The Road to The Predator… Alien: Invasion (The Rage War #2) – Book Review

For centuries Weyland-Yutani has tried to weaponize the aliens. Now someone has beaten them to it, sweeping through Yautja space and turning predator into prey. Faced with the overwhelming forces of the Rage, Earth envoys forge an unprecedented alliance with the Predators. Yet even the combined might of two races may not be enough to stop the carnage, as an unstoppable swarm of Xenomorphs topples planet after planet, penetrating ever deeper into the Human Sphere.’

Continuing on from the shocking events of The Rage War Book 1: Predator Incursion, the second part of the trilogy, whilst baring the name ‘Alien‘, takes a much deeper look into the Yautja creatures than the first book, bringing depth and personality to the mysterious alien hunters.

With the Rage now entering human space, Xenomorph soldiers have begun appearing on human inhabited worlds and outposts, as their masters use them to capture key strategic points. Whilst the first volume of the trilogy was all set up, this one begins to show the true horror of a controlled Xenomorph army.

Only hinted at in the Alien movies, here we get to see what swarms of the creatures are capable of, driven towards one goal. The scenes where the alien creatures attack human settlements are tense and horrifying, with wave after wave of the monsters tearing through beleaguered people. The book doesn’t shy away from how dangerous or terrifying these situations would be; and characters fall before the monstrous beasts, torn apart, or burned to death by acid blood.

The worst of these is the storyline that follows Johnny Mains, rescued from certain death at the last minute from the cliffhanger ending of book one. Both he and Lieder manage to survive certain death by the skin of their teeth, joining another group of excursionists; but then author Tim Lebbon continues to put them in ever increasing danger, revealing that their rescue wasn’t a reprieve, but actually more of a delay, as those around them continue to die, leaving the two of them the sole survivors yet again. The eventual deaths of these two characters comes as one of the hardest blows in the story, yet goes on to reinforce the brutal nature of the enemy mankind is facing.

Scientist Isa Pallant’s story is also expanded upon and her connection with the Yautja explored. Having been the human to usher in the unexpected peace between the two races, she becomes a figure of interest for them, with several Yautja protecting her from a distance. Over the course of the book this gives us insight into the Yautja in subtle ways and proves incredibly useful for the characters on more than one occasion.

The storyline that receives the most development in this second volume, however, is that of Lilya, the android fleeing the Rage with the secrets to their technology. Joined by the female Yautja Hashori, the two of them are stuck in a desperate game of cat and mouse as they flee from a Rage general and his army of Xenomorphs.

Forced to travel to a human space station to seek help, we get to see a Yautja not just fighting alongside a human on the battlefield, but coming into their home, talking to their leaders, and hanging out in their offices. It’s a strange and almost jarring scenario, seeing these huge hunters in such ordinary and mundane environments, but they give us an insight into both Hashori, and the Yautja in general, that we’ve never had before.

The Rage War continues to expand and increase in ferocity during the events of Alien: Invasion – The Rage War #2, and develops all of its large list of characters in new and interesting ways. The novel is filled with tension, horror, action and intrigue as it forges an alliance between humanity and the Yautja in order to combat the greatest threat the galaxy has ever known.

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