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New York City, 2124: The streets are clogged with the Jelly-addicted and the homeless, while the elite cluster in glittering office towers. Among them: the ruthless head of an entertainment conglomerate who seeks revenge by giving a maniacal artist his ultimate desire - an alien. Damon Eddington will shock the world with his newest composition, the Symphony of Hate. Wrapped New York City, 2124: The streets are clogged with the Jelly-addicted and the homeless, while the elite cluster in glittering office towers. Among them: the ruthless head of an entertainment conglomerate who seeks revenge by giving a maniacal artist his ultimate desire - an alien. Damon Eddington will shock the world with his newest composition, the Symphony of Hate. Wrapped within its bizarre music can be found the most tortured of human sounds, combined with the razor-steel screams of a Homeworld alien. Yet the supreme cry continues to elude him and, obsessed with complete his musical creation and controlled by his need for the life-form's harshest voice, Eddington knows that the sound he seeks lies deep inside the ruthless creature he has named Mozart. And he will stop at nothing to free it....


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New York City, 2124: The streets are clogged with the Jelly-addicted and the homeless, while the elite cluster in glittering office towers. Among them: the ruthless head of an entertainment conglomerate who seeks revenge by giving a maniacal artist his ultimate desire - an alien. Damon Eddington will shock the world with his newest composition, the Symphony of Hate. Wrapped New York City, 2124: The streets are clogged with the Jelly-addicted and the homeless, while the elite cluster in glittering office towers. Among them: the ruthless head of an entertainment conglomerate who seeks revenge by giving a maniacal artist his ultimate desire - an alien. Damon Eddington will shock the world with his newest composition, the Symphony of Hate. Wrapped within its bizarre music can be found the most tortured of human sounds, combined with the razor-steel screams of a Homeworld alien. Yet the supreme cry continues to elude him and, obsessed with complete his musical creation and controlled by his need for the life-form's harshest voice, Eddington knows that the sound he seeks lies deep inside the ruthless creature he has named Mozart. And he will stop at nothing to free it....

30 review for Aliens: Music of the Spears

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ana Mardoll

    Aliens Novels: Book 8, Music of the Spears / 0-553-57492-2 As I'm going through reading all the aliens books in order (although all of them have been non-sequential, self-contained stories after the third book, "The Female War"), I have found that few things irritate me so much as an author who felt no need to do any research whatsoever into the aliens universe. The only thing more irritating that this might perhaps be a science fiction author who doesn't understand the concept of science fiction Aliens Novels: Book 8, Music of the Spears / 0-553-57492-2 As I'm going through reading all the aliens books in order (although all of them have been non-sequential, self-contained stories after the third book, "The Female War"), I have found that few things irritate me so much as an author who felt no need to do any research whatsoever into the aliens universe. The only thing more irritating that this might perhaps be a science fiction author who doesn't understand the concept of science fiction. In "Music of the Spears", author Navarro manages to handily fit both categories. Navarro has apparently never seen a single aliens movie nor read a single aliens book, a fact demonstrated by her not knowing the first thing about aliens, period. She has decided that the "derelict space craft" she keeps hearing about from that first movie "Alien" was built *by* the aliens, demonstrating a level of sentience and intelligence that the aliens have since "lost" - a puzzle the author solves by having the aliens de-evolving in captivity on Earth. Now, forget fanboy facts like aliens not being advanced enough to create their own space crafts, as outlined in every book and movie on the subject. Forget that the movie clearly emphasized that the aliens on the derelict ship were not pilots (Navarro hasn't, apparently, seen the famous scene with the desiccated, chest-bursted pilot fossilized to the helm). Forgetting all of that, just consider the implications of the alien species EVER having the ability to build spaceships and navigate the stars: that would make them completely unstoppable. The only weak point in the aliens is that they are 'trappable' on planets and ships, and the human victims have a chance at getting away from the planet/ship they've been trapped on. If the aliens could just up and take off to wherever they pleased, why wouldn't they have conquered the universe at this point, or at least the better part of our galaxy? Similarly, a new "fact" we're treated to is that the aliens "see" by sonar (similar to bats) and the sound waves they use to "see" their surroundings is a constant, audible hiss. Not only does this contradict all other alien sources, it doesn't make sense: aliens are scary because they can creep silently up behind you and grab you before you even knew they were there, but it's impossible to be sneaky when you sound like a perpetual leaky tire. Navarro is apparently dimly aware, probably via her franchise contact, that the previous books in the series have featured an alien-human war on Earth that resulted in (a) something like 70% of all humans dead, with the remaining 30% scattered randomly through space in a panicked species-wide Diaspora, and (b) the Earth being physically ravaged by war, alien occupation, and by massive, planet-wide nuclear bombs. A science fiction universe operating under those rules would look just a tiny bit different from our own. Racial lines would almost certainly be completely blurred by the massively reduced population and the mixed genetic content of the hastily-boarded escape pods, a reality that Piers Anthony predicted long ago in his "Race Against Time". Major cities would be completely decimated by war and would have to be rebuilt from the ground up, if they were even built at all - "New York" would literally become "New New York", as "Futurama" satirically notes. Technology would be more advanced for this space-faring race resettling a decimated planet, an obvious fact since before "Star Trek" aired a single series. In Navarro's Manhattan, however, right across the street from the World Trade Center (unmarred by aliens or nuclear war), lies the music company Synsound which is owned and run by a Japanese man (who has maintained his Japanese language, customs, and genetics despite the Diaspora), and of course he's also an ex-member of the Yakuza (it's nice to see a violent gang maintain cohesion through a crisis). He naturally has at his disposal a group of ninjas who are hand-picked Japanese-American immigrants (the futuristic world government of the previous books having apparently fractured at some point back into the twentieth century governments that Navarro is more familiar with) who, as a prerequisite for joining, don't speak a lick of English (because a species hovering on the verge of extinction has the luxury of avoiding a common language). The ninjas carry ancient family-heirloom Samurai swords (thank god there was room to load the heirlooms on the escape pods, although it's a shame that there wasn't room for Grandma after the swords had been packed). This particular group of ninjas is "perfect" for fighting aliens because, as Navarro patiently explains, Samurai swords cleanly take off the aliens' limbs. Um...what? Not to sound like a raging fanboy, but taking off a limb should result in a spray of deadly acid. Speaking of which, not only should those heirloom swords *not* be able to pierce an alien carapace, they should not even exist after the first cut. Apparently when they make ancient Samurai swords, they make them acid-proof against alien acids that otherwise melt all compounds! It's just too bad they didn't share that ancient secret with all the ship-makers and armory departments outfitting the marines or that whole Diaspora thing possibly could have been averted. Anyway, the ninjas come in handy because a rival pharmaceutical company (the music industry absolutely HATES the medical industry) has a secret alien lab and the ninjas are able to duck under security cameras (they can afford an alien lab, but they didn't want to go overboard on security cameras), kill the aliens in a one-on-one battle, and kidnap an egg. All this trouble because Synsound is humoring a musician who wants to re-record Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain", but with alien screams mixed in, which isn't anywhere near as creative as what "Fantasia" did with the same piece five decades before Navarro put pen to paper. The alien cage is constructed according to specifications drawn up from the lead ninja's "instincts" and the alien is monitored by two low-level scientists armed with clipboards and dot matrix printers, apparently still the fashion in the 2100s. It's never clear why the company is willing to break so many laws and spend so much money on this project that they know will be hugely unprofitable, but we get past that by not talking about it. The rest of the novel is spent moralizing for many, many pages about the immorality of feeding people to an alien for a crappy music re-mix. Oh, yeah, and those people are old college friends of the musician, hand-picked by the company apparently for no other reason than to mess with him. Oh, snap! Other offensively stupid things about this novel include the tame, muzzled alien named "Old Blue" that the company keeps on hand as a tracker "dog". There's the investigators handling acid-soaked alien corpses with nothing more than gloves on their hands (on reflection, perhaps it's not that Navarro didn't read the books, perhaps it's that she just doesn't understand the concept of 'acid'). There's the return to the god-awful royal jelly plot, with royal jelly being a drug that is magically both a stimulant AND a soporific, and literally impossible to overdose on. There's also the underlying racism that every minority in the novel has to justify their existence by being a stereotypical "angry black man" or "oriental ninja". Do yourself a favor and skip this novel entirely. The whole thing is a tepid, moralizing screed, more whiny than introspective, and with enough inaccuracies and blatant stupidity to choke a horse. Since the series stopped being sequential many books ago, I can assure you, you won't be missing anything at all. ~ Ana Mardoll

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clark

    I love it when a cheap sci-fi novel can make beatiful statements about life. In this novel there are great observations about music and art in general. This offers good insight how music can communicate emotion in ways that are only found in music.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    On the one hand, I have to give the book credit for being more than a "Let's steal an alien to make a weapon from it" story, but on the other hand, it's one of the dumbest premises I've ever heard, irrespective of it being an Aliens book. Somehow we're supposed to believe that a music recording company would fund a project that involves capturing a xenomorph egg, killing someone to gestate said egg to birth an alien, and then acquiring animals to feed to it so some guy can record it for a sympho On the one hand, I have to give the book credit for being more than a "Let's steal an alien to make a weapon from it" story, but on the other hand, it's one of the dumbest premises I've ever heard, irrespective of it being an Aliens book. Somehow we're supposed to believe that a music recording company would fund a project that involves capturing a xenomorph egg, killing someone to gestate said egg to birth an alien, and then acquiring animals to feed to it so some guy can record it for a symphony? Please. This premise goes so far outside my suspension of disbelief that I got winded trying to make a single lap around it. I mean, the story also has ninjas in it! Understand, though, that I don't blame Navarro for how ridiculous the book is, since she adapted a comic book script to write this novel. If we need to direct the shame for this book anywhere, make sure it goes to Chet Williamson. Navarro's supposed to be a decent writer; it's a shame that this was my first time reading one of her books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    To start with, when I saw the title, I found myself wondering if the title is a play on words; specifically, “Music of the Spheres,” the ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies, that there is a harmony in the movement of celestial bodies. If so, I do think it was pretty clever of the original author to come up with it like he did. This book gave me mixed feelings (and, yes, I am aware it is based off of a comic book mini-series). On the one hand To start with, when I saw the title, I found myself wondering if the title is a play on words; specifically, “Music of the Spheres,” the ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies, that there is a harmony in the movement of celestial bodies. If so, I do think it was pretty clever of the original author to come up with it like he did. This book gave me mixed feelings (and, yes, I am aware it is based off of a comic book mini-series). On the one hand, I felt like "did this story really need to be told?" But, then again, I did finish it (stupid weakness of mine - I get to a point in the book and then I finish it because I want to see how it ends, who lives and who dies; it really stinks, sometimes. Hahahah!). I did not like most of it; it was a little too weird for me, a little "too far out there" (as it involved a failed musician attempting one 'final composition' that is to include the 'screams of hate' emitted by an alien); I would say the 'intensity' at the end redeemed it a little bit for me, and pushed it up from 1-star to 2-stars. The character development is actually decent-to-pretty-good; it has to be, as it is pretty much a "character-driven story." There is very little 'action' or 'adventure' in this book (although what action there is, is pretty intense). The ending of the story was a bit of a surprise to me: it felt like it left behind unfinished business, as it were; it was a bit more open-ended than I thought it would be. Inre the plot itself: (view spoiler)[ I really found it hard to believe that some corporation on Earth would have any kind of “mini-nest” within its basement, considering the ‘fact’ that the Earth was supposedly conquered for a while by an alien infestation ‘back when’ and the population decimated to the point of near extinction. This corporation’s nest is robbed of a single egg (24 – 32) that is going to be given to Damon so he can record the hate-filled scream of an adult warrior and mix it with some kind of recording/musical composition he is trying to create; called “symphony of hate” or some nonsense like that. In any case, the ‘fact’ that some corporate headquarters on Earth has an alien hive/nest within the bowels of its foundation struck me as highly illogical and completely unbelievable. The whole ‘sequence’ by which Damon Eddington becomes addicted to “jelly” was incredibly stupid and idiotic, in my opinion. It was not very convincing to read how he was supposedly tempted by it as it appeared to absorb the colors from outside and ‘glow in the dark’ while Damon watched it while having trouble going to sleep (127 – 129). At the same time, the ‘aftereffects’ of taking the dosage he swallowed was interesting; it was like reading the different stages an alien drone/warrior might go through before, during, and after attacking its prey. The date given for what transpires in the book makes no sense at all, as the events in Aliens takes place after the events in this book, yet this book implies it takes place before what happens in Aliens (in terms of the dates when each event/story is said to take place). The events in Aliens take place in 2179, but the events in this book take place in 2124. Bit of a mistake, there, that the editor should have caught! I thought it was pretty silly that six Ninja Warriors were able fight off a batch of alien “guard dogs” like they did after breaking into what is supposed to be a highly-secured, highly-classified, ‘top-secret’ laboratory like they did. Three of the ninjas were killed, but the survivors were able to defeat the aliens by using their swords to slice off the appendages of the aliens. It really beggared the imagination, to be honest, that these swords could do so much damage and survive the resulting exposure to the acid blood of these nasty beasts. Their boss could make a fortune selling the secret to the military and such, considering the lengths that have been taken to try and develop something that can survive exposure to the alien’s blood (which, in some novels, has happened, to some extent, but not enough to be used extensively by the military). Also, it made little sense that this ‘pharmaceutical mega-corporation’ would not have invested more in better security systems, to be honest. Considering how many other novels have various installations loaded with recording devices and whatnot, it seems hard to believe that this corporation on Earth would not have sprung a few more dollars for their security. I did find myself laughing at the continued references to “dot matrix printers’ and ‘laser printers.’ I mean, I would have accepted just the word ‘printers’ to be used in reference to stuff being printed off, but the continued reference to ‘dot matrix’ was a bit ‘jarring’ and took me out of the storyline, thus ruining the flow of the narrative for me. That, and it seemed like a follow-up reference to a laser printer had to be used in conjunction with the use of the ‘dot matrix printer.’ It was amusing. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Now, there is kind-of an interesting discussion about the ship and crew that Ripley was a part of discovering the derelict space craft on pages 122 – 123. The way the discussion is going, it sounds like they think there is (was) some kind of conspiracy behind it, as it seems pretty ‘convenient’ that Ripley’s crew came across this mysterious beacon. Darcy Vance seems to think it is some kind of government conspiracy and cover-up (especially as Ripley is said to have died due to wounds received while incarcerated). The two scientists also talk about “what if the aliens can pilot space craft and are smarter than we give them credit for being?” for a bit longer. It does not go anywhere, but it did stand out to me as I was reading the book. The ‘fact’ that the discussion is filled with inaccuracies about what really happened to the Nostromo’s crew does not bother me, as Darcy and Michael are talking about rumors and speculation, about ‘what if . . . ?’ as opposed to ‘what really happened.’ They are not in any position to know what actually happened to Ripley’s crew or what they found, so it only makes sense for there to be inaccuracies. (hide spoiler)] The character development had to be the ‘best part’ of the book, ‘cuz there was pretty much nothing else going for it. The whole idea of recording the screams of an alien while it was killing is prey in conjunction with the death cries of the prey does not really seem like a good idea upon which to build a story. There is a crap-load of dialogue in this book as it marches inexorably onward to its crazy conclusion; some of that dialogue does consist of the morality of what they are doing and how that slope becomes quite slippery after certain decisions are made. (view spoiler)[ I think Damon Eddington (the idiot musician) is probably closer to being ‘insane’ than the villains in the prior two books; well, maybe not ‘insane’ as much as ‘more stupid’ or something like that. He’s an idiot. That being said, the author does a decent job of building upon the character from the comic book series; I do not know how much, exactly, she expanded upon the character, but I do think she did a good job in showing how ‘unhinged’ he became as the story progressed (and even before he started taking drugs). By the end of the book, I figured he was probably going to die; I just did not know how. He does die, and it is because of his rapidly growing insipid stupidity that he dies. He makes a really bad decision, it is badly described in the book, and it kills him. Kinda like how he gets himself addicted to the “royal jelly” drug; the steps he takes before ingesting it are not the least bit believable, it was so poorly written. Granted, it could be something that is incredibly difficult to write, to describe in writing, but it was not well done in this book, to say the least. It did not even ‘feel’ like a ‘real internal struggle’ that he went through before he ingested the drug; neither did it sound very convincing that he felt he was ‘strong enough’ to handle, that he was not weak ‘like the other addicts.’ It was pretty weak rationalizing. His “Symphony of Hate” composition sounded like an extremely stupid idea, regardless of the discussions in the book about the differences between artists and everyone else. I cannot believe a ‘mega-corporation’ went along with it and funded his operation like they did. I was pretty glad that he died how he did, considering what had gone on before in the book, the other lives that he willingly and gladly sacrificed in order to complete his composition. Darcy Vance was an interesting character. She is some kind of “sub-level” bioengineer who is selected to assist with caring for the alien as well as studying it during Damon’s ‘recording experiment.’ She actually manages to develop some kind of bond with the creature, and this ‘bond’ serves to save her life in the end (after Damon traps her in Mozart’s [the name given to the alien creature by Damon] cage/holding area). Mozart seems to recognize her and halts his attack; the screams he emits after she attacks him with an high powered electric stun gun are filled with the pain and anguish of betrayal; both she and Damon can hear how different his screams are from his other victims. She manages to survive (barely), but it is not clear what, exactly, happens to her at the end of the book (in the epilogue). She becomes quite engrossed in her work, in studying Mozart, during the entire process, and this delight of hers does cloud her reasoning and ‘morals’ a bit. Michael Brangwen is the third “primary” human character in the story. Whereas Darcy is younger than Damon, Michael is much older and close to retiring. I do not remember why, exactly, he was chosen, but he assists with various aspects of the job when it comes both to caring for Mozart and ensuring that Damon has everything he needs for his recordings. Michael also survives at the end; after Damon dies, Michael rearranges Damon’s recordings before releasing them to the general public. Now, I did feel that Mozart was a ‘fourth primary character’ in this story, as he did seem to take on a life, a character, of his own. I am sure it had to do with his isolation from other members of his hive and whatnot, of being subjected to the various ‘experiments’ and ‘feedings’ over time (of course, it does make one wonder how he survived as long as he did, isolated like he was, based on the events in book 7, Aliens: Labyrinth). He bonds with Darcy over time and exhibits an uncanny ability to ‘see’ her, to know where she is, outside of the glass walls of his cage, even though he has no eyes with which to see. He comes across as filled with rage and hate towards other forms of life, but there is a form of curiosity and not-quite-tenderness with Darcy (until she is forced to face Mozart in his cage). Mozart getting free and wreaking havoc in the concert above was pretty crazy. It did not turn out as bad as I thought it might before he was put down by a MedTech security team. Still, though, it was almost a sad moment when he died. (hide spoiler)] . (view spoiler)[The whole thing in the book, the theory that the aliens used their hisses as a part of ‘echolocation’ to track and find their prey was a bit of a joke to me, to be honest. I mean, their pretty should hear them hissing long before the creatures arrive in the area to attack and render and maim and destroy. It makes zero sense to claim that an alien’s hiss is used to echolocate, and it was a pretty weak (bad) theory in the story. I do not know how ‘important’ this theory is in the comic series or how much the author may or may not have built upon it for the novelized format, but it was definitely one of the ‘weaker parts’ of the book. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[I felt that the three main characters were ‘villains’ and that the ‘heroes’ consisted of the members of the security team from MedTech trying to find their stolen alien egg. I say the three primary characters were villains because, for all of their moralizing and posturing and making excuses for their behavior, they still sentenced five people to their deaths by deliberately putting them into Mozart’s cage with the intention of recording their death cries accompanied by Mozart’s “hate-filled screams” as he rendered them limb-from-limb. They were all accomplices in the deaths of these five innocent people, one of whom was specifically selected to be murdered via death by Mozart as a part of this experimental compilation. It does not matter the number of excuses made or justifications used; each of them are murderers and killers. Mozart can be excused because he is an animal, and had no choice in what he did whereas the humans made the deliberate choice to allow other humans to be killed to further their different experiments/tests. (hide spoiler)] I do not know that I am glad that I finished this book, to be honest. I did not really like it that much, but at least I have read it. Part of it was that the story felt like the author had never watched any of the movies or had not read any prior "material" before writing this story (and I am more referring to the comic book story this novel is based upon; I do not know how much the author changed, adapted, or added to the original story when turning it into a novel). I do not know what the ‘other part’ of it would be, but I did not like this story anywhere near as much as the prior two books I read (or any of the other comic book series I read. At least it didn’t have any ‘stupid marines’ or ‘stupid, incompetent military personnel in it; at least it had that going for it! The cover is pretty crazy and pretty cool, though; definitely an eye-catcher. I would have to say the best part of the book is at the end (view spoiler)[when Mozart breaks out of his captivity and invades the concert going on in the music hall on the floor above where he was held; that was pretty crazy! I also liked how the MedTech security team used an older alien they called “Old Blue” to assist them in finding Mozart [although that DID beggar the imagination a bit; I would call some heavy “BS!” on that part of the story) AND were instrumental in putting Mozart down at the end. I thought for sure Blue and Mozart would fight it out and maybe both of them be killed, but the story went down a different way, which did surprise me (hide spoiler)] . Ah, well. At least it is over.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    I enjoyed this one. If nothing else, it wasn't the usual formula of spaceship, secret government project, mad scientist etc. that almost all of the novels had been following. In this one we have a musician who has decided to create a symphony from the screams of an Alien and its dying victims. The record label that employs him procures an Alien and several victims as well, and he starts his project. There's some corporate espionage going on as well, and the musician ends up even nuttier than he I enjoyed this one. If nothing else, it wasn't the usual formula of spaceship, secret government project, mad scientist etc. that almost all of the novels had been following. In this one we have a musician who has decided to create a symphony from the screams of an Alien and its dying victims. The record label that employs him procures an Alien and several victims as well, and he starts his project. There's some corporate espionage going on as well, and the musician ends up even nuttier than he started. The basic story was a little simplistic, and the underlying story was complicated, but overall this was an entertaining read that at least took things in a different direction than the series had been going.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ienjoyhorror

    A decent little Aliens story with more in common than Alien, it would have done slightly better than me if it had leaned more into social commentary, something it's unable to do too much of because of the comic it's based on. Still, it's a good little Alien novel worth you're time if you want a break from Colonial Marines

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    Wasn't crazy about this book. The fear and suspense factor that makes this franchise so great really wasn't there until the last 100 pages or so and even then was very short lived. The concept was interesting but it wasn't the type of book I was hoping for. Because of the lack of suspense, it took a while for me to get into the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ➳ Christie ➳

    One the worst alien stories I’ve read....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Francois Boivin

    This is a novelization of the comic miniseries from Dark Horse Comics, written by Chet Williamson, illustrated by Tim Hamilton and inked by Tim Bradstreet. Since it was never collected as a trade collection, I will review both the comics and the novel here. Much like zombies, a good Aliens story is not about the xenormophs but about the people who come in contact with them, willingly or not. Most of the Aliens comics up to then (1994) were about scientists or military dudes capturing Aliens or eg This is a novelization of the comic miniseries from Dark Horse Comics, written by Chet Williamson, illustrated by Tim Hamilton and inked by Tim Bradstreet. Since it was never collected as a trade collection, I will review both the comics and the novel here. Much like zombies, a good Aliens story is not about the xenormophs but about the people who come in contact with them, willingly or not. Most of the Aliens comics up to then (1994) were about scientists or military dudes capturing Aliens or eggs for various experiments and/or attempts at controlling them. Most previous stories were set on faraway space stations, or remote bases on asteroids. For this story, Williamson did something completely different: this time it is set on Earth right in the middle of New York City, and the human meddling with an Alien is... a musician! The Music of the Spears in the title refers to the sound made by Aliens when they scream, the "spears" being their teeth. Frustrated musician/composer Damon Eddington, reluctantly working for the biggest music company in the world Synsound which he hates, is inspired one day to create his ultimate piece of music, incorporating screams of Aliens that would comprise his "Symphony of Hate". But to get good sound, he must obtain a live specimen. What follows is the acquisition of an egg from rival company MedTech's labs by a group of ninjas, the volunteer impregnation by a member of the Church of the Queen Mother, the study of the caged Alien as it attacks various victimes (animal and human), the ongoing investigation of the theft by MedTech's Elite Security Force, and the eventual escape of the Alien who ravages a rock concert.. I give points for originality alone, such a deviation from the common overused and repetitive storylines of the past. Although it sounds silly on the surface, the characters and surprise developments make it worthwhile. Also, Williamson expands on concepts first introduced in Aliens: Genocide : aside from re-using the company MedTech from that book, we also see the popularity of the drug made from Royal Jelly that was introduced there, which has now gained common use among the downtrodden roaming the city streets. The novelization is very well written, probably the best one since Steve Perry's trilogy. Navarro is a very talented writer, and knows how and when to switch narratives from different characters as best to serve the story. Even if it's based on someone else's work, she makes it feel like a fresh and exciting story. It is very faithful to the original, except for the backstory she made up in her novelization. A lot of references are made to the "Homeworld War" of 10 years ago where about 1,000 people lost their lives fighting Aliens and destroying hives on their planet. The descriptions of it make one feel like she had no knowledge of all the previous stories in the Dark Horse series. It could be a reference to the events of Genocide, but that wasn't exactly a war, and it would mean that the dozen or so stories after that would have taken place in the last 10 years. Also, this is the only novel that includes actual dates of events: it starts the day before Christmas 2123 and ends sometime in March 2124. But the dates must be off by 100 years since Alien was set the year before in 2122, and Aliens was in 2179, 10 years before the first comic story Aliens: Outbreak (which novelization was, set in 2092, was also off by 100 years.) If you like something different than the usual "alien loose in another space station" story, try this one. I just wish it came with a soundtrack...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Thomas Schmidt

    An excellent entry in the series with an outside the norm plot about a musician trying to find the right sound for his masterpiece and the political manueverings and executives, scientists, and their security ops teams around him and the alien he wishes to employ.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Dark Horse seems pretty driven to novelize all their Aliens comics. I'm a pretty big Aliens fan, so I'm pretty motivated to read through all these books at some point as well as all the comics. Like the comics, after the first three books they sort of turn into a stand alone series that have self contained stories. "Music of the Spears" is just one of those stories and strangely I didn't think the comic was all that outstanding. It was definitely a very unique idea and it was fun to read, but th Dark Horse seems pretty driven to novelize all their Aliens comics. I'm a pretty big Aliens fan, so I'm pretty motivated to read through all these books at some point as well as all the comics. Like the comics, after the first three books they sort of turn into a stand alone series that have self contained stories. "Music of the Spears" is just one of those stories and strangely I didn't think the comic was all that outstanding. It was definitely a very unique idea and it was fun to read, but there was just something about it that was merely okay rather than outstanding. Yvonne Navarro adapts Chet Williamson's comic script two years after the issues were published. I have to say that Yvonne did an excellent job. Honestly the comics didn't engage in this much depth of character and I think that's why I felt this wasn't a very outstanding series initially. The story centers around a musician named Damon Eddington. He's signed to a fairly large record label named SynSound, but his music isn't exactly breaking the charts. You could say he's sort of the low man on SynSound's list of artists. Eddington feels very disenchanted by the music industry because the top artists are these android rock bands that aren't even human. He can't stand this hypocrisy in the degenerated future. His magnum opus is going to break into different musical boundaries and capture the pure essence in his "Symphony of Hate". There's one key element to his master piece, he needs an Alien so he can record it in the studio. SynSound is quite intrigued at this proposition and tries to figure out a way to provide Damon with his request. All this is introduced in the first couple of chapters and from there a very interesting tale is weaved. A lot of problems occur when Damon can't just get what he wants and getting the beast to cooperate is a much more daunting task than he perceived. It certainly seems like a strange concept, and not all that exciting. Honestly, the comic really wasn't, but for some reason Navarro makes it work very well. Williamson's script wasn't terrible, by any means, but I just think it lacked the depth Navarro brought us into with the characters. She explains a bit more about the music industry and the fans. We also get a deeper look into Damon's psyche and I think that's what really drove the intrigue for me in this novel. Another element that I think is vastly interesting that shows up in other Aliens tales is the use of the Queen's jelly to create a sort of hallucinogenic drug called "Royal Jelly". After the Aliens existence is well known by society it becomes a huge problem in society. I don't know why, but I just found that alternate story element very interesting and how it's used in a climactic way. Overall it's a very interesting story. There isn't very much action in this tale and it's more suspenseful than anything else. It's more true to form of the original Alien movie rather than Aliens. The way it integrates into the future Earth society is more of the norm from Aliens and it combines the Alien aspect of suspense very well. It's a strange concept and I'm not sure a large amount of people will really embrace this story or its novel adaptation, but I felt the novel added a lot more than the comic series. If you liked the comic series you will likely love the novel a lot more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Levi

    i am readeding it so i think i like it so far soem bio-engernrees created an alien that loves to kill, thier are 10 people on deathrow and they are given a 2nd chance of freedom and they have an electrostun rifle that only have 3 shots and can only be used with in 3 feet of there target. 8 people have died because they thought they were smart but they were not that smart because they wasted there shots. all that is left it one soldier and a monk. i do not reco mend it for the weak stomachs becau i am readeding it so i think i like it so far soem bio-engernrees created an alien that loves to kill, thier are 10 people on deathrow and they are given a 2nd chance of freedom and they have an electrostun rifle that only have 3 shots and can only be used with in 3 feet of there target. 8 people have died because they thought they were smart but they were not that smart because they wasted there shots. all that is left it one soldier and a monk. i do not reco mend it for the weak stomachs becaus ethey tell you how they die in deatal they named the alien Mozartbecause they could only find that could repucate his voice was the sound of a screeching on a violin. i really like it so far

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The 8th Aliens expanded universe novel, and so far the most different and interesting of them all. No space ships, no well armed Colonial Marines blowing everything up, no gunfights, no battles, no invasions or hordes of aliens. Just a nice story about a musician who wants to "obtain" a Xenomorph so he can use the sounds of its screams to make music, his "Symphony of Hate". A really well written and enjoyable story, which focuses more on the characters in the story than it does on the aliens, bu The 8th Aliens expanded universe novel, and so far the most different and interesting of them all. No space ships, no well armed Colonial Marines blowing everything up, no gunfights, no battles, no invasions or hordes of aliens. Just a nice story about a musician who wants to "obtain" a Xenomorph so he can use the sounds of its screams to make music, his "Symphony of Hate". A really well written and enjoyable story, which focuses more on the characters in the story than it does on the aliens, but also does a great job of making an alien into a great character. A very nice change from the usual Aliens Vs Marines type of story!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephan

    Well... the story's quite stupid. I mean, seriously? An alien egg is stolen from a huge biomedicine company for use in a musical piece... It's silly and hard to ever take seriously. But the characters are fairly well written, if maybe a bit... eccentric? The setting is good as well. it's just the story and the characters over all motivations which feel off.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex Klimkewicz

    Read it back in middle school. Enjoyed it then, along with several other Aliens, Predator, and Aliens vs. Predator books, but I probably wouldn't read it again.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Bwah hah hah!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    I love the Alien movie series...and apparently, I like the cheesy knock-off books too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jonny Williamson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Louis

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jared

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Whalin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Russ Dumanovsky

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Wiley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chad

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lori Malone

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erik Haase

  29. 4 out of 5

    Morore

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julian

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