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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)

Featured Article: The Best Sci-Fi Horror Audiobooks of All Time


Sci-fi and horror are two genres that just make sense together. Swap haunted mansions for abandoned space ships, ghosts for virus-created zombies and experiments gone wrong, and the eerie darkness of the woods for the deep vastness of space, and it’s easy to see why these two genres make for a classic, thrilling combination. Here are our picks for some of the best sci-fi horror audiobooks of all time.

What listeners say about Alien: River of Pain

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!

55 people found this helpful

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Ehhh...

Out of the Shadows, the first of this trilogy, was much better. It's cool to get a picture of what happened to Hadley's Hope prior to the the arrival of Ripley and the Marines, but dear god, this thing takes a while to get going. You'll be about half way through the story before the Aliens show up and probably about 75% done before things really start to get going. Not that there's anything wrong with telling a slower story in the Aliens EU, but when those long periods of tension building lack any real tension and are filled with characters as deep as rain puddle, the whole thing gets a little tedious. Also, the dialogue for Newt and the other kids is f***ing UNBEARABLE!

I know that I'm being harsh on this, but I'm genuinely glad it exists. Problems aside, it's an enjoyable listen and I'll take most any excuse to hop back LV-426 or any other world of the Aliens EU. And I think that's the key takeaway here. This definitely is a die-hards only type of affair. I can't recommend this story I honestly can't imagine anyone without a vested interest in this franchise sticking with it too the end.

Please don't stop telling Alien stories! Just tell better ones! :)

9 people found this 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.

50 people found this 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!

16 people found this 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.

20 people found this helpful

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Return to the Origins

First, I need to explain the 4 stars. I was hoping for an ending with more twists. Other than that I really enjoyed the characters and the way that some of the situations were handled. The acting was engaging and kept you informed as to locations and what was happening.

12 people found this helpful

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Great story

Everything is great, but man, the girl who plays Newt is awful. Her performance is so over-acted it's distracting.

3 people found this helpful

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not as good as the other alien stories

This story didn't really feel fully developed. The child characters were annoying and didn't really seem to serve much purpose.

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Entertaining entry, flawed performance

The story was entertaining enough, if not a little too predictable. Overall, the experience was hindered by occasionally clunky performances from the voice actors. Robotic dialogue plagued the audiobook, unnatural throughout. Worth a listen if you're a fan of the series, but don't expect anything approaching realism.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

the first book in the series was really good. As soon as I finished it, I downloaded this one. I was disappointed. the voice actors in it were poor, in the story itself was just lacking.now I'm very torn if I want to continue the series or not, and chance getting a book that I disliked as much as I did this one. I was also very disappointed in myself, as the kids acting was so poor in it, I found myself hoping that they get killed by the aliens, just so I wouldn't have to listen to them anymore, after watching a alien drip from someone's chest, children would be a little more frightened, and a little more urgent about getting out of that situation, it just seems as though they were concentrating on trying to act younger than they actually were instead.

3 people found this 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!

50 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 05-05-17

"Mostly"...okay

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

No I won't. It started off great, but the end spoiled it for me.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

They missed the part when they come out of cryo-sleep and Ripley finds out Bishop is an android when they are sat round the table in the mess. We weren't introduced to the marines before they head off to LV-426, and the story ends when Ripley first encounters Newt - a whole chunk is missing which could have been added which would have made the whole thing more interesting.

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

I liked how the actor sounded like Ripley, but I thought they all were good.

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

No. It lacked any emotion. If it went into more depth regarding the deaths and people being taken it might have held a deeper emotion for me, but it focused more on the fighting and the aliens. It wasn't gripping, scary or sad - it was all action, more like a video game.

5 people found this 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?

50 people found this helpful

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  • gb
  • 05-25-18

Hmmm.... not believeable

OK, firstly i need to say that i really enjoyed Out of the Shadows! This story however pushes the boundries of credability Just too far.

If you follow the Alien saga and especially Aliens there is no mention of Colonial Marines but here we have a Squad! small arms fire and geological charges i think the film Aliens mentions! but these guys are packing Auto rifles!

The marines act in a totally pathetic manner, st trinians schooll would have been better for the casting!

The story lacks somthing i cant yet put my finger on but i feel its believability! when the the children first encounter a chest buster there is no fear (im not expecting traumatised child voice actors here but the writing turns it to whoaaa a monster!!)

Im now almost finished listening but i think i switched off a while back, i just want to know how they will finish it really but im not hanging on every word.

To many sayings copied from Aliens, the Words Facehugger and Alien seem to be used often when i feel there is no credability in the words.

We will see if this unbias review is posted rather than the semmingly continuous 5 stars its getting.

bad use of the real estate just to make a buck imho



4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • cookie tuft
  • 11-22-21

wow

just wow, as a big aliens fan, I loved every minute of this from narration/sound effects to filling in some blanks/questions. truly awesome!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cameron Murray
  • 11-12-21

Brilliant drama filling gaps in Alien series.

I absolutely loved this full cast drama ,excellent cast.Great story. The Alien attack sequences were fantastic.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Theresa
  • 06-14-21

great read

really enjoyed this book just adds another layer to the alien saga and the back drop to newts story

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DAVID TYSON
  • 06-11-21

Fantastic

Such an intense and powerful story, leads up to the first Alien film, definitely draws you in and you feel for the characters. If this is ever made in to a film I will be the first in the queue.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Griff
  • 05-31-21

A great Introduction to "Aliens"

This is a good story within its own right which adds further explanation to the events before and during the opening scenes of "Aliens". The voice acting is on point, the sounds and score really build tension and place you as the listener right into the tragic events which led to the demise of Hadley's Hope.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ronald Haupt
  • 03-18-18

A movie in your ears!

Taking place on the same timeline as Aliens (James Cameron’s sequel), fans can now find out what exactly happened to the inhabitants of Hadley’s Hope.
Brilliant story aside, the difference here from the vas majority of audio books is the vast cast of actors, the Sfax and ambient sounds that contribute to an awesome story. No longer are you condemned to a single voice reading pages of your favorite book, but rather you are treated to a litany of sound extravaganza!
Welcome to what audiobooks should be!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tenma13
  • 08-07-17

Great fun

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

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-24-21

The superb story between Alien & Aliens

This was an awesome story and may be only for the lovers of the Alien franchise. This tells what happened between Alien (1) and Aliens (2). Listeners may need to know the basics on what happened in those two classic movies to appreciate this. Acting was great (except one minor child character) who I couldn't stand his voice acting. Give it a try, you won't regret it.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Troy Allen
  • 02-19-20

Excellent Prequel

Author has done a good job in meshing with the original movies
I'm starting to become a bit of a fan as i have downloaded a few of the Alien series now.
If you have seen the movies (and lets face it most of us have) There are enough sound effects and character in the actors voices to actually in-vision in your head what is happening.- If you haven't seen the movies - I would suggest what them first then listen to these audio books and it will make way more sense.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-22

meh

Child voice actors are not good, the story doesn't make sense considering the events of the film Aliens (especially the special edition), easy to get lost in all the different marines/colonists/scientists who exist only to be alien food

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  • Stephen McQueen
  • 05-03-22

realy well done

I realy enjoyed the way it was told, kept me ingaged for the whole story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Derrett
  • 03-25-22

What a ride!

Dirk Maggs has done it again! A great book faithfully adapted with top shelf performances.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve Belcher
  • 02-23-22

Really really good

This was one of the best books I have listened too. A little drawn out in places, but an excellent listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-21

THIS IS AMAZING!!!

Except for the children acting. Get proffesional voice actors who VA children in cartoons and games pls.
The voice acting of the kids were atrocious.
Kinda important and hard to ignore cuz this is about NEWT.
Please UPDATE it, replace the children actors with better ones.
put Patch/Update notes in the description.