When I started this book I was sure that it was going to be an ‘on the train’, ‘on the beach’ easy read.
In some ways it was. It was very put downable but very easy and inviting to pick up again.
They come in silence like death in the night. They are perfect killing machines. They are the Aliens. And some people value them above all else. But the attempt to weaponize a creature of such power is a very dangerous game for the inhabitants of Earth to play… The first volume of The Complete Aliens Omnibus contains Earth Hive by Steve Perry, Nightmare Asylum by Steve Perry and The Female War by Steve Perry and Stephani Perry.
The aliens are back and our protagonist, Billie, finds herself in an insane asylum, certain that the terrible nightmares and people she remembers are just symptoms instead of the reality she is being assisted to reject and forget. On breaking out she finds love and violence in equal measure, finally working with Ripley to find an ending.
As expected, there was all the running around corridors and gory killings that one expects and reading a trilogy cover to cover made this a bit repetitive. I would recommend reading one story, taking a break, then going back to it. After a while I was a bit numb to the repetitiveness of this but this is due to me reading it all in one go rather in the bite size (no pun intended) chunks that are probably intended, and certainly no detraction from the skill of the writer who is extremely well accomplished in this universe.
It was after I put it down that I realised that there was a lot more to it than the running around and violence that I had taken in on surface reading. This is the first time I have been asked to empathise with the alien and I found that actually, I did.
The alien queen is tortured by one of the villains and her children/ eggs are held in front of her and torched so that she will comply, which of course she does. Ripley and Billie themselves are fighting for their loved ones and their families and the two characters therefore are locked in their will to keep their species alive. In some cases I felt sorry for the alien and in some way rooted for her to live as a mother trying to protect her own.
I ended up really enjoying this book and the depth that it offered not on first reading but in that wonderful way when the rich texture sneaks up on you and a second, more appreciative and satisfying read is soon to come.
Author: Steve Perry
Publisher: Titan Books
GS Rating: 4/5
GS Reviewer: The Aviator