Aliens 9: Beserker
S. D. Perry

Cover This book is pretty much what youíd expect given that itís part of a regularly churned out series. The writing is solid. The characters are believable and detailed. The background scenery is fully realised. The plot whilst not startlingly new is fun.

This particular Aliens book is about a Berserker team, hence the title. A Beserker team is a small unit designed to wipe out Alien infestations wherever they crop up. At the heart of each unit is a Beserker, which is a man who is been hardwired into an enormous armoured killing machine. They Beserker does nothing but kill Aliens.

The team in this story is sent by the Company to get rid of an infestation. The space station they are sent too has an infestation which is really too large for the team to handle. Standard procedure for a mess as big as what they are facing is to nuke the site. The Company, however, has other plans and orders the team in.

Needless to say things start to go downhill from there. I canít say more than this without giving away bits of the plots.

There are six principle characters in the story. The teams pilot and co-pilot for the ship, ĎPopí Izzard and Lara. The tech who runs and maintains the Berserker, Ellis. And the three grunts Jess, ĎCandymaní Pulaski and Teape. These three are cons who have opted for dangerous space duty in order to get their prison sentences reduced.

As to who is the main character, itís difficult to say. The points of view of all the characters are given at one point or another. This was the most annoying thing in the book, the constant viewpoint changes. It gives the book a staccato feel. There was a couple of times I wasnít sure who was the viewpoint character and I was getting a little muddled. But after all this I feel that Ellis is meant to be the principle character, or possibly Lara.

The only other drawback to the book was that a couple of the scenes seemed to have been copied straight out of the movies. But then again there are only so many ways that an Alien or face-hugger can attack a person. After nine books in the series it was inevitable that soom repetition would start to occur, particularly in the Alien fight scenes.

So all in all an enjoyable book. Not brilliantly innovative or imaginative, but a great escape. If you enjoyed the second Alien movie then this will be a good book for you. Thereís no pissing about trying to develop an overly complex plot or pointlessly detailed characters. It gets down and dirty fast, blasting Aliens to the left and the right.