The Female War (Aliens #3) Review

The Female War (Aliens #3) is a 1993 science fiction horror novel written by Steve and Stephani Perry, and published by Bantam Books.  Set as a sequel to Nightmare Asylum (Aliens #2) the story follows Wilks and Billy who band up with Ellen Ripley to capture the Xenomorph Queen of all aliens on the aliens’ homeworld.


Positives:

  • Great main protagonist
  • Good writing
  • Great character development
  • Good action

Negatives:

  • Plot feels messy
  • Weak antagonist
  • Lackluster characters

Synopsis:  The story follows Billie and Wilks who join Ellen Ripley who is the leader of humanity’s forces.  Ripley has a plan and she and Wilks lead a crew of unprepared soldiers and scientists to capture the Queen Mother on her home planet and deliver her to Earth to help destroy Earth’s alien infestation by using her as bait. There is subplot where Billie wants to save this girl named Amy who is trapped on Earth who she’d been watching on broadcasts since Earth’s infection.  For as interesting as the story is its very slow paced.  Sure the group descends to the alien homeworld to capture the queen of queens but it doesn’t feel memorable. In fact, for as interesting as the plan is it doesn’t feel like it was well thought out.  Despite this the book is a good conclusion to a good book series.  (3 ou tof 5)

Characters:  Wilks and Billie return and the two have definitely grown and developed not only as this father/daughter but as friends, and it’s nice seeing their dynamic. There are some moments where we see that Wilks has romantic feelings for Billie.  There are some people that would see this as a cliche but I think it helps make their relationship feel more authentic and makes him more well rounded.  Wilks does take a backseat to Billie and Ripley who I have mixed feelings about.  Clearly Wilks and Billie are based on Hicks and Newt but why let Ripley fly if she died in the same film.  I do like how Ripley and Wilks have this like respect for one another and how Ripley and Billie have this connection and it’s easy seeing much of Ripley in Billie as she has come a long way since being the small girl Wilks save in the events preceding Earth Hive. Although there are other characters who are likable, they simply just don’t stand out.  The Queen Mother is just awesome and this battle that she has with Billie and Ripley shows that she powerful and intelligent, but the book doesn’t give the creature enough “screen time” to actually do much of anything. (3 out of 5)

Writing:  Again, Perry does a great job with the writing and definitely brings an interesting view to the alien franchise.  One of these additions is the aliens mental influence on humans, who have dreams of the xenopmorphs thanks to the Queen Mother.  It was an interesting concept, especially with how powerful the queen actually is and how this ability is described relating to humans and aliens. Didn’t really buy the whole the Queen Mother calling all of her children back to her.

The action is solid giving a good description of the events.  Also, liked the religious nut jobs who again show how crazy they are and either serve themselves up as fodder or capture other humans and serve them.  This is quite disturbing but definitely shows another way the creatures affect humans.

One thing I didn’t like was how they group captured the Queen Mother.  It just feels like if the characters were going to capture the highest alien queen that it would take more than just one group, it’ll take an entire battalion to draw her out.  Also, the description of the queen felt lackluster.  I was hoping she’d be similar to the drones and lesser queens but have different physical features such as a centipede-like body or three sets of legs or something.  Felt disappointed that she was basically a larger Queen, they could’ve gotten creative with it but I realize Perry based this novel off the comics so her description was already established.  Lastly, the awesome twist with Ripley being an android is actually pretty good.  I saw Alien: Resurrection before I read this novel so the idea of Ripley being clone appealed to me but I didn’t expect her to be an synthetic.  Even when it comes to her discovery and character development, I was sold. However, there is little explanation to who created her or why. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, The Female War (Aliens #3) is probably the weakest of the three but still an interesting read and a good conclusion to a good series.  Despite many problems concerning the plot and some bad concepts, there are good characters, great character development, well-written action, a high level of suspense, and an interesting story.  The Female War (Aliens #3) gets 3 out of 5.

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