Earth Hive (Aliens #1) Review

Earth Hive (Aliens #1) is a 1992 science fiction horror written by Steve Perry and published by Bantam Books.  Set as the first book in the Aliens book series, the story follows a Colonial Marine Wilks and Billie,, survivors of an alien infestation on colony planet Rim, who are sent on a mission to the aliens’ homeworld .


Positives:

  • Wilks and Billie are great leads
  • Good story
  • Great writing
  • Great cliffhanger

Negatives:

  • Lacking exposition on the aliens

Synopsis:  Set after the events of Alien 3, the story follows a Colonial Marine named Wilks, and a young woman named Billie, both survivors of a previous alien infestation on the colony world of Rim.  Years later, Wilks is sent to the home planet of the aliens for a sample for possible military exploitation, and Billie is along for the ride.  However, their plans go awry when a third party attempts to jeopardize the mission.  However, back on Earth fanatics have unleashed the xenomorph on the populace.

The story is good as it definitely shows the ferocity of the xenomorph while showing that they’re not the only antagonistic force.  The story is pretty intense, action packed but deep exploring the relationship between Billie and Wilks.  The ending has an epic twist that leaves Earth and the story off on an epic cliffhanger.  Though the story does follow the alien infestation of Earth but not really close enough to make it prominent.  Sure, it would’ve been awesome to have seen Wilks and Billie on Earth trying to prevent the infestation. (3 out of 5)

Characters: The main protagonists are a former space marine, David Wilks and fellow survivor, Billie, both of whom have survived the alien outbreak on the colony world of Rim. These two characters are a refresher to series for those who might think that Ripley is the ultimate Xenomorph slayer, but ultimately do feel like Hicks and Newt.  These two characters have a this shared experience that bonds them as well as their share of emotional baggage.  The main antagonist is Massey, a black ops mercenary assigned to prevent Weyland-Yutani competitors from acquiring a xenomorph specimen which has him coming into conflict with Wilks and Billie. Billie gets in a romantic relationship with Mitch Bueller, who’s likable despite being a synthetic. There are some interesting characters (including fellow marines, corporate douchebags, and insane cultist) that manipulate events in the background. (3 out of 5)

Writing:  Well-written on Perry’s part.  There is some pretty witty dialogue especially between Wilks and Billie and some of the situations they find themselves in.  This story is able to explore what the films couldn’t; all of the various parties interested in the xenomorph species (corporations wanting it for profit, cults worshiping them as gods).  It would’ve been nice to get more exposition into the corporations outside of rich guys sitting in a high office over looking a city and thinking themselves above the common folk or possibly more exposition into the xenomorph society and behavior. The writing surrounding Bueller being a synthetic is well-written making for an effective twist.  Gotta give it to Perry for his great pacing and style, although he does sacrifice action for more of the dramatic elements.  Not sure how I feel about the Space Jockey making an appearance at the end because it is out of left field and with all the space travel humans would’ve encountered them. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Earth Hive (Aliens #1) is a great refreshing face to the Alien series.  It is a great read, although the actual focus on the aliens isn’t here.  However, the great main protagonists Wilks and Billie are awesome characters worth rooting for, the writing is really good, and the story itself immersive. Earth Hive (Aliens #1) gets 3 out of 5.

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