Author: Steve Perry
Pages: Paperback 278
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Author Links: Website
Opening Lines: "Even inside her bulky E-suit, Billie could feel the cold night bite at her."
"Wilks was a space marine with a near-fatal flaw: he had a heart. Billie was a child, the only survivor of a far-flung colony outpost. Thrown together in the last hellish night of an alien invasion, Billie and Wilks helped each other get out alive. Thirteen years later Wilks is in prison, and Billie lives in a mental institution, the nightmare memories of the massacre at Rim seared into her mind. Now the government has tapped Wilks to lead an expedition to the aliens' home planet to bring back a live alien. But the competition on Earth to develop the aliens as a new weapons system is brutal. When Wilks's team departs on their mission, a trained assassin trails them. And what follows is no less than guerrilla warfare on the aliens' planet--and alien conquest on Earth!"Thoughts: Honestly, I'm not sure why it took me so long to read this book. I have been in love with the movies since my brother first showed me Alien when I was under 10. However, after watching Prometheus and re-watching the four movies that came out before it, my brother talked me into reading the series. Further, he convinced me to read the Predator books as well!
I have never read a series of books based off of a movie, so I was not sure what to expect from this book. I have always loved Ripley and couldn't imagine the Alien world without her. This book follows the story of Billie and Wilks—the only survivors of the infestation on the planet Rim. After returning the Earth, Billie ends up institutionalized and Wilks is in prison. Trying to reprogram Billie's brain, she is made to believe that her experiences on Rim are some sort of reoccurring nightmare/psychotic delusion. In an attempt to stop it, they have decided to take drastic measures and preform some sort of lobotomy on her when she starts seeing the Aliens appear in TV. Wilks, however, is faced with a prison sentence to keep him quiet about his experiences. After putting him through a battery of tests and determining that he was, in fact, telling the truth, the government locked him away from everyone. Now, after years in their current conditions, the government has decided to send an expedition to the Alien homeworld in order to turn these monsters into a weapon. Being the only person with experience with these creatures, Wilks is blackmailed into fronting a team of Marines to the planet.
While Wilks, Billie, and the Marines are taking stock of the Alien homeworld, it is discovered that scientists have an Alien on Earth. Since it is the only Alien, they find out that a drone can turn into a queen and reproduce without the aid of other drones. This, as you may have guessed, causes all ends of chaos.
This book was action packed and didn't lack in plot or character development. In some ways, it could be argued that it is extremely simple. However, I felt the author did an amazing job adding the Alien genre. After watching the other four movies again, I found it interesting that Billie and Wilks remind me of Newt and Hicks in Aliens. Further, when you finally learn Billie's back story, it is nearly identical to that of Newt. I am not well versed enough in the Alien sub-culture to know the connection; however, I would be surprised if there wasn't one.
In this book, as well as the four movies, I found it neat the use of Asimov's Laws. For me, it gave the book a certain level of authority and reputability. It also gave an interesting launching point for things that happened on the Alien homeworld.
This book is told in several different parts. Some of them are from Wilks' and Billie's POV, some from the Marines, but the author also has the reader see things from various government officials and the Alien religious fanatics. Sometimes, if not done correctly, that can drastically muddy a book's plot and bog it down. However, Perry did an amazing balancing job with this device. It gave the book more of a three dimensional feel, and it gave the audience a more complete view of everything that was happening.
I ended up really enjoying this book! Since I liked Newt and Hicks in Aliens, it felt as though they didn't actually die and I was able to see their story continue. The next book in the series promises to be something awesome. I look forward to reading it! If you love the world of the Alien movies, I highly suggest this book.
Currently Reading: Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry (ARC from publisher)