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Literature / Alien Hunters

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Alien Hunters is a Space Opera novel trilogy by Daniel Arenson.

Thousands of years into the future, long after humanity has learned to master space travel, a young man named Raphael "Riff" Starfire finds himself on the run after an alien-worshiping cult mistakes him for knowing the whereabouts of a powerful alien. As he flees from the cult, he runs into his brother Steel and ex-girlfriend Nova, inadvertently getting both of them entangled in his troubles. While escaping the cult, the trio ultimately buy a starship called the Dragon Huntress and head into outer space, where Riff and his new crew solve various contracts involving subduing or killing hostile aliens, thus becoming the eponymous Alien Hunters.


Alien Hunters is about Riff forming his crew and facing off against the evil Skelkrin Empire as they try to kidnap a fugitive alien called Midnight so they can use her powers to conquer the universe.

Alien Sky centers around the Alien Hunters discovering that a malevolent A.I. has been creating destructive robots and using them to destroy all sentient life across the galaxy. It's up to the Alien Hunters to find the A.I.'s source and stop it before all organic life is wiped out.

Alien Shadows sees the Alien Hunters visiting a distant planet where scientists are studying the mysteries of a nearby black hole. When one of the scientists goes missing, the Alien Hunters soon discover that there's something living within the black hole, and it craves wanton destruction and death.


The Alien Hunters trilogy provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The first novel ends with Emperor Lore telling Riff that he's going to find him and destroy his world. He's completely forgotten about in the sequels.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Singularity is a machine that evolved and became sentient. After doing so, it continued to evolve and grew to hate all organic life forms, seeking to wipe out all life in the galaxy.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The series ends with the Alien Hunters having stopped Queen Yurei, prevented Steel's death, and the crew going off to solve another bounty together—something they intend to do for a very long time.
  • Androids Are People, Too: Giga is an android, but she displays human emotions such as love, fear, and sorrow, and she can even cry real tears. She's treated like any regular human being by the other Alien Hunters, despite being a machine.
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  • Back from the Dead: Steel dies towards the end of Alien Shadows, but Riff manages to travel back in time to the exact moment where he was impaled by a sword and knocks the sword out of his path. The ending confirms he successfully rescued Steel without creating a time paradox.
  • Big Bad: There's one in each novel.
    • Alien Hunters has Lord Skrum.
    • Alien Sky has the Singularity.
    • Alien Shadows has Queen Yurei.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Skrum is a tall, bulky alien with crimson-colored skin who wears black armor covered in spikes and hooks and shamelessly tortures and kills innocents because he sees all other species as being inferior to him.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Romy. She's by far the most childish character in the trilogy, but she's more than capable of defending herself and tearing her foes apart whenever a fight goes down.
  • Cyborg: Grotter, a Cosmian leader whose body is composed of half metal and machinery, and half flesh.
  • The Dragon: Grotter from Alien Hunters, the leader of the Cosmians hunting down Riff and working for Skrum.
  • Eaten Alive: Skrum is devoured by the tentacle alien controlling the Crab's engines.
  • Evil Wears Black:
    • The skelkrin warriors all wear charcoal-colored armor.
    • After Giga is corrupted by the Singularity, she wears a black kimono covered in small red flames.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Giga turns evil after she's infected with a virus from the Singularity's robots. Fortunately, she gets better after the Singularity is defeated.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Emperor Lore, the skelkrin leader Skrum reports to who also raised Skrum into becoming the bloodthirsty warrior he is now.
  • The Heavy: Grotter and his Cosmian cult are the ones driving most of Alien Hunters forward. They spend half of the book chasing after Riff and his crew, whilst Skrum and the skelkrins are on a completely different planet light years away from them. The Alien Hunters don't even encounter a skelkrin until the last handful of chapters.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Giga's primary weapon in Alien Shadows.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: Midnight in Alien Hunters, whom the skelkrins are trying to capture so they can use her powers to teleport their warships around the galaxy.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Emperor Lore, who only appears briefly via holograms so he can give out orders to Skrum and Grotter.
  • Psycho Supporter: Skrum will willingly do whatever his Emperor commands of him, no matter how destructive his orders may be.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Alien Hunters consist of Steel, a disgraced knight, Nova, a gladiator banished from her home world, Romy, a childish demon from Hell, Twig, a dwarf-like alien and outcast, Piston, a cranky grizzled-old engineer, and Giga, a Japanese android. And they're all led by Riff Starfire, a washed-up blues musician.
  • Refuge in Audacity. This was written by Daniel Arenson, so this level of humor is expected. Most notably is when Piston extracts fuel from Romy's urine, and when a dinosaur that the Alien Hunters are trying to capture starts humping the Dragon Huntress, believing it to be a female it can mate with.
  • Rock Monster: Voora, Nova's bodyguard at the Alien Arena, is an alien that looks like a humanoid granite boulder.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Skrum murdered his own parents after Emperor Lore ordered him to do so.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Giga spends all of the first book stuck inside of the Dragon Huntress, and she's incapable of physically leaving the ship or participating in anything outside of space combat. Come Alien Shadows, not only can Giga now leave the ship, but she's armed with a katana, and is very skilled in using it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happens to Emperor Lore after Alien Hunters, despite him proclaiming that he plans on finding Riff and destroying his home world.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: After Voora brings Riff up to his mouth and tells him to go away, Riff coughs and tells him his breath smells like mint, cherry wine, and a possum's carcass.


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