Overall i really enjoyed this.The Aliens were really well portrayed, especially the stealth aspect, how well they adapted to their shadowy industrial surroundings and the danger of the acid blood in the close confines where most of the action took place.
Just a few random observations...
I do think there was enough potential story there for a longer book, especially with the use of chapters from the films as a contextual framing, but the page count probably wasn't the author's choice anyway.We could have had a few more in-depth colonist characters, more scenes at the derelict and more fleshing out of some of the scenes we did get.I'd like to have seen more of the marines and administration guys efforts to track down the Aliens early on, before the PDT'S were remembered and used.There was about a day and a half/two days there that could have been more elaborated on.Some stuff about the Marines trying to secure and scour the duct system would have had great potential.
I didn't notice the Marines using any smart guns or motion trackers.It probably wouldn't have made much difference to many of the encounters, but i would have expected to have at least the motion trackers mentioned and used for the scenes later on between the team that went over to attack the hive and the ones left guarding the sealed D-block perimeter.Maybe they did get used during the hunt for the hive, once the colonists were all secured in various locations, but we didn't get to see that.
The conclusion to the Draper arc left me a bit let down.As soon as i knew some of the newt's tale scenes were being used\reworked, i had a good idea of how he was going to die(and that was a great scene when did happen in slightly reworked fashion), but when he finds out about the escape ship and abandons Brackett with the survivors of the team(not sure they would have just gone along with him closing the lift on the cap and abandoning him tbh) i expected to see more of that group of marines\things go a different way.but no, we just get the newts tale-esque death as his only other appearance.Not sure how i felt about that.I would have liked him as a point-of-view character had the book been longer, or even a chapter or two from his perspective after he abandons Brackett, following his failed attempt to get to the escape craft.
Lastly, between the revelations of the amount of Aliens killed in this, and the escape of the colonists in the Onager with the fire and stone arc, what do you think the numbers were in the hive by the time Ripley, Burke and co. get there?.I've not read fire and stone yet, so i don't know how many colonists got away on the onager, but i'm guessing there were about 15-20 or so killed for sure without being facehugged in ROP, and about 20-25 Aliens killed by the Marines.
I'm thinking there would be roughly 90-100 in the hive when Gorman's team gets there?.It all seems to work out quite well.No glaring errors like the marines mowing down scores and scores of Aliens.They were a deadly and well portrayed threat in this.