Right, I’ll confess, I’ve not read volume 1, although now I wish I had. Aliens invading Earth. Tick! I love the Alien franchise (well, most of it) and I’ve read a few of the Dark Horse comics, which filled the gaps between the films.
So Volume 2 kicks off, the Aliens have infested earth, but the battle still rages and the troops are winning, pushing the aliens back and grinding their numbers down. Both novels follow a similar timeline and even similar plotlines, which detracts from the binding of these stories together. It’s like they gave two writers the same outline involving a trip to an alien planet in order to steal “Royal Jelly” a substance created by Alien Queens, which also happens to have fantastic medical properties, quickly becoming the most sought after substance in the galaxy.
“Genocide” involves a troop of marines led by the beautiful, though battle weary Colonel Kozlowski, who leads her men (and women), along with a team of scientists and billionaire pharmaceutical kingpin Daniel Grant, onto an Alien hive world in order to pilfer some of that lovely, pure royal jelly. Naturally, things go tits up, as they always do in the Alien universe and people die in the traditional fashion. It all feels familiar, ticking off the tropes that made Aliens such a great film (and novel, I adored the Alan Dean Foster novelisation’s of the original trilogy.) Fans of Aliens will lap this up, wanting more. I’ve previously enjoyed the novelisation of “The Blob” by David Bischoff, and he captures the gore well. He knows how to pull people apart.
“Alien Harvest” again involves a trip to distant planet in order to pilfer some lovely “Royal Jelly” (sound familiar?) although this time it’s a dying scientist, a female thief, a couple of robots and a motley crew of convicts after some time off their sentence.
“Alien Harvest” starts out strong, setting itself out as a one last heist for some truly desperate characters. I almost forgot about the impending aliens for moment as the book became more about the characters than stereotypes being chewed up by shadows from the scenery.
Then the aliens do come. And people start doing weird shit that they full well know will get them killed. The last fifth of the book loses it steam a little. Things happen, but for no reason. I was loving the story up until this point, but as the action gets going I cared less and less for the characters did stupider and stupider things.
There is a cool thing, which I thought was woefully underused. Along for the ride is a brilliantly written Android named Gill who remains murderously devoted to his employer, but there’s also a robotic alien called Norbert, which sounds ridiculous, but is actually quite a cool idea, but used to full effect, which made me a little bit sad.
If you’re a fan of Alien series and need tiding over until “Alien: Covenant” (being novelised by Alan Dean Foster, YAY!), then the Aliens Omnibus series might be worth your time despite the similarities between them.
Game over man. Game over.
Alien Harvest 3.5/5