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X-COM: UFO Defense - A Novel Paperback – December 22, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: X-Com
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Prima Lifestyles (December 22, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761502351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761502357
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,403,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Alien Forces Will Enslave Humanity . . . Unless X-COM Can Stop Them!

From the Inside Flap

Commander Jonelle Barrett is determined to win. Having moved from Morocco to a new base in Switzerland, she is well-placed to build a fortified base and defend Europe from the marauding aliens who harvest humans as lab animals for breeding stock . . . and for their dinner tables!

Barrett soon finds that her new territory is already riddled with alien invaders. Her handpicked garrison is all she has?until she learns that one of her most trusted people may be a traitor. Her task is twofold: keep the aliens at bay and keep her own sanity in the face of despair. She doesn?t know which will prove more difficult.

About the Author

Diane Duane
is the bestselling author of numerous science fiction novels, including The Door Into Fire, Star Trek: The Wounded Sky, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. She lives in Ireland.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book fits in nicely with the game. If you were interested and enjoyed the gameplay, this book will also entertain you. It takes you right along as if you were in a mission of the game. It could stand to be more descriptive, and perhaps some more character development. BUT as it stands, it is very entertaining, and I think works well with the Xcom saga.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lorin Reed on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Thing is, I couldn't imagine how someone would put the game's content into novel form. And after reading the novel, I still can't. This was a really quick read, and it had sort of a superficial bite to it. None of the characters are really worth caring about, and it doesn't go into much detail about the technologies or species of aliens. But none of that really matters much; I don't think anyone was expecting a masterpiece here.
If ya liked the game, you'll probably have fun with the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Although I have never played the game, X-Com, I found this book to be very fun and exciting to read, and particularly enjoyed the geographic descriptions of the locales. It felt as though the writers had either spent some time there, or else done their research very well.
It was not all rosy, of course; there could have been a bit more description of some of the aliens and some of the starships; some of it felt as though it relied upon the reader's prior experience with the game. But all in all, the book was exciting, action-packed, and a real page-turner, and kept me guessing right up to the end as to who the traitor really was. I definitely recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Kingsmill on December 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a great fan of the X-COM series of games, I was intrigued to find that this novel had somehow passed me buy, and purchased it recently. However, it has the distinct disadvantage of being poorly written and with limited understanding of the workings of the game it is based on - the original UFO: Enemy Unknown from 1994.

The novel is certainly readable and kept me turning pages to find out what happened to the characters. However the writing itself leaves something to be desired. To give one example, in the space of no more than fifty words, aliens are described to have 'poured out of' their craft twice - two different sets of aliens from two different craft, but with the same adjective. While this is not a massive problem, it is little things like this that add up together to give the impression of a poorly edited book, or one written with a lack of experience.

Regarding the novel's fidelity, there seems to be no good explanation for why the author has altered several ideas from the core game concepts. While some changes do actually reflect a more realistic alien invasion - having many different alien types on the same mission, for example - this jars with the facts of how the game is constructed. A terror mission in-game would never feature Floaters, Reapers, Snakemen, Chryssalids and Cyberdiscs all at once. A single base would never be able to house four Lightnings, three Firestorms, two Interceptors and an Avenger, let alone having space left over to have researchers wasted and twiddling their thumbs.

The author also fails to make X-COM feel like a military organisation.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1996
Format: Paperback
I have read this book over and over. It's a real page turner. Its
based on the best selling PC game, X-com UFO Defence.
The book centers around many charactors and even the
aliens. It tells how they won the battel on the earth, the skys, and
the final battel on Mars. I would reckamend this book to
people who like books based around PC games and fiction
fan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Pierce on July 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a big fan of X-COM (I play X-COM 2 once to completion every January) I stumbled across this book and had no choice but to purchase it. It is possible I was being mind controlled by space aliens at that point.

Recognizing Diane Duane from some of her other work (Star Trek novels, mostly) was a bonus.

Having read the book (it's a quick read) I was left a little disappointed. In terms of content, it's the first half of a novel that was #1 in a series of several. In reality, it's the only X-COM novel I could find.

Character development is minimal, plot is simplistic. Given how little the author had to work with, though, she did fine. At least the human commanders in this X-COM story avoided using recruits as meat shields. (Unlike a lot of X-COM players...)

If you like X-COM and enjoy mindless series pulp sci-fi (Do you have more than one shelf of Star Trek novels? Did you read the Conqueror's Trilogy because Zahn wrote it and you like the Thrawn Trilogy? You know who you are... be honest) then you'll probably like this book. Possibly a lot.

However, if you do like it, you'll be sad there aren't any more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. J. The Great Santa on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished reading this. I liked it a lot. It is more strategic in scope than tactical, but then, that is what a player does in X-COM - control the bases and such. It had some tactical battles, mostly the beginning. It also had air battles, ground battles, base planning, personnel adjusting, equipment ... the works.

I hope more of these come out. With the new 'Enemy Unknown' game in the works this year, I would like to see more X-COM universe stuff - novels, T-shirts, posters ... woohoo!

Anyway, I played the original X-COM way back in the day. This novel was a nice return to those earlier times, most of which I no longer remember! Still, the novel had plenty of action. If anything bad can be said I would say, "Too Short!"

I Want More! :)
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