Alien: Isolation – R. A DeCandido

Alien Iso

Published: 30 July 2019
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 336
Series: Alien: Isolation #0
Format Read: Audible

Blurp:

The action-packed official adaptation of Alien: Isolationand a revealing look into the lives of Ellen Ripley and her daughter, Amanda Ripley.

HE OFFICIAL VIDEO GAME ADAPTATION–AND MUCH MORE!

From birth, Amanda Ripley’s life is riddled with hardship. Her parents live on the edge of poverty, so her mother–Ellen Ripley–seeks off-world contracts that lead to a position aboard the commercial hauler Nostromo. Then when the deep-space vessel disappears, Amanda passes into adulthood focused on discovering one thing.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ELLEN RIPLEY?

Amanda’s quest pulls her into the underbelly of society, where few can be trusted. On Luna she meets someone who seems the exception–Private Zula Hendricks of the Colonial Marines but their relationship is short-lived. Just as Amanda appears to hit rock bottom… a lead appears.

To follow it, she must travel to the remote Sevastopol Station. There she hopes to find the answers she seeks. But the station is in ruins, and death stalks the corridors in the form of a deadly alien the likes of which she never could have imagined…

Thoughts:

“Dave, how much Alien books have you read in the last month???” Are you OKE? Should we be worried???”

Nah my friends, I am just peachy. I ended up working a lot more last month than I initially thought I was going too and Milou decided to upgrade her Audible account, which meant a loooot of books came up for free. Me being me only looked at the sci-fi section and got hold on no less than 5 novels/novelizations. Big win for me. Were they all great to go through? That is debatable depending on your perspective. I like reading some Alien from time to time just to see how well people can screw up the franchise. It looks like an easy cash grab by just putting the word Alien in front of your book title. Seriously, your book does not have to have any alien in it. It could be about a woman taking her baby out in the pram on her day off, if baby happens to have an extra finger or eyelid, What a BONUS! That is only how I feel this franchise has become of late, one only needs to look at the previous Covenant reviews to read between the lines….

Alien Isolation was something completely different. It gives us a story that closely comes close to what we had nearing the end of the first Alien film. A bunch of people stuck on a spaceship with a deadly Alien running amok. It was a bit hard for me to exactly place when Isolation took place. The easy part was that knowing from Aliens, we were told that Ellen Ripley did have a child, also in Aliens, Ripley was stuck in hypersleep for 75 years, meaning that this took place then between the end of Alien and before Aliens. The major problem with this was that Amanda Ripley, said daughter of Ellen, goes on a journey to discover what happened to her mom. The answer comes through in some sort of flight recorder that was left either on the LV426 colony said to be that of the Nostromo, the ship from the first Alien movie, but flight recorder is only left after Aliens, which would mean amanda wouldve have gone on this trip at the age close to a 100?

This all sounds a bit confusing, but to simplify it all, let’s just forget the films. Let us focus on a novelization that was based of off the video game by the same name. Isolation came out in 2014 and it took the world by storm. It was apparently a really great interactive experience that oozed everything you’d ever want from a game set in the franchise. It brought with it a flood of nostalgia for the first movies as well as cement it’s place in the hearts of many an Alien fanboy/girl. I remember watching my oldest brother playing this on PC when we still live close to one another and there was quite a bit of jumpscare as well as atmospheric chilliness to the game. I tried playing it a few times, but it turns out I am not the best person to send into space to fix a broken station while an Alien is on the loose. I died… a lot… It is also a point to note that Dan Abnett wrote the script for the game, I would’ve loved to see what we would’ve gotten if he wrote the novelization himself. The guy is a wordsmith of legend when it comes to many a sci/fi genre…

Getting back to the novelization. Candido did a pretty great job of setting the events that happen in the game in book format. That is what a novelization is supposed to be. He also added a lot more things that made Amanda a more believable character as well as making me hope she survived it all. I had a few major or minor problems with the book, that were purely a personal thing. It being Alien and all I have no problems with women taking the lead. But if you are going to portray all men as useless sacks of shit, we already have a problem. Examples like Amanda’s good for nothing alcholistic stepdad, the men that screw her around and play with her emotions and dangle information for a quick buck (cash not the other thing that rhymes with buck), the Wayland-Yutani exec that promises her a sure concrete way to find out what happened to mom to name but a few. Secondly, we are going to make Amanda a lesbian of sorts, just to add that little bit of extra girl power effect for later in the story, if Amanda stayed a lesbian, how would we even get to read of a distant descendant years and years later from a different Alien Novel? It’s not only lesbians that can and have to be bad ass. I mean Milou is married to me and scares the shit out of me most times… I get why Amanda’s possible love interest got introduced though, it was a soft introduction to later books set in the Amanda Ripley series. I know men are pigs and all that, but is it so bad to want to read of a guy surviving in this franchise for once? Lastly, Amanda’s flashbacks, even though a welcome insight into Amanda’s growing up and hardships, about possible interactions with her mom were great, but it just came out of no where at times. Amanda would have a piss and think back about her mom’s last call and that promise of being there for her 11th birthday for example, like why? Not that Ripley ever takes a piss in the novel though, just made a silly scenario…

Alien Isolation was not a bad read, but the woman that read this to me I kinda wanted to shut up. Every last word she thought it would be great to just put some extra ooomph with each sentence. It made Amanda sound really condescending at most times, as well as made the rest of the novel just being Meh… For me at least. So far this review only seems to show what a complete sexist I might be, that surely was not the outcome of what I had in mind, but oh well…

Alien Isolation did get a 4 out of 5 on GR from me. Yes the atmosphere was a bit more toned down than the game it spun of from, but it had some great sequences. Definitely recommended for the fans, just try not to read too much into my negative review… It read exactly as the game levels would progress with added insight into what the characters were going through mentally as well as give us a solid background of our main character, albeit through ill placed flashbacks that occured way too often. It gave me more nostalgia for the original movies so far than any of the other novels I have so far, apart from the canonical novels that I went through last year.

If you have not checked it out yet, I made a sub category where I will also be storing my future Alien reviews. You can find it:  Here

12 thoughts on “Alien: Isolation – R. A DeCandido

  1. I had to laugh when I saw yet ANOTHER Alien related post 😀

    Your experience with the audio is one of the many why I’m so hesitant to really jump into the audio-book world. Somebody else deciding how a voice sounds grates on me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I truly understand your view on the audio part of books. For a person like me that reads really slow it has helped a bit in the last few months, specially the reads of Sullivam and Weeks so far, those were great. Youll laugh even more with the next review🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Brilliant review, I didn’t even realise there was a novelisation of the game 🙂 the game was fantastically atmospheric but if took a lot out of me to get through haha

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “I died… a lot…”…this was actually the last game that I bought before I quit gaming and that’s many years back now. I enjoyed it, but like you…I died a lot😂😂 This was a great review though, and I also didn’t even know there was a novelisation of the game! Very cool indeed! 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad i could be of assistance in that order. That Alien was quite a clever bastard🙂. Nice to know you played the game as well. Sad to know you stopped gaming completely tho, i do not know if i could do that…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well…the thing is…I haven’t😅 Not completely that is. I did sell most of my gaming collection and am just not the gamer I used to be. But I do still play on my Nintendo Switch. And, admittedly the Playstation 5 does look really nice, and I’m debating right now whether or not I might buy it next year. But…yeah I used to play every day for about 5-6 hours, and in weekend even more. These days I might hit about 2-3 hours a week….if even that😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’d say, give the PS 5 another year so they work out all the kinks. There is a lot of misleading going on at the moment with them and Xbox. I’ve been keeping track of things the last few years, does not look good…

        Like

  4. Enjoyed the review, Dave! 🙂 However, after you writing “Milou is married to me and scares the shit out of me most times” it’s obvious who’d have to deal with an alien invasion in your household! 😉 Oh, I’ve got to go, my wife says the dinner dishes won’t wash themselves!

    Liked by 2 people

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