Published: 20 April 2021
Publisher: Titan Books
Series: Stand Alone
Format Read: Net Galley Shelf App + Audible
Duration: 9h 8mins
The official prequel to the huge new Alien video game from Cold Iron Studios, as a Weyland-Yutani scientist arrives at Pala Station and finds the researchers there courting disaster… of the Xenomorph kind.
Dr. Timothy Hoenikker arrives on Pala Station, a Weyland-Yutani facility. Lured there by the promise of alien artifacts, instead he finds a warped bureaucracy and staff of misfits testing the effects of Xenomorph bio-materials on living creatures. Unbeknownst to the personnel, however, there is an infiltrator among them whose actions could spell disaster. Also on staff is Victor Rawlings, a former marine who gathers together other veterans to prepare for the worst. As the personnel receive a delivery of alien eggs, the experiments spin out of control, and only the former Colonial Marines can stand between the humans and certain death.
I got this ARC through Net Galley, the fact that I got this e-book for free did not influence my views on this review.
I insta clicked this novel when I saw it go up on NG for no reason other than still hoping to catch that nostalgia itch that the original Aliens movie gives me. Halfway through my read the liscence on the NetGaleey Shelf App expired and I was going to have to write a reluctant DNF post for a book I was actually liking a lot. Then one morning while I was on my way out to work I had a quick glimpse in the Free section of Audible only to be surprised that it was on there! I did not even mind starting back at the start all over. In recent years the Alien franchise has been known to muck things up and muddy the waters for me personally but today I am happy to report that Ochse did quite a good job of restoring some faith in the franchise.
While this book was a little bit all over the place, it had some great original Alien feel to it. Hoenikker arrives at Palas where he has been promised to work with alien artifacts. Not knowing that the station has the Actual Alien in it’s sights to study and weaponize for the Colonial Marines division. He gets clued and schooled up on the change of his plans and him being a Wayland-Yutani employee means he has no say in how hurt his feelings are. Ochse painted a pretty good picture of what a bad company WayYu can be considering the way they handle their staff. I loved that he got that right. You could just feel the disappointment in Hoenikker’s thoughts. It does not take long before the first incident regarding Palas’ experimentations takes place and each scientist has to get hear what idiots they are. Before we get to hear that soon there will be a shipment of Ovomorphs (the Alien Egg) coming to the labs, we have also seen that there heve been experments with some sort of Black Goo. While I was interested in this and even if it is not clearly stated that as to where the Goo actually comes from (I started to think that there was some Covenant/Promethues ties to it), I just wanted to get to the part where the Alien was introduced.
The first part of this novel was taking a look at how the Goo could transform mice into creatures with spidery limbs and camoflaging abilities. Even I knew that was not a great idea from the start, but I was enjoying my trek through the novel. Not only did I get to read and see the original Alien again, but there was also the mutations being introduced. Very much like another Aliens book I read where the Alien could take on certain aspects of the host it was impregnated too, like if they were sick, you got a sick Xenomorph. This threw me back to the times when the Aliens franchise were going to try out merging the outcomes of varios scenarios like the Dog and Bull Alien. That much was evident to me at least. I loved that Ochse tried it out. I am interested to see how the game turns out. If there will be more variants than your normal Facehugger, Chestburster, Warior, Queen. THere were a few name drops that were new to me, but I believe it was just taking me through the life cycle of a growing chestburster. Somewhere in the story Black Goo also mingles with one of the Aliens and it takes on Queen characteristics, while still maintaining the Worker/Warior feel to it. I was taken back to that scene in Alien Ressurection at a certain point that I did not mind too much, it was not my favorite in the franchise, but I still liked the movie more than the avarage person. I like how they are saying that this not only a prequel to game, but also a spiritual successor to the original trilogy. It is very balsey in to try pull something like that off and succeed. This novel succeeded in my view.
One place that could have maybe have been given mre tought was with characters in this book. They were fine, but nearly all of them were idiots. I understand this is the Alien franchice and this was definitely written with the idea to make the Alien a lot more smarter than the humans, some things the humans did were just super idiotic. Not idiotic to the point that I wanted to pull my teeth out, but it was like they almost wanted the Alien to escape and eat them all. The aliens almost got more character development than the main protgonist, even him being very underwhelming as a main character. I am not complaining though, what I got with Infiltrator exceeded every expectation I had. Each character had a little back story that was both interesting and did not take me out of the story for too long. Some of them fitted every Alien character steriotype that there has been in the past. If they are going to feature in the actual game we will have to see…
I gave Alien Infiltrator a 4 out of 5. Even with SCIENTISTS being complete ass hats and all. I was rooting for the Alien from the start and I just love the fact that this novel gave me some nostalgia kicks throughout the whole Alien Franchise (even Covenant and Prometheus). I’d suggest you pick this up if you are interested in learning loosley what happened before the Aleins: Fire Team game happens. Even if you do not plan on the game, this is still a decent Alien novel. I liked this so much I started another free Audible Alien novel, I guess we are in that part of the year again when I just want to revisit the franchise…