Out of the Shadows, Sea of Sorrows, River of Pain

Started by ClockworkHorror, Jan 01, 2016, 11:51:10 PM

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Out of the Shadows, Sea of Sorrows, River of Pain (Read 425 times)

ClockworkHorror

ClockworkHorror

Let me preface this by saying I'm writing this because I think this is the only place where people might understand how I feel. I've always been a bit of a lurker, and very rarely do I write anything. I've been sitting on these thoughts for a little while now and really need to get them off my chest in an environment where they make might make sense.

I really dislike this series of novels. They go in the same category for me that I keep Aliens: Colonial Marines locked away in. As approved additions to the setting, they're extremely disappointing. They don't add in any meaningful way to a series that spent the first three movies being rooted in a believable, banal future.
What I've always loved about the Alien series is that it contains stories about ordinary people stuck in extraordinary circumstances. Ordinary people.

The first half of Out of the Shadows is pretty good. The ships escaping from the surface, the damage to the main vessel. It smacked of a disaster movie done right. That clear and present danger on the other side of the airlock? I loved it. And then... Then they added their double twist. And the big red reset button at the end of the novel. Suddenly it ran into the territory of fan fiction. Of course, the real addition here is the planet that the next novel would be set on.

Sea of Sorrows. I had major trepidation issues heading in. I was worried that might colour my appreciation, so I did my best to keep an open mind. There isn't a single likeable character in this whole book. Giving a random dude a name seconds before you kill him off doesn't offer a connection to that character. The aliens have a great deal of alien otherness removed by attributing human emotions to them. And they're reduced to cannon fodder for an unnecessary torrent of combat scenes.
This was a novel about extraordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. I liked that it referenced Resurrection, but it had the same silly super skilled characters that Resurrection sported. And the whole psychic powers/genetically passed on hatred thing was cringe worthy. IMHO, at least.

River of Pain receives most of my vitriol. This book is by far the worst. Not only is a lot of it simply transcribed from other material (movie/comics), it was transcribed poorly in a lot of places. No attention to detail. It has an unnecessary story involving a massive corporate conspiracy, cookie cutter characters and doesn't add a single thing to the narrative.
Why do we need a Hadley's Hope story? We know what happens. After HALF A CENTURY since the disappearance of the Nostromo, a bunch of blue collar workers tediously running a colony run into a creature that they don't know how to deal with. They get sent there by a corporate ladder climber who doesn't warn anyone because he wants to get all the credit. NOT secret scientist agendas, and out of place marines, and a man who spontaneously grows a mustache whenever he needs to be all about the rules (instead of a tired, overweight boss who seems to barely care about whether his coffee is cold).
SECRET ESCAPE SHIP AND A PSEUDO NEWT TO RESCUE.

This wasn't about fans looking to add to the series. This was about a trio of dudes earning a paycheque.

I may be in the minority. I don't think Burke was part of a grand conspiracy. I think he was a twat looking for more money or a promotion. Like most corporate entities, WY is mired in beauracracy and acronyms. So many different branches and a lack of communication. There wouldn't be the foresight to keep looking for strange creatures. 'We lost another ship? Well, better can that department.'
Hadley's Hope was full of blue collar workers just trying to make it by in a hostile environment. Add Aliens to the shake and bake. Oh shit.
Again, I think this series works because it's about ordinary people.
It's probably why I loved Alien: Isolation.:)

Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to read! :)

EDIT: I want to state I know there was a lot of corporate shenanigans in Isolation. I just felt it was more opportunist, and not some grand universal conspiracy.

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