The second original novel in an Alien vs. Predator: Rage War series, continuing from Predator: Incursion as Colonial Marines units are being wiped out – and not by the Predators. This is an attack by organized armies of Aliens.
Author: Tim Lebbon
Narrator: John Chancer
Running Time: 10 hrs 29 mins
Publisher: Audible Studios
Audio Release Date: 26/04/2016
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating of Alien: Invasion: 4 out of 5
I’ll start off by saying that the cover for this one is pretty special. It makes up for the incredibly lacklustre cover of ‘Predator: Incursion’. What it makes up for in a cover it lacks in the blurb/publisher summary. To be fair, it is a sequel and, therefor aimed at readers/listeners of the first book. So I can forgive them that.
I will also note that, if for some reason you felt like skipping the first book entirely, there is a ‘What happened on last week’s episode’ at the start which essentially fills you in on all the major plot points of the first book. It’s an excellent refresher and I am hoping the trend carries on for the third book due to my not being able to get to it for some time.
When listening to ‘Predator: Incursion’, my review of which can be found here: Predator: Incursion I thought that it was fairly slow-paced for the vast majority of the book. It was only saved by the last 25-30 % as that was when it really took off and just went along at a rapid pace. Invasion does a much better job with pacing throughout so that the reader/listener isn’t continually bored (yay, that’s a bonus). Seriously, there were many times when it was only my love of the franchise that kept me listening to the first book. I didn’t have that problem in Invasion.
Not only are prior characters expanded upon, but new and interesting ones are added to pad out an already rich character base. The relationship between the Human Sphere and the Predators is solidified as they struggle to co-exist against the massed (and scarily organised) armies of the Xenomorphs.
There are some seriously good battle scenes throughout and at various points I found myself thinking back to similar scenes from the movies or, even picturing myself in those tight crawl spaces, a Xenomorph scrambling after me.
There is still the odd patch where the pace drops and, for some reason I can’t put my finger on, it feels like a sharp deceleration. But, as with any book, that can’t be helped. I really did enjoy the narrator but, I feel that the slowness, at times, might have been in part due to his vocals but I really can’t be certain.
All in all, it is a very satisfying listen and, I’m sure, a very satisfying read. I will be looking forward to the next instalment somewhere down the line.