Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Alien: Out of the Shadows – Tim Lebbon
I’ve listened to this on Audio Book, well an audio drama really, as each character has their own actor. The story is set between Alien and Aliens and its focus is the crew of the mining ship Marion. The miners head back to the ship in their transport shuttles Delilah and Sansom and they are brining some unwanted guests with them. The crew send out a distress beacon which is answer by the Narcissus with a sleeping Ellen Ripley aboard. She has been in Hyper sleep for 37 years by this time, her journey is nowhere near done.
Tim Lebbon weaves a fantastic tale, a cross between Alien and Aliens – which is very fitting as it sits between the two stories. You have the claustrophobic feel of Alien, with a small crew being hunted through the ship mixed in with the planet scale, multiple alien fright fest of Aliens as the crew descend upon the mining colony. He gives the reader/listener the scares and camaraderie that you associate with this world.
Laurel Lefkow sounds exactly like Sigourney Weaver as Ripley and between Mr Lebbon’s writing and her acting keeps the character grounded in humanity. Corey Johnson is fantastic as Hooper, the Chief Engineer and takes the Hicks role. Matthew Lewis is Communications Officer Baxter, the happy go lucky member of the crew – think Hudson. Mac MacDonald is Lachance, the pilot of the ships, he was also Simpson in the extended version of Aliens, so I love that continuity. Kathryn Drysdale is Sneddon, the Science Officer who is fascinated by the creatures and Andrea Deck is Medical Officer Kasyanov and finally you have the late, great Rutger Hauer as Ash, yep Mr Lebbon has managed to write a convincing way to bring back the crazed character and give him a new voice. The voice casting is perfect, and each actor owns their character and brings them to life.
I’ve only ever listened to Audio Books by Bernard Cornwell and Terry Pratchett before and they’ve always been narrated by one person who is a talented voice actor. This way of presenting books is superb, I absolutely loved the story and how it has been put together. If you like this franchise, this is a must for you.