By Weston Ochse
- Aliens: Infiltrator
Author: Weston Ochse
- Series: Aliens Series
- ISBN: 9781789093995
- Published: April 2021
- Pages: 336
- Format reviewed: E-Book
- Review date: 04/05/2021
- Language: English
The Alien franchise can be seen as one of two things: an awesome series of Space based horror and action stories, or a textbook example of Corporate Malfeasance. The Aliens may be the most reoccurring characters, but the second is not Ripley, it is Weyland Industries. This corporation pops up in various guises all over the place as they desperately try to find some way of profiteering from the Aliens. Next time you log onto Indeed.com, do yourself a favour and scroll past any job offering from Weyland, you may just end up on a remote base experimenting on Xenomorphs.
Dr Timothy Hoenikker stood at a crossroads in his life; should he remain in his dull, but well-paid job or take a risk and move to the remote outpost, Pala Station? He chose wrong. On arrival at Pala, he finds that he is not being used as an expert in Alien Artefacts, but to experiment on Aliens themselves. Petty politics is rife on the Station and there is nothing like disgruntled workers mixing with deadly Xenomorphs. There is a reason Pela Station is so remote. It is the perfect place to send some Alien eggs and condemned prisoners. What could go wrong?
With various films and books under its wing, the Alien franchise has been going for a long time now and the one thing that you can rely on throughout is that you cannot trust Weyland Industries. Aliens: Infiltrator by Weston Ochse is possibly the most damning inditement of the corporation yet as everything is set up poorly on Pala, from the lack of resources to the negligent experiments. It is all compounded by the fact that Weyland would be happier to pay death duties to the families of those that died, than fix a problem.
It does not take long for Hoenikker to realise that he has arrived at the wrong place at the wrong time. The current science team are short staffed after a couple of ‘accidents’ with a new strand of Xenomorph that can camouflage. There also seems to be some corporate espionage going on that is making security edgy. The whole Station is a powder keg ready to go off. It will not be an explosion of gun powder, but an explosion of flesh ripping Xenomorphs. Some of whom you will not be able to see.
The ingredients for a great Alien story are present and Ochse does a good job of making it bubble along. If the internal politics starts to become a little slow in the earlier segments, there is always a shocking moment just around the corner. The book does suffer a little from most of the cast being Weyland employees. You understand that many had little choice but to take the corporate dime, but the likes of Hoenikker and one or two other protagonists we meet are not the most sympathetic when compared to someone like Ripley.
The good side of having a Station packed full of characters you find dispensable, is that they are dispensable. When the action kicks off, it goes full force. This is Aliens levels of action, not Alien levels of tension. There is limbs, blood, and guts all over the shop. Hoenikker is tasked with getting from one end of the Station to the other. The only things in his way are security teams out to get him and the small issue of numerous Xenomorphs with an intelligent leader that the Pala scientists somehow managed to create.
Aliens: Infiltrator is a prequel to an upcoming computer game, but it stands alone. This is the type of Alien story that the action fans will enjoy. The tension of the first film is not present and instead you get an interesting look into the corporate ineptitude of Weyland Industries, especially in their remote locations that they cannot keep an eye on. With all the mayhem, this is a fun action horror that will have you buzzing as you read it, just don’t expect much development on a wider franchise level.
Written on 4th May 2021 by Sam Tyler .