in a trilogy so it's hard for me to cast how I feel until I see what the other two will be like involving her or from the events of this first book.

I liked the characters, especially Hoop, Lachance, Baxter and Kesanov(I know it's spelled wrong, she's Russian so whatever). Being able to carry the story along with characters you can like or relate to, definitely helped at times during this story.

I enjoyed the beginning and the end the most. My only issue in the middle part of the book was when they were down in the mine. I don't know if it was me or the author but I had a hard time trying to picture what he was trying to convey regarding the alien ship and buildings..?... I found myself rereading a few paragraphs to try and understand the shape and configuration of how it was down in this ruined mine city/buildings?

I did like the explanation for Ash being in this. The how and reason for Ripley showing up on this mining ship, to having to go down to the planet and then trying to escape at the end, made sense because of Ash. I could actually see it like that.

Once Ripley was introduced I had an inkling as to how this would end with her and I'd say I was pretty spot on as to how things went about. By introducing her into this story, I'm not sure how else you would've done this. I'm also curious if this would've been a alien story by itself until someone suggested adding Ripley...guess we'll see.

Acid guns, med lab healing pods (Prometheus), elevator dismemberment, Alien egg sack spillage, all have been checked off in this book ha. 

Overall not scary but a fun read. I'll take just about anything after DNA War, Cauldron and steel egg.

Next up is Sea of Sorrows (Book 2)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 16, 2020, 08:12:25 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Oct 16, 2020, 05:45:56 AMFinished Alien: Out of the Shadows

I know this was the first in a trilogy so it's hard for me to cast how I feel until I see what the other two will be like involving her or from the events of this first book.

Although it's a trilogy, the next two books aren't really sequels. The biggest connection is that Sea of Sorrows takes place on the same planet, but it's set hundreds of years in the future. River of Pain is the fall of Hadley's Hope and has nothing to do with either of the other novels story-wise.

I remember thinking Out of the Shadows was the best of the three, but I really struggled to get past sticking Ripley in it. Like you, I called how her involvement would end right at the start, and the whole way through I was praying I'd be wrong. I would've enjoyed the book so much more without her, even if Lebbon did a great job writing her.

The entire trilogy seemed to be characterised as good books beset by glaringly silly decisions (many of which were apparently mandated by Fox).
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 16, 2020, 08:34:12 AM
It was obvious Ripley would have her memory erased, but the way they went about it was pretty cool.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 16, 2020, 05:24:32 PM
Quote from: SM on Oct 16, 2020, 08:34:12 AM
It was obvious Ripley would have her memory erased, but the way they went about it was pretty cool.

Yeah, I mean I don't know what other way they would have done it.

You really feel for her in this though, the constant nightmares she has of her daughter and her wanting to go back to her was really well written. The forever nightmare.

So, should I assume that there's no follow up to the character of Hoop?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xenomrph on Oct 16, 2020, 06:05:55 PM
I think he gets a mention in Sea of Sorrows, but he's not actually in the book.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 16, 2020, 07:44:34 PM
Quote from: Xenomrph on Oct 16, 2020, 06:05:55 PM
I think he gets a mention in Sea of Sorrows, but he's not actually in the book.

I kinda figured after I read the first few pages of SoS but was hooping (pun intended) to find out if he'd ever make it back. Guess I'll just have to read on and see.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 16, 2020, 07:45:53 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Oct 16, 2020, 05:24:32 PM
Quote from: SM on Oct 16, 2020, 08:34:12 AM
It was obvious Ripley would have her memory erased, but the way they went about it was pretty cool.

Yeah, I mean I don't know what other way they would have done it.

You really feel for her in this though, the constant nightmares she has of her daughter and her wanting to go back to her was really well written. The forever nightmare.

So, should I assume that there's no follow up to the character of Hoop?

The thing I really liked was
Spoiler
the way they use MedPods to erase memories to treat PTSD.  It gave it more grounding
[close]
.

And, no more Adventures of Hoop.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Oct 16, 2020, 08:43:50 PM
Quote from: SM on Oct 16, 2020, 07:45:53 PM
And, no more Adventures of Hoop.

You're making Hicks cry
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 21, 2020, 11:00:03 PM
Finished Alien Sea of Sorrows

Love it. From the start I was hoping the pace and mood would continue throughout and I wasn't disappointed.

The character of Decker was really interesting and a different take to follow through an alien novel. Being kidnapped and forced to find the aliens is kind of how he goes about finishing the journey, never wanting to be there to begin with. And the introduction of him being an empath was such a change in direction that I Welcomed it. Kinda like a force sensitive 😎

But the connection to him being a blood descendent of Ripley is plausible, yet still felt like a stretch. I think I would've been fine with the aliens being attracted to him for just being an empath, and wanting to introduce him into the hive mind or something along those lines.

Also writing from the aliens/hive mind point of view was great, well written and effective. The author wrote just enough to get what these things motives were, other than just the killing of course.

The overall story wasn't anything super new but welcomed little new things that kept me reading it non stop (Never really thought of the alien acid blood being spilled on the queens eggs and the affect seems to do nothing). I really got behind how the author introduced three different settings, (above, mid level and ground level of the mine) and the several different characters. Instead of writing all of them the second the mercenaries show up, he introduces them as the story unfolds and the character becomes relevant.

Rollins, the WY employee in charge of the mission, is a merciless character. It's interesting that decker isn't able to get a read on her throughout which makes me think she's an android of some kind, but is never mentioned otherwise.

My issue would be with the communication or lack there of between all the merc teams, miners and the main ship in space. There's jammers making it impossible for anyone to use motion sensors or comms. It's never fully addressed other than Rollins being able to stay in contact with one of the WY coats down on the planet with them. I guess I'm to assume she had a part in blocking all communication. Which would leave a host of other questions, mainly being what's the point?

The ending was satisfying in that it ended the story of the mine but could begin a whole new one. I mean, WY actually won and succeeded in getting several specimens (one of them might even be an alien queen in a mercs body)

So, out of shadows and sea of sorrows have both introduced two cool main characters and it looks like we'll never hear from them again....unfortunately...

Enjoyed this one thoroughly, onto River of Pain...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 21, 2020, 11:11:47 PM
Moore did indicate that Rollins was a robot in an interview he did with Hicks from memory.  I've just been poring over SoS again, for the third or fourth time and don't get where the robot stuff comes from.  I never picked up anything like that.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 21, 2020, 11:18:42 PM
Quote from: SM on Oct 21, 2020, 11:11:47 PM
Moore did indicate that Rollins was a robot in an interview he did with Hicks from memory.  I've just been poring over SoS again, for the third or fourth time and don't get where the robot stuff comes from.  I never picked up anything like that.

Yeah, it's never mentioned or even thought of by Decker. The only reason I thought that was when Decker said she was the first person he'd never been able to get any read from. Then at the very end, she is mentioned walking around while everyone was in cryosleep and the lights of the ship dim for saving power.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 21, 2020, 11:24:30 PM
Ah, righto.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 21, 2020, 11:28:44 PM
Hicks,
I'd love to hear these interviews you did with the authors of the Alien novels. I'm having a hard time locating them...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 21, 2020, 11:31:28 PM
Here you go. (https://www.avpgalaxy.net/2014/06/27/avpg-interviews-james-moore/)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 21, 2020, 11:36:25 PM
Quote from: SM on Oct 21, 2020, 11:31:28 PM
Here you go. (https://www.avpgalaxy.net/2014/06/27/avpg-interviews-james-moore/)
Awesome, I'll give it a listen soon!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 22, 2020, 09:12:33 AM
I twigged that Rollins was possibly a droid too.

Moore then mentioned in another forum that one character was an unannounced synthetic and asked if anyone had guessed who - I suggested Rollins and he confirmed it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Oct 22, 2020, 01:56:16 PM
Isn't that made overt in the audio drama too?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 22, 2020, 07:52:41 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Oct 22, 2020, 01:56:16 PM
Isn't that made overt in the audio drama too?

Haven't listened to any of the audio dramas yet so I'm not sure. Listened to the interview and it was good other than the fact that he couldn't discuss anything since it hadn't been released yet.

I think I might've heard it kinda garbled but did Hicks mention something about the end of events in Out of Shadows possibly leading into Prometheus or having something related?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: felix on Oct 23, 2020, 04:48:29 AM
Just read Predator Stalking Shadows.

Yeah, this wasn't very good. The characters just felt off.

South China Sea remains the best Predator novel so far.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 23, 2020, 09:24:25 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Oct 22, 2020, 01:56:16 PMIsn't that made overt in the audio drama too?

Sea of Sorrows is the only one of those I've not listened to.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 29, 2020, 03:01:28 AM
Finished River of Pain...

With this being the conclusion to the trilogy (Shadow and Sea being the first two installments) I'm happy it was last, as this was the weakest of the three.

I felt like this book at a lot of potential, especially with it centering around the fall of Hadleys Hope on LV-426/Acheron. Instead the first 200 pages wasted time on characters and stories that had no outcome or little to no involvement with the final product. Case in point, Captain Brackett and Draper. There was hinted at a possible power struggle and the two barely had any interaction. Why put this at all when the two are never together until the end and accomplished nothing?

The love story of newts parents, Anne and Russ, with Brackett being a past lover of Anne. It was a completely unnecessary and the story could've continued without it. Plus I feel it was only added to the story to somehow sympathize with how he feels with the end result.

It's briefly mentioned about the state of the planet being unstable a few years prior to the events happening at Hadleys Hope. Why? I don't know and confused as to how it was never was brought up again. There was a whole chapter of how the ground was splitting one of the processors....and then nothing, rather confusing.

Out of all the books I've been reading of Aliens, this one by far takes the cake on the weakest written chest bursting scene regarding Russ' character. I think it was, "He screamed in agony. Pain. Thing runs off." I had to reread the two sentences and roll my eyes.

This one probably bothered me the most. So, Russ comes back with the FH attached and they send people out to secure the ship. Instead of that, several people return with FHs attached, like 5 people. Now, Anne informed them what had happened but yet the people were stupid enough to go to the eggs anyway? Its a hard stretch for me. Annnddd when the aliens burst out from the colonists back at the med lab, they continue to let the aliens run off after coming out! Wtf!?

The little tie-ins to Aliens is nice though. Like why the marines weren't with Anne and Russ when they went to the location of the craft, I was wondering how the author was going to do that once I knew there would be marines at the colony.

I also liked how the aliens would "spit" on the humans faces to paralyze them so they could be moved easily. I hadn't thought of them needing to do anything like that but it makes sense and adds to it being even more intrusive.

Finally, the ending...now that I've read the trilogy and all three are open ended, what the hell happens...? Are any ever mentioned again? I mean, the ending to this was left with survivors...

The last 3/4s of the book was pretty good so it wasn't a complete eye roll. Overall I feel like the author did a swing and miss with this. Like I said in the beginning, it could've been so much greater, with the scale, fighting and outcome. Sadly it was mild when it should've been hot.

Bug Hunt is next....

Side note: below are the remaining Alien novels I have left. Should I read these in any type of order?

Prototype
Isolation
Phalanx
Cold Forge
Echo
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 29, 2020, 03:40:22 AM
Chronologically they go:

Isolation
Prototype
Echo
Cold Forge
Phalanx

You don't need to read them in that order though.  They're standalone stories.

As for River of Pain, how you've described Russ's chestburster is so way off base that I'm having trouble believing you actually read it.

Absolutely there were missed opportunities in that book - and I would've preferred Colonial Marshals to marines - but without the character set up, there's no punch when the hammer drops.  Brackett has a past with Anne, which causes some drama with Russ - drama leads to tension and conflict; same deal with Brackett and Draper which leads to the race to get back to the escape ship;  Brackett's decision to stop marines accompanying colonists inadvertently has dire consequences, on his ex-girlfriend no less; the early chapter about earthquake is simply foreshadowing and setting up the terraforming concept with more than one processor.  And they didn't let the Aliens run off after they birth in the med lab - there's an argument over killing vs. capturing and before it can be settled, Aliens attack making it moot.

And yes, all three books in that trilogy have survivors at the end.  With the RoP survivors (mirroring the film upon which it's based) plus Fire & Stone plus the RPG repurposing the story again for the Hope's Last Day scenario, I'm surprised the marines found anyone in the hive in the film.  ;)

The consequences of Sea of Sorrows lead into the first book of the Rage War (though Lebbon buggered up the dates a bit), but there was no follow up for characters in OotS or RoP.  Brackett and co. could've hooked up with someone from one of the books you've yet to read - had Brian Wood not turned out to be a turd.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 29, 2020, 10:08:23 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Oct 29, 2020, 03:01:28 AMBug Hunt is next....

Man that anthology was all over the place. Some of the shorts were excellent. Some were atrocious. Most were just kinda meh.

I'm with you on River of Pain being the weakest of that trilogy though. It comfortably had the most potential of the three, but as with Newt's Tale I felt like it largely squandered what could've been an excellent tale.

Quote from: SM on Oct 29, 2020, 03:40:22 AMBrackett and co. could've hooked up with someone from one of the books you've yet to read - had Brian Wood not turned out to be a turd.

That's a shame to hear.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 29, 2020, 10:44:38 AM
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that was going to happen - only that the timeframe would've fit.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 29, 2020, 10:45:18 AM
Ah, gotcha.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Oct 29, 2020, 10:48:33 AM
It's been a little while since I read it, but I remember really enjoying the portrayal of the frontier-life and just how hard physically and mentally it was on the people who pursued it. I also really liked Brackett myself, I thought he was just such a good dude. That said, his saving of Newt's friend whose name escapes me at the minute was empty, because she was just a surrogate for Newt. Like with Out of the Shadows, I still enjoyed it quite a bit in spite of the issues.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 29, 2020, 01:24:34 PM
Luisa Cantrell.

Brackett = Ripley
Paris = Hicks
Mori = Bishop
Luisa = Newt

I found the ending a little trite in that regard.

But then OotS ended with Hoop drifting a la Ripley too.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 29, 2020, 03:55:02 PM
It might've meant something more if Louisa had been a key character prior to that, but from memory we barely encounter her.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 29, 2020, 06:38:13 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Oct 29, 2020, 03:55:02 PM
It might've meant something more if Louisa had been a key character prior to that, but from memory we barely encounter her.

She had only been mentioned once or twice, very briefly, as a friend of newts I believe.

And the scene I was describing about Russ' chest yesterday scene was an exaggeration oh how non tense and detail oriented.

I didn't think of the comparisons that you listed SM about the characters relating to Aliens at the end of the novel but they fit pretty well!

I figured once I was done with the Alien novels I'd give the Rage War a try since you'd mentioned it follows SoS events.

I liked the trilogy of books a lot and wish the final could've ended better.

It's a shame you don't really get a follow up with the characters who survived but I suppose some things are left unsaid..
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 30, 2020, 08:37:13 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Oct 29, 2020, 06:38:13 PMI figured once I was done with the Alien novels I'd give the Rage War a try since you'd mentioned it follows SoS events.

Rage War is legit one of my favourites. It's very different in style but a great read.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Oct 30, 2020, 07:22:02 PM
I'd recommend giving The Rage War a go as it's loosely a sequel trilogy to the first trilogy that you just read and it was released right after it also. Also now that you've read the first trilogy I'd highly recommend giving the audio drama adaptations a go. If you've never had a subscription with Audible then you get a 2 week free trial that includes two free audiobooks (or dramas in this case) which you can keep even if you cancel your subscription before the free trial expires. So you could get 2 out of 3 free if you're interested.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Oct 30, 2020, 07:46:04 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Oct 30, 2020, 07:22:02 PM
I'd recommend giving The Rage War a go as it's loosely a sequel trilogy to the first trilogy that you just read and it was released right after it also. Also now that you've read the first trilogy I'd highly recommend giving the audio drama adaptations a go. If you've never had a subscription with Audible then you get a 2 week free trial that includes two free audiobooks (or dramas in this case) which you can keep even if you cancel your subscription before the free trial expires. So you could get 2 out of 3 free if you're interested.

This post is sponsored by

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 30, 2020, 08:40:09 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Oct 30, 2020, 07:22:02 PM
I'd recommend giving The Rage War a go as it's loosely a sequel trilogy to the first trilogy that you just read and it was released right after it also. Also now that you've read the first trilogy I'd highly recommend giving the audio drama adaptations a go.

I started OotS audio the other day and I'm about 40min into it. So far it's pretty solid! I'm doing it in chunks so it'll take me a little bit as I don't listen to audio books.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 30, 2020, 08:55:02 PM
The OotS audio drama was great.  RoP was a bit overacted I found.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Oct 31, 2020, 12:06:45 AM
Quote from: Kradan on Oct 30, 2020, 07:46:04 PM
Quote from: Xiggz456 on Oct 30, 2020, 07:22:02 PM
I'd recommend giving The Rage War a go as it's loosely a sequel trilogy to the first trilogy that you just read and it was released right after it also. Also now that you've read the first trilogy I'd highly recommend giving the audio drama adaptations a go. If you've never had a subscription with Audible then you get a 2 week free trial that includes two free audiobooks (or dramas in this case) which you can keep even if you cancel your subscription before the free trial expires. So you could get 2 out of 3 free if you're interested.

This post is sponsored by



:laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 31, 2020, 04:43:42 AM
How closely does the Isolation novelization follow the game, or vice versa?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Oct 31, 2020, 05:29:01 AM
Only broadly.  It's more a book about Amanda than just the events of the game.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Oct 31, 2020, 06:24:58 AM
Quote from: SM on Oct 30, 2020, 08:55:02 PM
The OotS audio drama was great.  RoP was a bit overacted I found.

I remember listening to OotS one, not realising initially it wasn't just an audiobook. I was so happy to hear Isolation sound effects !  :D
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Nov 04, 2020, 12:03:39 AM
Decided I'd wait on Bug Hunt as the first few stories were ok and I'm not much of a short story reader. I'll circle back to this after the one off stories....

Going ahead and jumping into The Cold Forge now...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Nov 04, 2020, 12:33:55 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Nov 04, 2020, 12:03:39 AMGoing ahead and jumping into The Cold Forge now...

The best Alien book, in my opinion, and just a great sci-fi book in general.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Nov 04, 2020, 08:36:22 AM
Agreed. Easily one of the top 4 Alien novels. Alex's other series, The Salvagers, is fantastic too! Still need to read the 3rd and final but it's on the book shelf waiting.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Nov 04, 2020, 09:15:06 AM
+1 for The Cold Forge being the best Alien novel.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Nov 04, 2020, 01:18:42 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Nov 04, 2020, 12:03:39 AM
Going ahead and jumping into The Cold Forge now...

Cheater
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Nov 04, 2020, 02:14:41 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Nov 04, 2020, 08:36:22 AM
Agreed. Easily one of the top 4 Alien novels. Alex's other series, The Salvagers, is fantastic too! Still need to read the 3rd and final but it's on the book shelf waiting.

Thanks for the reminder! I need to give that a go.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Nov 04, 2020, 04:19:50 PM
Quote from: Kradan on Nov 04, 2020, 01:18:42 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Nov 04, 2020, 12:03:39 AM
Going ahead and jumping into The Cold Forge now...

Cheater

Sometimes you just have to...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Nov 04, 2020, 04:24:27 PM
I cheated my way all the way up to The Cold Forge... and then skipped to Phalanx. ;)

I did read the Perry trilogy, Prey, and DNA War back in middle school but.... can't say I'm a fan of any of that these days.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Nov 04, 2020, 08:37:27 PM
Prey is still one of the best novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Nov 04, 2020, 11:07:36 PM
I'm saving Echo for last as that's the one I'm less interested in..
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Still Collating... on Nov 05, 2020, 11:29:28 AM
Quote from: SM on Nov 04, 2020, 08:37:27 PM
Prey is still one of the best novels.

I adore the comic but really dislike the novel, and I read the novel before I got to the comic. Perry's treatment of the Alien and Predator really gets on my nerves in that book. I might give it a reread since I haven't in a long time, but I'm worried it just might remind me how much better the comic actually is in my eyes.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Nightmare Asylum on Nov 05, 2020, 08:02:01 PM
I think my main issues with Prey, from what I recall all these years later, mostly have to do with the portrayal of the Aliens as "entry level" prey before moving onto humans, and the entire concept of the Yautja. I really, really don't like the idea of the Yautja and the portrayal of the Predators as "honorable" in the slightest.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: felix on Nov 08, 2020, 04:09:57 AM
Any chance the original Predator novelization will be get re-printed someday? I think a lot would like to get that.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Nov 08, 2020, 09:01:00 AM
That one is pretty easy to pick up.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Nov 09, 2020, 06:49:40 PM
Finished Cold Forge...

Wow, what a damn good solid book! I can easily see why folks liked this one and it's definitely in my top 5 alien novels.

I don't know if I've read a character like Dorian before, he was slick, conniving, evil and smart. I'd say he was one of my favorites from the books and each time he was on page, I couldn't wait to see what he'd do next!

There was one thing that kind of bothered me about the book and it was why they'd have a program like Silversmile on a station that houses the alien research. Given what the program was meant to do and all...

Other than that I found it fantastic. The characters and plot were great and I really enjoyed the authors writing style.

I enjoyed the Seegson reference that was included and it was nice to have another "company" involved as I know it's mentioned here and there throughout the novels but never goes into it too deeply.

Marcus having to hold the specimen in his stomach was smart and I'd never thought of them doing something like that, but makes sense when described how. I also liked how the author didn't go all marvel superhuman strength with the android. Yes, it's brought up and Marcus runs and jumps lengths that humans can't, but doesn't focus in on that, as it's not a huge part of the story.

Blue wasn't as bad as Dorian, but found her almost almost to his degree. It was like a battle of Alpha's for pure selfish reasons on her and Dorian. (Any idea why Blue prefers a male android body over a female?)

The ending was perfect as it wasn't left open and I don't think I'd want a sequel, I felt it tied itself up rather well.

Also, I don't know if I read it correctly but was it Marcus who ultimately let the Aliens out because he was hacked by the Seegson company?

Fantastic read and I see he's coming out with another Alien novel in February so I'll for sure be getting that!

Alien isolation is next...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Nov 09, 2020, 10:38:28 PM
QuoteThere was one thing that kind of bothered me about the book and it was why they'd have a program like Silversmile on a station that houses the alien research. Given what the program was meant to do and all...

Fair argument, but they had contingencies.  They just weren't good enough.

QuoteAlso, I don't know if I read it correctly but was it Marcus who ultimately let the Aliens out because he was hacked by the Seegson company?

Spoiler
Yes.
[close]
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Nov 09, 2020, 10:51:36 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Nov 09, 2020, 06:49:40 PM
Finished Cold Forge...

Wow, what a damn good solid book! I can easily see why folks liked this one and it's definitely in my top 5 alien novels.

I don't know if I've read a character like Dorian before, he was slick, conniving, evil and smart. I'd say he was one of my favorites from the books and each time he was on page, I couldn't wait to see what he'd do next!

There was one thing that kind of bothered me about the book and it was why they'd have a program like Silversmile on a station that houses the alien research. Given what the program was meant to do and all...

Other than that I found it fantastic. The characters and plot were great and I really enjoyed the authors writing style.

I enjoyed the Seegson reference that was included and it was nice to have another "company" involved as I know it's mentioned here and there throughout the novels but never goes into it too deeply.

Marcus having to hold the specimen in his stomach was smart and I'd never thought of them doing something like that, but makes sense when described how. I also liked how the author didn't go all marvel superhuman strength with the android. Yes, it's brought up and Marcus runs and jumps lengths that humans can't, but doesn't focus in on that, as it's not a huge part of the story.

Blue wasn't as bad as Dorian, but found her almost almost to his degree. It was like a battle of Alpha's for pure selfish reasons on her and Dorian. (Any idea why Blue prefers a male android body over a female?)

The ending was perfect as it wasn't left open and I don't think I'd want a sequel, I felt it tied itself up rather well.

Also, I don't know if I read it correctly but was it Marcus who ultimately let the Aliens out because he was hacked by the Seegson company?

Fantastic read and I see he's coming out with another Alien novel in February so I'll for sure be getting that!

Alien isolation is next...

Now go and listen to podcast Hicks recorded with Alex White back in 2018. The dude is charming
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Nov 10, 2020, 08:44:44 AM
For everyone's edification, Alex doesn't use gender pronouns/descriptions. They or them for Alex.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Nov 10, 2020, 09:10:46 AM
Cold Forge is boss. Dorian is the most fantastically hateable c**t I think I've ever come across in a novel.

Quote from: Gentleman Death on Nov 09, 2020, 06:49:40 PMThe ending was perfect as it wasn't left open and I don't think I'd want a sequel, I felt it tied itself up rather well.

I think Alex mentioned he doesn't intend to do a sequel, but might drop a cameo from Blue in somewhere down the line just to see where she ends up next. I'd be up for that. I liked Blue, even if, as you say, she's far from a white knight.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Nov 10, 2020, 01:59:42 PM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Nov 10, 2020, 08:44:44 AM
For everyone's edification, Alex doesn't use gender pronouns/descriptions. They or them for Alex.

So Alex White sees Alex White as plural being ?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Nov 10, 2020, 02:04:02 PM
"They/them" is also commonly used as a singular third person genderless pronoun (and has been for a very long time before someone tries to pipe up that it's some recent "SJW crap" or something.)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Nov 10, 2020, 02:07:44 PM
Huh
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Nov 28, 2020, 11:25:14 PM
Finished Alien Isolation...

Pretty solid book and followed the game storyline well. There wasn't too much to add to this story, other than Amanda's backstory here and there.

I've played the game twice prior to reading this so I was able to see what the author was writing solidly in my head, might have even glanced over a sentence or two because of that fact.

The first couple of flashback chapters into Amanda's story got better each time. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it but once everything was wrapped up, I enjoyed the amount that was given and glad the author didn't over indulge much. I already loved the character after the game but the book made me like her more. I'm hesitant to see how her story goes from there as my understanding is it continues in the form of comics...

Other than that, if you've played the game then I don't think the book will offer anything substantial but nonetheless a solid entry in the Alien universe.

Next is Prototype...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Nov 29, 2020, 07:30:38 AM
Prototype was a fun read
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: The Cruentus on Nov 29, 2020, 04:19:41 PM
Quote from: HuDaFuK on Oct 23, 2020, 09:24:25 AM
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Oct 22, 2020, 01:56:16 PMIsn't that made overt in the audio drama too?

Sea of Sorrows is the only one of those I've not listened to.

You really should, its very good and the amount of differences compared to the novel means you are getting something new out of it as well.


Quote from: SM on Oct 30, 2020, 08:55:02 PM
The OotS audio drama was great.  RoP was a bit overacted I found.

Oots was great, a good few differences to the novel but I don't think there was as much differences as in SoS audible. I can't recall too much on RoP but the story for that was a bit of a mess anyway. Marines, contradictions and so on. I would say that it does make sense for there to be some authority figures about in a colony, but it would have been more suited to colonial marshalls or sheriffs.


Quote from: HuDaFuK on Nov 10, 2020, 09:10:46 AM
Cold Forge is boss. Dorian is the most fantastically hateable c**t I think I've ever come across in a novel.

Quote from: Gentleman Death on Nov 09, 2020, 06:49:40 PMThe ending was perfect as it wasn't left open and I don't think I'd want a sequel, I felt it tied itself up rather well.

I think Alex mentioned he doesn't intend to do a sequel, but might drop a cameo from Blue in somewhere down the line just to see where she ends up next. I'd be up for that. I liked Blue, even if, as you say, she's far from a white knight.

I don't know why but I keep on thinking that Cillian Murphy would make a great Dorian, his eyes allow for the kind of coldness that Dorian displays.

I think Blue being flawed is what makes her interesting. Protagonists should generally be different from other ones in order to stand out as their own character.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 03, 2020, 06:12:32 AM
Finished Alien Prototype...

Out of the newer Titan novels, I'd say this was the weakest but had a few redeeming qualities to it.

The book starts off fairly well and had me hooked when describing Zulus dream of a skeleton bone alien, it was fairly well written and set the mood. But like a teenager, this books mood swings were all over the place..

I absolutely loved the Necromorph. Easily the highlight of the book and it already being an alien, vicious and brutal, adding in something like cellular necrosis was brilliant in my mind. It brought a new darkness to this beast that I thought couldn't achieve to be any more sinister. Each time the chapter would change perspectives to the alien, I was hooked. I really enjoyed being able to read about the battles it was having to procreate but spread this disease that it has. Trying to kill the alien became even harder and the pusulated lesions bursting over people or coughing up into a section of the bases air system to spread the sickness was a great read!

Then came the characters....all of them, forgettable and laughable at times. Like the recruits playing a joke that almost turns into a death on Zulu because she's always so mean as their boss...uh ok.

I know Zulu continues on from this in comics, I believe, but I frankly don't care. I couldn't enjoy her story, the way she trained the recruits or her past relationship with Amanda or the xenomorph. Her dialogue was sloppy and at times, felt forced by the writer in trying to make me believe shes supposed to be a strong individual.

Although Davis (Zulus Android stuck in an earpiece) was fairly interesting and his battle with the Lodges AI in a chapter made me think of tron. It was different but overall worked for me.

Plus the way the alien escapes is extremely questionable. It's mentioned previously that the doctor, who's looking over the egg/alien, labs are extremely well enforced since he handles testing on subjects, especially with diseases. But the alien, once it bursts out of the volunteer, finds a small vent and escapes....and very casually goes back to running tests on the egg while sending his robot assistant to search for it in the vents. (Side note; I thought it was interesting that the author mentioned that the egg lips close back up. I don't believe ever reading about that happening in the other books and was really hoping that it might lead to something but doesn't  get brought up again.)

Anyways, lots of up and downs in this one but I do have to say that this probably has my favorite written alien in the novel series so I'll take all the puss filled necrosis sprayed on me for that alone!

Oh that ending....so you're telling me no one noticed the three foot high egg in the warehouse before leaving the base...?

Next is Phalanx....

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Dec 03, 2020, 10:16:30 AM
Yeah I remember my main criticism of Prototype was that Zula's squad was a bit lacking in terms of characterisation - other than Ronny.  I was quite surprised that a lot of my suggestions on Prototype got taken up - but pumping up the characters a bit didn't.  I thought there could've been a potentially romantic angle with Nicholas, making his death have a little more impact.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 09, 2020, 09:17:37 PM
Finished Aliens Phalanx...

I must say, I was hesitant when I read the premise for the story but after reading the book....I have to say that this, for me, was probably one of the best alien novels I've read. Maybe even over cold forge, maybe..

The 500 page book really fleshes out not only characters but the overall world of Ateagina. I became completely immersed in the book. Now, I don't read these type of books so maybe that's one of the many reasons I liked it.

I don't have one bad thing to say about this book! The writing was great and kept me turning the pages constantly. I loves the relationship between Aaliyah, Brandun and Creen and couldn't get enough of the three of them, when together, on page. The history of the "holds" was informative but not so much where I got bored. The author layed the blueprint down and I got the jist of it. I could've easily read more.

Seriously, I could go on about this book and just how fresh and refreshing the author took this alien concept to a whole new level, and actually succeeded.

Alien Echo is next...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Dec 11, 2020, 11:30:28 AM
I fear Phalanx may have spoiled Echo a tad.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 11, 2020, 02:57:36 PM
Quote from: SM on Dec 11, 2020, 11:30:28 AM
I fear Phalanx may have spoiled Echo a tad.

In what non spoiler way? Ha
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Dec 11, 2020, 08:58:25 PM
Nah more that, I reckon Echo is really good - but Phalanx is next level.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 11, 2020, 10:02:35 PM
Quote from: SM on Dec 11, 2020, 08:58:25 PM
Nah more that, I reckon Echo is really good - but Phalanx is next level.

Ok, gotcha! Yeah, I see Cold Forge and Phalanx being hard to top!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 24, 2020, 01:09:24 AM
So I'm almost done with Echo and was wondering what the overall consensus on the Predator novels? Now, I like the movies and all but don't know if going down that path would be worth it, any insights?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Dec 24, 2020, 02:10:41 AM
I think for most South China Sea is considered the best and Forever Midnight the worse.

My favs are South China Sea, P2 novelization, If it bleeds.

THE PREDATOR: HUNTERS AND HUNTED was so much better than the movie, FLESH AND BLOOD was great for trying something different, similar to what Forever Midnight did I guess, but they didn't f**k everything up in the process.

Most of them are just fine for the most part.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Dec 24, 2020, 09:49:54 AM
Quote from: Samhain13 on Dec 24, 2020, 02:10:41 AMI think for most South China Sea is considered the best and Forever Midnight the worse.

South China Sea almost certainly has the best Predator of any of the books, but I think Turnabout is a significantly better novel overall.

Agree on the Predator 2 novelisation being a contender for the best of the reads.

Unfortunately both of those are a bastard to get now.

That aside, and as someone who is a bigger Alien fan than Predator (especially when it comes to the EU), I'd say the ones Samahin mentioned are the ones really worth tracking down.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Dec 24, 2020, 03:10:47 PM
I will say Turnabout is an incredible novel indeed, but as a Predator novel I didn't enjoy it much due to the portrayal of the Predators in there.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 24, 2020, 03:32:15 PM
Yeah I'm definitely more into Alien than Predator and still need to read the Rage Wars. But I felt that if I start to read the Predator books, I might just read them all...or just skip to the good stuff. Idk...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Dec 24, 2020, 03:47:25 PM
Rage War FTW
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Dec 24, 2020, 03:49:08 PM
Yeah, dare I say it, but they were probably my favourite AVP reads.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Dec 24, 2020, 03:56:04 PM
I mean in comparison to the AVP novels with Machiko there shouldn't be much contest. I was suprised at how much I enjoyed the Rage War Trilogy.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 27, 2020, 04:28:49 PM
Quote from: Samhain13 on Dec 24, 2020, 03:56:04 PM
I mean in comparison to the AVP novels with Machiko there shouldn't be much contest. I was suprised at how much I enjoyed the Rage War Trilogy.

Ordered the Rage War trilogy. I also noticed there was a AvP omnibus of three novels. Is that worth getting into at all?


Finished Alien Echo

I went in reading this with little to no expectations, which could be why I didn't mind it. I wasn't blown away by the book but found it easier to read then some of the past novels. (ie Steel Egg and Cauldron)

I loved the backstory of the family being xenobiologists and how they travel from planet to planet and help out colonists. I know it's been briefly mentioned in prior books but giving them their own story was neat to read about. I liked how the author broke down some of the vegetation and wildlife, lion worms sounded pretty horrible.

Other than that, I couldn't stand any character besides Viola. It was really hard to get behind some of the motives or even how they acted. I gotta say that the character of Michael has to be up there with one of the worst, not only as a fiction character but the fact that he was even written into the story itself. The author seemed to handle all interaction fairly well except for person to person action and dialogue. It was really bad to get past this.

I wouldn't even go as far to call it romance/love story as yes, it's talked about by Olivia, constantly. But I couldn't care less as it seemed to focus a little on the actual environment of the planet. If the author maybe had devoted more pages of that and less of Olivia and Kora , I think it could've faired better for me personally.

Not bad, not great...I'd say it was mediocre.

Well, other than the Covenant novel and some random books like the blue prints or art work, that wraps it up until February. I ordered the Rage War Trilogy, but I'm kind of sad to not have any more. I'm still thinking of getting the AvP Omnibus book which I might after Rage. We'll see..
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Dec 28, 2020, 02:14:55 AM
It's a survival story first and foremost.

I think Michael worked fine because he was a teenage boy consumed with jealousy and written from his rival's perspective.

As for the AvP omnibus, Prey is possibly the best AvP story.  I started reading Hunter's Planet a long time ago and it's a bit of a slog.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 28, 2020, 02:37:56 AM
Quote from: SM on Dec 28, 2020, 02:14:55 AM
It's a survival story first and foremost.

I think Michael worked fine because he was a teenage boy consumed with jealousy and written from his rival's perspective.

As for the AvP omnibus, Prey is possibly the best AvP story.  I started reading Hunter's Planet a long time ago and it's a bit of a slog.

I get that, but at the same time I found it really hard to see someone actually acting the way he did and no one once trying to stop his actions.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Dec 28, 2020, 08:38:07 AM
From memory Olive tried to stop him.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: skhellter on Dec 28, 2020, 04:34:57 PM
everything i hear about Echoes reminds me of Starship Troopers with its "hot young cast" meeting horribly gory deaths.

gonna.. investigate it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 28, 2020, 06:56:08 PM
Quote from: skhellter on Dec 28, 2020, 04:34:57 PM
everything i hear about Echoes reminds me of Starship Troopers with its "hot young cast" meeting horribly gory deaths.

gonna.. investigate it.

The author doesn't go into detail about the characters looks. It does involve some teenagers but that's it. It was an easy and decent read. Worth a checking out.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Samhain13 on Dec 28, 2020, 09:50:47 PM
To be fair its a good representation of how some teenagers behave and think, you kind of look forward to seeing what the aliens are gonna do to them. Not sure if it was the author's intention to make us cheer for the aliens though.  :-X

Now that I think the adults aren't much better either.

Quote from: Gentleman Death on Dec 27, 2020, 04:28:49 PM
Ordered the Rage War trilogy. I also noticed there was a AvP omnibus of three novels. Is that worth getting into at all?

I suppose its the one with the 3 Machiko novels ? I only read the first, I much prefer the comic than the novelization of it.

Other 2 just the premise alone was enough to push me away from reading them.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Dec 29, 2020, 12:23:31 AM
Quote from: Samhain13 on Dec 28, 2020, 09:50:47 PM
To be fair its a good representation of how some teenagers behave and think, you kind of look forward to seeing what the aliens are gonna do to them. Not sure if it was the author's intention to make us cheer for the aliens though.  :-X

Now that I think the adults aren't much better either.

Quote from: Gentleman Death on Dec 27, 2020, 04:28:49 PM
Ordered the Rage War trilogy. I also noticed there was a AvP omnibus of three novels. Is that worth getting into at all?

I suppose its the one with the 3 Machiko novels ? I only read the first, I much prefer the comic than the novelization of it.

Other 2 just the premise alone was enough to push me away from reading them.

Yeah, those are the Machiko ones but I know nothing of it. I think I'll hold off for now.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jan 19, 2021, 10:07:21 PM
Finished The Rage War Predator Incursion....

I haven't read any of the Predator or AvP novels so I wasn't sure what to expect from this other than what I heard, which are good things.

About halfway through the book I realized I could turn my brain off and just enjoy this for what it was, a fun popcorn read. It did take me a little to figure out characters as the narrative jumped around, once that was established the book slowly came into play.

Pretty typical characters so far, which isn't necessarily a bad thing and there's plenty of action to go around.
Maybe I glossed over it but Halley and Palant keep mentioning how much they hate General Marshall. Now, Halley mentions he has stuff on her, although he's never used it against her and Palant says she just doesn't like him. Other than that I feel like I'm being forced to not like his character even though I've been given no information suggesting otherwise. Now, I'm sure HE IS an asshole but feel like it was forced on to me, as a reader, like being spoon fed. Hate him, hate him, hate him.....idk, small gripe I suppose.

Im not blown away but now that I know what to expect for the next two books, I'll probably be able to dig into it more.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Jan 20, 2021, 09:23:50 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Jan 19, 2021, 10:07:21 PMAbout halfway through the book I realized I could turn my brain off and just enjoy this for what it was, a fun popcorn read.

This sums the trilogy up perfectly. They're not on the level of stuff like Phalanx or Cold Forge in terms of depth and nuance, but man are they fun to read.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jan 23, 2021, 06:04:12 AM
Finished Rage War Invasion...

.... It's a very entertaining book with lots of action and violence. There's some well written action from when the Aliens and Rage start their attacks and one particular scene with Mains in the Othelleo ships hold.

It's weird because I like the characters but feel I should like them more, if that makes sense? I just feel bad for Mains and Leider. These first two books are just crapping all over them regarding the amount of hell they go through.

Two things. First, I didn't like what happened with McIlven. I felt he was a wasted character after what happens with him and Halleys crew. Second...this might be a stretch since there's still one more book, but I'm not seeing how having the predators in these books matter other than it being slightly cool....
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Jan 23, 2021, 11:39:53 AM
You'll see.  :)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Feb 02, 2021, 05:47:13 AM
Finished Rage War Armageddon...

... This series wasn't bad but didn't blow me away either. I guess I prefer Aliens to having just one or even a handful of them at a time. When you start talking about thousands upon thousands you lose a lot of what makes them terrifying, IMO.

A lot of throw away characters throughout the series but i think there was just so much going on that trying to do character development over action wasn't the route the author was going for, which is fine.

I think the series is good, I just prefer a different style of Alien writing and story....

....Plus that ending, ugh....
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Mar 26, 2021, 08:31:17 PM
Just finished Rage War trilogy last night (stayed up till 4 AM reading it)

I bloody love these books. It's hard for me to differentiate them from one another 'cause they work so well as a whole story IMO.

Spoiler
I love, love, love concepts Lebbon introduces in here. The whole idea of Rage is so refreshing and novel to me. I always dig the idea of an idealist society turning into blood-thirsty cult. I thought Beatrix Maloney was a great villain - I loved to hate her and it was so cool that the main baddy of the story was essentially few-centuries old crazy grandma lol  :D

I wasn't overly impressed with a new alien species author introduced back in Out Of The Shadows but absolutely loved how they were used here. Idea of The Faze felt so ... alien to me and I loved it. I love the visuals of Rage ships exteriors and interiors changed by that thing as I saw it in my head. I think Lebbon was capable of creating something probably as mysterious as original SJ is.

I like how tehcnology was updated but still felt in keeping with what was established in Alien franchise before. Especialy the idea of Drop Holes and how crucial to the whole story they turned out to be.

I've just checked Xenopedia and it says that some of ideas Lebbon introduced here were "inspired" by Mass Effect. Oh well, don't really care for that series and frankly don't give a f**k

In terms of how Aliens were portrayed in the series - I'm usually not a fan of xenos being thrown in mass numbers but was fine with it here. I guess, unlike many other stories there just wasn't a scene with Colonial Marines absolutely dominating xenos with superior firepower, on contrary, each time Marines encountered xenos they were f**ked - so xenos still felt like a genuine threat. I also like how Aliens were used as weapon here and how it reflected wars of the past between other alien species. And I absolutely loved how there were entire ships turned into basically Aliens birth nurseries. It was bloody tense when our characters were thrown in such enviroment

I liked how Preds were portrayed here too. We learn something about them but they still remain unknown which is emphasized in the books. You're always not entirely sure what their motives and goals are. I thought "team-up" between humans and Predators was done justice 'cause it didn't feel like them being best buddies all of a sudden - Preds were still in it for themselves and uniting with people for as long as they had to to fight common enemy. Oh, and that sequence of Hashori relentlessly torturing Lylia was f**king brutal and I loved it. And that Pred bitch didn't even apologise for that later !  :D

I found it's interesting how W-Y was portrayed in the series. On one hand, story of Tanns couple goes to show that there hasn't been much change in The Company since we last saw them in movies. But on the other, I liked how Gerard Marshall's character went against stereotypical company man and in the end genuinely tried to do the best for humanity

I dig the main cast of characters. As I said somewhere previously they're not particularly deep but I'd be damned if they're not hell of a lot of fun to read. As GD pointed  out above there were a little bit too many throwaway characters. Especially near the end I felt like "Why do we keep going back to these characters if they're not essential to the main plot ?" But I kinda get the point that these characters were used as tools to broad the universe and give overall feeling of how big Human Sphere is
[close]

To conclude, the trilogy is called Rage War and I really felt that there was genuine war with huge stakes going on here. It's not without it's flaws but its highs just so high for me. It was hell of a ride, I would gladly re-visit it in future and give it solid 8/10 and my strong recommendation to anyone who hasn't read it yet
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on Mar 26, 2021, 08:50:42 PM
"Inspired by" aka ripping it off in this particular case.

It's okay to be inspired by.

But it comes across as taking stuff from one of the best science fiction intellectual properties and turning them into shallow imitations of their former selves.

AVP and Alien particularly's my favourite franchise so I do not say that lightly.

Spoiler
https://youtu.be/0dPDTBOTQK8
[close]
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Mar 26, 2021, 08:53:49 PM
Quote from: Trash Queen on Mar 26, 2021, 08:50:42 PM
"Inspired by" aka ripping it off in this particular case.

It's okay to be inspired by.

But it comes across as taking stuff from one of the best science fiction intellectual properties and turning them into shallow imitations of their former selves.

AVP and Alien particularly's my favourite franchise so I do not say that lightly.

Spoiler
https://youtu.be/0dPDTBOTQK8
[close]

Eh, for each their own, I guess. It's kinda like with people complaining that Joker is rip-off of Taxi Driver and King of Comedy whereas I haven't even heard of these movies prior to watching it

I probably would get pissed off when female sarcastic AI making jokes about someone's weight turns up in an Alien story though
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on Mar 26, 2021, 08:55:36 PM
Mass Effect's definitely worth your time.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Mar 26, 2021, 08:56:12 PM
Don't have much of that unfortunately these days
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on Mar 26, 2021, 09:00:08 PM
Nobody does, but still, I believe it is.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Wysps on Mar 27, 2021, 12:34:36 AM
Quote from: Kradan on Mar 26, 2021, 08:56:12 PM
Don't have much of that unfortunately these days

Cut scenes all the way.  You can at least get the condensed, cinematic version of it, more or less.

There's a lot about Rage War that I really liked, but the Drukathi angle was a bit much for me.  Even still, I think Lebbon did an amazing job with keeping the Aliens lethal and the Predators distinct even when interacting on a personal level with the humans.  He could have easily bridged that gap and made them too campy, but he stayed the course and kept our Predators "predators".

Nice review  8)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on Mar 27, 2021, 01:33:00 AM
Quote from: Wysps on Mar 27, 2021, 12:34:36 AM
Quote from: Kradan on Mar 26, 2021, 08:56:12 PM
Don't have much of that unfortunately these days

Cut scenes all the way.  You can at least get the condensed, cinematic version of it, more or less.


Never do this ugh, it's the equivalent to fast forwarding through a film at 2X speed, absolutely abhorrent and you don't really experience it.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SM on Mar 27, 2021, 11:58:55 AM
Mass Effect takes so long to get going, that once it did I lost interest in what the actual point was.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on Mar 27, 2021, 12:00:09 PM


That sucks to hear honestly but everything's not for everyone.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Neomorph-01 on Apr 15, 2021, 09:12:47 AM
I'm currently reading Alien Prototype
OMG the hell of a book to read during a pandemic - the novel features a Xenomorph that is the carrier of a very nasty virus.
Enjoying it so far.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Apr 15, 2021, 10:56:47 AM
Quote from: SM on Mar 27, 2021, 11:58:55 AMMass Effect takes so long to get going, that once it did I lost interest in what the actual point was.

To be honest the first game's pretty rough in general. The story and characters are there but the gameplay is mostly crap and often a real slog. The second one was leaps and bounds ahead of it.

Kinda reminds me of Uncharted in that regard.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Xiggz456 on Apr 15, 2021, 11:22:05 AM
Quote from: Neomorph-01 on Apr 15, 2021, 09:12:47 AM
I'm currently reading Alien Prototype
OMG the hell of a book to read during a pandemic - the novel features a Xenomorph that is the carrier of a very nasty virus.
Enjoying it so far.

Haha ya I re-read it last year right at the start of lockdown and it definitely hit different than when I read it upon release during "normal" times.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Neomorph-01 on May 30, 2021, 08:05:39 PM
I have just finished reading Alien into Charybdis.
Brilliant read - no spoilers but there are curve-ball deaths that shocked me as much as the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones.
Look forward to see where the climax from this novel leads to.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kimarhi on May 30, 2021, 09:43:01 PM
White I think is the best thing to happen to the franchise in a while. 
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on May 30, 2021, 10:28:08 PM
That interview solidifies Alex for me as the number one influence on the franchise, I do indeed hope he and Noah collaborate as suggested.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Neomorph-01 on Jun 11, 2021, 10:58:26 PM
I have enjoyed reading Aliens Infiltrator.
Is it just me or do the Xenomorph specimens in this book put me in mind of Gremlins 2 the New Batch. Love the albino Drone variant.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jun 11, 2021, 11:07:19 PM
Quote from: Neomorph-01 on Jun 11, 2021, 10:58:26 PM
I have enjoyed reading Aliens Infiltrator.
Is it just me or do the Xenomorph specimens in this book put me in mind of Gremlins 2 the New Batch. Love the albino Drone variant.

I can 100% see what you're talking about
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: City Hunter Yautja on Jul 12, 2021, 09:44:20 PM
What is a good set of books to start for a newbie?

I'll narrow it down to ai want to read Predator, Aliens vs Predator or Alien vs Predator.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on Jul 13, 2021, 02:12:24 AM
Judging by this: https://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/index.php?topic=65015.0

Aliens Vs. Predator: Prey
By Steve Perry and Stephani Perry
Predator: Turnabout Written By Steve Perry
Predator: South China Sea
Written By Jeff Vandermeer
Alien The Cold Forge Written By Alex White
Aliens: Phalanx Written By Scott Sigler
Alien Into Charybdis By Alex White
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Jul 14, 2021, 04:28:54 AM
Quote from: City Hunter Yautja on Jul 12, 2021, 09:44:20 PM
What is a good set of books to start for a newbie?

I'll narrow it down to ai want to read Predator, Aliens vs Predator or Alien vs Predator.

For me personally, I'd start out exactly when they were released and move up. There's several books in this series and going to the best ones will only detour you from reading the rest. Start with The Earth Hive trilogy and move up from there. If you're going to commit than it needs to be fully!
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: City Hunter Yautja on Jul 14, 2021, 06:17:18 PM
Quote from: Trash Queen on Jul 13, 2021, 02:12:24 AM
Judging by this: https://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/index.php?topic=65015.0

Aliens Vs. Predator: Prey
By Steve Perry and Stephani Perry
Predator: Turnabout Written By Steve Perry
Predator: South China Sea
Written By Jeff Vandermeer
Alien The Cold Forge Written By Alex White
Aliens: Phalanx Written By Scott Sigler
Alien Into Charybdis By Alex White

Thanks for the list. I started reading "Prey" and I am captivated. Learning so much about Yautja culture.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 10, 2021, 07:39:23 AM
Alien Origins (2.5/5)

I didn't go in expecting much of this novel so I'm not surprised that it was just ok.

Foster set up a grim earth and I like that he developed more of a background with the company. Now, if him and Patt Cardigan could get together I think they'd make a pretty cool world with all these entities outside of the alien itself.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 28, 2021, 12:44:19 AM
Alien covenant ((3/5)

So... it's been a long time since I've read a movie novel but I remember reading some when I was younger and liking them because they offered more insight and scenes to the movie, pretty much expanding on the source. (I could be wrong though)
But this did not do any of that, it's just a copy and paste of the movie and less dramatic. So I was pretty bummed about that....oh well...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Oct 28, 2021, 05:31:24 AM
What score would you give to the actual movie ?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 28, 2021, 06:24:02 AM
Quote from: Kradan on Oct 28, 2021, 05:31:24 AM
What score would you give to the actual movie ?

I'll just say I liked Prometheus far more than covenant...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Oct 28, 2021, 10:28:14 AM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Oct 28, 2021, 12:44:19 AMAlien covenant ((3/5)

So... it's been a long time since I've read a movie novel but I remember reading some when I was younger and liking them because they offered more insight and scenes to the movie, pretty much expanding on the source. (I could be wrong though)
But this did not do any of that, it's just a copy and paste of the movie and less dramatic. So I was pretty bummed about that....oh well...

Wut?

It does loads of that. It fixes quite a few of the plot holes with the film in the process.

Surprising that you didn't like it because it's always seemed to me that the consensus is it's a substantial improvement on the movie, much like the Resurrection novel.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Oct 28, 2021, 01:26:18 PM
I kinda agree with Gentleman Death. Not that it was a bad book, but it didn't really provided me with anything more than what I've already seen in the actual movie. Truth be old, all of ADF novelisations were kinda just retellings of movies' events in text form for me. Enjoyable, if I want to experience the movie without actually watching it and drag out the experience for a couple extra hours but nothing more
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Oct 29, 2021, 05:31:38 PM
It's not that I didn't like it, but I went in thinking there's be more and for me, it wasn't.

I might just still be bitter that they didn't continue Shaws' storyline...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: VeteranSergeant on Nov 04, 2021, 09:51:43 PM
Quote from: Neomorph-01 on Jun 11, 2021, 10:58:26 PM
I have enjoyed reading Aliens Infiltrator.
Is it just me or do the Xenomorph specimens in this book put me in mind of Gremlins 2 the New Batch. Love the albino Drone variant.
It's funny to note that Joe Dante (the director of Gremlins) didn't want to make a sequel. He only finally agreed if he got triple the budget and complete creative control. So Gremlins 2 was basically him just saying "F You" to the studio and making the most bizarre stuff he could come up with. By his own admission, Gremlins 2 is Joe Dante satirizing Gremlins.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Voodoo Magic on Nov 05, 2021, 01:43:34 PM
Quote from: Kradan on Oct 28, 2021, 01:26:18 PM
I kinda agree with Gentleman Death. Not that it was a bad book, but it didn't really provided me with anything more than what I've already seen in the actual movie. Truth be old, all of ADF novelisations were kinda just retellings of movies' events in text form for me. Enjoyable, if I want to experience the movie without actually watching it and drag out the experience for a couple extra hours but nothing more

And often Ridley Scott's visuals can elevate just an average script, spectacular depictions often missing in work-for-hire novelizations.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Feb 15, 2022, 02:58:12 AM
I finally decided to jump into the Alien Vs Predator novels starting with Prey.

Before I get started is there a particular order I should be reading them other than Prey to Hunters Planet to War?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 15, 2022, 03:01:59 AM
That's it. Hunter's Planet and War are kind of competing sequels to the original but that's the release order.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Feb 15, 2022, 03:07:06 AM
Quote from: SiL on Feb 15, 2022, 03:01:59 AM
That's it. Hunter's Planet and War are kind of competing sequels to the original but that's the release order.

Ok, just wanted to verify before starting as I didn't see anything else other than stand alone predator novels or comics.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 15, 2022, 09:30:04 AM
As SiL says, Hunter's Planet and War are alternative sequels to the first, so it doesn't really matter which order you read those two.

War is also a sequel to Aliens: Berserker, so you might wanna read that first if you can get hold of it, as a bunch of characters carry over. (Berserker's awesome and well worth a read too.)
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Corporal Hicks on Feb 15, 2022, 10:38:18 AM
Easily one of the best of the Bantam - and over all - Alien novels.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 15, 2022, 10:42:08 AM
Yeah, the Berserker novel's awesome. Manages to add so much to the fairly trite comic.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 15, 2022, 11:04:37 AM
An ideal reading list would be Prey, Berserk, War as a trilogy, as Hunter's Planet is fairly standalone. Berserk is in the 7th volume of the Bantam omnibus from memory.

Did Stephanie Perry work on Prey, or was that pure Steve?
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 15, 2022, 11:23:31 AM
It was the both of them.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kimarhi on Feb 16, 2022, 12:29:23 AM
The EU Novels from Bantam are part of the lore forever embedded in my dna.  I read the vast majority of them in MS and HS (that age pretty much formed the kind of media I enjoy today) and realize they are not high art, but I love almost all of them despite their flaws and simple storytelling. 



The novels we are getting now are technically better, they are original (as in they aren't adapted from DH comics), the writing is more nuanced, and they are usually longer stories, and Into Charybdis is the apex of the EU novels, but I will not ever shit on the bantam novelizations just because of my past love for them. 

If somebody gave me free reign to make an Alien story in either book or movie form, I cannot say I wouldn't be influenced by the old EU.



AvP2 also was a huge influence for me out of the EU. 

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 16, 2022, 01:38:09 AM
I still think Berserker would make an excellent movie, and is a great way to not need to add new, bigger, badder Aliens while still telling a new and potential incredibly stressful story.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kimarhi on Feb 16, 2022, 02:35:03 AM
I love Berserker but it does kind of fall into the Aliens are insects line of storytelling that some fans hate.


But in the movies at least we haven't seen the unrelenting tsunami of aliens like the EU has portrayed for decades. 
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 16, 2022, 03:19:42 AM
That can be massaged out, though. The setup of it - and Tribes - is perfect for some nightmarish shit. Iron out the wrinkles and you're set.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Feb 16, 2022, 03:25:58 AM
I read Beserker almost 2 years ago and don't remember much of it at all. So since I've the luxury, I'll read the novels in the order you suggested.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kimarhi on Feb 16, 2022, 04:57:31 AM
Quote from: SiL on Feb 16, 2022, 03:19:42 AM
That can be massaged out, though. The setup of it - and Tribes - is perfect for some nightmarish shit. Iron out the wrinkles and you're set.

I think Tribes is the better story, but I personally liked Berserker better.  At least the novelization.  SD Perry brought life to the convicts and it felt real banter between them and the crew.  And just being a handful of you and massive amounts of Aliens trying to get at you non stop with a malfunctioning "tank" as your only hope is an interesting idea. 
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Feb 16, 2022, 04:59:10 AM
Yeah, and I'm definitely talking the novel - the comic was pretty disappointing by comparison. Not bad, but the novel breathed new life into it
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Feb 16, 2022, 08:03:58 AM
The only Batam Aliens novel I remember actively disliking was Alien Harvest. Just couldn't get on with that one at all. Hated the characters, found the story incredibly boring and disliked the prose. Otherwise they were at least entertaining.

The Predator novels from them I really never got into though. I didn't enjoy Nathan Archer's writing at all.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Feb 23, 2022, 11:56:57 PM
Finished AvP: Prey and I enjoyed it. I've never read any of the predator comics and was always hesitant to get into the novels themselves but I'd say it was a fun read.

I can see how people like Machiko as she's a pretty solid character. I wasn't sure how I'd like the Predator "view" but found I didn't hate it.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out wiith the next two.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Mar 26, 2022, 09:56:29 PM
AvP Hunters World (2.5/5)

This started off pretty decent but by the end, I was rolling my eyes with dialogue and overall direction this book went.

I like the concept of the Hunters World and even had a Jurassic park type of feel to it for me. But once the book introduced aliens modified by cyborg type genetics, who can shoot guns occasionally....kinda started losing me there.

I wasn't really feeling Machikos character mid point through this novel as well. She started saying things like "old chum" and was acting nothing like her character from the first novel.

This book just wasn't doing much for me unfortunately.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kimarhi on Mar 26, 2022, 11:12:54 PM
HP and War are like 1a  or 1b novels.  Of the old Bantam novels, HP was the only one that was original and not based on a DH comic.  I also think it was the worst. 
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Gentleman Death on Mar 27, 2022, 12:01:50 AM
Quote from: Kimarhi on Mar 26, 2022, 11:12:54 PM
HP and War are like 1a  or 1b novels.  Of the old Bantam novels, HP was the only one that was original and not based on a DH comic.  I also think it was the worst.

Does War explain Machikos "betrayal" of the predators and why she no longer was with them? Because in HP it was mentioned a few times but never explained...
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kradan on Mar 27, 2022, 12:25:46 AM
I didn't read the novelisation but IIRC in War comic Machicko just got tired of constantly dealing with Predators' bullshit
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: SiL on Mar 27, 2022, 01:01:25 AM
She realises she'll only be tolerated, never accepted.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: HuDaFuK on Mar 27, 2022, 08:51:30 AM
Quote from: Kimarhi on Mar 26, 2022, 11:12:54 PMHP and War are like 1a  or 1b novels.  Of the old Bantam novels, HP was the only one that was original and not based on a DH comic.

It wasn't based on a comic, but the short comic Aliens vs. Predator 2 (later collected as War #0) is adapted as a chapter in both the Hunter's Planet and War novels.

I went into Hunter's Planet only knowing it through Hicks' (very) negative (old) review, and as such I was honestly quite pleasantly surprised. It's not great, but I didn't think it was anything like awful either. I think I ended up enjoying it about as much as War, if only because the latter was so disappointing after Prey and especially the absolutely excellent Berserker.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: BlueMarsalis79 on Mar 27, 2022, 09:10:16 AM
I honestly think everything with Machiko actively involved with them was always a mistake and ultimately sullied people's idea of her actual characterisation somewhat. And replaced it with a teenage boy's fantasy both visually and conceptually.
Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: 426Buddy on Mar 27, 2022, 01:28:34 PM
I thought HP was truly dire myself.

Everything with Machiko after AvP War #0 has been less than good.

Title: Re: Alien/Predator Novel Reviews
Post by: Kimarhi on Mar 28, 2022, 10:27:25 PM
Quote from: Gentleman Death on Mar 27, 2022, 12:01:50 AM
Quote from: Kimarhi on Mar 26, 2022, 11:12:54 PM
HP and War are like 1a  or 1b novels.  Of the old Bantam novels, HP was the only one that was original and not based on a DH comic.  I also think it was the worst.

Does War explain Machikos "betrayal" of the predators and why she no longer was with them? Because in HP it was mentioned a few times but never explained...

They don't like her, in the comics only Broken Tusk respected her.


But she also found out they sanctioned a hunt against humans.