Fiction Review

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The latest novelization ably continues the series

By Dan Cziraky     January 04, 2000

Machiko Noguchi, the only human ever to become a Blooded Hunter in the Predator clan, has been traversing the universe with the clan for over a year. Although blooded by the fallen leader Broken Tusk, she is still considered an outsider: human, small, and, seemingly worst of all, female. She has more experience hunting the Alien drones than most, yet is continually treated like a novice. Then, after losing an unfair contest to the jealous Shorty that keeps her out of the next hunt, she learns the chilling truth: humans are on the Predators' list of prey on the next hunt!

On the swamp planet Bunda, three survivors of a Company-sanctioned experiment in Alien infestation arrive, all badly shaken by their experience and wary of their chances of living once the Company learns that they know the Alien infestation on DS 949 was intentional. Although ruthless executive Briggs is willing to kill them to extract the information he wants on the infestation rate, he's unprepared when the Predators land on Bunda and start their hunt. Hearing a distress call from the planet below, Noguchi makes her break with the alien hunters and attempts to rescue the Bunda survivors. All that are left are the DS 949 team, Briggs, and the synthetic bodyguard Nirasawa. Noguchi still has her hunting skills and weapons, but will they be enough against the Alien drones looking to increase their numbers and the revenge-bent Predators?

Author S.D. Perry ably continues the series that began with ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: PREY (by Steve Perry and Stephani Perry) and followed in ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: HUNTER'S PLANET (by David Bischoff), which were both based on Dark Horse Comics mini-series. These comics and novels have broadened the concepts from the ALIEN and PREDATOR films in a very satisfying manner, and 20th Century Fox had at one time been developing an ALIENS VS. PREDATOR film (but opted on making ALIEN RESURRECTION and developing the as yet unproduced PREDATOR 3 instead). Besides being a decent science fiction adventure in its own right, A/P: WAR adds to the fascinating depths of Machiko Noguchi, whose Predator name Dautouhdie means Little Knife. This character is just as intriguing and powerful as Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley, and here her sense of betrayal by the Predators is balanced by her fear of being rejected by the very humans she is trying to save. The conflict is really more with the Predators, but an Alien Queen does play a pivotal role in the story, too. The book also features a great cover painting by top sci-fi artist John Bolton.

ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: WAR, by S.D. (Stephani Danelle) Perry. Based on the Dark Horse graphic novel ALIENS/PREDATOR: WAR by Randy Stradley. Bantam Books. New York. December 1999. 209 pp. $5.50.


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