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Publisher's Summary

Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, only to discover that LV-426 — where the crew of the Nostromo first came into contact with the deadly xenomorphs — has been renamed Acheron.

Protected by Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet against all the odds. But in the face of brutal living conditions and the daily struggles of a new world, there is humanity and hope. Anne and Russell Jorden — two colonists who are seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth — are expecting their firstborn child.

The birth of Rebecca Jorden, known to her family as Newt, is a cause for celebration. But as the colony grows and expands, so, too, do the political struggles between a small detachment of Colonial Marines and the Weyland-Yutani scientists posted on Acheron. Willing to overlook their orders in order to serve the Company's interests, these scientists have another far more sinister agenda — to covertly capture a living Alien.

The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russell find onboard proves to be the stuff not of dreams but of nightmares.

This terrifying, cinematic, multicast dramatization — directed by the multiaward-winning Dirk Maggs, best known for his adaptations of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere for the BBC — is the sequel to Audible Original's Alien: Out of the Shadows (nominated for Best Audio Drama at the 2017 Audies).

Starring Golden Globe-nominated Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, Limitless), Alexander Siddig (Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Game of Thrones), Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman, Doctor Who), Colin Salmon (Alien vs Predator, Arrow, James Bond), Marc Warren (Mad Dogs, Saving Private Ryan, Hustle) and Philip Glenister (Outcast, Life on Mars), with special guest star William Hope returning as Lt. Gorman from James Cameron's Aliens.

©2017 20th Century Fox (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Filled with tension and stellar voice performances, River Of Pain is edge of your seat good." (Buzzfeed)
"Frightening." (Yahoo Movies)
"Dirk Maggs continues to create masterful audio drama that only gets better.... Maggs coaxes fantastic performances from his cast to convey the characters' dread while also creating a good balance of sound effects. Listeners will remain on high alert about what may be around the next corner." (AudioFile)
"Superbly detailed sound-design and remarkable sonic effects... a truly unique listening experience." (HeyUGuys)
"Terrifying." (NME)
"The cast is an outstanding smorgasbord of familiar genre talent." (Starburst)
"No expense has been spared on this blockbuster Aliens sequel." (Loaded)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Please make more of these! These are excellent!

Would you listen to Alien: River of Pain again? Why?

Yes. The story was very compelling - I loved how it detailed the events that occurred offscreen in the beginning of Aliens and detailed exactly what had happened at LV-426. It played like a movie in my head (especially with all of the effects) and like a good movie, I usually like to rewatch (in this case, relisten). I really think the Aliens franchise lends itself very well to the audio drama format, due all the tension, terror, and suspense the stories bring. Like Out of the Shadows, I will probably listen to this several more times. I really am hoping for more Alien audio dramas as I am a huge fan of both the Alien franchise and of audio dramas in general.

What did you like best about this story?

That it detailed the events of LV-426 very consistently with the events in Aliens, yet still had a few surprises in store for me. The suspense, tension, and terror usually associated with an Aliens story were very much present and well done. The presence of both very likable and despicable characters made the story experience good as well.

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

Demian Brackett. I'm a fan of Colin Salmon's work and his character was the most likable in the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Enthusiastic yes! But I had to restrain myself. Instead of finishing off a nice, tasty dessert too quickly, I wanted to savor it. So over the last five drives to and from work, I listened to the story. I certainly looked forward to those drives more than usual the last few days!

Any additional comments?

Great production, great casting (In addition to Salmon, Alexander Siddig was excellent in his role.) Hoping for more!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Into the Frey, again.

I am a huge Lovecraft fan, and as such was exposed to the Alien franchise much later in life (2012ish). Because of my feelings for this series I was very concerned about things like continuity, accurate characterization, and proper voice acting. I am a remarkably brutal purist when it comes to canon and I really was concerned about how these audio dramas would live up to my expectation. So mostly, I avoided them.

Then they announced the release of River of Pain, and put the other drama on a "Daily Deal". I figured its under $5 and a moderate length so it isn't too much investment.

I'm glad I made that choice.

The voice of Ripley is very close, and fairly consistent with the original casting. The rest of the cast is also superb and I could never say enough good things about Marc Warren, who is highly underrated.

If you are a fan, these are incredible, if you are someone just looking for a fast paced quick listen, these are incredible. If you generally hate everything, these are still freaking amazing.

I had high expectations, I never expected my expectations to be met. Not only were they met, they were shattered.

Listen to both these dramas now, and thank yourself later.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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A good prequel to Aliens

To those who want to know. This takes place before the events of Aliens movie. I listened to the Audio drama before this one Aliens out of the shadow. Those who have listened to it will find mentions of the audio drama.
Although by novel wise this is from book number three. I believe this fit right perfectly with the timeline. Those who know the Alien franchise know that the Aliens were never the main villain but rather Wayland Yutani. It shows those who follow their orders can cause serious consequences. The characters buildup is nice but I don't really get how the first third of the chapters fit but it was nice but I believe they just took too long to build the characters. However, if you want xenomorphs in your story then you'll find in the remaining half of the movie.
All in all it's still a Alien audio drama and the way they can build up tension is through slow buildup. I recommend this. Good job Audible and I hope to listen to the third drama you may produce.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Another fun listen.

You can imagine this as a movie going on, it's so well done. There needs to be more of these.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Another masterpiece, and future of audio books.

if you dont know, this book and Alien: Out of The Shadows, are full production stories. Complete with music, sound effects, and wonderful voice actors.

It's like listening to a movie! Out of the Shadows was a bit better, but both are must buys. You will not regret it!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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nice to finally hear the fate of Hadley's hope

As a long time Alien fan, this narration helped to fill the gap in Alien 2 of the fate of Hadley's Hope and its collinists. I truely felt the terror as the Marines fought against overwhelming odds to protect the collinists. A must read for any Alien fan.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Worth a listen

Taking place just before aliens this sci-fi adventure answers what exactly happens to the colonists on lv426.
I did notice that there were a few areas of the story that happen to be mirrored off of an old dark horse comic telling a much similar story such as newts families demise.
The cast was excellently played even bringing back a couple of the original cast members from the Cameron film.
I hope audible does more just like this notnonly for this franchise but others that are popular in mainstream pop culture.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

I don't think there's anything to dislike about this story other than I want to hear more in this format used for the other books in the alien saga.
I would like to hear more books in general to be done like this. Love the full cast.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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good alien fun

besides a few voice actors this was a top shelf production. if you like sci-fi, radio dramas, or aliens then you will love it. I am going to listen to more than once for sure

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • T. Ling
  • CA United States
  • 04-26-17

Happy 426 Day

Omg i love this ! This must have audiobook if your a fan of the Alien Series.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Southville
  • 04-30-17

Great production, poor encoding.

Any additional comments?

I thought people might like to know that although Audible draws attention to the fact that 'special guest star' William Hope is returning as Lt. Gorman (little more than a cameo), they make no mention that three other actors reprise their roles from the film Aliens.<br/><br/>In a substantial role, Mac MacDonald returns playing Al Simpson (seen in the special edition cut). also, Stuart Milligan as the man who rescues Ripley from hyper-sleep at the beginning of the film "There goes our salvage guys!" and Alibe Parsons returns as the Med Tech on Gateway Station.<br/><br/>I thought it was pretty good. It suffers from the foreknowledge that everyone but Newt is doomed and it take two hours to get to the good stuff, but I can't fault the acting, and the unexpected appearance of Mac MacDonald, Stuart Milligan and Alibe Parsons raised goose-pimples as soon as I recognized their voices.<br/><br/>As for the 'poor encoding' of the review title... Productions like this should sound spectacular, I own several Dirk Maggs radio dramas on CD and they all sound as good as a modern movie. I'm sure that when he turned it over to Audible 'Alien: River of Pain' sounded great.<br/><br/>Unfortunately the BEST quality download offered here has been downsampled to 22.5kHz and then encoded at 64kbps. The result sounds mushy and riddled with sibilance, the background music being particularly badly effected. Sonic vandalism. And they have the cheek to compare this to CD quality.<br/><br/>Please, for full cast drama with music and sound effects, up the sample rate to 44.1kHz and the bitrate to at least 96kbps. You could call them Audible HD and at the rates I've suggested the files would only get 50% larger than the "Enhanced" download.<br/><br/>You won't regret it (mostly)

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Becks
  • 04-26-17

What happened on Planet LV-426?

This dramatisation fits in between 'Alien' and 'Aliens' and essentially provides the backstory for Newt and planet LV-426. As such, if you're a fan of the films (which you presumably are to be considering this) you pretty much know where the story is heading. However, much like Star Wars' Rogue One, although the outcome is predetermined, the journey is still well worth making. It has a couple of minor flaws-some of the characters are sketchy stereotypes (the two company scientists in particular are one dimensional and almost comically evil) and on occasion some of the protagonists (particularly the children) seem jarringly blase about the horror and loss around them. These remain petty quibbles only in the face of the gripping narrative which grabs you by the throat and gallops along with you. The central figures are well realised with excellent voice acting and the tension builds with the claustrophobia and terror that the films portrayed so well. It is seamlessly intercut with what sound like extracts from the original 'Aliens' movie featuring Ripley before she leaves for the planet and this adds an authenticity that in my mind has now cemented this as being THE actual sequence of events linking the films. It all makes for engrossing and chilling listening. I warn you also that listening to this audiobook also leads to the risk of you annoying the hell out of those around you for a couple of days by responding 'copy that' to everything!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 04-26-17

Out of this World!

Just prepare a darkened room, maybe inject a minor sedative into your credulity for added effect and you're ready for five hours of Alien-inspired adventure. Filling in more of the gaps between the first two Alien films the five star cast propel this story at a simply steaming pace. With top notch production values just let your mind conjure those iconic images; the horse shoe space-ship, the Alien, the pods and test your sanity against the results. An epic in five hours!

Audible . . . one question . . . when's the next one coming out?

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • mroshaw
  • 05-09-17

Entertaining but ultimately disappointing

Any additional comments?

Having stumbled upon the excellent "Alien: Out of the Shadows" earlier in the year, I was excited to see the release of "Alien: River of Pain" and snapped it up as soon as I was able. I have to say, I'm disappointed with this audio drama. Without giving away too much, it's essentially a re-telling of the Aliens story, filling in some of the gaps around the colonists lives on LV-426. As such, there's very little originality on offer, and any fan of the movie will already know the outcome, so there are no great surprises. As it is, there is little new for the listener to discover or learn about the Alien universe.<br/><br/>The production is good and voice acting up to scratch - however, neither are as convincing nor as engaging as Out of the Shadows. I found way too much focus on the child characters, with too much time given to the Newt back story, and found them really quite irritating to listen to. The marine characters and their relationships came across as unconvincing as well as the stereotyped "scientist types" representing the Weyland Yutani corporation. Ripley is there, of course, but simply to provide background on the fate of the Nostromo and to pad out the unfolding events. Her involvement in the story, or lack thereof, is disappointing.<br/><br/>As a mechanism to flesh out some of the back story of the Aliens movie, specifically "what happened on LV-426", the audiobook serves its purpose. It's just a shame that Out of the Shadows set such a high bar for expanding and challenging the Aliens universe, as River of Pain feels like a real step backwards.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-28-17

great!

This was a brilliant take on the Alien to Aliens story. Having never read the comics, I don't know if this was how they went but I really enjoyed this and wish there was an actual movie version of this made to show the events of Hadleys hope and its colonists. worth the listen!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Cloister
  • 04-29-17

An excellent production of a good book

I was very pleasantly surprised by Out of the Shadows so when I heard this was coming I was looking forward to it.
The production is to the same high standards. The sound effects of pulse cannon fire, alien screams and even the door openings all help to immerse you in the tale.
The cast is very good though I did find Anna Friel's performance as Anne Jordan a little strange, almost like she wasn't sure of her lines.
The children were ok, no standout Newt lines this time though they did slip in a "mostly"
I was overjoyed to hear Mac McDonald, good old Captain Hollister himself return to the role of Simpson. This role was cut from the theatrical release of Aliens but was present in the Directors. He was brilliant as always.
The story isn't as interesting as Out of the Shadows. There are some nice extra plots like the research team and the first half builds the tension well. I appreciate the scenes with Ripley allow some time context, but seeing as most of them are just replays of scenes from Aliens they could easily have been reduced.
The story does introduce not really plot holes but much like in the previous story events that take some leaps of logic to explain.
Overall a satisfying production. I hope the third book Sea of Sorrows will follow soon and I would like to see other Alien universe audio book productions.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew McCormick-Rimmer
  • 04-26-17

Sheer quality, 5 stars!

This is a totally compelling and completely engrossing sci fi horror drama, it's nail biting, I've read the novel a few times and that was brilliant but this is the next level, if your a fan of Aliens you will be able to picture the setting, the tension builds and builds, until the inevitable final, the performances are wonderful, excellent casting choices, I recommend to all, you won't be disappointed!!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Dallas Winston 9
  • 04-28-17

Good, different, almost amazing

Would you listen to Alien: River of Pain again? Why?

I would. The sound was amazing. The performances was good. It just took too long for the aliens to arrive. I don't mind the story being character centred but I thought it could have had more aliens vs marines scenes.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like Newt. Very spirited young girl.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

All the performances were solid.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Arr, I don't know, the rivers of hell are flooding.

Any additional comments?

When it gets there it goes there. But the aliens arrive quiet late in the game. Ripley features only to show where the story relates to the films time scale. I liked what this achieved in sense of sound, performances and delivering a different audible experience. I think sound plays like this might be the future of audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • steboost
  • 06-19-17

A step down after Out of the shadows.

Was Alien: River of Pain worth the listening time?

Yes but I don't think I'd listen a 2nd time.

Any additional comments?

A step down in quality after Out of the shadows. It's well produced but the voice acting is a bit hit & miss. The story is also pretty mediocre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan Chenery
  • 06-15-17

Good not great, Ripley again brings it down.

While it's enjoyable enough this prequel to Aliens wastes a lot of time retelling the first 20mins of the movie, even though it doesn't mesh with the books plot at all, and the story adds multiple little potholes to Aliens, while glossing over some of the stuff worth examination (such as how multiple people got implanted after the initial incident with the Jordans).
Would have preferred it as a stand alone rather than a prequel, but the decent voice acting and audio adaptation were worth the listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tenma13
  • 08-07-17

Great fun

well acted and lots of fun. hope they make more of these audio dramas! 😀

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-17

loved it

great book with great tie-ins to the movie Aliens
action packed and great character development

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Noel
  • 11-20-17

great story

loved this story it was well put across by the cast and a great link bridge story

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  • David G Francis
  • 09-22-17

Amazing production for any Alien franchise fan or nerd

Ever wondered what happened on LV426 (Acheron) prior to Ripley and Marines taking on the Alien Colony? This fills in the blanks and missing puzzle pieces to expand the Alien franchise. Fantastic production values and star studded cast make this audio book so enjoyable. Really would love this to be made into a film as well. Fits in the Alien cannon and furthers the universe with masterful and careful story telling. Full credit to all involved, this fan is very impressed.

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  • blair carter
  • 05-31-17

nice perspective

great to see the story of newts family told. voice acting was good. ties in well. I want more now!

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  • BankAngle
  • 05-19-17

Nothing new to offer the franchise.

Very basic story, was obviously meant to fill in the gaps at Hadley's Hope but nothing really happened that you couldn't summise fom Aliens. The actors didn't have much to work with as the characters were very one dimensional and predictable. Not nearly as well executed as Out of the Shadows.


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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-15-17

Excellent

Excellent book, excellent performance. Thoroughly enjoyable look into the story that bridges the gap between the two alien films.

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  • Nathaniel
  • 05-15-17

A horrific and yet enthralling rendition.

A superb voice cast accompanied with sound effects that chill the spine make this a treat to listen to.

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  • Sean Daly
  • 05-10-17

Fills in the gaps..but...

Taking generous influence from the dark horse comic 'newts tale' this story tells what happened to the colonists and focuses on a few key relationships to add some emotional buy-in since u already know that every body is going to cop it. It's hard to make a story feel like there's actual stakes involved when u already know the outcome.
What worked for Out of the Shadows' was that it was relatively uncharted territory, we didn't know how/where it would all fit in until the end. With River of Pain' ur just waiting for it all to end. That maybe the downside with tying in so closely to such a we'll known and loved film.
The huge huge highlight is the performances...absolutely amazing. Full cast, great sounds and effects, the production is fantastic. It's a must listen for fans but not entirely fresh or essential to any of it. Just gap filling and a little bit of backstory to how it all went down before Ripley and Co. arrives.

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  • Grae Anderson
  • 05-07-17

Simply superb

This audio drama is simply exceptional. A superb balance of story telling that intertwined the 1886 Aliens movie.

I would love to see this made into a movie but can only hope that if it were that it meet the same standard demonstrated right here.

10/10 in all fronts.