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Alien: River of Pain cover art

Alien: River of Pain

By: Christopher Golden,Dirk Maggs
Narrated by: Anna Friel,Philip Glenister,Colin Salmon,Alexander Siddig,Marc Warren,Michelle Ryan,William Hope
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Summary

Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, only to discover that LV-426 — where the crew of the Nostromo first came into contact with the deadly xenomorphs — has been renamed Acheron.

Protected by Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet against all the odds. But in the face of brutal living conditions and the daily struggles of a new world, there is humanity and hope. Anne and Russell Jorden — two colonists who are seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth — are expecting their firstborn child.

The birth of Rebecca Jorden, known to her family as Newt, is a cause for celebration. But as the colony grows and expands, so, too, do the political struggles between a small detachment of Colonial Marines and the Weyland-Yutani scientists posted on Acheron. Willing to overlook their orders in order to serve the Company's interests, these scientists have another far more sinister agenda — to covertly capture a living Alien.

The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russell find onboard proves to be the stuff not of dreams but of nightmares.

This terrifying, cinematic, multicast dramatization — directed by the multiaward-winning Dirk Maggs, best known for his adaptations of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere for the BBC — is the sequel to Audible Original's Alien: Out of the Shadows (nominated for Best Audio Drama at the 2017 Audies).

Starring Golden Globe-nominated Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, Limitless), Alexander Siddig (Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Game of Thrones), Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman, Doctor Who), Colin Salmon (Alien vs Predator, Arrow, James Bond), Marc Warren (Mad Dogs, Saving Private Ryan, Hustle) and Philip Glenister (Outcast, Life on Mars), with special guest star William Hope returning as Lt. Gorman from James Cameron's Aliens.

©2017 20th Century Fox (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Filled with tension and stellar voice performances, River Of Pain is edge of your seat good." ( Buzzfeed)
"Frightening." ( Yahoo Movies)
"Dirk Maggs continues to create masterful audio drama that only gets better.... Maggs coaxes fantastic performances from his cast to convey the characters' dread while also creating a good balance of sound effects. Listeners will remain on high alert about what may be around the next corner." ( AudioFile)
"Superbly detailed sound-design and remarkable sonic effects... a truly unique listening experience." ( HeyUGuys)
"Terrifying." ( NME)
"The cast is an outstanding smorgasbord of familiar genre talent." ( Starburst)
"No expense has been spared on this blockbuster Aliens sequel." ( Loaded)

What listeners say about Alien: River of Pain

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What happened on Planet LV-426?

This dramatisation fits in between 'Alien' and 'Aliens' and essentially provides the backstory for Newt and planet LV-426. As such, if you're a fan of the films (which you presumably are to be considering this) you pretty much know where the story is heading. However, much like Star Wars' Rogue One, although the outcome is predetermined, the journey is still well worth making. It has a couple of minor flaws-some of the characters are sketchy stereotypes (the two company scientists in particular are one dimensional and almost comically evil) and on occasion some of the protagonists (particularly the children) seem jarringly blase about the horror and loss around them. These remain petty quibbles only in the face of the gripping narrative which grabs you by the throat and gallops along with you. The central figures are well realised with excellent voice acting and the tension builds with the claustrophobia and terror that the films portrayed so well. It is seamlessly intercut with what sound like extracts from the original 'Aliens' movie featuring Ripley before she leaves for the planet and this adds an authenticity that in my mind has now cemented this as being THE actual sequence of events linking the films. It all makes for engrossing and chilling listening. I warn you also that listening to this audiobook also leads to the risk of you annoying the hell out of those around you for a couple of days by responding 'copy that' to everything!

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51 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Out of this World!

Just prepare a darkened room, maybe inject a minor sedative into your credulity for added effect and you're ready for five hours of Alien-inspired adventure. Filling in more of the gaps between the first two Alien films the five star cast propel this story at a simply steaming pace. With top notch production values just let your mind conjure those iconic images; the horse shoe space-ship, the Alien, the pods and test your sanity against the results. An epic in five hours!

Audible . . . one question . . . when's the next one coming out?

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50 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An excellent production of a good book

I was very pleasantly surprised by Out of the Shadows so when I heard this was coming I was looking forward to it.
The production is to the same high standards. The sound effects of pulse cannon fire, alien screams and even the door openings all help to immerse you in the tale.
The cast is very good though I did find Anna Friel's performance as Anne Jordan a little strange, almost like she wasn't sure of her lines.
The children were ok, no standout Newt lines this time though they did slip in a "mostly"
I was overjoyed to hear Mac McDonald, good old Captain Hollister himself return to the role of Simpson. This role was cut from the theatrical release of Aliens but was present in the Directors. He was brilliant as always.
The story isn't as interesting as Out of the Shadows. There are some nice extra plots like the research team and the first half builds the tension well. I appreciate the scenes with Ripley allow some time context, but seeing as most of them are just replays of scenes from Aliens they could easily have been reduced.
The story does introduce not really plot holes but much like in the previous story events that take some leaps of logic to explain.
Overall a satisfying production. I hope the third book Sea of Sorrows will follow soon and I would like to see other Alien universe audio book productions.

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12 people found this helpful

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Sheer quality, 5 stars!

This is a totally compelling and completely engrossing sci fi horror drama, it's nail biting, I've read the novel a few times and that was brilliant but this is the next level, if your a fan of Aliens you will be able to picture the setting, the tension builds and builds, until the inevitable final, the performances are wonderful, excellent casting choices, I recommend to all, you won't be disappointed!!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but ultimately disappointing

Any additional comments?

Having stumbled upon the excellent "Alien: Out of the Shadows" earlier in the year, I was excited to see the release of "Alien: River of Pain" and snapped it up as soon as I was able. I have to say, I'm disappointed with this audio drama. Without giving away too much, it's essentially a re-telling of the Aliens story, filling in some of the gaps around the colonists lives on LV-426. As such, there's very little originality on offer, and any fan of the movie will already know the outcome, so there are no great surprises. As it is, there is little new for the listener to discover or learn about the Alien universe.

The production is good and voice acting up to scratch - however, neither are as convincing nor as engaging as Out of the Shadows. I found way too much focus on the child characters, with too much time given to the Newt back story, and found them really quite irritating to listen to. The marine characters and their relationships came across as unconvincing as well as the stereotyped "scientist types" representing the Weyland Yutani corporation. Ripley is there, of course, but simply to provide background on the fate of the Nostromo and to pad out the unfolding events. Her involvement in the story, or lack thereof, is disappointing.

As a mechanism to flesh out some of the back story of the Aliens movie, specifically "what happened on LV-426", the audiobook serves its purpose. It's just a shame that Out of the Shadows set such a high bar for expanding and challenging the Aliens universe, as River of Pain feels like a real step backwards.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great!

This was a brilliant take on the Alien to Aliens story. Having never read the comics, I don't know if this was how they went but I really enjoyed this and wish there was an actual movie version of this made to show the events of Hadleys hope and its colonists. worth the listen!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Really wanted to like this, did not.

Any additional comments?

This is just a exercise in cashing in on the Alien story, and timed to come out with the upcoming release of "Covenant". The story is as expected with zero surprises for the doomed colony of Hadleys Hope on LV426 It does not work for a play of actors, nothing was particularity bad, it was just not good!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

"Mostly"...okay

Would you listen to Alien: River of Pain again? Why?

No I won't. It started off great, but the end spoiled it for me.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

They missed the part when they come out of cryo-sleep and Ripley finds out Bishop is an android when they are sat round the table in the mess. We weren't introduced to the marines before they head off to LV-426, and the story ends when Ripley first encounters Newt - a whole chunk is missing which could have been added which would have made the whole thing more interesting.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

I liked how the actor sounded like Ripley, but I thought they all were good.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. It lacked any emotion. If it went into more depth regarding the deaths and people being taken it might have held a deeper emotion for me, but it focused more on the fighting and the aliens. It wasn't gripping, scary or sad - it was all action, more like a video game.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, different, almost amazing

Would you listen to Alien: River of Pain again? Why?

I would. The sound was amazing. The performances was good. It just took too long for the aliens to arrive. I don't mind the story being character centred but I thought it could have had more aliens vs marines scenes.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like Newt. Very spirited young girl.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

All the performances were solid.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Arr, I don't know, the rivers of hell are flooding.

Any additional comments?

When it gets there it goes there. But the aliens arrive quiet late in the game. Ripley features only to show where the story relates to the films time scale. I liked what this achieved in sense of sound, performances and delivering a different audible experience. I think sound plays like this might be the future of audible.

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • gb
  • 25-05-18

Hmmm.... not believeable

OK, firstly i need to say that i really enjoyed Out of the Shadows! This story however pushes the boundries of credability Just too far.

If you follow the Alien saga and especially Aliens there is no mention of Colonial Marines but here we have a Squad! small arms fire and geological charges i think the film Aliens mentions! but these guys are packing Auto rifles!

The marines act in a totally pathetic manner, st trinians schooll would have been better for the casting!

The story lacks somthing i cant yet put my finger on but i feel its believability! when the the children first encounter a chest buster there is no fear (im not expecting traumatised child voice actors here but the writing turns it to whoaaa a monster!!)

Im now almost finished listening but i think i switched off a while back, i just want to know how they will finish it really but im not hanging on every word.

To many sayings copied from Aliens, the Words Facehugger and Alien seem to be used often when i feel there is no credability in the words.

We will see if this unbias review is posted rather than the semmingly continuous 5 stars its getting.

bad use of the real estate just to make a buck imho



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