Alien/Predator Novel Reviews

Started by Hudson, Aug 19, 2014, 04:55:43 PM

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Alien/Predator Novel Reviews (Read 50,481 times)

Xiggz456

Xiggz456

#195
"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.

Xiggz456

Xiggz456

#196
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".

Corporal Hicks



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.

SM

SM

#198
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.




felix

felix

#199
I wish they reprint Predator: South China Sea in omnibus form.

Xiggz456

Xiggz456

#200
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.

SM

SM

#201
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.

HuDaFuK

HuDaFuK

#202
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.

Xiggz456

Xiggz456

#203
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

Xiggz456

Xiggz456

#204
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.

Ultramorph

Ultramorph

#205
What was the alien's name in Steel Egg? Larry? Definitely a strange novel.

Xiggz456

Xiggz456

#206
Haha ya it was Larry. Weird choice right?

Samhain13

Samhain13

#207
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.

Xiggz456

Xiggz456

#208
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.

SM

SM

#209
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.

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