Titan Books Unveils Novels Aliens: Vasquez By Author V. Castro

Started by Corporal Hicks, Mar 24, 2022, 04:22:54 PM

Author
Titan Books Unveils Novels Aliens: Vasquez By Author V. Castro (Read 16,978 times)

Xiggz456

Just finished reading and overall I found the experience enjoyable although I do have a few niggles. This is undeniably a Mexican-American (Chicano/a) story full of Spanglish prose and cultural references. As someone who grew up in this culture I fully identified with the Vasquez familia and thoroughly enjoyed the family dynamics throughout the book. Hopefully those unfamiliar with this culture can still appreciate these aspects of the story as well. The Aliens action was well written but unfortunately we don't get to the thick of it until 3/4 of the way through the book; however the world building and character dynamics were on full display leading up to the action.

Spoiler
The love square between the Vasquez's, Yutani and Vickers bordered on the fanfic side of things but thankfully the writing was good enough to help me overlook this aspect. I was also somewhat intrigued with the various applications that the science team was working on, including the hybridization of Xenos and pork tapeworms to infect waters along with a virus that can neutralize them. This actually reminded me of the arthropod-xeno hybrids from the "Revival" comic arc which were also scientifically hybridized to access to harder to reach areas. Lastly, I really liked the way in which the queens adapted after getting their appendages and lower jaw removed which further reinforced the Perfect Organism trope.
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All in all I'd probably rate this one a 7/10.

Corporal Hicks

Corporal Hicks

#151
I'd been really curious to hear some opinions from folk who was a part of the culture, especially as I know some folk thought it might have been too stereotypical. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.

I'd forgotten about the
Spoiler
Queen appendage adaption.
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That was actually something I particularly enjoyed while reading it. It was a shame we got so little around the Alien. I'm still not keen on the
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tapeworm Aliens though.
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That was a step too far for me.

Xiggz456

Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Nov 18, 2022, 10:19:29 AMI'd been really curious to hear some opinions from who was apart of the culture, especially as I know some folk thought it might have been too stereotypical. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.

I'd forgotten about the
Spoiler
Queen appendage adaption.
[close]
That was actually something I particularly enjoyed while reading it. It was a shame we got so little around the Alien. I'm still not keen on the
Spoiler
tapeworm Aliens though.
[close]
That was a step too far for me.

To be fair all of your critiques were valid and I may have been caught up in just relating with the characters. Especially in regards to the world feeling a bit too modern day (I blame Covenant for normalizing the use of old music though!).

Titan dropped 6 books this year which is by far the most they've ever released in a year. Most other years sees 2-3 books released and 2017 had 4 if you include the Covenant novelization. I think they could've done a better job with spacing out the releases though as we got half of the books released in August. So while I loved getting so much content, we bordered on a quantity over quality scenario this year.

SiL

Ripley sings "You Are My Lucky Star" and Dallas listens to Mozart; listening to old music is a franchise staple!

BlueMarsalis79


[cancerblack]

We could probably even imply something about the corporate hellscape having strangled art and people endlessly consuming the classics over and over.

Although that might be a little close to home.

VeteranSergeant

Quote from: Kradan on Nov 13, 2022, 11:26:10 AMIt seems like there has been more misses than hits with Titan, eh ?
It's par for the course for license fiction. The authors doing these novels are often just "churn fiction" writers where they crank out a few novels a year based on an existing license.

I think so far, the only book from Titan I actually liked was The Cold Forge. There are a few that are okay. Everything from there is just a slow slide down to a flooded basement where stuff like River of Pain, Colony War, and the Isolation novelization bob around in fetid, murky water.

This novel was... not good. I listened to it while I worked because I got a promo copy of it as an audiobook. It just starts on a shaky premise (for example, Vasquez having two kids she had to give up kinda makes her complete indifference to Newt pretty weird), and the military parts scream of an author completely unfamiliar with the military, and the science fiction parts by an author not really familiar with science in general. Honestly, she doesn't even seem familiar with the Aliens franchise, but I'll be fair in that the license is so muddled with contradictory depictions.

Might have been an almost interesting story about another Hispanic family in some generic military of the near future. But as an origin story for Vasquez the Colonial Marine from the film Aliens... not very much. If you can even call it that, since Jeanette Vasquez is only in about a third of the story. Vasquez is such a great character. I'd loved to have gotten a more thoughtful, series-faithful story about her background, about the rigors/challenges of being a Colonial Marine, about her friendship with Drake. Instead, this is just very dry, very slow, and mostly meanders about the lives of her two (adult) children. Even for a setting with cryosleep, slower space travel, and the potential of time dilation, it doesn't feel very well thought out.

I dunno. 1/5 for a fan of the Aliens franchise.  Maybe a 2/5 if you just like near-future sci-fi.

Corporal Hicks


Gentleman Death

Maybe because I went in reading this with zero interest, but I found it more enjoyable than Inferno and Colony.

I think this is a solid story without the baggage of the Vasquez name attached.

It definitely had some cringe dialogue throughout but I enjoyed the length of time the main characters progressed story wise and at times felt a little like the older novels.

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