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Alien: Out of the Shadows Performance

Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama

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Publisher's Summary

Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - Excellence in Production

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell - and trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey. Hoop and his associates uncover a nest of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on a new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviors....

Ellen Ripley, the last human survivor of the salvage ship Nostromo.

©2016 20th Century Fox (P)2016 Audible, Ltd.

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What the Critics Say

"[Narrator] Laurel Lefkow shines as Ripley - her mature, sarcastic tone barely concealing her raw terror at reliving a nightmare. The mix of music, sound effects, and vocals is painstakingly orchestrated - from the creaks of the ship to the subtle shifts in atmospheric tone as the characters enter different situations. Add in a diverse ensemble of voices, and this production succeeds in keeping the listener in the center of the action." (AudioFile magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    AudioBook Reviewer Madison, WI, United States 05-02-16
    AudioBook Reviewer Madison, WI, United States 05-02-16 Member Since 2011
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    "a work that I highly recommend"

    In 2014, Titan Books released the first in a new series of books set in the Alien film franchise under the supervision of the movie studio 20th Century Fox. These novels are considered part of the film canon and help expand and flesh out the movie universe, and they launched with Tim Lebbon’s Alien: Out of the Shadows, set between the first two movies and featuring the series’ heroine, Lt. Ellen Ripley.

    Following the destruction of the Nostromo in the first Alien movie, Ripley put herself into hypersleep and drifted through space. Movie buffs know that 57 years passed between Alien and Aliens, but Lebbon has crafted a nicely fitting story that slots itself directly into the middle of this time gap. In Out of the Shadows, the damaged mining vessel Marion picks up a distress call from Ripley’s lifeboat, while the crew contends with the discovery of a vicious life-form on the planet LV-178. It’s not long before Ripley is pressed back into action, haunted by the events aboard the Nostromo, and hellbent on saving the crew of the Marion.

    Rather than taking Lebbon’s novel and producing a straight-up audiobook, Audible Studios and director Dirk Maggs have turned Out of the Shadows into a brilliant audio drama, crafting a production that may well be the best Alien production since James Cameron’s own Aliens. Using an ensemble cast of voice actors, including actor Rutger Hauer in his first audio performance as the now-disembodied ghost in the machine of the android Ash, and an array of sound effects and musical score, the production quality on display here is downright phenomenal.

    Actor Corey Johnson brings to life Chief Engineering Hooper, while Laurel Lefkow voices Ripley. The chemistry between these two is terrific and you get a great sense of camaraderie as they form a fast friendship under the threat of the alien menace. Lefkow in particular wowed the heck out of me, and a few times I could have positively sworn that Maggs had gotten Sigourney Weaver to reprise her role. Lefkow absolutely nails the tone, inflection, and speech patterns of Weaver’s Ellen Ripley and it’s mighty damn impressive to listen to.

    Rounding out the voice talent is the full-fledged sonic experience of the work itself. From the familiar not-quite dot matrix noises of the computers as they display text, to the ferocious grunts, hisses, and screams of the aliens, and the attendant instrumental score, Out of the Shadows is a frighteningly immersive experience, and one that is very audibly an Alien story. Dirk Maggs has been credited with turning the audio drama into an audio movie for his BBC productions, and that particular knack is on full display here. Lebbon’s prose work has been stripped away, although the story and dialogue, with a bit of finessing for this dramatization, remain intact and is lovingly crafted in a highly cinematic experience for the mind. With the accompanying audio you can really let your imagination run wild and set the scene in your mind’s eye on this one. This is as much an audio movie as it as a movie of the mind, and it’s scarily effective. Be sure to listen to this one with a good set of headphones to fully appreciate the layers and depth that went into constructing this audio drama, but be careful not to fall off the edge of your seat.

    Some may argue that by placing this story between the first two Alien films that it’s not an entirely necessary work. To this, and with a shoulder shrug, I can only say, “meh.” I, for one, don’t care a whit about this works “necessity” because it’s just too damn good to ignore. This is a fun listening experience, and one of the best Alien productions we’ve gotten in a long, long while. It’s great to see, or rather, hear, Ellen Ripley back in action and kicking butt on land and in space.

    If I have to post one complaint, it’s that the inclusion of Ash serves mostly as story recaps. While Hauer is a great choice to voice this iconic character, a lot of the information Ash relays, in the form of status update reports to the Weyland-Yutani corporation, is redundant to the unfolding plot, and given the frequency at which this is done over the course of the production’s 4 hours and 28 minutes it often times feel highly repetitive. If you’re spreading this listen out over multiple days or longer, these updates may serve as helpful story recaps, but if you’re digesting the story in large chunks they ultimately add little. Like a television show’s “previously on” segment, these recaps don’t eat up a lot of time, so this is ultimately a very minor complaint in the grander scheme of things.

    As they did with last year’s adaptation of Joe Hill’s Locke & Key, Audible Studios has delivered a knock-out win of an audio drama – and for a work set in one of my favorite film series, no less! I had read and enjoyed Lebbon’s novel of this work when it came out a few years ago, but I absolutely loved listening to this adaptation. Dirk Maggs and his cast and crew have created a very special production for Alien fans with this dramatization, released on Alien Day (4-26, as in LV-426), and it’s a work that I highly recommend. Now go give it a listen!

    Audiobook was provided for review by the Publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    128 of 145 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin NEWBERG, OR, United States 05-17-16
    Martin NEWBERG, OR, United States 05-17-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GAME OVER MAN! GAME OVER!"

    This has to be the best dramatization on Audible.
    The tone of the entire book makes you feel claustrophobic & on edge.
    The core cast of characters are likeable and have just enough backstory and personality that; when one meets a grisly end you actually feel bad for them.
    The production is spot on, extremely well directed and coordinated. The pace is well kept, characters talking to themselves or explaining to others in place of narration with out getting bogged down.
    The actors were all extremely fun to listen to.

    Over all I give this a 10/10 rating, we need more audio drama's like this one.

    58 of 67 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" 12-22-16 Member Since 2016
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    "SUCK IT UP AND SLUG IT OUT"

    HOLD ON TO YOUR PANTIES LADIES, WE'RE GOING IN
    The story itself is okay, but not great. The narrators and the production are top notch. If you are an Alien fan or a Sci-Fi fan this belongs in your library. Even though the story is a little weak, but not bad, the production, more than makes up for it. This is entertaining.

    44 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brianna 09-09-16
    Brianna 09-09-16 Member Since 2017
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    "AWESOME!"

    Felt like I was watching the movie. like others have said it was hard to map out the ships, but still great.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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    TyrannosaurusRix 05-01-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Surprisingly good"
    Where does Alien: Out of the Shadows rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Way above average, and I don't usually enjoy full-cast productions.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Alien: Out of the Shadows?

    Can't name any particular moment,


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

    Ripley, of course. The actor actually sounded very much like the original film version and her delivery of Ripley's snappy one-liners in horrific situations was spot on. But all the actors did a great job.


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

    Not that kind of book. But why must everyone scoff at Ripley's firsthand account of the aliens' capabilities?


    Any additional comments?

    It would have been nice if the description of this audiobook had included the running time (about 5 hours.) I like how the writers neatly managed to wedge an additional story line between the first two films. I gave four instead of five stars on story because it was difficult to follow the fast action and movement around the ship without the visuals. However, that's nobody's fault and only reflects the difference between the two media. The ship layout was complicated and hard to visualize.

    39 of 46 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA, United States 09-04-16
    Amazon Customer CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA, United States 09-04-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Outstanding"

    One of the best produced dramatization so I've listened to. Story is an excellent link in Alien drama. Get this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 09-03-16
    Christopher 09-03-16
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    "Amazing"

    Loved the story.. Story telling was amazing and I finished this in 2 days (long drive). If you are a fan of alien series. You gotta get this book.


    Not sure if I liked how they tried to fold it into cannon so it all makes sense but it's almost an after thought and placed at the end nor does it ruin the story just wasn't a fan of the ending.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OB 04-27-16
    OB 04-27-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing experience for fans of the Alien universe"
    What made the experience of listening to Alien: Out of the Shadows the most enjoyable?

    The sound environment, voice acting and story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is an amazing adaptation, in an interesting and interesting format, which is rarely as potent as it comes across in this dramatisation.If you're a fan of the Alien films and also have played Alien: Isolation, you will love this one!


    Any additional comments?

    Great tie in between the films and also (a quick nod in the book) to the computer game Alien: Isolation.

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Z. Nealy Los Angeles, CA 04-27-16
    Z. Nealy Los Angeles, CA 04-27-16
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    "Just as good as watching the original film"

    I admit this is my first time listening to an audiobook(don't judge) but boy am I glad I chose this one as an introduction. The cast, story and direction was great-all creating the same feeling of suspense and claustrophobia from the original film. Definitely does the canon justice. And the actress who voiced Ripley was spot on. Rutger Hauer gives an amazing performance as the bodiless synth Ash. My expectations have now been set. Wonder if anything can match Alien: Out of the Shadows.

    36 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Oshkosh, WI, United States 05-01-16
    Brian Oshkosh, WI, United States 05-01-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Painful, well produced trainwreck"

    There are things the description does NOT tell you about the story that could influence your decision on if you want to spend the time with it. BTW.. no spoilers here (the story is so shallow you don't need them).
    A) Ripley is a character
    B) It takes place after the first movie on LV-426 and before she's rescued (before events on the second movie).
    Just take a second and imagine what that means. How does the events of this story fit in with the continuity of overall storyline? Now imagine how this story might end in the most unsatisfying easy way possible. Don't put much thought into it.... You got it! You already how how they end this and how they tie in this story with the over all Alien plot lines. The only thing you don't know are the details which pretty much follow same plot line from "Aliens" just on a different world and different cardboard people.

    With Ripley involved theres very little at steak and and not much tension. The characters are the same disposable characters you've seen in any of the other Alien stories you've read. I would have had more respect and more enjoyment if she had never been included at all.

    Ok some positive things (there aren't many). They do try and expand the "the company" storyline and bit with a tiny bit of history, well "history" might be a bit much, they give you some more insight into "the company". Theres a single character that might be interesting to hear more about but I doubt it will go anywhere.

    This is the most unbalanced audio book Ive listened to. They put a ton of time, and effort into the production. The voice talent is excellent and they spent a lot of time on the sound effects and music, but for this story, why?! And while Im on the subject of production why have sound effects at all? Im a bit on the fence about adding music to audio books. I really just want to hear the voice actors. In general adding music to make situations feel more dire just feels .. I donno. cheap.

    This is by far the harshest review Ive given an audio book yet. I didn't despise the book. Im not asking for a refund or anything its just a disappointment how safe and terribly predictable the storyline is. Its a disservice to the overall story. It should be scary, you could care about the characters and have some surprises and learn more about the universe the story takes place in. Theres non of that in this book. Its like eating iceburg lettuce. Theres NOTHING in it.

    22 of 29 people found this review helpful
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  • Chris
    4/27/16
    Overall
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    "Fantastic!!!"

    if I had to pick one criticism about this audio drama. it's that it's not longer!

    the performance by all the cast in this is fantastic! Laurel Lefkow, the voice of Ripley, really sells it. a number of times I was convinced this was Sigourney Weaver herself speaking!

    it's just fantastic! I wish it was longer!

    35 of 36 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Somewhere between a pair of headphones.
    4/26/16
    Overall
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    "Supercharged Alien Creepiness!"

    Deliciously creepy tension and fast paced action, this was a blast! From the opening scenes through to the end this smashes through the storyline at a remarkable rate. The high quality cast and excellent production values make this an absolute joy to listen to. Eerie and solid sound effects genuinely do add to the unfolding drama, even the cat gets some lines!

    Some will find problems with the fact that this deviates from the known Alien story that went before it but I think this does a good enough job to bend things the amount it does and indeed it does just bend things rather than break them. It’s a fine audio drama and while probably nothing could quite match the tension of the films this does a great job of evoking similar feelings of dread and panic. There are some clever story telling techniques including the “software interloper” whose identity I will not reveal as I don’t do spoilers!

    In all this is a fine drama, if I have a complaint it’s that it simply wasn’t long enough!! I am sure I could have listened to this kind of action for several more hours! And I am delighted that after my previous experience with Audible Studios which was the awful Starling Project this is the best one that I have heard from them yet. The investment in the production values and the high quality cast has more than paid dividends!

    Bravo!

    37 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • Gianluca
    4/29/16
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    "Didn't put it down!"

    So this was my first audible, i was initially expecting and audio book but very happy with this performance audio.

    At first I was apprehensive, the start didn't grab me, perhaps it was a little to close to the original books/movie for my liking. As it turns out (without giving it away) it all seemed it fit quite nicely with the series.

    I seemed to have filled all my spare time (and also time I should have been working) listening to this, so that's a good sign!

    It's gripping, tense, the characters are very likeable and real!

    If your into the alien series (or like myself your not really) then it's worth a listen. If your into the space or the sci-fi again it's worth a listen

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Terri
    Northwich, United Kingdom
    4/30/16
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    "well acted audio drama. Clever script. Absorbing."

    Had to keep listening for the whole of Sat p.m. Rutger Hauer Android voice clever choice. " wonder if I will dream". Atmospheric & leaves mental pictures of the events. Essential graphic violence & swearing so don't listen on loudspeakers in delicate company! Fits cleverly between the two main storylines.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steve J
    Stockport, UK
    5/5/16
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    "Amazing vocal similarity"

    Laurel Lefkow sounds so much like Sigourney Weaver, I had to check the credits! Typical Alien style story and nothing truly original but a fantastic audio production never the less.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • neil
    4/29/16
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    "Excellent"

    I thought everything about this was excellent, the whole production, I just agree with everyone else though that it was too short.

    Should have been aliens 4 instead of that bizarre ridiculous thing that was made.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Mark McCann
    1/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Great production, poor story"

    Impeccably produced, great voice actors, but a b-movie story full of holes let's down an otherwise smashing listen. Worth your time if you enjoy schlock

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Matthews
    4/29/16
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    "Brilliant audio drama!"

    Astonishingly good listen. Dirk Maggs and his team deserve your attention, because this is superb. Well acted, great sfx and a real sense of tension. If you're a fan of the Alien movies then this is well worth the purchase.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • james
    4/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "amazing"

    really gripping and intense book! would recommend it to anyone.i loves how it connected to the films and answered some questions about the film. the acting was extremely well done and made the book flow mire easily.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Scott
    4/6/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Review"

    phenomenal performance. sound effects were totally immersing. absolutely not a typical audio book but well worth trying out of 1. you're into the alien franchise or 2. you're willing to try something half way between an audio book and a movie.
    I'll be listening to this again and again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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