Book Review: Alien

Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the movie Alien (2014) is a fascinating look at the start of a franchise. The first movie in the franchise was released in 1979. When the movie came out, it made quite a splash. It was an unusual mix of terror and space. It introduced its audience to a terrifying monster: the xenomorph. This monster was huge, it had sharp claws and it was tough as nails. A crew of interstellar workers must stop it before it kills them all.

Pace

I saw Alien a long time ago. This movie came out before I was born. As I grew up I would hear references to it all the time. My parents forbid me from watching this movie; my mom thought it was too gory for me. This just made me want to see it more. After a couple of years I saw the movie. I understood why it connected with its audience the way it did. It had a couple of great scares and they presented the monster as too powerful to be killed. But the special effects were showing their age. Time can be cruel to special effects in movies. The story itself felt dated. My issue with the book is its pacing. The story took forever to reach its climax. I guess when you see the movie it goes by faster, but when you’re reading it, it is another thing altogether. The original audience for the movie was more patient than me. I wanted to see more of the monster. I think the movie makers wanted to scare the audience by not showing much. The audience’s imagination would create the terror.

Final Thoughts

I recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t seen the Alien film or is a fan of space horror. If this genre isn’t your cup of tea, watch the movie.

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