Epeolatry Book Review: Alien: Colony War by David Barnett
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Title: Alien: Colony War
Author: David Barnett
Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: Space Horror
Release Date: 26th April, 2022
Synopsis: Political conflicts on Earth erupt into open hostilities between their colonies in space, with Xenomorphs as the ultimate weapon.
On Earth, political tensions boil over between the United Americas, Union of Progressive Peoples, and Three World Empire. Conflict spreads to the outer fringes, and the UK colony of New Albion breaks with the Three World empire. This could lead to a… Colony War.
Trapped in the middle are journalist Cher Hunt, scientist Chad McLaren, and the synthetic Davis. Seeking to discover who caused the death of her sister, Shy Hunt, Cher uncovers a far bigger story. McLaren’s mission, fought alongside his wife Amanda Ripley, is to stop the militarization of the deadliest weapon of all—the Xenomorph.
Their trail leads to a drilling facility on LV-187. Someone or something has destroyed it, killing the personnel, and the British are blamed. Colonial forces arrive, combat erupts, then both groups are overwhelmed by an alien swarm. Their only hope may lie with the Royal Marines unit known as “God’s Hammer.”
This novel is a must have for fans of the current literary Aliens world that Titan Books has been building. Not only does it fit into the overall series and take place after the events of ‘Alien: Into Charybdis’ By Alex White but is an exciting ride for fans of Xenomorphs everywhere. I feel that the writing didn’t quite synch with the previous two installments to the franchise and in some areas that was great but it did suffer in others. There was also not only a callback to characters from ‘Alien: The Cold Forge‘ but characters and ideas from ‘Alien: Isolation’, ‘Alien: Prototype’, films, comics, and videogames in the franchise as well. I feel that they were put in more as Easter Eggs than direct references and mostly didn’t feel that out of place. I do feel that you will have benefited from reading the rest of the franchise prior to this but that if you hadn’t, it will by no means take away from your enjoyment of the novel.
I should also note that this isn’t Barnett’s first foray into the franchise either as his work has also appeared in ‘Aliens vs. Predators – Ultimate Prey.’
In ‘Alien: Colony War’ we see Barnett start us off right as a ship is secretly carrying fresh Xenomorph eggs during a salvage operation. A total payday, until the crew wakes up on a planet to learn that the eggs have been stolen while they were in cryosleep. The salvage crew aren’t the only leading characters as these books tend to give us a multitude of converging stories. Next up we meet up with Merrilyn Hambelton on a nearby world and her daughter who are currently in hiding as their mining colony has been overrun by Xenomorphs. The final key player is the journalist Cher Hunt who is investigating her sister’s death and is pointed toward the world Merrilyn is hiding on and we’re on our way to seeing all of these stories come to a head.
This story is not a generic Xenomorph survival tale as there is mystery and intergalactic politics weaved into the narrative. If you’re only looking for survival horror, you’ll find it here but there is so much more in the worldbuilding of the Xenomorph world here that it almost falls to the side when we get a look at a bigger picture of how this universe is being built out and I can’t wait to find out more! An absolutely fun read that has a few hiccups in the storytelling but overall is more than worth adding to your Alien collection!
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!