Predator ships stream into human space in unprecedented numbers. The Colonial Marines, controlled by Weyland-Yutani, respond to the incursion, thus entering the Rage War. This terrifying assault by the Yautja cannot go unchallenged, yet the cost of combat is high.
Predators are master combatants, and each encounter yields a high body count. Then, when Lt. Johnny Mains and his marines – the VoidLarks – enter the fray, they discover an enemy deadlier than any could imagine.
Audiobook one in an epic trilogy that continues in Alien: Invasion and concludes in Aliens vs. Predator: Armageddon. The universe will forever be changed.
Author: Tim Lebbon
Narrator: John Chancer
Running Time: 11 hours 30 mins
Publisher: Audible Studios
Audio Release Date: 26/04/2016
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating of ‘Predator: Incursion’: 3.5 out of 5
I like the cover, despite it looking a bit cartoony. Who doesn’t like that harrowing figure of a Predator, claws out and ready to rip a spine out of somebody? The blurb is a tad misleading at first. It promises so much more than is delivered until the very end.
Ever since listening to the audio drama of ‘Alien: Out of the Shadows’ I have wanted to jump back into the same universe. When I saw ‘Predator: Inmcursion’ as a daily deal for £1.99, I couldn’t resist. Predator is my favourite of the two alien species, so I just got as excited as a kid at Christmas.
I had seen a few less than positive reviews on Audible and, to be fair, for the most part they are well-founded. Predator: Incursion starts off slow. It started off so slow that I honestly thought I had been robbed of my £1.99. But it gets a heck of a lot better and the pay off nearer the end is well worth the slow building up that Lebbon does throughout. It kind of has that Stephen King feel where the author does a slow burn style build up … the only difference is that Tim Lebbon doesn’t just hash an ending together by shouting ‘Aliens did it’ and leaving it at that. Well, to be honest, aliens do do it in these books … but that’s kind of the point.
Right, the start, as I mentioned, is a bit slower than I would have expected for a book set in a universe where Aliens (Xenomorphs) and Predators (Yautjas) are on the prowl. I often found myself zoning out and zoning back in, knowing that I missed a few minutes of the story but also knowing I probably didn’t miss anything important. This turned out to be true as, whenever I would clock back on to the fact that someone was telling me a story through my headphone, I felt as though I picked it up fairly well regardless of the time missed by my day-dreaming.
I couldn’t help but pre-judge the book and, after two or three hours, I found myself thinking of witty lines to start off a 2-star review. One good one I saw on another review on Audible was ‘In space, nobody can hear you sigh’ and I found myself jealous of the author of that review knowing I couldn’t be so fair and so scathing all at once. For me, up to this point, the only redeeming feature was that I would get to learn more about the Yautja society, their weapons etc …
Now, as the title had me thinking, what with the nice big Predator/Yautja on the front cover, ‘The Rage War’ was going to be a war between humans and the Yautja. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It turns out a section of humanity known as the Founders blasted off in search of new beginnings in space. Several centuries later they have grown very bitter, changed their name to the Rage and fancy bringing war to the Human Sphere. In essence, Predator: Incursion is a novel about two warring human factions, one of which doesn’t seem to know they are at war quite yet, with the Yautja just kind of floating around in the background ripping human skulls and spines from their previous owners.
That’s a bit harsh, there is a lot more to it than that and, in so short an amount of time, Tim Lebbon does well of telling the complexities and various different sub-plots.
Now, as I said, the slowness disappears and is replaced with a blistering storyline that flies along as fast as Usain Bolt. The Rage have a secret weapon that, to be fair, is pretty damn nasty and pretty damn scary. Johnny Mains and his Voidlarks discover this later on and it leads to a frenzied battle for survival between humans and …something else.
The last 30 percent of this audiobook had me gripped. I was planning on finishing the Mistborn trilogy next but, the suspense Tim Lebbon left me feeling made me shelve that idea and I downloaded the 2nd book in the series as soon as I had finished Incursion.
Don’t let my concerns about a slow/mediocre start worry you. This book ends well and promises a thrill ride for the sequels.