Nightmare Asylum (Aliens #2) Review

Nightmare Asylum (Aliens #2) is a 1993 science fiction horror novel written by Steve Perry and published by Bantam Books.  Sequel to Earth Hive (Aliens #1) the story follows Wilks, Billy, and Bueller who are captured by an insane military faction attempting to train xenomorphs.


Positives:

  • Awesome antagonist
  • Very suspenseful
  • Good characters
  • Interesting story

Negatives:

  • Story is slow paced
  • Repetitive plot

Synopsis:  The story picks up after Earth Hive with Wilks, Billie, and Bueller taking refugee on a transport ship as Earth is completely overrun by aliens and the remaining human population escape into space.  The group find themselves arriving at a military compound but quickly realize that the general in command of the base is insane, obsessed with creating an alien army to recapture Earth.

Like in the first book the aliens aren’t the only antagonistic force to the main protagonists.  The story isn’t as large scale as the first but feels more polished in certain areas while feeling a little loose in others.  Honestly, the idea behind the General’s plan to tame xenomorphs to fight against the one’s on the Earth is an interesting idea but a ridiculous one.  (3 out of 5)

Characters:  Really like Wilks, Billie, and Bueller, and how they have to deal with this threat while dealing with issues amongst themselves, the biggest being Bueller being an android and how it affects Billie.  Never really liked the Billie and Bueller relationship but it sad seeing their issues remain unresolved (and the fact they left him to die) but at least he went out like a boss.  General Thomas Spears is the main antagonist, and the guy is just a straight up douchebag and although he has an interesting goal his methods are horrendous.  This jackass, although brilliant, literally feeds his troops and civilians to the xenomorphs.  Would’ve liked to have seen more standout characters, perhaps more opposed to the good General. Another factor to be considered is how well the aliens themselves were written.  They aren’t simply savage beasts (well actually they are) but they have a social structure as well as intelligence, behavior not seen in most canon. (3 out of 5)

Writing:  Liked how Perry’s style focuses on how trying to control the xenomorph isn’t such a good idea and doesn’t work.  Love how Perry focuses more on the xenomorphs; their behavior more specifically.  Even how the General was able to control the xenomorphs felt plausible and alluded to their intelligence and adaptive capabilities, but it does become repetitive sense we’ve seen this concept throughout the series.  There is a lot of tension written into the atmosphere and the fact that everything seems to go horribly wrong for the characters at nearly every turn makes their resourcefulness stand out even more.  The action doesn’t feel bland but suspenseful. Perry definitely does deserve two thumbs up. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Nightmare Asylum (Aliens #2) is a good sequel that does give more exposition into the Alien mythos.  Despite the slower pace and possibly the ridiculous motivation for the antagonist the story does feature great characters, good suspense, claustrophobic atmosphere, interesting story and really good writing on Perry’s part.  Nightmare Asylum (Aliens #2) gets 3 out of 5.

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