Author: Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire)
Released: April 9th, 2019
Alien: Echo is the first novel in the world of Aliens. At least, that I’m aware of. It’s also a young adult novel, making it a unique blend. It’s the first novel in a series of the same name (makes it easier to remember), and it was an absolute blast to read.
Fans of Mira Grant’s (aka Seanan McGuire) writing will love this novel, as will many Alien fans. If you happen to be a fan of both (like myself) this novel will be pure perfection for you. It’s similar in tone to Mira Grant’s Parasitology series while holding true to the core of Aliens.
Alien: Echo follows a family of xenobiologists – I know, they couldn’t have been better suited for this situation – and their…adventure on a colony world. Olivia and her sister Viola are twins, and while both have expressed an interest in learning their parents’ trade, that’s about all they have in common. Well, that and their devotion to one another. But like all of the Aliens movies out there – things start out calm, but quickly get out of hand.
Warnings: I don’t really think this novel needs a warning. Basically, expect any of the graphic scenes from an Alien movie, and you’re good to go.
Alien: Echo was an absolutely brilliant read. And I mean that literally. It was a more analytical view of Aliens (thanks to the background in xenobiology for our main character), while still holding on to all of the raw emotion and terror that comes with the series.
There was a lot I loved about this novel. Admittedly I wasn’t sure at first about the family of xenobiologists. Was it cheating? But once I got into the story I ended up enjoying that spin. For one thing, it justified their presence, and for another, it allowed for a more educated assessment of the Aliens. Not something we see every day, right?
Olivia made for a great main character. She was stubborn and driven, but also a good person deep down. She loves her sister more than anything, which ended up actually becoming a major plot point.
Adapting a graphic movie series into a novel couldn’t have been easy. However, Mira Grant managed to find a way to keep the tone of the series, while throwing her own style into the mix. Having a character that could analyze and understand the true horror of the Alien biology was a smart move. It made up for the loss of scare jumps and the like.
I went into this novel expecting the typical twists and turns known to Aliens. What I got was so much more. There was personal drama, a romantic subplot, and even some family developments that were shocking. But in their own ways, all of this actually fits in pretty well with the core of Aliens.
The hardest part here is knowing that the title for the next novel hasn’t even been released. So there’s going to be quite a wait between books one and two. Well, maybe not quite as big of a wait as normal. Mira Grant is a prolific writer, after all. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.