Alien, Out of Shadows, by Tim Lebbon, is a very stratifying horror novel. Keep in mind though, as you read this review, that I am a big fan of the Alien concept, fiction, and movies. I actually endured a 'supernatural event' in the real world that revolved around a 2 foot alien statue, but maybe I will not go there, right now. I will say, and close your eyes other people that have sent me things to review, when I saw a new Alien book it leapt to the tops of my 'read next' pile.
The premise of Alien, Out of Shadows, is that Ripley had another encounter with Aliens after the end of the movie Alien and before she made it to Earth in Aliens. It was fun to have Ellen Ripley in this novel and something I enjoyed. Although, I still think that having Ripley present in all Alien stories is not a requirement, despite what Hollywood seems to think.
Ripley gets picked up by the survivors of an alien caused crash that has left their vessel in a slowly decaying obit. And she thought she had it bad before. The only chance they have to survive involves going down to the mining base of the planet to grab an extra fuel cell, but not only is the mining camp where the aliens were, but there are also four aliens on the planet jumper ship that they will have to clear out before the real danger even begins.
The first third of this book was character devolvement and plotting, but I did not mind. It was done well and I enjoyed it as much as the action. What can I say, this book is just great. Well written, good character flows. After a slow start it is non-stop action. I probably would have given it more stars, but I held back because if you are not an Alien nut, like me, you might not get out of it quite as much as I did. But I think any lovers of science fiction based horror will eat this one up.
If I had to look for faults with this novel, I might include that it took me a little while to work out the characters. Yet once I did, I understood them well. As I said above, I do not think Ripley is a requirement for an Alien story to be good, but I was also secretly happy to get more Ripley action. It also had a little bit of a slow start, but as I stated above this proved no problem for me, but could affect action lovers a little.
Overall, I was looking forward to some new Alien action and this book did not disappoint. I would recommend it to all Alien, Horror, and the darker side of Science Fiction lovers. Also, FYI, after reading this I had to watch Alien and Aliens right away. And if you want to find out more about my supernatural alien encounter, you will have to track me down.
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