Note: This review is for the Audible Original Drama and not the Tim Lebbon novel by the same name, although this production is based on Lebbon’s text.
Oy, this was fucking righteous. I wish more action/sci fi/horror authors went with this approach to their audiobooks. Yes, there is a need for fully-narrated, unabridged audiobooks. But some of this stuff doesn’t need it. Honestly, who’s reading Tim Lebbon for the writing? He’s an author-for-hire who does some original stuffs from time to time. I know him more from his Alien and Star Wars novels than I do any of his Leisure horror stuffs, like Berserk. I’m not knocking the guy for getting paid. Nothing wrong with cashing checks and paying your bills with words. What I’m getting at is – he’s not someone who’ll be winning prizes for his prose unless he drastically changes his writing style, and because of that, his storytelling fits this kind of audio drama.
The production quality of this piece is exceptional. It reminded me of kicking back with my grandmother and listening to her recordings of old radio productions, like Welles’s War of the Worlds, and that old radio drama The Shadow. Used to dig that shit, man. I need to see if I can find them again…
But I digress. My only complaint here is the hokey memory-wipe bullshit the author used to explain away why Ripley never mentioned this time of her life in future Alien sequels. The whole time I was listening to this, I was thinking, “He’s going to use some kind of drug to wipe her memory.” And while I wrong about the way they do it, I was not wrong that they were going to do it. A memory wipe is an overused, lazy tactic that pollutes damn near every prequel or paraquel in existence. Stop it. Please. Memory wipes went out of style with Mars-atmosphere, bugged-eyed Schwarzenegger. I know this is processed, sodium-packed canned fiction, that you’re not supposed to think while listening or reading, but the creator could have tried a little harder.
Oh, and that shit in the mines was fan-fucking-tastic. Very cool. I loved all that shit.
In summation: Action-y goodness blended with terrific production quality had me feeling like I was watching a long-lost Aliens movie in my brain parts. The lady who plays Ripley sounds just like Weaver, and Rutger Hauer does a great job as Ash. I’ll definitely be getting the sequels, when or if they do them this same way. Definitely recommended.
Final Judgment: Perfect for what it is, and it is what it is.