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It's Medieval carnage meets Alien as a pre-industrial society fights against extinction brought about by a massive infestation of Xenomorphs. Ataegina was an isolated world of medieval castles, varied cultures, and conquests, vibrant until the demons rose and spread relentless destruction. Swarms of lethal creatures with black husks, murderous claws, barbed tails and dreade It's Medieval carnage meets Alien as a pre-industrial society fights against extinction brought about by a massive infestation of Xenomorphs. Ataegina was an isolated world of medieval castles, varied cultures, and conquests, vibrant until the demons rose and spread relentless destruction. Swarms of lethal creatures with black husks, murderous claws, barbed tails and dreaded "tooth-tongues" raged through the lowlands, killing ninety percent of the planet's population. Terrified survivors fled to hidden mountain keeps where they eke out a meager existence. When a trio of young warriors discovers a new weapon, they see a chance to end this curse. To save humanity, the trio must fight their way to the tunnels of Black Smoke Mountain--the lair of the mythical Demon Mother.


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It's Medieval carnage meets Alien as a pre-industrial society fights against extinction brought about by a massive infestation of Xenomorphs. Ataegina was an isolated world of medieval castles, varied cultures, and conquests, vibrant until the demons rose and spread relentless destruction. Swarms of lethal creatures with black husks, murderous claws, barbed tails and dreade It's Medieval carnage meets Alien as a pre-industrial society fights against extinction brought about by a massive infestation of Xenomorphs. Ataegina was an isolated world of medieval castles, varied cultures, and conquests, vibrant until the demons rose and spread relentless destruction. Swarms of lethal creatures with black husks, murderous claws, barbed tails and dreaded "tooth-tongues" raged through the lowlands, killing ninety percent of the planet's population. Terrified survivors fled to hidden mountain keeps where they eke out a meager existence. When a trio of young warriors discovers a new weapon, they see a chance to end this curse. To save humanity, the trio must fight their way to the tunnels of Black Smoke Mountain--the lair of the mythical Demon Mother.

30 review for Aliens: Phalanx

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Howard

    I'm going to read this but come on. Your putting out alien fanfic over the Earthcore sequel after all these years. Shame.

  2. 4 out of 5

    innae

    I have pre-ordered this on Kindle and also on hardcover, because it’s Scott!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Hicks

    My review of ALIENS: PHALANX can be found at High Fever Books. I remember reading plenty of franchise crossovers with 20th Century Fox’s Aliens comic book tie-ins as a kid — we had Aliens vs Predator and a spate of sequels, which pitted two of Fox’s biggest science fiction horror alien phenomenas against one another; there was Judge Dredd vs Aliens, too; and even DC got in on the act with Superman/Aliens, Batman/Aliens, and Green Lantern versus Aliens. Scott Sigler’s opus borrows a bit from this My review of ALIENS: PHALANX can be found at High Fever Books. I remember reading plenty of franchise crossovers with 20th Century Fox’s Aliens comic book tie-ins as a kid — we had Aliens vs Predator and a spate of sequels, which pitted two of Fox’s biggest science fiction horror alien phenomenas against one another; there was Judge Dredd vs Aliens, too; and even DC got in on the act with Superman/Aliens, Batman/Aliens, and Green Lantern versus Aliens. Scott Sigler’s opus borrows a bit from this crossover idea of What If Aliens Fought [Insert Cool Idea For A Mashup Here], creating a fresh take on a popular, long-running property that’s unlike any other Aliens media tie-in that I’m familiar with. Rather than opting for the safer, tried and true formulas that are most commonly associated with Aliens, Sigler eschews all the usual stuff one might expect. There’s no cramped spaceship or starbase with an alien (or several) running amok onboard and there’s no heavily armed marines with itchy trigger fingers. Sigler, for the most part, does away with all that, presenting us with his riff on what an Aliens vs 300 crossover event might look like. While Aliens: Phalanx is set on the alien world of Ataegina, it’s borrows a lot from humanity’s ancient days. The humans that live on Ataegina are forced to live in underground habitats because the surface of their world is, quite literally, crawling with, as they call them, demons. After centuries of warfare between themselves and the alien threat, humanity has been decimated, leaving only a few surviving shelters, each of which are dependent on their mutually beneficial trading system. Ahiliyah is a runner, one of the young women who, with a small team, brave the surface of Ataegina to trade supplies between the various strongholds. She has grander ambitions, of course, but because she’s a woman of Lemeth Hold, a highly patriarchal society ruled by bloodline, her destiny is taken for granted and she is forbidden from training as a warrior. Sigler eschews the typical science fictions trappings of the Alien movies and leans hard into fantasy genre elements. There’s a lot of history behind the (for lack of a better term) present-day events confronting Ahiliyah, as well a lot of characters, and a more mythological, ancient history take on the proceedings here. Like most fantasy books (maybe even all?), it’s a thick book, requires a bit of patience, and even has a map right in its opening pages. Even though I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre, I found quite a lot to appreciate in Aliens: Phalanx. Honestly, if this weren’t an Aliens book, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it, but Aliens: Phalanx certainly does have that glossy, high-concept appeal of a big crossover mishmash, and the lingering questions of what would happen if an ancient society had to contend with these bugs certainly drew me in. What really piqued my interest the most, initially, was the way these societies of Ataegina have adapted and responded to the threat of the aliens (or demons, if you prefer). Lacking the advanced weaponry of Colonial Marines (something they’ve never even heard of), the runners live by a simple rule of avoidance. Ahiliyah’s fellow Lemethians have plenty of myths and stories about the demons, though, which give us a slightly different perspectives on their relationship to these beasts, how they view them, and they understand them and their place in the world. All these people have to survive on is guesswork and their wits. As much as I liked Sigler’s sideways approach to this story (and the oh-so-many questions it raised!), what I most appreciated was Ahiliyah’s journey. She’s a strong, brave heroine, and every time her mettle is tested she rises above and beyond the call of duty to protect her friends, her home, and her people. She is, simply put, an awesome, powerful force, and she makes for an excellent addition to Alien canon. The aliens may have acidic blood, but Ahiliyah has a spine of pure steel. And god, what I wouldn’t give now for an Ahiliyah/Ripley crossover…good lord, the pair these would make squaring off against some big nasties! The phalanx in the title, of course, comes from the ancient Greek’s rectangular military formation of spear-armed infantry. One must naturally wonder how well such an old technique would work, and how well this low-tech, Bronze Age-styled civilization would fare, against the nasty critters of the Alien universe. To say it gets complicated is probably underselling it, but you’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself. I have to applaud Sigler and Titan Books for being ballsy enough to do something so radically different than what’s expected. While there’s still plenty of bad-ass alien action to go around, this book’s a real nice change of pace from the standard Alien staples. If you’re a fan of ancient history and the Alien flicks, Aliens: Phalanx is right up your alley, no doubt. If you’re a fan of the Alien franchise looking for a taste of something different, something that hasn’t been tried yet, you’ll definitely want to give this one a shot. Even though it has a very different feel to it, and Sigler’s approach to the franchise is itself very different, this is most definitely an Alien story, through and through.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Swords & Spectres

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm a big fan of the alien franchise and have listened to the audio dramas on audible, but never read a book set in the Alien universe. So when I got the chance to see how Xenomorphs and a medieval world turned out, I jumped at the chance. I felt the story took a little while to get going as nothing of major consequence happens for a good while. The first part is mostly character building/world building etc ... but, considering the c I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm a big fan of the alien franchise and have listened to the audio dramas on audible, but never read a book set in the Alien universe. So when I got the chance to see how Xenomorphs and a medieval world turned out, I jumped at the chance. I felt the story took a little while to get going as nothing of major consequence happens for a good while. The first part is mostly character building/world building etc ... but, considering the characters suffer from a fair bit of stereotyping (if you're big for your age, you're super strong and want to be a warrior. If you short and weak, you will be the most intelligent thing on two legs. If you're a girl in a male dominant world and just happen to be the main character, you're destined to break the mould.) there didn't seem to be massive need for too much development. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing where the main characters are concerned as they are likeable and, despite the above mentioned stereotyping, quite interesting to read about. There's a lot of conflict, some good-natured, some not, between them and it really adds something to the book. Character work becomes a bit more of a problem when the secondary characters come into things. The ones I mean more than any are the rulers of the city. They are just so childish that any scene with them in just feels like how I'd expect a fifteen year old to write a councillor scene. Far too much petty squabbles (which I know do happen in real life, but they make themselves seem so childish and petty in front of actual children). The councillors aside, I didn't really have any massive issues with any of the characters. Even liked the majority of them. There were a few moments, when things got going, that made me force myself to stay awake so I could keep reading. When Scott wants to get the pulse going, he really knows how. There's nothing like feeling a part of the scene, as a reader, when the characters are being hunted by xenomorphs. More than once I could feel my excitement rising and my pulse racing. There were a fair few time jumps. Not massive ones but more like at the end of a chapter it would say 'so and so is still two days walk from here'. The next chapter would be inside the gates of the city that was two days walk without any mention of what happened in between. Not a massive issue but it took some getting used to. The story itself is an interesting one and, as a reader, I was constantly curious as to why things were as they were and how things would pan out. So I had plenty of incentive as far as page turning goes. Always a good sign. I did feel certain elements of the plot came a little too easily to the characters. A certain weapon for instance and just how one of the characters was so smart that no problem was unsolvable to him. It also, at times, felt nothing like a medieval world. If I'm honest, had the word medieval not been in the blurb, there's very little that would make a reader think that was the time period being aimed for. The ending was a fairly good one even if it did suffer slightly from the 'certain things' happening too easily or too conveniently aspect I mentioned earlier. But, as a whole, it was a really fun and enjoyable read. I'm certainly glad I picked it up and the lasting feeling of having enjoyed it is what's made me score it so highly. Anyone who feels a bit put off for not having read any previous alien books, you can jump in without any prior knowledge of the plot lines already established (I did). It feels like a stand alone that will have little to no bearing on the future of the franchise story lines. Obviously, I could be wrong in that. Ps ... absolutely gorgeous cover. Love a savage alien!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Hexter

    I have not yet read any of the other Aliens novels, but I have read Sigler’s fiction before. And if this is an example of the style of the other Aliens books, I will be reading them. Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Scott Sigler and his books. I pre-ordered this book and I was going to buy this book even if it sucked. It was great! It tied into ideas that are suggested by the movies, and like the movies has sections that are suspenseful and violent. But it also has sections that appropriately I have not yet read any of the other Aliens novels, but I have read Sigler’s fiction before. And if this is an example of the style of the other Aliens books, I will be reading them. Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Scott Sigler and his books. I pre-ordered this book and I was going to buy this book even if it sucked. It was great! It tied into ideas that are suggested by the movies, and like the movies has sections that are suspenseful and violent. But it also has sections that appropriately suggest how a pre-industrial society could discover a way to combat these creatures. Also: I listened to the audiobook version. The reader did an excellent job voicing the different characters, and I particularly enjoyed the voicing of a particular less-than-likeable main character. To my ear, there was a “Beavis and Butt-Head” vibe giving on. And it fits!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Deal

    The most different alien book out there. Scott Sigler is one of the best doing it right now. This was wonderful.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eric Schaechtele

    Fast, fun read. I started this one at work and finished it when I got home in the morning. The main core of characters are very likable even if one is supposed to be a sarcastic ass. I never knew that I needed a story of aliens vs medieval weapons and tactics but boy was I missing out all these years. I would have liked more xenomorphs early on but the end battle more than made up for it

  8. 4 out of 5

    Keith Hughes

    Scott has crafted a unique story that show us the affects and a xenomorph horde in a way we've never seen before. While the culture of the humans scrabbling to survive in an alien-dominated world is different from what this franchise has previously offers, the author delivers a final battle and confrontation sequence worthy of James Cameron. Scott delivers a tight story that is perfect for the established Alien fan, as well as those who are unfamiliar with the franchise. Recommended!

  9. 4 out of 5

    BigJohn

    I've not read any of the Alien supplemental novels, but I have seen all of the movies in the franchise and I guess you could say I'm a fan. So when I heard Scott Sigler was writing a story in the Alien universe, I was very excited. I know his favorite movie is Aliens, and he had a very well-received short story that he wrote back in 2015 called Dangerous Prey - a story written from the perspective of one of the alien xenomorphs. Generally, however, I'm not a big fan of Space Marines stories. I do I've not read any of the Alien supplemental novels, but I have seen all of the movies in the franchise and I guess you could say I'm a fan. So when I heard Scott Sigler was writing a story in the Alien universe, I was very excited. I know his favorite movie is Aliens, and he had a very well-received short story that he wrote back in 2015 called Dangerous Prey - a story written from the perspective of one of the alien xenomorphs. Generally, however, I'm not a big fan of Space Marines stories. I don't have anything particular against them, I just do not find the majority of the setting unique or interesting enough to invest much time in pursuing. What luck! This story is set in a bronze-age type of environment that has become overrun with xenomorphs, and has to learn how to survive against The Demons. The story is one of terrified colonists trying to eke out a meager existence while the governing class is distracted by petty squabbling, jingoism and isolationism. Instead of working together against a common threat, they are stuck in "the way things have always been" and are uninterested in making change. Some of the younger generation have discovered a weapon they want to use to eradicate the persistent and terrifying threat of the xenomorphs, but they need to convince the government to rise up instead of hiding. The story is full of great character development, with many compelling - even if selfish - reasons to join one side of the argument or the other. The world-building is exquisite, if isolated. The scope of their world is limited to what appears to be a continent on a planet, with acknowledged outsiders to the North. So the story is not really a locked-room mystery, but with no way out the residents seem to have no choice other than to hide or die. Enter the weapon. Once it has been discovered, it has the potential to change the entire dynamic of their society. But nothing can be done without the support of the government. The story flips between the terror of Alien encounters and the mundanity of government. But the storytelling is compelling and drags the reader along the emotional path of fear to frustration. I really enjoyed this story and would love to read more by Sigler in this world, or see whether there are other types of Alien stories that move away from the colonial marines that are as compelling.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Callum

    A brand new take on the Alien books. Some great moments with mediaeval battle formations and some nice moments of the hunted and the hunter. However for me it fails short on what I was hoping for. Horror, there's no horror with the Aliens just left out during most of the character development that I didn't really care for. Battles are made but I just felt left short for a real war. Read if you're an Alien fan as it's a nice addition to the series but don't expect to be blown away.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Horror great Scott Sigler stamps his own brand of terror on the Aliens franchise When I heard Scott Sigler was writing a standalone novel for the long running Aliens franchise, I was in two minds over whether this was a project worthy of such a cool author. I have been a long-term fan of Sigler for well over a decade and have read every word ever published and if you are unfamiliar with his output: let me give it to you straight up - Scott Sigler has created monsters which would fuck the Xeomorph Horror great Scott Sigler stamps his own brand of terror on the Aliens franchise When I heard Scott Sigler was writing a standalone novel for the long running Aliens franchise, I was in two minds over whether this was a project worthy of such a cool author. I have been a long-term fan of Sigler for well over a decade and have read every word ever published and if you are unfamiliar with his output: let me give it to you straight up - Scott Sigler has created monsters which would fuck the Xeomorph into the middle of next month. My principal worry was whether the constraints of the Aliens franchise (acid for blood etc) would hold back the multi-dimensional imagination of the Future Doom Overlord (FDO), as his hardcore fans like to call him. I was proven to be correct; in Aliens: Phalanx Sigler plays by the franchise rules we are all familiar with, making the backbone of the story eerily familiar and somewhat predictable. In his other fiction ‘predictable’ is not a word I would ever associate with this master of crazy over-the-top horror and science fiction. Ultimately the Aliens themselves are a faceless enemy which work better on the big-screen and in book format they’re a rather monotonous adversary, which just keep coming, and the story is never seen from their point of view. We all know how deadly these creatures are and that makes them rather boring. Sigler handles these drawbacks admirably by creating an amazingly well drawn world and I could not help wondering how the medieval planet of Ataegina would have been like if it had a genuine Sigler created ‘beast’, instead of the tired old Xenomorphs? Chances are it would have been a much better book. For a start, in most of Sigler’s fiction the ‘enemy’ does have a point of view, this is sorely lacking in Aliens: Phalanx. Aliens franchise or not this is still an excellent Scott Sigler novel and if you’re a fan of his high-octane action sequences, gory violence and tough characters there is much to enjoy here. He most definitely stamps his mark of authority on a franchise which could do with some new ideas. Compared to some of his earlier fiction the violence is slightly toned down and considering how dangerous the Xenomorphs are, Sigler makes the brave decision of setting it on a world with no guns or modern technology. Ouch. The action picks up around fifty years after the Xenormorph invasion and mankind has all been wiped out apart from the last bastions which hide in underground or camouflaged and boobytrapped forts, which hold the last few thousand survivors. Food and supplies are short, and many are running on empty. Many people have never been outside and in a chunky book of over 500 pages a fair bit of time is spent setting the scene, introducing the culture, leaders, and the dynamics surrounding the society, the Aliens themselves are largely absent for the first 200 pages. I’m now going to drop the use of the term ‘Xenomorph’ as the technical term used in the novel is ‘Demons’ and we quickly find out that virtually nobody has ever killed a Demon, those that do are held in the highest of esteem and are referred to as ‘Demon Killers’. As there is no technology, radios etc, the story is built around nineteen-year-old Ahiliyah who is the lead runner of a crew of three. Runners have the crucial and incredibly dangerous job of ferrying medicine, goods, trade and messages between the various underground forts. Early in the story the famous line uttered by Newt in the second film is paraphrased: “Because the demons mostly come at night.” There is an incredibly high mortality rate for runners, many set out and are quite simply never heard of again, being picked off by the creatures. They are trained to commit suicide before risking capture, as although they don’t know the exact details, they suspect victims who are carried off alive are being used for something nasty. If you’ve seen the films, you know what is in store for them. Ahiliyah is a great lead character, ably supported by her two even younger runners, Creen and Brandun. As part of their culture/law all teenage girls make ten ‘runs’ and get a tattoo after each is completed and boys only have to make five as many will end up as warriors. Much of the human conflict in the novel revolves around the fact that Ahiliyah dreams of being a warrior, a position forbidden to girls. The plot is built around the politics of the various underground forts, their double-dealing, some of which may remind you of Dune, and Ahiliyah is convinced the behaviour of the Demons is changing, but none of the elders believe her. They are old and set in their ways and Sigler has fun clashing the young with the old. As everybody know how dangerous the Demons are, you may wonder why there are any people left at all? Or why all runners aren’t killed straight away? This was very cool, they wear a type of ‘hidey suit’ which acts as camouflage when travelling, these journeys could be anything from a couple of days to two weeks or longer, carrying huge loads. This is only a small part of a very detailed and believable world for Sigler to let his imagination run wild. The action sequences are worth hanging around for and in the second half you’ll realise why the novel is called Phalanx and there are some stunning fights reminiscent of ‘Custer’s Last Stand’ with a huge body-count mashed up with The 300. Scott Sigler throws in enough spicy curveballs to give the defenders a slim chance as it hurtles towards its conclusion. If you want to know more about the fiction of Scott Sigler check out my article Ten Years of Bleeding with Scott Sigler over at Ink Heist: https://inkheist.com/2019/03/06/ten-y... Finally, it’s a well-known fact that Scott Sigler inserts his major fans, ‘the Junkies’, into his novels as a mark of appreciation and endearment. I, ‘Tony Jones’ am proud to appear in two Galactic Football League books, here’s a brief excerpt from The Champion which was a very cool moment for this Junkie of many, many years… “Tony Jones barrelled in on all fours from Quentin’s right, Katan the Beheader from Quentin’s left. Tony’s hands shot out, a slow-motion attempt to grab Quentin under the shoulder pads, stand him up, block-destruct and toss him aside. Quentin turned sideways and drove in, sliding between the wide hands as he threw his armored right elbow forward – it smashed into Tony’s facemask, knocking the big head back.” Scott Sigler most definitely blasts new life into a tired old franchise; but the reality is simple, Aliens: Phalanx is an appetizer for the main events….. The Gangster (Galactic Football League Book 6) and Mount Fitzroy (sequel to Earthcore) of which there have been rumours for years. Whilst we wait for these new books from the main Siglerverse, Aliens: Phalanx was a worthwhile distraction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    DZ

    The writing was extraordinarily juvenile and the amount of cursing pulled me from the story and therefore the overall immersion. Clearly the authors command of the English language ended at 3rd grade as it mostly consists of four letter words and crass humor. You of course have the tried and true gender politics thrown in for good measure. The author failed to make the protagonist anything better than a stereotypical female lead. The world I found to be interesting but not what one would conside The writing was extraordinarily juvenile and the amount of cursing pulled me from the story and therefore the overall immersion. Clearly the authors command of the English language ended at 3rd grade as it mostly consists of four letter words and crass humor. You of course have the tried and true gender politics thrown in for good measure. The author failed to make the protagonist anything better than a stereotypical female lead. The world I found to be interesting but not what one would consider medieval. Read if you’re bored and devoid of anything else worthwhile.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darth Dragonetti

    Aliens: Phalanx" is a 2020 novel by Scott Sigler. The novel tells a standalone story that is not connected to any of the other Aliens novels or comics. Whether you're a seasoned Alien reader or it's your first time 'round, this is an excellent novel for anyone looking to enjoy a fantastic story from a fantastic property. The plot of "Phalanx" is unlike any other novel from the Alien franchise. A pre-industrial society lives in a world infested by xenomorphs. The people of this world reside in mou Aliens: Phalanx" is a 2020 novel by Scott Sigler. The novel tells a standalone story that is not connected to any of the other Aliens novels or comics. Whether you're a seasoned Alien reader or it's your first time 'round, this is an excellent novel for anyone looking to enjoy a fantastic story from a fantastic property. The plot of "Phalanx" is unlike any other novel from the Alien franchise. A pre-industrial society lives in a world infested by xenomorphs. The people of this world reside in mountain strongholds where they cower in terror from the aliens. When an opportunity presents itself to help fight the demon menace, those who see the writing on the wall must work to convince the others to take up arms and end the demon menace once and for all. The above synopsis isn't terribly specific; specificity would be difficult without ruining the excellent plot of the novel. But I can safely say that author Sigler has, without a doubt, crafted one of the most original and refreshing plots of any Alien novel to date. The story combines a classic science fiction property with a fantasy setting, and the result is a terribly unique tale that works well as both Alien story and as just a standalone story in general. The pace of the plot is a little slow at first, but once it picks up, you won't be able to pry your eyes from the page. Excellent characterization is another feather in the cap of "Phalanx." All of the main players are extremely well-drawn, with memorable personalities and traits, and each character is developed in an important way through the course of the novel. Sigler is a master at making you think certain ways about certain characters, but then casting them in another light later on. This dynamic gives the novel real depth when exploring the psychology of its characters. Occasionally, though, I found myself getting inundated with too many characters. Many people in the colony are mentioned by name, and they may only appear once, so you may find yourself with a few too many names bouncing around in your head, but it does serve to humanize the settlement. I appreciated the strong female characters; this is in keeping with Alien tradition. Quality writing is yet another positive component to the novel. The author has a knack for detailed description, and makes you feel as if you are there, experiencing what the cast experiences. A few times, the writing style and some dialogue came across as reminiscent of a young adult novel, but this was but a minor annoyance, and really comes down to personal preference. I was impressed with the world and society that Mr. Sigler came up with. There is a depth to the culture, but while unique, the fictional culture of the world still mirrors our own culture in ways with which we can empathize. The author challenges gender roles, methods of leadership, and tradition for the sake of tradition, all issues our society deals with today. Myriad emotions are explored in the book, and they run the gamut from fear, anger, terror, hope, hopelessness, nationalism, and more, creating a real emotional roller coaster of a novel. I was also in awe of the author's ability to fit so many big audience pleasing moments into a cohesive story. You'll experience everything from classic Alien horror, to fantasy world building, to epic battles, to science fiction wonder, and the book does it in a way that works so well, and will still leave you invested in the characters and rooting for them to overcome their insidious foes. I cannot find enough good things to say about "Aliens: Phalanx." In an age where the Alien concept has started to sag, along come Scott Sigler and Titan Books, and I'll be darned if they didn't knock this one out of the park. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. You won't be disappointed, and you'll experience one of the most original and refreshing Alien books to be published to date. "Phalanx" is quality tie-in fiction at its best, and even better, science fiction at its best.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Kern

    Scott Sigler is my favorite author. This book held my attention for every page. I loved it cover to cover. 5 Stars are not enough!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cherise

    It’s an excellent story, but leaned a bit too far out of sci-fi into fantasy for my personal taste. Still, an enjoyable read and a fresh entry into the Alien canon.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian Anderson

    So, ya, not going to lie, I was nervous about this book. I’m a huge fan of Scot’s and a lifelong “Aliens” certified fanboy. Sometimes, though, when you hear two of your favorite things are coming together, you clench up a bit. Doesn’t always work out well. Except for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They knocked it out of the park. Boy, that fear was unfounded. This story rocked. Couldn’t put it down. I had to, ‘cause I had work to do, but man, never enjoyed staying up late to read a book this much. I So, ya, not going to lie, I was nervous about this book. I’m a huge fan of Scot’s and a lifelong “Aliens” certified fanboy. Sometimes, though, when you hear two of your favorite things are coming together, you clench up a bit. Doesn’t always work out well. Except for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They knocked it out of the park. Boy, that fear was unfounded. This story rocked. Couldn’t put it down. I had to, ‘cause I had work to do, but man, never enjoyed staying up late to read a book this much. If you’re a fan of the “Aliens” franchise, you’ll love the steaming acid blood out of this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This book was FIRE!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Piggie

    This is a wonderful new take on the Aliens universe. I love that the focus of the novel is on the people rather than the aliens. It takes a close look at the way that war and horror effect the human mind and heart. It is a well told story. Nothing really surprising; no super creative story twists. But it didn't need them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy Walker

    Titan Books have been publishing some really good Alien books recently. They've provided adaptations of existing entries in the series such as Alien Isolation, tie-in's to the comics like Alien: Prototype, and completely new stories like Alien: Cold Forge. Every book has brought something new to the table, whether it be a new type of Xenomorph, or a new insight to an existing story. But I don't think any of the Alien books are as different, or as bold as Alien: Phalanx. The thing that immediately Titan Books have been publishing some really good Alien books recently. They've provided adaptations of existing entries in the series such as Alien Isolation, tie-in's to the comics like Alien: Prototype, and completely new stories like Alien: Cold Forge. Every book has brought something new to the table, whether it be a new type of Xenomorph, or a new insight to an existing story. But I don't think any of the Alien books are as different, or as bold as Alien: Phalanx. The thing that immediately sets this book apart from the others is the fact that it's not really a science fiction story. Other than the presence of the Xenomorph, this is a fantasy story. It's set on another world, a world where nations have risen and fallen, where humans have their own societies that trade with each other, plot against each other, and distrust each other based on the gods they worship or the way they treat their women. Much of the story of Alien: Phalanx is such a human, personal story, set within a world we've never seen before that at times I sometimes forgot that this was actually an Alien story. And I want to make it clear, that's not a bad thing at all. I was never waiting for the creatures to turn up, never found myself sitting through scenes I found dull or variations of things we've seen before waiting for the action to happen. It was a change I didn't know I wanted, but loved so much. Most Alien stories will show you a group of people living their lives, whether they're colonists, or people on a ship, who end up in a situation where a Xenomorph either arrives or escapes from some kind of lab. Then it's a desperate fight to survive and escape. Not here. Here we had a world where the Xenomorphs have already been around for decades, where there are people who have no concept of a life or society that isn't built around surviving these creatures. The humans of Ataegina are living underground, hidden away in ancient strongholds that have been repurposed into cities. In order for these cities to survive they need to trade for important things with other cities. This is where we find out lead characters for the book, runners who have to make the dangerous trek across the surface from place to place gathering supplies. Instead of the cramped hallways and tunnels that are usually the places to be afraid of, now it's the outside world. The people feel safe in their confined tunnels, whilst going for a stroll in the woods is an almost guaranteed death sentence. The change that Sigler makes, to flip the expectations upon the readers is something so obvious, yet something I can't really remember having seen before. The Xenomorphs are things that live in the outside, that keep humans trapped away, living inside their own warren of tunnels. The fact that this is a pre-industrial world makes a huge difference too, as there is nothing for the humans to fight back with. No guns, no explosives, nothing. Readers learn very early on that there are simple rules to survive in this world, stay quiet, stay hidden, and if one of them comes for you, you kill yourself. The fact that the people of this world have only one solution to a Xenomorph attack, kill yourself before they take you, is one of the most chilling things I think I've ever read in an Alien book. The moments where characters are forced to stand still as a Xenomorph comes past them, or sneak around knowing that the creatures are there somewhere, are some of the most tense and horrifying moments I've read in an Alien novel, and I loved every moment of it. I won't go into too much detail about plot and characters, as I think this is a story best experienced with a little warning or knowledge as possible to get the most out of it, but I will say that the story did things that I was not expecting, went in fascinating new directions, and drew me in more than any other Alien story. These were characters that I spent a lot of time getting to know in the quieter moments, and a world I ended up really fascinated with. There were times I really struggled to put the book down because I just wanted to read more and more. I hope that this is the start of a trend for the Titan Alien stories, where we get more unusual takes on the formula, and writers take bigger chances. I also hope that Scott Sigler gets to play with this universe again, as the imagination and energy he brought to it was absolutely amazing. I'd even love to read a follow-up book to this one, even if it doesn't have a single Xenomorph in it; because I would love to spend more time with the characters and their world. Alien: Phalanx is an amazing combination of a traditional fantasy novel, mixed with the horror of the Alien franchise. It's a book that sent me on a roller-coaster of emotions, that had me wishing it was twice as long, and makes me eager to see what the author does next. Easily in my top ten books of the year.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I don't have high standards for Alien franchise books, every once in awhile I'm surprised when one is truly great, like The Cold Forge, this one however was just okay. The premise of a world where a human colony crashed, was forgotten and reverts back to middle-age technology while fighting the Xenomorphs is a neat idea. There's a kernel of something unique in that could spark into life against the right characters. But the characters in Phalanx are just awful, boring, predictable cardboard trop I don't have high standards for Alien franchise books, every once in awhile I'm surprised when one is truly great, like The Cold Forge, this one however was just okay. The premise of a world where a human colony crashed, was forgotten and reverts back to middle-age technology while fighting the Xenomorphs is a neat idea. There's a kernel of something unique in that could spark into life against the right characters. But the characters in Phalanx are just awful, boring, predictable cardboard tropes, cartoonish in their limited confines, obnoxious in their self righteous morality, and worst of all - they're teenagers. I love the franchise, warts and all, so I read/watch and appreciate all of these on some level. Under any circumstances I would have eventually listened to this, most likely would have waited for it at the library, or got it on a 2-for-1 or sale, but I was several weeks into pandemic isolation quarantine after the anxiety had faded but deep into the daze of days where the ability concentrate and make meaningful connections had evaporated and I found myself needing comfort foods, fleece, and non attention demanding entertainment. This seemed like the perfect choice - and it was adequate enough. If I found myself staring at the wall having lost the track of time and the thread of the story, there was no need to rewind or wonder if I'd missed anything important. I'm undecided about Bronson Pinchot as a narrator and this offering left me sitting on the fence. His characterization of one of the teens was distinct, and very annoying, so much so I couldn't tell if he was overdoing it or if he was just that good of an actor to make me hate the character. This is offering is only for a devotee of the franchise or a young adult - if you are fresh into your Alien journey, there are much better offerings out there to occupy you till you have to suffice on these dregs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    James Big Cat

    The elevator pitch for Phalanx is amazing, Xenomorphs + medieval setting. The three main characters are all teenagers who have to prove their salt but doing 'runs' between the different settlements on Ataegina. Runs are carrying supplies, messages, etc from one place to another while surviving off the land and avoiding the "demons" for days at a time. This all sounds awesome except I felt bored most of the time. The first third is all about the world, its alien flora and fauna, the politics and e The elevator pitch for Phalanx is amazing, Xenomorphs + medieval setting. The three main characters are all teenagers who have to prove their salt but doing 'runs' between the different settlements on Ataegina. Runs are carrying supplies, messages, etc from one place to another while surviving off the land and avoiding the "demons" for days at a time. This all sounds awesome except I felt bored most of the time. The first third is all about the world, its alien flora and fauna, the politics and economics of the settlements, and even starts with a xenomorph encounter. The author does a good job describing the different animals, their noises, and how humans use them to signal one another. As well as the different plants and herbs and their applications. Then the story continues onto some intrigue involving a three-way trade between colonies and one of them trying to recruit the main character. When the trio goes to their last stop they find it sacked by demons and the story starts to fall back into the alien formula we all love. I can pinpoint where in the story drew me back in, there is a scene where the main character pretty much plays Warhammer with an old crippled veteran who tried to take on the aliens years before. After this scene, the story starts to feel more like a Black Company or Warhammer novel with the research and training after they develop a means of fighting the demons. The tactics and formations used in the caves and tunnels are awesome and oddly satisfying. I'll skip the "plot twist" at the end, overall It's an okay addition to the franchise. I think my biggest upset with the book was my own expectations, I was imagining a more military fantasy-like story instead of low-tech sci-fi teenager's.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Schwister

    If you like aliens and fantasy, or a good thriller, or a well made world, or even just a good overall book, I would definitely suggest reading this one. This was a great book, I loved the new take that I never would have thought of to the alien universe in a lot of ways. I feel writing a book about the xenomorphs is an tightrope work, and the fans of the world can be a bit harsh, but getting such a fresh twist to the creature is refreshing and exhilarating. I really have to nod at the pacing bei If you like aliens and fantasy, or a good thriller, or a well made world, or even just a good overall book, I would definitely suggest reading this one. This was a great book, I loved the new take that I never would have thought of to the alien universe in a lot of ways. I feel writing a book about the xenomorphs is an tightrope work, and the fans of the world can be a bit harsh, but getting such a fresh twist to the creature is refreshing and exhilarating. I really have to nod at the pacing being incredibly well done in this. Immediately, first page, you get a xenomorph. Right away, you get a teasing of the creature you came for but you stay for the story. It was so well done, I have to appreciate it. The world building was also so well balanced and paced, the characters were interesting and only grew more interesting as the story unfolded. I found myself about 30% through the book when I found myself unable to put it down. That is a feat in of itself. Personal opinions: I am mad my favorite character died at the VERY END. I feel it keeps happening. Herriet was my second favorite and I am so glad she continued to grow as she did as you learned more about her. I found a guy writing a female perspective interesting, as I usually don't see that. Still well done, mostly bringing up as I enjoy seeing different point of views. Minor spoiler: I wish Aliyah end up with Brandun or Creen over Tolio, personal gripe. Tolio was a wallflower. My book was 509 pages! Goodreads, what on earth?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Barbeler

    As a fan of both the Alien franchise and of Scott Sigler, I approached this book with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Some Alien expanded universe content is... not great. But Scott does not disappoint. This book is one of my favourite things to happen to the Alien franchise in years. It almost makes up for the shitshows that were Prometheus and Alien Covenant. This book is one of the most unique takes on the xenomorph ever, and achieves the rare feat of adding to the lore of the xenoverse As a fan of both the Alien franchise and of Scott Sigler, I approached this book with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Some Alien expanded universe content is... not great. But Scott does not disappoint. This book is one of my favourite things to happen to the Alien franchise in years. It almost makes up for the shitshows that were Prometheus and Alien Covenant. This book is one of the most unique takes on the xenomorph ever, and achieves the rare feat of adding to the lore of the xenoverse without making it worse. It takes place in a pre-industrial society where humans live in holds built into the mountains. The humans live in fear of the black-skinned demons that crawl over the island continent of Ataegina. Any humans that fall into their grasp are killed, or carried off to Black Smoke Mountain: the lair of the demon mother. The book never once calls the xenos aliens - to the people of Ataegina, they're demons. Their presence carries with it the heft of a mythical monster, and the demons really are scary. The characters are great, and Scott has a talent for writing lovable jerks. He writes characters that you should hate, but they grow on you like warts. (I'm looking at you, Creen). Anyway, great book, best thing to happen to the Alien franchise in years - go read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Lynch

    First off, I think it’s necessary to start this off thanking Scott Sigler. This book breathes some new life into a franchise that’s seemingly done everything imaginable. Aliens: Phalanx is very much a blend of fantasy and horror, much more than a blend of scifi/horror. We’re thrust into a world of bronze armor and spears. A world that has been decimated by the threat of the xenomorph. The world of Ataegina is populated by pockets of civilization that struggle just to survive, finding it necessary First off, I think it’s necessary to start this off thanking Scott Sigler. This book breathes some new life into a franchise that’s seemingly done everything imaginable. Aliens: Phalanx is very much a blend of fantasy and horror, much more than a blend of scifi/horror. We’re thrust into a world of bronze armor and spears. A world that has been decimated by the threat of the xenomorph. The world of Ataegina is populated by pockets of civilization that struggle just to survive, finding it necessary to scavenge and barter for supplies. At the request of the author note in the beginning, I don’t want to say to much to avoid spoilers, but it’s worth noting that this setting works exceptionally well, it feels completely different than anything I’ve experienced from the franchise and even if the book were removed from the IP, it would still be a very entertaining read. Phalanx is filled with compelling characters, including one of the best female protagonists the series has ever had. When I finished Phalanx, despite the length of the novel, I didn’t want it to be over. Sigler had me spellbound from start to finish and unless you have a dislike for ancient civilizations or fantasy settings, I believe you’ll love it too. 4.5 out of 5 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy Braun

    Scott Sigler is one of my favourite sci fi and horror authors, so he was the perfect fit to tell this story. And I LOVED IT. Everything you could ever want from an Alien story was in here. Sigler's clear love for the series shows, and the new world he creates adds a unique twist to the franchise. Every character was spectacular. Aliyah is one of the most powerful and motivated female characters in the franchise, a resourceful warrior who refuses to give up despite impossible circumstances. It to Scott Sigler is one of my favourite sci fi and horror authors, so he was the perfect fit to tell this story. And I LOVED IT. Everything you could ever want from an Alien story was in here. Sigler's clear love for the series shows, and the new world he creates adds a unique twist to the franchise. Every character was spectacular. Aliyah is one of the most powerful and motivated female characters in the franchise, a resourceful warrior who refuses to give up despite impossible circumstances. It took me a while to warm up to Creen, but Brandun was by far my favourite with his big, honest heart. There was plenty of action and adventure and tense moments, and nearly every creature and entity from the Alien series made an appearance. Plenty of scenes filled me with dread, particularly when the facehuggers arrived. I got literal chills and truly felt grossed out. I had high expectations, and Sigler knocked it out of the park. Anyone who is a fan of the Aliens franchise will enjoy this fresh take on the lore, and if sci fi horror is something you enjoy, this is an absolute must have. I was addicted to it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ziggy Nixon

    4 stars. Surprisingly NOT an easy book to rate even though I enjoyed it immensely. At the request of Sir Sigler, I've done my best here NOT to provide any spoilers. First and foremost, this IS a Scott Sigler book, an author that has entered the upper echelon of my faves over the past years. So yes, you're going to get and DO get really great characters with a wide variety of personalities, strengths and weaknesses. And yes, those play off each other in a variety of cool, unique, unexpected and ul 4 stars. Surprisingly NOT an easy book to rate even though I enjoyed it immensely. At the request of Sir Sigler, I've done my best here NOT to provide any spoilers. First and foremost, this IS a Scott Sigler book, an author that has entered the upper echelon of my faves over the past years. So yes, you're going to get and DO get really great characters with a wide variety of personalities, strengths and weaknesses. And yes, those play off each other in a variety of cool, unique, unexpected and ultimately well-written ways. Oh, and let's not forget, because it is an SS book, quite a number of these individuals meet gruesome and/or surprisingly tragic (or deserved) ends. So check all that off your list because it's here. Where the book becomes difficult to rate, however, arises from the fact that it is meant to be part of the ALIENs universe. As in I want 300 pages of horrific, acid-dripping horror! However, for the first-half of "Aliens:Phalanx", well, they're rather superfluous to the plot. Instead, and really up to the point the vootervert droppings start hitting the oscillating wind circulation device, we could have had our protagonists face rabid weevils for all they did rather than the famous monsters of science fiction we all know and love. In many ways, the first half of the book is a young adult coming of age story set - albeit a better-than-average written one - on the surface (or below thereof) of an alien (oops) planet. It's not bad, true, but not what we came looking for, certainly not when you know and love Sigler's chops for horror and truly edge-of-your-seat suspense! The action though does pick up in the 2nd half of the book, even though some bits aren't that convincing (pointy sticks to the rescue!) nor surprising (Black Smoke Mountain... 'nuff said). The final battles aren't bad though I wish we could have spent more time exploring various aspects during the climax (that's what she/he said!) including the requisite appearance of a synthoid that may or may not have had something to do with starting the whole mess anyway. OK, no more here because it gets seriously spoil-y from here on. In the end though, this book grew on me, including the hours after I stopped reading (a critical thing as I try to put my books down and let them stew a few hours before serving up my comments here in the goodreads kitchen... mixed metaphors notwithstanding). And I confess I was probably influenced by my expectations after my one and only experience with an 'Alien' book - specifically the original Alan Dean Foster adaptation that was even better than the movie (imho) - but Sigler has certainly not offered anything that discourages me from trying out other titles of this ilk. And yes, the final scenes certainly have the 'Alien' vibe to them, namely, nothing is fully explained to complete satisfaction (eg where did the, um, "Yankees" come from anyway? And how come it is some words are misspelled and based on the local dialect but they can all curse like fans at a Knicks game?). But that's one aspect I've always loved about these stories/movies, namely, that they do make for good discussions and debates when all is said and done! Enjoy!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolina Casas

    Part dark medieval fantasy adventure with the demons (aka Xenos to this lost human colony who have regressed to a medieval society) and the protagonist and her fellow runners, sharing similarities with Beowulf and his legendary fights with Grendel and Grendel's mother, and part cosmic horror, this is a novel that not only scifi fans and loyal followers of the Alien franchise will enjoy, history buffs will have a blast reading this as well. I loved the world building, the level of detail that wen Part dark medieval fantasy adventure with the demons (aka Xenos to this lost human colony who have regressed to a medieval society) and the protagonist and her fellow runners, sharing similarities with Beowulf and his legendary fights with Grendel and Grendel's mother, and part cosmic horror, this is a novel that not only scifi fans and loyal followers of the Alien franchise will enjoy, history buffs will have a blast reading this as well. I loved the world building, the level of detail that went into every aspect of these medieval societies, their customs, their beliefs, and hierarchy, etc. It's evident that that Scott Sigler did his homework and researched the medieval world, giving us something similar but also different. There is nothing much I can say about this novel without going into spoilers so I will just end this review by urging the reader to pick this book and judge it by yourself. If you are a fan of the Alien saga, especially the first two, you are going to love this book. It has all the action and adventure of the second with the mystery and horror of the first.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    This was my first venture into reading adult science fiction ( I read a couple of YA science fiction) and let me say I do not regret buying and reading this book. Let me start off by saying I'm not the biggest fan of the Alien franchise and I have only seen the original trilogy and the second prequel(if you can even call it that). Nevertheless, this novel will hook you until you reach the last page. The story, characters and that plot twist were very well crafted and written. The first 100 pages This was my first venture into reading adult science fiction ( I read a couple of YA science fiction) and let me say I do not regret buying and reading this book. Let me start off by saying I'm not the biggest fan of the Alien franchise and I have only seen the original trilogy and the second prequel(if you can even call it that). Nevertheless, this novel will hook you until you reach the last page. The story, characters and that plot twist were very well crafted and written. The first 100 pages might be little slow (in the action) but it definitely helps setting up the story, characters and for them to grow on you. When it comes to standalone novels an author has to create meaningful characters because they have just one shot for us to enjoy and grow to like them while book series characters have more room for development. I highly recommend reading this book if you're a fan of the Alien franchise. Plus if you're like me and are a sucker for epilogues at the end of standalone novels or series this books has one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I’m a fan of the Alien moves but have never read any books. Apparently there’s rather a lot so I may need to check those out at some point. This is fanfic; make no mistake but well-written, enjoyable fanfic all the same. But it’s not what I expect; there are no futuristic elements here or cramped, dark spaceships. The community the aliens terrorise here are an ancient, medieval one. The few people who survived the slaughter by the aliens live underground b https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I’m a fan of the Alien moves but have never read any books. Apparently there’s rather a lot so I may need to check those out at some point. This is fanfic; make no mistake but well-written, enjoyable fanfic all the same. But it’s not what I expect; there are no futuristic elements here or cramped, dark spaceships. The community the aliens terrorise here are an ancient, medieval one. The few people who survived the slaughter by the aliens live underground because the surface of their world is crawling with aliens, known to them as demons. There is also no science fiction here and the focus is on fantasy which also surprised me. This is a thick book and it takes a lot of patience to read but it’s worth every second. Ahiliyah, one of the key characters is a runner, one who risks her live to make scavenging trips to the surface. She’s a brilliant character. Her journey is the most enjoyable thing about the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janessa

    This was a great read if you like the Alien franchise. I love that it didn't have a storyline with marines and modern warfare. The main characters were flawed but likeable, and you were definitely rooting for them. I did find that the human villains were a little basic, but I also did find their actions believable. Sometimes the dialogue felt a bit repetitive, but it was also realistic. The action scenes were GREAT, and the descriptions pulled me in and kept me there (I pretty much finished the bo This was a great read if you like the Alien franchise. I love that it didn't have a storyline with marines and modern warfare. The main characters were flawed but likeable, and you were definitely rooting for them. I did find that the human villains were a little basic, but I also did find their actions believable. Sometimes the dialogue felt a bit repetitive, but it was also realistic. The action scenes were GREAT, and the descriptions pulled me in and kept me there (I pretty much finished the book in a day). I think this was just a stand-alone, but I would read more Alien books in this world for sure.

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