I absolutely loved this book. I agree with AP, a 10/10 for me. It actually surpassed CF as my favorite Alien novel.
I don't even know where to begin! The first act is so amazingly intense and frightening. The Aliens are given so much respect in this book it just warms my heart lol. The second act is thrilling and crazy, and the end is like a love letter to the EU and Alien fans and just a lot of fun. It stayed completely faithful to what I love about the franchise while presenting it in a completely fresh and different way.
Even in the big battles in the middle it never felt like the Aliens were less of a threat and I found the McGuffin to be so creative and interesting. I didn't think it was contrived but perhaps a little convenient. It was the only possible way they could have saved themselves and I found it interesting that they find this chemical that stops the acid and kills them in time. Never did it feel like the Aliens were made weaker for any other reason than the poison. In a lot of films like ST, in the beginning arachnids seem to be far more deadly than in the later battles.
It was paced perfectly and the world and story were just so damn interesting. Especially the early portion where you learn about the world and running.
I would have read a whole book just about Aiko the head runner surviving her 23 runs lol.
I somewhat predicted the revelations at the end and like how inspired it felt by Alchemy ( one of my favorite series.) The whole end in the hive/ship felt so perfectly at home with the EU. I loved the nod to Genocide with the warring hives, I loved the praetorians, and using the scientific names for the aliens from the EU and the nods to Cold Forge. I was all wonderful IMO.
There were a few lil nitpicks but it was more about trying to piece together the timeline of the planet.
Thank you Scott Sigler for giving us such great book and amazing Alien story.
I almost forgot to add that the characters were just fantastic. I couldn't believe that Mr. Sigler had me actually caring about 'Liyah, Brandun, and Creen within like 30 pages.