Top positive review
Worthy expansion of the movies
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!