Review: Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell – and trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey. Hoop and his associates uncover a nest of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on a new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviors….

Ellen Ripley, the last human survivor of the salvage ship Nostromo.

Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon. Book 1 of the Canonical Alien Trilogy. Directed by Dirk Maggs. Published by Audible Studios, April 2016. 4 hours and 31 mins. Narrated by a full cast.An Audible Original Drama.

Why did I choose this to listen to? I’m not a huge fan of the Alien movie franchise, not even a huge Sci-Fi fan. And I’m not a huge fan of this author. I’ve read a few things by him and they just don’t click with me. So, again, why did I pick this book? Because I am a sucker for audio dramas. Yep. As soon as I saw this had a full cast performance, with all the bells and whistles, I couldn’t resist. It didn’t hurt that the plot sounded interesting as well.

Out of the Shadows had a full cast performance. There were several characters to keep track of, and it was a little bit difficult in the beginning, when you were trying to learn who everyone is, but after a little bit (and a few deaths >.> ) it became easier to tell who was who. The voice acting performance was very well done. You had Rutger Hauer, Matthew Lewis (for those Harry Potter fans), and a few other names that you go “OH! That person!!” when I looked them up on Wiki. A really well done performance by everyone, but I have to say that Laurel Lefkow, who voiced Ripley ( who was played by Sigourney Weaver in the movies) did a phenomenal job sounding just like the Ripley from the movies. Sigourney has a very distinct voice and Laurel Lefkow really captured that character perfectly.

This book is a part 1 of a 3 book set that is supposed to tie in to the movies. You know, aside from having the Xenomorph aliens hanging around. This book takes place right after the first movie ends, where Ripley escapes from her ship with just herself and a cat. The way this book was written to fit that little bit of space ( pun intended!) between Alien and Aliens was pretty interesting. There is a very specific reason why Ripley doesn’t speak of this when we see her in the second movie. Pretty clever really. I really enjoyed this whole hidden story between the 2 movies.

Since this was an Audibles Originals Drama, and a full cast performance, that means you had plenty of sound effects to go along with the story! You had a pretty impressive assortment of sounds. Crashes, bangs, beeps, clicks, growls, meows, explosions, screams, disembodied computer voices, blood splatters, tears, lasers…. seriously… it was pretty much every sci-fi sound effect you could hope for aside from gun fire or missiles. It was a very nice touch to have such a wide range of sounds in the background.

I actually had a lot of fun listening to this even though I’m not a huge fan of the movie franchise. I think that with the way it was written, you don’t have to know the series well or at all, really. Even if you had somehow never seen any of the movies, you’ll understand the plot just fine. There are plenty of explanations of what happened to Ripley in the first movie as well as what these aliens are that you wouldn’t feel lost. So if you’ve never seen the movies, or haven’t seen Alien in 40 years, don’t sweat it! Everyone can enjoy this creepy space creature feature horror show. I just wish it had been a little longer then just 4 hours and 30 mins. :/ My biggest complaint though was that the crew were so STUPID about the villain screwing with them! Everyone knew who the bad guy was, yet they kept ignoring the bad stuff he did to them. It got very annoying! This story got a point taken away for that.

Alien: Out of the Shadows was a clever story. It was well written and fit perfectly in with the movie series. Anyone can enjoy this story, even if you’ve never seen the movies before. The voice acting and sound effects performance really made this a fun audio drama. It could have been a tad bit longer, but over all it was a surprisingly good read (listen), even though there was one annoying part in the story.


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