Hunter’s Planet picks up some years after the ending of Prey, with Machiko now working for the company on one of its many planets after spending the time inbetween hunting with the yautja. She is approached by Livermore Evanston, a businessman who owns a planet: Hunter’s Planet. He wants to hire Machiko, plus pay off her company contract, to help with an alien problem and has already hired others that will form the team she will lead. She arrives on the planet just as events take a turn for the worst, although she knows something is not quite right from the moment she arrives.
A group of yautja have now arrived on the planet to hunt, bringing with them the creatures they like the most: hard meat. With Evanston’s genetically engineered creatures, including a T-Rex, roaming the wild, the yautja are glad of the challenge. But they encounter something they weren’t expecting, a different sort of hard meat, one that can use a weapon, and it kills the hunt leader before they realise what is going on.
We follow Machiko while she gradually discovers the truth of what Evanston has been doing, and creating, on the planet. She makes contact with the yautja, killing thier leader, an old foe and gaining their respect.
I enjoyed this one more than Prey, mainly because it was much better written, had a solid story to it and kept you guessing for a while about what exactly was going on, and what these genetic creations were. When the final act comes about, it’s all action and convincing in a way I wasn’t quite expecting. The story could have carried on beyong the ending given as the aliens the yautja bought with them to hunt are still out in the wild. This would have given a better opportunity to explore the yautja more, whic is one of the gripes I have with this book.
Although this isn’t strictly Aliens Vs Predator in pure form, it’s still a very enjoyable read with great action sequences, although, like its predecessor, it is still shallow on the character front. Machiko is again developed better than the rest, and benefits from having the back story from Prey.
A good, enjoyable book overall with enough set pieces to make it memorable, but it could have done with some exploration of Machiko’s past with the yautja.