This is a great-looking book, a hardback presented in landscape format. The content is beautifully presented but I am a bit disappointed by the lack of content. Its design is firmly on quality rather than quantity, so it looks wonderful, has lots of large pictures, but it lacks the sheer number of pictures I was expecting.
I have many movie artwork books, and they are all packed with hundreds of concept design sketches, paintings, models and photographs that show initial concepts and ideas, and shows how they evolve to finished entities in the movie. In this case I was expecting an array of design sketches and paintings for costumes, sets, spaceships, vehicles, creatures, landscapes and so on. These are all represented, but I don't get any sense of the designers' thinking.
One of the great things about these books is looking at all those wonderful designs that go into a movie; especially all those that fell by the wayside, were too whacky or expensive, or which give a glimpse of plot lines that were eventually abandoned. The problem with this book, for me anyway, is that these things are simply not there. For example, it shows just four designs for spacesuits, when we know from countless other such books that hundreds of designs would have been drawn. Similarly for spaceship design, there are just a couple of concept designs on offer, when surely this big, expensive and crucial piece of the movie would have been the subject of a vast amount of design work, generating a mountain of sketches, paintings and models that this book ought to have showcased. It's not all bad though - far from it. We get about 23 drawings, paintings, models and photos of the rover vehicle, plenty of alien designs, and an enormous number of landscape images. I'm just a bit unhappy with the things they chose to leave out of the book.
On the words side of it, Ridley Scott's foreward is informative and impressive, and sets out his thinking for the whole movie. The remaining text is also informative, though it generally amounts to little more than captions. Interestingly, Ridley Scott refers to "The Book of Alien", an excellent book that showcased hundreds of the design drawings of the kind missing from this book - a collection of artwork that formed his starting point for designing the spaceship in Prometheus.
The artwork is incredible, well worth a look, and a credit to the artists and designers. It's just that this book doesn't give any real impression of the huge amount of design work they did on this movie. That said, for a collector of such books, this one is a treat - just not quite as in-depth as it could have been.