Alien Chronicles

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A series of Sci-Fi books published by Lucas Film, that tells the tale of how a single slave, Ampris, leads an uprising against the reptilian Viis, whose cruel empire is undergoing a Gotterdammerung, and becomes a legend.

The first book The Golden One tells of Ampris's birth and "adoption" by the future Empress of the Viis, Israi. Ampris enjoys a priviliged life, sort of.

The second book The Crimson Claw chronicles Ampris's fight for survival in gladiator rings.

The third book The Crystal Eye shows us how Ampris becomes a legend and confronts her old friend Israi for the last time.

Oh, and did we mention that no humans exist anywhere in the series? That's right: Only aliens. Aliens who didn't make the cut for Star Wars. Several interviews from when the series debuted claim that the books were INSPIRED by a book of unused Star Wars aliens released a few years earlier. Apparently, all-new races ended up being developed and none of the cast-offs made the cut.

Tropes used in Alien Chronicles include:
  • Absent Aliens - Inverted. Everyone is an alien. It's the humans who are absent.
  • Action Girl - Ampris. Some may argue that her actions in the third book constitute Faux Action Girl, but at least when she's in the gladiator rings she's definitely kicking ass.
  • Alpha Bitch - Israi.
  • A Protagonist Shall Lead Them
  • The Beautiful Elite - The Viis, who actually judge individual worth by attractiveness, ugly aliens have to wear masks in public to avoid offending them. "Ugly" Viis are a separate social class called Rejects. The Rejects join the Freedom Fighters in Book 3, playing a crucial part in helping Ampris cause the entire Viis empire to BSOD. They turn her offer of joining the abiru on Ruu-113 down, however, preferring to stay behind and remold Viis society instead.
  • Beware the Nice Ones - When Ampris gets dangerous, watch out.
  • Big Damn Heroes - Elrabin gets several.
  • Blessed with Suck - Ampris's beautiful golden coat causes her to be stolen from her mother three days after being born, because she'll turn a profit on the slave market.
  • Blood Sport - Ampris ends up a champion of this.
  • Break the Cutie - This maybe counts for Ampris?
  • Call a Rabbit a Smeerp - Mostly Viis words for things like "princess", "child", and "teenager".
  • Catgirl - Ampris's race is apparently this, though the artwork on the paperbacks makes her look like a cross between a dog and an ape.
  • Chew Toy - Elrabin's life before he meets Ampris.
  • The Chosen One - while not played completely straight, the history of the aliens sees Ampris as this by virtue of a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl - Velia, Elrabin's mate, who should've been punched in the face numerous times by Ampris for her screechy and unhelpful behavior. (But isn't.)
  • Condemned Contestant - At the low point in her gladiatorial career, Ampris finds herself being forced to kill political prisoners and unarmed convicts. She doesn't take it too well.
  • Creepy Child - Ampris's halfArroun/half-Viis kids count as this for other races. Leads to Wangst, naturally.
  • Deadly Gas - Zeron gas makes repeated appearances, and becomes a Chekhov's Gun during Ampris' imprisonment in the lab.
  • Defeat Means Friendship - Both played straight and subverted, repeatedly, and often harshly.
  • Divided We Fall
  • Daddy's Little Villain - Israi, so much.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending - Ampris earns this not for herself, but for the rest of the abiru who make the pilgrimage to Ruu-113. Ampris dies on the surface of their new world. Counts as a subversion, since there's definitely a build-up.
  • The Emperor - The Kaa.
  • Fantastic Racism - The themes are definitely there.
  • Forced Prize Fight - The arena circuit.
  • Galaxy's Most Beautiful Viis - Israi, and that's the primary reason why she's the sri-Kaa. The Viis empire has some...issues.
  • Gilded Cage - Ampris grows up in one.
  • Gladiator Games
  • Hurting Hero - Every time things look up for Ampris, the rug gets jerked out from under her.
  • I Owe You My Life - For all the good it does.
  • Idiot Ball - Book 3 has this in spades, especially when Ampris makes perfectly sound leadership choices, delivered in a reasonable tone, and gets treated like a howling tyrant even though she's been leading one particular group safely and successfully for twelve years.
    • In the third book, Ampris captures Israi in the Palace Archives during an incognito database search. She tries to convince Israi to free the slaves but fails, and cannot ransom her back because that would only cause a palace coup. Knowing that retaliation with extreme prejudice is imminent, Ampris lets Israi go then prepares the Myal archivists to abandon ship. She could have easily kept Israi locked up incognito long enough for an orderly evacuation but did not. It's a moment of supreme stupidity from an otherwise very smart character, just so the author could Shoot the Shaggy Dog yet again.
  • Idle Rich - The Viis, and how. It's a big part of what destroys their empire.
  • Informed Ability - Ampris is supposed to be a champion gladiator. It doesn't stop her from being crippled by a completely inexperienced slave alien-bird lunging for one last shot at a kill.
    • Considering the countless fights before that one in which Ampris' skills are repeatedly shown, it's not so much an Informed Ability as a case of a Badass having a foul stroke of luck.
  • Informed Attractiveness - The Viis are supposedly gorgeous, but the pictures of them on the official website are...not so much.
  • Interspecies Romance - Brutally subverted when Ampris is experimented upon by a Viis Mad Scientist who impregnates her with half-breed babies. Elrabin and Ampris count more as Heterosexual Life Partners.
  • Intelligent Gerbil - everyone.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses - Most of the abiru, and Ampris spends a lot of time trying to rip these off.
  • Joan of Archetype - Complete with mystic overtones, humiliation, and tragic death.
  • Knight in Sour Armor - Elrabin
  • Lady of War - Ampris, who is probably the most educated and sophisticated Aaroun in the galaxy, ends up being trained as a gladiator. And she's amazing at it.
  • Magnetic Hero - Unfortunately for Ampris, her magnetism has a tendency to waver when she most needs it.
  • The Not Love Interest - Only their different species prevent Elrabin from being the no-brainer match for Ampris.
  • Pet The Aaroun - The Kaa's most sympathetic moments involve small kindnesses to Ampris when she was a cub. Sadly, he still ruins her life on an angry whim without a second thought, dooming his empire indirectly in the process.
  • Platonic Life Partners - Ampris and Elrabin
  • Pleasure Planet - Mynchepop
  • The Promised Land - Rus-113
  • The Reptilians - The Viis
  • The Resistance
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Deliberately invoked, according to Word of God.
  • Royal Brat - Oviel, Israi's scheming brother, is a real piece of work.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog - Seriously, Ampris gets repeatedly kicked from day one : stolen from her mother, raised by the unfeeling Viis, betrayed by her best friend, enslaved as a gladiator, maimed and discarded, experimented upon and artificially impregnated, gives birth to two ungrateful jerk-brat halfbreeds, and when all is said and done, dies right after she arrives at the planet she brought all the races to in order to liberate them all.
  • Sinister Surveillance - Omnipresent, to the point where it gives a lot of abiru a serious complex.
  • Spoiled Brat - Israi.
  • Spy Speak - Ampris creates a code from her species' native language.
  • Too Dumb to Live - Really, the way the abiru behave towards concepts like 'cooperate to survive' or 'maybe slavery sucks' is this. This i also sadly reflective of how citizen psychology is twisted in totalitarian governments in the Real World; Stockholm Syndrome abounds, the underground are extremely paranoid and betray each other all the time, etc. Solidarity comes very, very slowly, and when it starts to rear its head it is ruthlessly crushed, often by massacre, by the powers-that-be. As the Viis do to the Freedom Fighters in Book 3.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting - While waiting for Ampris to recover from her latest kick to the face, we get to see Israi's ascension to the throne and ruling of the Empire.
    • The first novel splits its focus between the early lives of Elrabin and Ampris, up until their first meeting.
  • Typecasting - With the different species. Aaroun (catlike, heavy boned and muscled, temperamental), Kelth (foxlike, nervous and sly), Myal (monkeylike, highly intelligent scholar class), Toth (bovine, Dumb Muscle), etc. Brutally averted on occasion with examples such as the Complete Monster Barthul the Myal drug lord and Scar, his Elite Mook Kelth.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future - Lampshaded The Kaa has robots that can do everything the slaves do, but they don't work very well, and he, and presumably the rest of the Viis, prefer the "human" touch.
    • Actually, it's revealed in the third book that the Kaa used so much manual labor to disguise how their technological infrastructure was crumbling.
  • We ARE Struggling Together! - For heaven's sake, can the abiru please get along for three minutes?
  • What Happened to the Mouse? - A common feature of all three books, such as with Ampris' gladiator team, the family she was sold into slavery for after the Kaa kicked her out of the palace, and the grandaddy of all, what happened to the abiru that did not manage to get on the cargo ships headed to Ruu-113, such as those off the homeworld Viismyel.
    • Heavily averted with the denizens of the palace itself, however, especially Bish and the archivists -- though Bish does not live to see Ampris' return to the palace.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist - Alas, poor Goldie.