War is a direct sequel to the original Aliens vs. Predator novel, Prey, and totally ignores the events of the preceding book, Hunter's Planet. War also acts as a sequel to the novel Aliens: Berserker, also written by Perry.
WHERE ONLY THE FITTEST SHALL SURVIVE, HUMANS STAND THE SLIMMEST CHANCE OF ALL.
Machiko Noguchi lived for the thrill of the Hunt. She ran with the Predators until her human ingenuity marked her as an outcast. Now the thrill is over. And the fierce warriors of her Hunting band are tracking her. Meanwhile, Jess, Lara and Eliis, remnants of a bug-hunter team that wiped out an Alien infestation in a Company space station, know too many secrets to be allowed to live. They are being set up by a ruthlessly ambitious Company boss who will stop at nothing to silence them forever.
An outcast human Hunter and a trio of bug hunters. They are the most unlikely allies. Yet on the swamp planet Bunda, they must join in a desperate fight. Company hit-squads are already moving in for the kill. Fearsome Predators are heading fora showdown with a ferocious colony of Aliens. And between them stand four brave warriors in an all-out war between the galaxy's most savage lifeforms — a war nothing human can survive.
Following the destruction of the human colony on Ryushi, survivor Machiko Noguchi is living and Hunting with a Yautja clan, having earned the respect of Dachande before he died on Ryushi and being Blooded by him as a result. However, after a year with the clan, Machiko is becoming increasingly frustrated with her life with the Yautja, having discovered the rest of Dachande's race lack his forward-thinking and willingness to accept an alien being as one of their own. Instead, her clanmates refuse to acknowledge her as an equal and undermine her attempts to integrate herself into their culture at every turn, ignoring acts of bravery and skill that would be honored in any Yautja.
One individual in particular, whom Machiko nicknames Shorty on account of his diminutive (for a Yautja) stature, harangues her at every opportunity. The clan's leader, Top-Knot, organizes a fight between Machiko and Shorty to determine which of them will partake in the next Hunt; Machiko acquits herself well, but when one of the watching Yautja surreptitiously intervenes, she is defeated and subjected to further shame, losing her Blooded rank. Devastated and alone, Machiko elects to leave the Yautja and rejoin her fellow humans at the first opportunity.
Meanwhile, Colonial Marine Lieutenant Kat Lara, convict Martin Jess and technician Brian Ellis, the three survivors of a disastrous Berserker mission on the space station DS 949, drift aimlessly through space. With their short-range shuttle out of fuel and their oxygen supply dwindling, the trio solemnly await their inevitable death. Their fortunes miraculously turn around when their calls for help are answered by a remote research post on the jungle planet Bunda. The station dispatches a rescue ship to deliver fuel and oxygen to the stricken shuttle, and grants them permission to set down at their facility.
Lara, Jess and Ellis, the latter of whom has suffered severe psychological damage following his use of the unit's Berserker combat exosuit on DS 949, cannot believe their fortune, although their relief turns to dismay when they learn that the facility is a Weyland-Yutani outpost — the same company that organized their original mission and had their commander attempt to kill them all. Upon landing, the trio are confined to their ship by the research post's commander Kevin Vincent, who cites standard quarantine procedure, but Lara and the others soon realize that the real reason for their detention is because Weyland-Yutani desires the incriminating computer data they recovered from DS 949. To this end, company representative Lucas Briggs arrives at the outpost to interrogate them.
Aboard her clan's Yautja ship, Machiko learns that many of the creatures have come together for a large Hunt, and is horrified to discover they will be Hunting humans — something she had thought forbidden. Enraged, she hijacks the vessel after the Hunters have left, releasing the captive Xenomorph Queen held in the hold to distract the remaining crewmebers, and crashes it onto the surface of Bunda, where the Xenomorphs the Yautja have unleashed have already claimed several researchers. Several Yautja also attack the floating research station, slaughtering its occupants. Amidst the confusion, Lara, Jess and Ellis escape their Weyland-Yutani captors and prepare to flee in their shuttle, but are attacked by a Yautja as they try to refuel the vessel. Ellis sprays the creature with the fuel hose, triggering an explosion and fire that destroys their ship and brings the entire facility crashing down into the jungle below.
On the ground, Lara and Jess are found by Machiko, who suggests they escape in Top-Knot's ship, which she knows is nearby. However, they are relentlessly pursued by both the Yautja and the Xenomorphs they have spawned on the planet. The group are saved when Ellis re-enters the Berserker suit and unleashes its firepower on both hostile species. The group fights their way to Top-Knot's ship, encountering Briggs' synthetic bodyguard Nirasawa along the way, who carries his unconscious boss, the victim of a Facehugger. When Shorty and several cohorts appear, Lara and Jess push onto Top-Knot's ship, Ellis clearing the way in the Berserker suit and carrying the comatose Briggs, while Machiko faces Shorty and Nirasawa takes on his Yautja allies. Nirasawa kills the Yautja but is destroyed, while Machiko defeats Shorty and kills him in disgrace.
Machiko catches up to the others at Top-Knot's ship, taking the controls while Jess places the doomed Briggs inside the Berserker suit to hold of the Xenomorphs while they escape. The human survivors successfully flee the carnage on Bunda, relieved that their ordeal is finally over.
- Aliens vs. Predator: War would be the final Aliens vs. Predator novel that is an adaptation of a Dark Horse comic book. It was also the last Aliens vs. Predator novel to be published by Bantam; in fact, it was the last book in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchise to come from the publisher.
- War is one of three books in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchise from Bantam that was never published in the United Kingdom, the others being Aliens: Berserker and Predator: Big Game. Notably, all of these novels are the final books published by Bantam in their respective series (meaning that the novels essentially stopped two years earlier in the UK, in 1997, with Aliens vs. Predator: Hunter's Planet being the final book released).