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on 4 June 2017
Steve Perry's Earth Hive is the first of series of novels based on the comicbook series offshoot written by Mark Verheiden. First released in 1989, the comics were a direct continuation of the film, Aliens, and so featured the characters Newt and Hicks. Following the release of Alien 3, further reprints of the comics, along with Perry's novels, changed the names of the main characters to Billie and Wilks respectively, but it's still, of course, very easy to draw parallels.

Perry's novels form a cinematic expansion of the movie series, particularly reminiscent of the second and arguably most popular, Aliens. The emphasis is on action and horror but the world-building is what it needs to be and the characterisation doesn't suffer despite the change of names - within time Billie and Wilks become their own characters with their own adventures and agendas as opposed to just mirror images of their root characters from the movies.

With Earth Hive, we see the story told from two perspectives - a ship full of colonial marines destined for a planet infested by the Aliens with the intention of bringing back a specimen alongside a lab back on Earth with its own specimen.

The plot's a little meandering, if we're honest, and doesn't fully address the question of why the company had these two projects running alongside each other, but the story remains incredibly readable and highly entertaining. Perry's clipped and frenetic writing style steals the show and keeps those pages turning until the bitter end - and bitter it is!
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on 13 November 2006
Whilst I like Alien³ (the original viewable on Alien Quadrilogy that is, not the butchered cinema version), I feel this is where it really should've picked up.

I'll get the complaint out of the way, this would've been great with Hicks and Newt so it's a shame continuity forced the names to be changed to Wilks and Billie and given very similar pasts.

That's the complaining down, on to the praising. When I bought the first 3 books, I ended up receiving Nightmare Asylum first and despite my better judgement I read that...so it didn't make a whole lot of sense until I read this one and boy did that make things better. People have been calling for the aliens to reach Earth for a long time, even after the second movie and this does just that. It's perfect all the way, insane cultists willing to give their lives to birth these creatures. The Company wanting to bring them to Earth and use them as weapons, marines, a girl who's seen them all before and to top it off the way it always should go...everything goes completely ***s up!

Steve Perry wrote this perfectly, he got everything about the aliens spot on and set up a fantastic series of books as all of them effectively thrive off the fact the Earth was once invaded by these killing machines.

This is a must read for alien fans, and you won't be disappointed.
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on 18 September 2000
This book has definately earned it's 4 stars. Because it was just unbeleivably interesting. The characters in the novel are well portraied and the storyline has extremely good twists has the plot of the story thickens! Lots of action and gore! Excellent!
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on 18 August 2004
I found this book lying un-read in my bookcase one day. After seeing the film Aliens recently I thought I'd read it. A day later, I'd finished it! I just couldn't put it down! Every spare moment I spent reading this book. The characters, the plot, the twists are unfaultable and the pace is outstanding. Action packed. I couldn't believe I had never read it before. I've got Nightmare Asylum on order.....as well as the rest of the series! Brilliant book! A must read for any fan of the films or thrilling science fiction novels!
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on 5 April 1999
I think one of the main things this book does is show what human civilization is like in the future. It's a subject that really wasn't touched upon by the Alien movies. And it also shows what would happen if some people on earth knew about the xenomorphs. After all, just because Ripley killed what she and others thought was the last bug (at least until Resurrection came out) doesn't mean that it was the last one. The book showed the less-than-surprising way in which a corporation would react: Try to make them weapons. And it showed the horrifying way in which the equivalent of a UFO fanatic would act. Or more accurately a group of them.
The characters are pretty well developed, and there is a good reason for the stock character marines for being so stock. There also some nicely done hints as to the reason laced through the book until the reason is revealed in a rather forceful way.
There are a few things that could have been done better though. There seemed to be an excessive amount of cussing, but in between that, the narcotic vending machines, and the discussion of pleasure droids, it adds to the feeling that society has degraded in the future. It's a bit of a mystery how they pinpointed the "homeworld" of the aliens, especially since it obviously is a different planet from the Hiveworld in Female War. The non-xenomorph alien that pops in is also kind of a mystery, but then again it might be the species the ruined space space ship from Alien belonged to, in which case it's a nice way to tie in the first movie. And the ability of a drone to have changed into a queen seems contrary to what speculation into the movies has come up with, that even without an ovipositer an alien has a limited egg laying ability to lay a queen-baring face hugger egg along with one or two normal eggs.
But these problems are pretty minimal and don't hinder the answer the book provides to another question: What would happen if some of the aliens were free on Earth?
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on 11 June 2014
I really wanted to like this book more. I’ve been fascinated with the Xenomorphs for quite a while now, and I purchased this around the time I finished watching the Alien Quadrilogy. Interestingly enough, the Engineers actually do feature here, although I am unable to discern as yet how everything fits together. That’s tie-in fiction for you. Earth Hive was released in the early 1990s and is book 1 in the Aliens series, but details about Xenomorph behaviour, biology and society is so sparse, and treated so peripherally, that it reads more like a footnote of something much larger. All this novel basically tells you about the Aliens, is that they have heads like bananas. Yes, bananas. Obviously, the assumption is that anybody who is reading this at least knows what the Xenomorphs look like, otherwise this is open to serious misinterpretation. Is the novel scary? No. Is the novel atmospheric? No. In short, it’s not really a novel about Aliens (they don’t feature “on page” nearly enough). It’s a novel about corporations who want to use the Aliens as biological weapons, and that idea is also pretty old by now (or at least, it was already old in the 1990s). At first I wasn’t sure whether the brusque writing style and dialogue should be described as “workmanlike” or “awkward”. In the end I decided on “awkward”. This is only recommended for die-hard Alien fans, although it just left me intrigued enough to consider reading the sequel (Aliens: Nightmare Asylum) at some point.
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on 7 February 1999
Aliens:Earth Hive is just the first of 2 other aliens books that follows the action-packed, entertaining adventure with Wilks, Billie, and Bueller. Other characters are in at times,but these are basically the main ones. The bottom line: THIS BOOK IS EXCELLENT! Steve Perry does a wonderful job detailing all the nooks and crannys of every battle scene. The sex factor is not grossout embarrasing but is very tasteful and beautifully written. The action is gory, and the comedy is in there at some times, but is still good when it is. I was entertained from beginning to end. The only problem i have with this is that it can get alittle confusing sometimes. Like when the settings are kind of contradictive. In other words, somtimes you'll be saying, "Wait! I thought they were inside! Not outside!" or something of the such, making you have to switch focus in the middle of a paragraph. It's rare, but it happens. It's probably the way it's worded. Don't let this stop you from buying it though. THIS BOOK ROCKS!!
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on 24 December 1998
This is truly the best book I have ever read. Wilks, a space marine, is removed from his cell to discover that the alien species he thought he destroyed over twenty years ago is linked to the destruction of a space freighter. He finds out the child he saved has had a brainwipe and is now trapped in a mental hospital haunted by the dreams of the horrid beasts. When Wayland-Yutani Corp wants a speciman of the alien species, Wilks is first pick to be the partal leader of a spacecraft sent to the alien planet. On the planet questions are answered as a new spieces helps them destroy the aliens. A speciman currently on earth breaks free with the aid of several religious fanatics, all hell breaks loose. Earth is introduced to two new spieces that will leed to it's destruction.
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on 13 October 2015
I bought these books following the reading of the latest alien books that have been published. I am really glad that I did. Yes I agree with certain other people that they have changed the names of Billie and Wilks. However this is a mind blowing concept of what happens when the aliens get to earth and the story of how to get it back.
The scientists who think they can overcome the aliens by study and tame them into our world. Wilks and Billie realise that the only way to rid them is to kill them.
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on 30 March 1999
Since I read the others before I read this one, so I knew what to expect. But this book is a little better than the others, in my opinion. The characters are great compared to the other alien books I have read. They are detailed down to the last fault or strength. The plot is also very well written. Being male, I think I can relate to this book more than the 3rd book in the series, The Female War. All in all, this book was the best Aliens book I've read so far. Thumbs up Steve Perry!
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