Returned to Earth, Ellen Ripley learns that a colony has been established on LV-426, the planet where the crew of the Nostromo found the original Alien.
But contact with the colonists has been lost, so she must accompany a unit of colonial marines to discover their fate. And to destroy any Aliens found on the planet known as Acheron.
This is a groundbreaking sequel by science fiction legend Alan Dean Foster, with the wonderful characters and rapid-fire action that make Aliens one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
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Game Over, Man....
"Get away from her, You." - Really?!
I love the first two movies in this franchise so much! So how can a book that essentially follows the movie scene for scene be disappointing? Let me explain how.
1. It has been sanitized. As indicated by my review title, nearly all the expletives have been omitted. Instead of the most loved line in the movie, "Get away from her you bitch!" we are given "Get away from her YOU!" Now I'm not that attached to swearing; I'm not a 12-year old on the playground trying to sound grown up. But many of the best lines from the movie completely lose their force, rhythm, and impact from being sanitized. C'mon. These are marines and blue collar workers (Ripley). They need to swear to sound natural.
2. The reader struggles with doing multiple voices. I think a reading with less-differentiated voices would be much better. There is no way a single narrator can imitate all the great voices in the movie exactly. This narrator (Hope) tries, and/or invents voices for ones he can't approximate, but it really doesn't work. It's an impossible task to measure up to a full cast of actors in this regard and I wish Hope or the person who produced/directed this audiobook hadn't tried.
3. Sensory descriptions are missing and the novel is flat without having seen the movie. If the reading/writing had tried to be more stand-alone, the book might be more successful. But lots of bits that you would put in for a stand-alone work just aren't there; the author seems to be relying on the reader to have seen the movie. Mostly I am talking about solid description. Foster doesn't help you visualize the aliens much. Textures, colors, smells, sounds, and visuals aren't not given much text at all and the novelization feels pretty flat as a result.
4. The scope is the movie and only the movie. You get very little detail/background for the story that isn't supplied on-screen. I think the major reason for reading a novelization of a movie is to get interior thoughts/feelings for the characters and to pick up more in-depth explanations of character motives, technical details, etc.
Foster basically just wrote down the movie. Hope tried to (unsuccessfully) imitate the movie voices and was hampered by sanitized dialogue. The result is disappointing.
Who might enjoy this? Well, I was 10 years old when Alien came out and my parents wouldn't take me to see it. So I read the book. That worked, until I could see the movie. The only people who I think would really enjoy this book are kids in the same situation. :) If you can see the movie, just do that and only that. The book isn't worth it.