Audio Review 47 // Aliens: Phalanx by Scott Sigler


Will I ever move on from the Alien franchise? Who knows? What I do know is that the following audio drama was epic. So read on!

Title: Aliens: Phalanx
Author: Scott Sigler
Fluff:
Its Medieval carnage meets Alien as a pre-industrial society fights against extinction brought about by a massive infestation of Xenomorphs.

Ataegina was an isolated world of medieval castles, varied cultures, and conquests, vibrant until the demons rose and spread relentless destruction. Swarms of lethal creatures with black husks, murderous claws, barbed tails and dreaded "tooth-tongues" raged through the lowlands, killing ninety percent of the planet's population. Terrified survivors fled to hidden mountain keeps where they eke out a meagre existence. When a trio of young warriors discovers a new weapon, they see a chance to end this curse. To save humanity, the trio must fight their way to the tunnels of Black Smoke Mountain--the lair of the mythical Demon Mother.

GET A COPY via Amazon Associates link: Aliens: Phalanx 

Style: Audio Drama

Review

First, up the author, Scott Sigler requests no spoilers in the reviews given about this book. I respect that and really understand why. If you could please reframe from spoilers in the comments thank you. If you want to discuss the plot with me reach out privately through email or on social media and we can chat.

The story's biggest and most interesting feature is the setting, no Corps, no spaceships, no lasers, pulse carbines or incinerators. This is a hack and slash novel almost hitting fantasy over sci-fi. Set on a part of the world barely explored, which we know is possibly an Island, made up of mountain holds dug into the landscape and hidden away. We also know of Northern Raiders from another Island but that arc is not really explored.

The world, in general, is at a feudal/pre-medieval level in my opinion. They understand bronze working, crossbow production and basic military warfare like the phalanx. They have some medical knowledge, but most of this seems to be handed down from generation to generation. There is this overwhelming feeling that more has been forgotten than remembered, and each hold seems to have unique personalities and traits along with religions. It also seems each hold specializes in one thing, be it a certain medical crop, mineral or manufacturing process. In theory, they should work together to create a better world, but isolation and fear reign supreme instead.

Into this interesting world comes the "Black Demons" aka the xenomorph. Our poor citizens, don't have the knowledge or true understanding to know what they really are, and instead of fear them almost like a boogie monster. Expect to read terms like demons, spiders and tooth tongues throughout the book. This really brings it all to life as they are exactly those things when you look at them. 

The book's main focus is Ahiliyah, and what a great character. She is easy to relate to, be it her struggles in a male-dominated society, or her forward-thinking viewpoints. You quickly grow to love her. Also, the other two main characters are enjoyable after a while, whilst the villains/other casts all play an important role.

The story as a pre-warning is more about the humans than the aliens, it deals with their struggles which have been shaped by the alien presents on their society and as a book it contains, plenty of twists, turns and shock value. Great listen and was more than I expected. I highly recommend it!

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