Review of Cowboys & Aliens, by Joan D. Vinge & Scott Mitchell Rosenberg

Cowboys & AliensI rented an audio edition of Cowboys & Aliens (by Joan D. Vinge & Scott Mitchell Rosenberg) from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
1875.  New Mexico Territory.  A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution.  The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist.  What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford).  It’s a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky.  Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.

Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.  As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force.  With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation.  United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.. 

Review:
I obviously wasn’t looking for a serious read when I picked this book up to listen to. I thought it might be silly and fun, and since I never saw the movie, I’d at least know the plot then. The problem is that I didn’t realize that it is a novel based on the screenplay for the movie, as opposed to the book the screenplay is based on. Thus, it reads just as a movie would play out and any of the additional depth that makes a book preferable to the screen is missing.

While I the occasional shadows of important themes pop up, not a single one is ever explored or expanded on. The book is action-packed, but not much else. All-in-all, there wasn’t much to recommend it. At least the movie had some cool actors in it; all this had was an overly breathy, over-acted voice. Meh

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