Writer: Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
This book was originally published in 1995 but has found it’s way unto our shelves again thanks to the renewed interest in the Alien series that Prometheus has garnered. This is a quite hard book to review as it sometimes feels like it is only tailored for a certain type of person. Technophiles who enjoy learning every ounce of information they can on a given subject. In this respect the book is a treasure trove of information. With diagrams and technical details about all the technology used in James Cameron’s Aliens. Everything is in here, the Sulaco, the APC and the weapons (including the Pulse rifle and the Smart gun that we’ve all come to know and love from the film).
The book looks at the history of the corps themselves (when they started, what’s their jurisdiction, etc) and really lets you get inside the World of the Colonial Marines in a way the film simply didn’t have time to show you. For anyone who is excited at this prospect then I recommend you buy this book immediately. You won’t be disappointed.
For everyone else (mainly people who thought “Those guys were bad-ass”), you may find it abit of a challenge to read this from start to finish. Whilst I appluad the eye for detail and the sheer volume of work that has gone into making this book, I personally found it to be a quite dry experience. When it comes to Colonial Marines, I’m not really wanting to know what makes them tick (and which variation of a gun would be best for a certain environment), I want to see them blowing the shit out of things and coming out with testosterone fuelled quips.
That’s not to say that there aren’t sections of the books tailored for people like myself who wanted more than just the minutest details about the Colonial Marines. The book is littered with anecdotes from “real life” Marines about their exploits and there is a common theme running throughout the book of people talking about the events of LV426 (mainly that it was bug hunt that went wrong….fast) and the book ends with a pretty interesting collection of communique between people discussing the events aboard Nostromo and the Sulaco as they try to figure just exactly what happened at Hadley’s Hope (and like the films themselves, have people wondering how they can use the xenomorphs to their advantage).
This was a great way to end the book as it brought the films together and also added an outside perspective to events that you’ve never really gotten to see beyond the films having an evil corporate stooge (Ash, Burke, Michael Bishop) in the middle of it all being evil, money hungry and generally being bastards.
In the end, you probably know if this book sounds like something you’d be into or not. While this book is definitely intended for the more technical minded fans (and rewards them greatly), there’s still enough to keep the casual reader interested as well.