Alien 3 is an Audible adaptation of William Gibsons unmade script for the film, featuring Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen. The whole thing is voice acted with plenty of sound effects that really add to the atmosphere.
It recently came out and I’ve been meaning to get around to listening, and now I have, I think it’s time for my review.
The performances in this book are fantastic. Just like other Audible performances, this does not disappoint when it comes to quality. The actors are brilliant and really help to bring the story to life.
There’s also a lot of nostalgia attached to this with two of the original actors returning to voice the characters from Alien. This was a nice touch and they both sound fantastic.
There were some new ideas here and we got to explore a little more about the universe that the trilogy takes place in. I enjoyed the idea of there being another faction of space and tensions between these two forces. A lot of the ideas aren’t massively fleshed out, but they’re fun when they crop up.
To be honest there was quite a lot to dislike about this. As spot on as the performances were, things just didn’t work that well.
Unlike other Audible editions of the Alien franchise, this one didn’t leave me with a full mental image of what things looked like. The hybrid for example, what is it? What’s it look like?
The way these performances are done leave little time for description, but after a very descriptive monologue from Bishop we could done with that again after the first hybrid. Maybe a run down of what it’s like vs a Xenomorph? It just felt a bit lacking which is disappointing.
Also, what was going on with the guy from weapons division? It’s like they decided they need the classic bad guy from Wetland Yutani, but his motives for his actions were unclear. Was he trying to trap everyone and keep the Aliens alive until the colonists got there? Was he trying to stop it escaping? I’ve no idea.
Too short! This isn’t always a bad thing as these performances are excellent quality, but when the pacing is off like it is here, it leads to a very cramped ending. There’s a lot of build up that plays on nostalgia and then everything goes made in the last half hour. Nothing really happens apart from what seems to be setting up for another story to follow.
Infection? So we have Aliens that are like zombies? I really didn’t like this direction, and they did precious little with the idea. It just kind of happened and never got explored like most of the new ideas in this performance.
Honestly it sounds like I didn’t enjoy this which is wrong, I really did have a good time listening, it’s just that Audible has had some amazing Alien franchise performances that outstrip this by a mile.
I got to the end and felt this is just an introduction to a whole new story that is going to follow, but this was purely set up. That’s not a bad thing, but compared to other stories that really built their characters and the places they were in, it just doesn’t live up.
If you’ve got a few hours to spare and enjoy Alien, then it’s worth giving a go. The performances are fantastic and it’s an OK story that leans heavily on nostalgia. I had a good time listening, you’ll just need to have lower expectations and not hope that this truly makes amends for Alien 3. Maybe it’s just a cursed title?