Written by: Matt Molgaard
Alan Decker is a descendant of Ellen Ripley, he’s also stuck guiding a group of mercenaries through the supposedly abandoned mines of LV178. The problem is, those mines aren’t even remotely near abandoned. Even worse for Decker is the fact that the always feared Xenomorphs are somehow fully aware of Decker, and exactly who he is. Ripley was The Destroyer. This man bears relation, and that’s something these nasty critters aren’t about to ignore. On a mission to destroy Decker the alien creatures pour forth from the inner recesses of the mines, and Decker knows it. He’s linked by a mysterious mental connection to the monstrosities, which means he knows they’re coming, and he knows they’ll do everything in their power to turn him into flesh confetti. Can Decker survive such a harrowing confrontation? Are these mercenaries skilled and experienced enough to overcome the odds and prevail over their alien foe? Veteran author James A. Moore sets out to answer those questions.
I’ve come to a realization… I’m probably always going to love Alien. Not just Ridley Scott’s film, but every film in the franchise. And every comic book I’ve ever held between my fingers. And every novel I’ve gotten my grubby mitts on. Including Alien: Sea of Sorrows. It’s hard to go wrong with this material.
I’m not prepared to label Moore’s new tale the strongest of the franchise novels. Tim Lebbon’s spin, Out of the Shadows makes for a more engaging read, in my opinion, but I’m not about to dismiss James’ piece as subpar. This is an entertaining read, loaded with all kinds of acid bleeding killing machines, spider legged face huggers and unsuspecting mercs. There are a number of standout personalities in the tale (hard ass mercenary leader, Manning gets my vote as the stud of the story), a few vile characters (you’ll pick on Willis’ despicability immediately) and enough strong supporting figures to carry the story comfortably. A fun finale lies in wait, but Sea of Sorrows’ greatest quality may be the unrelenting pace. This is probably the most action packed Alien book I’ve read, and that’s worth some respect.
I’m not insanely familiar with Moore’s work. But he didn’t let me down in this instance. This is a strong enough installment in one of the sturdiest brands in entertainment history to earn thumbs up. I miss Ripley, no doubt about it, but Decker is a fair enough replacement. You’ll want to prep for some slight tonal shifts (between past Alien novels, be them original stories or outright novelizations), and a lineup of new characters, but you shouldn’t find too much difficulty in adjusting to the slightly unorthodox. Overall, this one is a savage beast of a read, and winner in my mind, no doubt about it.