Based on the movie starring Sigourney Weaver and Wynona Ryder and written by Joss Whedon, this is the final series of the Alien novelizations where Ellen Ripley wakes on the deep space vessel USM Auriga and remembers that she died on the prison colony Fiorina 161 and what amazes her is that she is still alive. To her horror, Ripley finds news that scientists are breeding xenomorphs, the aliens with which she shares a psychic link with and she is the one who originally made sure they would never reach earth.
Author A.C. Crispin is a New York Times best-seller of her brand of science fiction. To her credit she has 23 published novels which includes her Starbridge series and has done 'tie-in' novels writing for such series as Star Trek, Star Wars and of course, Alien. This book is a fitting tribute to her as it was one of the last novels she wrote while she still battled with cancer.
Bearing in mind those who watched the original movie version of Alien Resurrection will be reading this looking out for the key moments from the movie with eager anticipation. Ellen Ripley has been cloned and brought back to life with the Alien still inside her. Without Ellen's permission, they extract it and study it as well as her, putting her through rigorous tests and having her relearn languages and get her up to speed on why she is there. What they don't find out until later on is that she has traits from the alien inside her, making her not quite the normal human they might have thought. She has strength, fearlessness, anger, hatred and a sadistic love of toying with her prey. General Perez gave the go ahead with the scientists coming aboard, but once he discovers that they were experimenting on humans to breed the Aliens, he sets about bringing his own men on board to act in case anything goes wrong. The scene where Wren and the crew witness the impregnation of twenty men with twenty face-huggers is one of the scariest. Straight after is the scene where Call and Christie are playing ball in the Mess Hall/Recreational Hall where Christie teases Ellen and they see how powerful she really is.
A.C. Crispin tells the story from the perspective of the Aliens who have had their home planet invaded by scientists who wanted to bring something back to experiment on and Perez who feels he has been used and betrayed. The Alien Queen is being kept against her will, but she sees that soon she will be close to being free of the tank and able to breed again using the humans to feed her young. As far as the scientists see it, the Aliens can offer them one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs that can afford them twenty years’ worth of research in a much shorter time, but as Wren failed to tell Perez the reality of their experiments, he feels threatened the Aliens are on board his ship.
Crispin has clearly taken the key scenes from the screenplay and made readers more aware of them; the memories of when we had seen them in the movie seem a lot clearer than ever as in the sense of hopeless fear the crew have of staying alive should the Aliens escape. Ripley makes it clear that they have no chance against their might in other scenes and it isn't until much later that Ripley sees that she can kill the queen. Each of the scientists like Wren have known the dangers of taking the Aliens on board, and experimenting with human lives, all with the assumption that it will be safe and painless. In both cases, they were wrong and they might not live to tell the generations after. This novel, based on Joss Whedon's screenplay is a reminder of what an interesting movie it was plus scary, action-packed and seriously one to have waited for after the first trilogy.
Review by Sandra Scholes
8/10 from 1 reviews
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