Alien: Sea of Sorrows is a 2014 novel written by James A. Moore and published by Titan Books. A sequel to Alien: Out of the Shadows, the book deals with the rediscovery of dormant Xenomorphs in the abandoned mines of LV-178, which has now been terraformed and renamed New Galveston. The Weyland-Yutani Corporation, reformed after the collapse of the United Systems Military, continue their unceasing efforts to weaponize the creatures, eliciting the help of Alan Decker, an unknowing descendant of the long-dead Ellen Ripley.

As well as the standard print edition, an audio drama adaptation of the novel was in 2018, read by an ensemble cast, directed by Dirk Maggs and published by Audible Studios.

Sea of Sorrows is the second novel in the 2014 Alien novel trilogy, which was designed to tie into the events of the existing film series. It was preceded by Alien: Out of the Shadows and followed by Alien: River of Pain. The book was released on July 25, 2014 in the UK,[2] and five days later on July 29 internationally.[1]

Publisher's Summary

As a deputy commissioner for the ICC, Alan Decker's job is to make sure the settlements on LV-178 follow all the rules, keeping the colonists safe. But the planet known as New Galveston holds secrets, lurking deep beneath the toxic sands dubbed the Sea of Sorrows.

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has secrets of its own, as Decker discovers when he is forced to join a team of mercenaries sent to investigate an ancient excavation. Somewhere in that long-forgotten dig lies the thing the company wants most in the universe — a living Xenomorph.

Decker doesn't understand why they need him, until his own past comes back to haunt him. Centuries ago, his ancestor fought the Aliens, launching a bloody vendetta that was never satisfied. That was when the creatures swore revenge on the Destroyer... Ellen Ripley.


"Continuing the groundbreaking story from ALIEN: OUT OF THE SHADOWS by Tim Lebbon, this novel will reveal Ripley's legacy, as her descendants continue to be harried by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation in their unceasing effort to weaponize the aliens."[1]

According to Moore, "SEA OF SORROWS takes place several hundred years in the future from ALIEN and ALIENS despite their intimate connection."[3] The novel "reveals the far-reaching impact of the events of Alien: Out of the Shadows.[4]

A part of the prologue has been released. It starts from the point of view of a Xenomorph, as it chases its prey. It explains how fragile the humans are and how easy it is to hunt them, and how the aliens choose the right prey for furthering their race. The Xenomorphs guide the humans through the tunnels and observe as they are not team-workers, each one fighting for his own survival. Finally, they trap one and immobilize him until a Facehugger attaches to his face.

Alan Decker wakes inside his cryotube, panicked by primal, too vivid dreams.


According to James A. Moore:

"The premise of the novel is to offer a sort of "reboot" to the series, that honors all of the things that have gone before and establishes a continuity that keeps all of the previous situations intact, including the dissolution of Weyland-Yutany, the devastation of Europe at the end of A:R, ALL of the movies and events as well as several video games. After the first draft of the novel was written Fox went over it with a fine-toothed comb and several changes were made. [...] i did not make major changes to the Xenomorphs. That might be something that happens later on, but for now there are extremely strict rules because Fox wants to UN-muddy the waters that have been muddied again and again by comics, other books, etc. Ultimately nothing that happens in the book would have happened without either a) the express permission of Fox or b) the express DESIRE of Fox. in point of fact, the initial concept behind the novel came from the powers that be at Fox. That doesn't mean I didn't plot the beast out, but the concept of a descendant of Ripley was theirs, as was the empathic link."
James A. Moore[5]

Originally, 20th Century Fox wanted the novel to ignore the events of Alien3 and Alien Resurrection and reference only the first two films in the series. However, the studio later changed its mind, and the book had to be altered to fit with the events of the later movies.[5] Moore welcomed the change, saying he was "okay with that, actually" and that "there were aspects of A:R that I really liked".[5]

Audio Drama

See: Alien: Sea of Sorrows (audio drama)


  • As with the other two books in the trilogy, Sea of Sorrows' title has a musical link; it shares its name with the fourth single by rock band Alice in Chains, "Sea of Sorrow" (1991), although with an "s" appended.
  • Seas of Sorrows was the first media to use the new, official in-universe designation for the Alien creature — Xenomorph XX121. The term was coined by S. D. Perry for Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, but Seas of Sorrows was ultimately published several months before Perry's book.
  • The novel hinted that the then-unreleased video game Alien: Isolation was to be included in the official canon of the Alien franchise when Rollins mentions that both Ellen and Amanda Ripley have previously thwarted Weyland-Yutani's attempts to recover a Xenomorph specimen.[6] Moore later confirmed that this was the case,[5] while Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report would eventually cement Alien: Isolation's place in official canon.
  • According to this book, telepathy is not an uncommon phenomenon in the future of the Alien universe; Decker himself is a low level telepath, known as an empath.
  • While the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines showed that Queen Facehuggers look no different from standard variants, the novel contradicts this by describing one such creature as similar to the Royal Facehugger seen in the Special Edition of Alien3, being larger with webbed digits.


See: Alien: Out of the Shadows trilogy goofs


External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 " - Alien - Sea of Sorrows (Novel #2)". Retrieved on 2013-12-30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 " - Alien - Sea of Sorrows (Book 2)". Retrieved on 2014-07-28.
  4. Tim Lebbon. Alien: Out of the Shadows, p. 348 (2014), Titan Books.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3
  6. James A. Moore. Alien: Sea of Sorrows, p. 62 (2014), Titan Books.