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Alien: Colony War

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Political conflicts on Earth erupt into open hostilities between their colonies in space, with Xenomorphs as the ultimate weapon. Political tensions boil over on Earth, spreading to the outer fringes of known space as the UK colony of New Albion breaks with the Three World Empire. When an oil-drilling facility on nearby LV-187 is destroyed, its French colonists slaughte Political conflicts on Earth erupt into open hostilities between their colonies in space, with Xenomorphs as the ultimate weapon. Political tensions boil over on Earth, spreading to the outer fringes of known space as the UK colony of New Albion breaks with the Three World Empire. When an oil-drilling facility on nearby LV-187 is destroyed, its French colonists slaughtered, the British are blamed. Military forces arrive from the Independent Core Systems and combat erupts. Trapped in the middle are Cher Hunt and Chad Mclaren. Cher is trying to find out who was responsible for the death of her sister, Shy Hunt (of McAllen Integrations from Alien: Into Charybdis). At the same time Mclaren, accompanied by the synthetic known as Davis, follows in the footsteps of his late wife, Amanda Ripley, seeking to stop the weaponization of Xenomorphs. When a horde of the deadly aliens overwhelms both groups, however, their only hope may lie with Royal Marine Corps unit known as "God's Hammer."


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Political conflicts on Earth erupt into open hostilities between their colonies in space, with Xenomorphs as the ultimate weapon. Political tensions boil over on Earth, spreading to the outer fringes of known space as the UK colony of New Albion breaks with the Three World Empire. When an oil-drilling facility on nearby LV-187 is destroyed, its French colonists slaughte Political conflicts on Earth erupt into open hostilities between their colonies in space, with Xenomorphs as the ultimate weapon. Political tensions boil over on Earth, spreading to the outer fringes of known space as the UK colony of New Albion breaks with the Three World Empire. When an oil-drilling facility on nearby LV-187 is destroyed, its French colonists slaughtered, the British are blamed. Military forces arrive from the Independent Core Systems and combat erupts. Trapped in the middle are Cher Hunt and Chad Mclaren. Cher is trying to find out who was responsible for the death of her sister, Shy Hunt (of McAllen Integrations from Alien: Into Charybdis). At the same time Mclaren, accompanied by the synthetic known as Davis, follows in the footsteps of his late wife, Amanda Ripley, seeking to stop the weaponization of Xenomorphs. When a horde of the deadly aliens overwhelms both groups, however, their only hope may lie with Royal Marine Corps unit known as "God's Hammer."

30 review for Alien: Colony War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Derek Smyk

    I'll admit it - I really got this because I'm a huge fan of Alien: The Roleplaying Game and wanted the bonus content for that. The novel itself is all right. I was entertained, even if it wasn't at all scary, and wasn't quite what I wanted. There were a few creepy, clever things done with the Aliens that I hadn't seen before, at least. I'll admit it - I really got this because I'm a huge fan of Alien: The Roleplaying Game and wanted the bonus content for that. The novel itself is all right. I was entertained, even if it wasn't at all scary, and wasn't quite what I wanted. There were a few creepy, clever things done with the Aliens that I hadn't seen before, at least.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The Caveat going into this story is that it is very much connected to the larger Alien expanded universe (Comics, Videogames, Novels, and EVEN the RPG), so I'd be interested to hear how this reads from an uninitiated perspective. It was a bit jarring at first since most Alien novels are pretty self contained. That being said it plays around with your expectations in the best way. It is a book very much focused on exploring the history of the British Empire and if, like me, you are a sucker for w The Caveat going into this story is that it is very much connected to the larger Alien expanded universe (Comics, Videogames, Novels, and EVEN the RPG), so I'd be interested to hear how this reads from an uninitiated perspective. It was a bit jarring at first since most Alien novels are pretty self contained. That being said it plays around with your expectations in the best way. It is a book very much focused on exploring the history of the British Empire and if, like me, you are a sucker for worldbuilding you will enjoy this book. The interstitials with various News Reports were very entertaining. Definitely not focused on the guns...everything is very inconsistent (pulse rifles are lasers...then they aren't?) so if you are a hardcore Alien fan those little things will stick out. I care less about the guns then I do the story but I still noticed the inconsistencies. Beyond the macro Alien WORLD, its characters are really great. I listened to this on audiobook and it has the same narrator as Aliens: Into Charybdis. Shiromi Arserio is an outstanding narrator and I may actually start seeking out other audiobooks just because she narrates them. The characters all have well thought out arcs and the plot had some very entertaining twists. I was hesitant due to how connected it is to certain stories I dislike (not a fan of Alien: Defiance) but by the end it won me over. There is a lot of humour on display but it never took me out of the horror aspects of the book. Not everything works and certain plot developments I felt were very telegraphed. Some characters have an odd voice that will either work for you or won't. I will be interested to see how it holds up to a re-read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tom Norford

    One of the better Alien novels, along with Phalanx and The Cold Forge. A good.mix of characters and a lively, fast moving plot. The whole Empires Are Bad thing was laid on a little thick, although the thinly veiled comparison between the New Albion Prime Minister and Boris Johnson made me laugh. The problem with Alien novels is that the allure of the franchise rests so heavily of the visual impact of the xenomorphs, something that's hard to capture in prose. This novel did a good job though of c One of the better Alien novels, along with Phalanx and The Cold Forge. A good.mix of characters and a lively, fast moving plot. The whole Empires Are Bad thing was laid on a little thick, although the thinly veiled comparison between the New Albion Prime Minister and Boris Johnson made me laugh. The problem with Alien novels is that the allure of the franchise rests so heavily of the visual impact of the xenomorphs, something that's hard to capture in prose. This novel did a good job though of capturing the terror of the aliens, particularly in the early sections.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephen McGowan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The author seems to want to write a pastiche of Brexit (TWExit?!) and British culture rather than an alien novel. The USCM are one dimensional bad guys, the Colonists are new Albion are from spitting image and the less said about the commando team’s names the better. All of it took me out of the story and the story and it felt like a anticlimax after the previous novel’s ending. Read it if you’re a fan of the series and the rpg and you don’t want to miss anything.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Well I am glad I stuck with this. The twist caught me off guard. The ending was soooo salifying... i wish i could sya more because it is incredibly creative in my opinion. and the inclusion of a one-act cinematic adventure for the Alien RPG, based on the events in the novel, was perfect icing on the cake!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marcus

    3.5/5 In space no one can hear you remoan! I really enjoyed "Into Charybdis", so I was a little wary of this follow-up not being penned by Alex White. In the end I like this one fairly well, though I do kinda hope White gets another go at the wheel in the future to write a book focusing on all-out war between the various colonial factions (this book, despite its title, does not focus on that but kicks the can down the road for another book to pick up). I don't love bringing back the Dark Horse-era 3.5/5 In space no one can hear you remoan! I really enjoyed "Into Charybdis", so I was a little wary of this follow-up not being penned by Alex White. In the end I like this one fairly well, though I do kinda hope White gets another go at the wheel in the future to write a book focusing on all-out war between the various colonial factions (this book, despite its title, does not focus on that but kicks the can down the road for another book to pick up). I don't love bringing back the Dark Horse-era comic characters (think they've been milked too many times). I'm holding out hope that David 8 might show up in a novel someday though.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy Walker - Trans-Scribe Reviews

    The Alien series has always done social commentary, whether it's looking at the corruption of large companies and the way they treat those who work for them as expendable resources, the over confident military system that thinks it can solve every problem with superior technology being beaten by 'primitive' foes, or incarceration and the way prisoners are treated. This is a series that has always had something to say, even if some folks miss those themes and focus on the killer aliens and the ho The Alien series has always done social commentary, whether it's looking at the corruption of large companies and the way they treat those who work for them as expendable resources, the over confident military system that thinks it can solve every problem with superior technology being beaten by 'primitive' foes, or incarceration and the way prisoners are treated. This is a series that has always had something to say, even if some folks miss those themes and focus on the killer aliens and the horror. Alien: Colony War is possibly one of the more overt books in this regard, and because it's taking a look at politics rather than corporations (though the two are so often linked) it seems to have thrown a few people and garnered some mixed reviews. However, thanks to some interesting political commentary, some good characters, and set-up for bigger things in the future, I think this is one of the more interesting entries in the series to date. Alien: Colony War ties into several other novels, such as Alien: Isolation, and Alien: Prototype, as well as a few of the comic series that have explored characters such as Amanda Ripley, Zula Hendricks, and Davis. As such, if you're not completely up to date with everything there will be some sections of the book where you'll be having to play catch-up (I was in this category), but David Barnett does give the reader all of the important information that you need as the story unfolds; meaning that you're not going to come out of the book without understanding what happened. The story begins on a private towing and salvage ship, the Clara, which is secretly transporting a cache of Xenomorph eggs they found on a salvage mission. They wake up in the Weyland Isles System, a part of space that has been colonised by the British. They learn that whilst they were asleep in cryo someone snuck onto the ship and stole the eggs. Unfortunately for them, they don't have long to ponder this issue as the ship was also sabotaged, and they crash onto the planet below, New Albion. At the same time we're introduced to Merrilyn Hambelton and her daughter Therese on the French controlled world of LV-187, a small colony set up to mine the vast quantities of oil beneath the planet's surface. The colony came under attack by Xenomorphs a few weeks before, the creatures killing or capturing most of the colonists. Merrilyn and Therese have manged to survive by hiding and sneaking around, but their odds of survival are going down. We're also introduced to Cher Hunt, a journalist who is looking into the death of her sister. After receiving cryptic messages about the incident she travels to New Albion hoping to find answers. It's here that she meets her contact, Chad McLaren, husband of Amanda Ripley, and the rogue AI Davis, who's inhabiting the body of a synthetic dog. Chad and Davis outline the details of Cher's sister's death and the existence of the Xenomorphs. The three of them decide to head to LV-187 to try and find proof of their existence, and evidence that can be used against those trying to weaponize the creatures. Little do they know, they've just entered a web of political double-dealing and plots that could plunge this part of the galaxy into war. There are a lot of threads in Alien: Colony War, a lot of things going on in the background and characters to keep track of. If you're looking for a simple story of a group of characters fighting the Xenos to stay alive you do get that here, but of that's all you're after this book might be giving you more than you were expecting. In a lot of ways this feels like a middle part of a series, a stepping stone in a larger story; and that might put some casual readers off. We have the history of returning characters like Chad and Davis, and their history with the Xenos and other important figures to deal with. There's also the feeling like this book is setting up a lot of stuff that's going to be important going forward, with an ending that seems like it's going to reverberate into the rest of the Alien universe for a long while to go. But how does it read if you're not abreast of everything? Well, it's still a good book, and you shouldn't be put off reading it just because you don't know everything. The stuff that happens on LV-187 is good, scary Xnomorph stuff, with a small group of survivors trying to stay alive long enough to escape the ever growing hive. There are some great tense moments as the characters are sneaking through the dark halls of the facility, trying to get to the next place they hope can provide shelter, and when the Xenos come they're fast, brutal, and frightening; which is everything you need from this kind of story. Barnett also does a decent job of getting you invested in the characters quickly, thanks in part to Merrilyn and Therese. This mother daughter relationship gets you attached fairly fast, and it's a common type of relationship to the series. It hearkens back to Ripley and Newt in Aliens, and I like those kind of themes coming back from time to time, as motherhood and family are important parts of the franchise. There are some less savoury characters that make appearances on the colony too, and whilst at first you don't like them they do begin to grow on you over time and win you over because they're not outright evil, and you end up sighing with disappointment when they invariably meet an awful end because you actually find yourself wanting them to stick around more. The characters and the sections of the book that I've seen receive the most discussion is the politicians on New Albion and the themes of British patriotism and imperialism. It's pretty obvious from the book that David Barnett is not a fan of 'Britain', and I say that in the sense of the kind of people who voted to leave the EU, who trash the streets when their teams lose at football, who vote Tory, and who we in the UK like to describe as 'flag-shaggers'. The book has a very negative view of this new upsurge in isolationism that Britain has, and transcribes it to the narrative here. Instead of breaking away from the EU, New Albion is declaring itself independent, trying to recapture the 'glory' of the British Empire. I guess they'll be doing some genocides then. These sections of the book are very on the nose, and the leader of New Albion, Maurice Pepper, was instantly Boris Johnson in my head. In the few scenes he was in Barnett managed to inject him with the same kind of mannerisms and jumped up sense of self importance that Johnson has. It was surprisingly well done, and did make me instantly hate this man. So if that was the goal, it was achieved brilliantly. The political parts of the book aren't the main focus, and there's definitely much more of the book given over to Xenomorphs and the traditional elements of the series; but these sections are important and seem to be setting up larger changes to come. There is something else in this book that I've seen people talk about, and it is a pretty big spoiler for the ever unfolding lore, so if you don't want spoilers jump ahead to the next paragraph. Some folks learnt in this book that the death of Amanda Ripley as we were told in Aliens is in fact a lie. I don't know how much of this was known before this point as I'm not fully up to date on all the comic releases, but we get told here that Amanda Ripley didn't die as an old woman a few years before Ripley came back, and is instead in cryo to stop cancer from killing her after spending years fighting Weyland-Yutani and the Xenomorphs. I've seen some people disliking this, and I can understand this reaction, but I kind of like it. I like it because this series is always expanding and changing, so having characters like Amanda out there that can be used is always a good thing. I also like it because it makes the second film so much more tragic. Ripley was suffering because she thought her daughter had died. She went to LV-426 in large part because of that loss. And all of that happened whilst her daughter was still alive, and walking a similar path to her. It makes it feel all the more tragic because she could have had that reunion she wanted so badly, but missed out on it. I also don't agree that is messes up continuity, as Amanda's death was faked for her protection, and we got told of her death bu Weyland-Yutani, who we know are not to be trusted. It changes things, yes, but I don't think it breaks things. And I think it adds some interesting developments to the series and the Ripley family. I've seen some criticism of this book online, some folks who didn't like some of the new developments as mentioned in the above paragraph, and some people who weren't as fond of the political stuff. But these elements mixed in with the more traditional fight for survival story made this more interesting for me. I found that it tried some new things and did stuff differently, and because of that I think this is an enjoyable read that Alien fans will want to try out.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Henry Lopez

    I view Sci-Fi as pure escapism, but even so, it has to follow the internal logic dictated by the setting it's written for, in this case, the Alien franchise. After the exemplary novels "Cold Forge" and "Into Charybdis," I had high hopes for "Colony War." Unfortunately, David Barnett ignores the fundamentals known to all fans of the series, which he wrote about pages earlier (and numerous times throughout the novel). Case in point, the protagonists, impale the torso of a xenomorph with the legs o I view Sci-Fi as pure escapism, but even so, it has to follow the internal logic dictated by the setting it's written for, in this case, the Alien franchise. After the exemplary novels "Cold Forge" and "Into Charybdis," I had high hopes for "Colony War." Unfortunately, David Barnett ignores the fundamentals known to all fans of the series, which he wrote about pages earlier (and numerous times throughout the novel). Case in point, the protagonists, impale the torso of a xenomorph with the legs of a mess-hall table. Two characters remark that as long as they keep their weight on the table, they can keep it pinned. What of the acid that should be dissolving said metallic table legs? Acid that he wrote melting holes in the flooring just paragraphs before this section? The lack of internal consistency in this novel is one of its downfalls. Another is that Barnett, in trying to make this into a page-turner, pulls out every cliche in the "Book." Moments that should be tense and filled with suspense are instead telegraphed because it's the most obvious answer or outcome. There weren't any true surprises or fear of who would make it out alive. Pool of possible victims running low? Bring in a new batch and then another... Look, writing a novel isn't easy. Writing a suspenseful novel that's engaging and thrilling even more so. Sadly, David Barnett wrote a mediocre Alien novel in a series that seemed to be gathering steam. If the rest of the interconnected novels in this series (great idea, btw), then I don't have much hope for its continuation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Johnson

    It's fine. Honestly, though, I was hoping for more. It feels like this is supposed to be a pivotal moment in the Alien canon/chronology, one that kicks off a lot of other stories and conflicts, but I never found myself emotionally buying in to its significance. There's a lot of political intrigue, with multiple factions going to war, certain groups betraying said factions, several militaries... I found it a bit confusing at times to keep track of who served which group and what all the motivatio It's fine. Honestly, though, I was hoping for more. It feels like this is supposed to be a pivotal moment in the Alien canon/chronology, one that kicks off a lot of other stories and conflicts, but I never found myself emotionally buying in to its significance. There's a lot of political intrigue, with multiple factions going to war, certain groups betraying said factions, several militaries... I found it a bit confusing at times to keep track of who served which group and what all the motivations were. It's the kind of story that would really benefit from a Game-Of-Thrones style structure, providing a variety of perspectives from multiple characters (something Tim Lebbon did pretty well in this universe with his Rage War series). The writing is functional, and the characters do what they do, but nobody really "pops". It feels a bit like a comic book in that respect, which I guess shouldn't surprise me, since apparently some of these characters originate in the comics. I like the fact that it includes a tie-in scenario for the Alien RPG -- now I just have to reread the Core Rulebook to remind myself of who all these factions are and why I should care about the Colony War, since this book didn't quite sell me on its significance.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    So I personally didn't have an issue with the politics and the different nations. I surprisingly liked the fact that the story tried to expand outside the normal alien in a corridor, which does happen but at limited capacity. We've all read about using the eggs and aliens to some company/group/persons advantage, it was kinda nice to read it being achieved and the what comes next.... an interesting storyline I wouldn't mind reading more of. What falls apart, for me, was the actual alien encounters So I personally didn't have an issue with the politics and the different nations. I surprisingly liked the fact that the story tried to expand outside the normal alien in a corridor, which does happen but at limited capacity. We've all read about using the eggs and aliens to some company/group/persons advantage, it was kinda nice to read it being achieved and the what comes next.... an interesting storyline I wouldn't mind reading more of. What falls apart, for me, was the actual alien encounters themselves and the "why". The author did a good job setting up some interesting story narratives with the different factions but delivering on said story was poor. And I couldn't get into caring about the characters either, which to me is a big deal. I like being invested in what's going on with them, what their feeling etc... I couldn't stand Cher's character and she ended up being extremely annoying by the end. If a story of the three people continue, I doubt I'd read it because they weren't the ones keeping me continuing the book. It's definitely a flawed book and in the very low ranking but for me, brought in some interesting story plots that can be done far better by someone else at the helm.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David Thomas

    The coolest thing about this Alien novel is that it's connected to the Alien rpg, and has a good scenario for that game included in the back. The novel itself was just ok. The characters aren't particularly likeable or well fleshed out. The greater events going on in the setting seem to barely affect the story. The worst part is that the Xenomorphs are not scary here. They are easily dispatched and never really present much of a menace to any of the main characters. They aren't clever, or sneaky The coolest thing about this Alien novel is that it's connected to the Alien rpg, and has a good scenario for that game included in the back. The novel itself was just ok. The characters aren't particularly likeable or well fleshed out. The greater events going on in the setting seem to barely affect the story. The worst part is that the Xenomorphs are not scary here. They are easily dispatched and never really present much of a menace to any of the main characters. They aren't clever, or sneaky, or scary, or "alien." The "surprises" are also all pretty predictable. It felt a bit like the Disney/Marvel version of Alien, light and safe. SPOILERS ALERT! The Xenomorph's eggs falling into a minor powers hands to be weaponized, when Weyland Yutani has been after them for years also really flies in the face of sense. Finally, Xeno's are always dangerous,in every situation,but that fact is entirely ignored here.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chance

    A expansion on the plot elements from the story Alien: Into Charybdis has the embers of war across human space expanded with the introduction of new exciting chacthers that truly show why the Alien franchise is masterpiece of world building potential.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Iain Dalziel

    I’m being very generous giving this dross 2 stars. I’m a huge Aliens fan and read many books based on them, thankfully this isn’t my 1st book into the genre as no doubt it would have been my last. If you are a fan Of Aliens my advice is to give this a miss.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I operate on a policy of “if I can’t say something nice, then don’t speak” I shall let me 1 star speak for me. ☹️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Evan Dragic

    Serviceable but predictable alien thriller novel with relatively thin characters.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jas

    Another entry into the Alien universe. This book was ok. Too much about politics and the characters were the same copies of those we've had seen before. Another entry into the Alien universe. This book was ok. Too much about politics and the characters were the same copies of those we've had seen before.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carmelo

  18. 5 out of 5

    xxxxxx1

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lee Greenwood

  21. 5 out of 5

    Albert Remley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Philip Orange

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Bustillos Campos

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  25. 5 out of 5

    Colin Jessup

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ian Davison

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Greene

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

  29. 5 out of 5

    Retropocalypse

  30. 5 out of 5

    Martin

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