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Summary

When an industrial spy steals a Xenomorph egg, former Colonial Marine Zula Hendricks must prevent an alien from killing everyone on an isolated colony planet.

Venture, a direct rival to the Weyland-Yutani corporation, will accept any risk to crush the competition. Thus, when a corporate spy "acquires" a bizarre, leathery egg from a hijacked vessel, she takes it directly to the Venture testing facility on Jericho 3. 

Though unaware of the danger it poses, the scientists there recognize their prize's immeasurable value. Early tests reveal little, however, and they come to an inevitable conclusion. They need a human test subject....

Enter Zula Hendricks.

A member of the Jericho 3 security staff, Colonial Marines veteran Zula Hendricks has been tasked with training personnel to deal with anything the treacherous planet can throw their way. Yet nothing can prepare them for the horror that appears - a creature more hideous than any Zula has encountered before. 

Unless stopped, it will kill every human being on the planet.

©2019 Alien and Aliens TM & © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

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(sigh) Oh dear! Fox always has to push it too far!

There is some interesting concepts here, like the Xenomorph inheriting viral traits from it's virus-carrying host. In this case creating the deadlier Necromorph. That's as much positive feedback as I can give unfortunately.
Sarah Mollo-Christensen is a good narrator, with a good range of character voices, if not a little exaggerated at times. Ultimately, she has to work with what she's got!

On it's own, Alien: Prototype is OK at best (& that's being very kind). Unfortunately, it fits so awkwardly with the wider canon of the Alien Universe, I found it impossible to like. Let me explain.....

I LOVE Alien and its lore. When I heard about Out of Shadows, that it had Ripley as a main character and sat between the Alien and Aliens movies, I was horrified (for all the wrong reasons). Then, I listened to it and was delighted to find that it fit neatly and plausibly in with the established canon. GREAT WORK TEAM - very well done!!!
I had a similar experience with the Alien: Isolation game, which features Ripley's daughter Amanda, also encountering the Xenomorph between Alien and Aliens. Again, it was actually a great story and the gameplay terrified me for all the right reasons. The audiobook isn't a patch on the game, but I was glad it was made to allow non-gamers to know Amanda's story and how it fits so well with the movie canon! INCREDIBLE TEAM - you've achieved the impossible not once, but twice, adding 2 new chapters to the Alien story between the first two movies!
But, of course, Fox can't be happy with that success and greed takes over. And here's where it starts to come apart. Fox starts trying to shoehorn an entire series of Xenomorph encounters for Amanda and friends whilst Ripley sleeps in deep space - and it's clumsy, non-sensical and I absolutely HATE it for the following reasons:
1. The Alien: Isolation audiobook (also narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen) introduces a friend of Amanda Ripley's called Zula Hendricks. She is a flashback character and therefore not involved with the Xenomorph encounter at all.
2. I only listen to the Alien audiobook series, so whilst I am aware Zula later appears in a comic book series called Alien: Defiance, set after Isolation, I haven't read it and there is no explanation how Zula goes from a bit part in Amanda's story to Xenomorph-battling veteran in this dreadful tale!
3. The understanding of HOW the scientists actually got hold of a Xenomorph egg is not explained at all and the inclusion of Zula in the story seems to infer that she encounters the Xenomorph again purely by chance! Which is utterly preposterous.
4. The fact other companies besides Weyland Yutani are aware and somehow have access to Xenomorph eggs, just makes a mockery of the original movie lore.

I have more, but these are my main reasons for hating this book - if you are an Alien fan, pretend this, and any other book staring Zula Hendricks as a poor Ripley stand-in, doesn't exist - check out Alien: Cold Forge instead, which sensibly picks up after Aliens, with no ridiculous or tenuous links to the Ripley family. It has incredible characters and is an awesome story in its own right, not a poor attempt to bolt onto better material like this trash.

14 people found this helpful

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Best Alien audiobook so far!

Brilliantly read!
Great descriptive writing.
Found it very easy to listen to and immerse myself in the story.
Genuinely the best Alien book so far!

6 people found this helpful

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Slightly under par story for the series

In terms of the Aliens book series this for me would be on the lower side of the scale in terms of story. It has all the usual tropes of the Aliens franchise but I really felt that a lot was being left unsaid, I never really got a clear picture of The Lodge and felt that a lot of its locations were under used.

I also never got a clear understanding of how many people were still left alive by the end of the book and therefore didn't really know how bad the situation in the story had got.

I felt that character development was started and then abruptly stopped before I could get a sense of the antagonists and protagonists overall. Without spoiling the story I think one of the main antagonists really should have been a constant pressure on top of the Necromorph.

Overall it was ok, no where near the quality of the Cold Forge and others but still worth a punt if you're a fan of the Aliens series.

5 people found this helpful

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Worst Alien Book ever

Good narration but the story is poorly written and laid out, compared to most of the others in the series, this one is awful, don't waste your credits or money

2 people found this helpful

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Get some Dark Horse comic back issues instead.

The story is by far the least engaging of these Alien side stories. Not particularly original and there are inconsistencies with known Alien law....well maybe they aren't that well known. Also there are segments that are from the Alien POV, and no I didn't appreciate them.

2 people found this helpful

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okay

fairly good but found story and delivery a bit laborious and lacking in dynamics and depth.

1 person found this helpful

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A good story with some new twists

A long time Aliens lover and I've read them all. really enjoyed this story and was a nice surprise how the story evolved and just how utterly lethal the necronorph was in the tale.

1 person found this helpful

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What the actual, Audible?

Yet another mono Alien book inexplicably encoded at 128kbps, resulting in a frankly unnecessarily massive half a gigabyte file, whilst the Alien audio dramas, Out of the Shadows and River of Pain, which actually would benefit from a higher bit-rate languish at a miserable sounding 64kbps.

Audible would appear to have no concept of what kind of content actually benefits from better quality. I despair.

8 people found this helpful

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Didn't need the disease

A good story, but didn't need the disease aspect to the Alien. Still enjoyed it though.

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Better than the latest movies

Tim Waggoner knows his stuff, the best way to perform a good alien story is through a slow build up, fleshing out the characters and their personalities before excrement hits the proverbial fan. Sarah's performance as well if amazing. overall 10/10

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  • Lady Lorien
  • 22-11-19

Just a little disappointing

I have really loved the Alien audiobooks and audio dramas of the last few years. This one just disappointed a little. First, I didn't realize that I needed to have read some of the Alien graphic novels before listening to this to find out about The Adventures of Amanda and Zula Killing Aliens. I could somewhat figure it out, although I am desperate to know what happened to Amanda, so I'll be tracking down the graphic novels for sure.

Second, there was A LOT of set up in this book, and it didn't really pay off. In Alien: The Cold Forge, there was quite a lot of set up as well, but the payoff was worth it (holy moly Blue trying to escape the aliens was TENSE). To me, the scariest part of the aliens is when they are stalking people. It's the sustained suspense of people trying to avoid (or kill) the aliens when they could suddenly appear from anywhere and strike. There just wasn't a lot of that in Alien Prototype. For example, using the robot aliens from the training grounds to attack the Alien was kind of clever, but not worth the endless time we spent on the training grounds before that.

Third, there's the Alien itself. It's more like Alien: Accidental Prototype since it wasn't intentional that it ended up crossed with a flesh-eating disease. I was intrigued by that setup, but it just didn't work for me. Like, aliens are already pretty darn deadly as they are. Adding in that this Alien can infect you with a flesh-eating disease that kills you in about 30 seconds just didn't make it scarier for me. It seems like lazy writing if you have to add in a flesh-eating disease to make the Alien scary or interesting. Kind of like the Jurassic Park/World nonsense that you have to keep building bigger and scarier dinosaurs rather than just making a good story. Okay, so you have this additional worry that the Alien can infect you from several feet away, but honestly if there is an Alien a few feet from you it's already REALLY worrying. The whole "dual drives" of the Alien thing also made the Alien seem a bit indecisive which meant it was actually a little less scary.

And fourth, speaking of the "dual drives" thing, there was so much repetition. Did you know that the Alien is driven by its nature to kill and reproduce, but the flesh-eating diseases also drives it to infect people? Yes? Oh too bad because you will be beaten over the head with it. And did you know that as a synthetic, Bridget doesn't have to worry about either the flesh-eating disease or the Alien trying to impregnate her? Well you will never forget it because it will be mentioned again and again, sometimes within a few sentences.

The bright spots? Zula and Tamar are badass ladies on opposite sides of the empathy coin. They both get the opportunity to show how badass, clever, and prepared they are. And if there is another theme to a good Alien story it's badass women kicking Alien butt.

I think overall this book suffers from comparison to The Cold Forge and Isolation, which I think did the suspense and tension much better. As for the narration, I think Sarah Mollo-Christensen is okay. She narrated Isolation as well, and she does an okay job at differentiating voices. I suppose she does have a strange way of enunciating at times, but it didn't bother me. I've listened to Isolation a couple of times and both times enjoyed it a lot. Sadly, I'm returning Prototype.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Scott Garrison
  • 30-11-20

aliens becomes woke

if you like the aliens universe you'll listen to this...if you like woke feminism politics you'll love this. every single male character is not only a villain but he's sociopathic in some way... the only male that is the exception to this is a neutered computer program that like Pinocchio is not a real boy.... most everyone of the diverse independent and strong female characters it's shown to be a better warrior, smarter, more moral and resourceful, and overall a better leader than any of the males they have dominion over. one of the colonial marine like soldiers is mentioned as transitioning... for no purpose as it doesn't have anything to do with the story.... other than virtue signaling,... if you can get past that...the story is interesting and what you'd expect almost as if they broke down every single interesting scene from past alien movies... and figured out a way to recombine them in this story... it's an interesting touch to have the alien also be a vector for a horrible virus which gives it even more power... however the science of the virus transmission and its effect on living people is like most science in this story... shallow and unrealistic.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shoresy
  • 13-11-20

Alien 2020

Current year bullshit shoehorned into the Alien universe, if we make it to 2137 we’ll be past such trivial matters, yet the author thinks otherwise. I thought the sociopathic “hero” of Cold Forge was bad, but this lot of nobodies aren’t much better. Also good job using the term Necromorph you hack fraud.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nathan Ridings
  • 09-01-20

Monster is Interesting, Story Fails to Deliver

This story presents an interesting variation on the xenomorph, taking the idea of how it takes traits from its host in an interesting direction. A frightening one, let me tell you. At least from the perspective of imagining yourself in that scenario. However, the monster isn't used to its full potential, and like so many of the alien novels, the book assumes familiarity with the creature and doesn't pursue the dread they can inspire, instead focusing on thrills and chills. I appreciate what the author is trying to do, but I think he needs to learn a lot more about showing instead of telling. You often end up with one sentence of someone doing something followed by four sentences of internal monologue explaining that one action. The author doesn't trust the reader to infer motivation or understand anything going on. 3/4s of this book are handholding. Let us learn about the characters from what we see. Don't spoon feed us how you want us to see them. Second primary issue, and one that has so often haunted the novels (as well as the later films) is the lack of any interesting characters. I loathed the lead character and her android friend and found the rest of the caste to be little more than archetypes. The author especially can't handle writing female characters as people. Considering the prominence and thematic importance of the feminine and the Alien franchise, this is an issue. Overall, the idea is solid, the execution sloppy.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen j dowie
  • 03-12-19

Ok but really muddled

If you don't mind a rehash of what has come before then this is pretty good. Unfortunately in an attempt to update the xenomorph we get an almost invincible one which just ends up being silly and frustrating. There is a terrible A.I. fight which is straight out of Terminator 2, sounds bizarre but think about it.
I thought Narrator was very good.

3 people found this helpful

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  • kurt
  • 01-11-19

Stick to Tim Lebbon and Alan Dean Foster.

as usual the narration was good but the story was by far the worst in the aliens series. it seems as if the author has never seen or read anything from the aliens universe. the amount of errors about the alien alone is far too much to write about. now on to the worst part of the book. keep your liberal agenda out of it. every female character is bigger, stronger, faster, and taller then the men in the book. all but one of the males are inept and tilting toward the evil side. you could make an argument that Davis wasn't but he was an android. not only that but it had to be stated that one of the female characters was a lesbian and the other one was a tranny transitioning to male. neither one of those things had a single thing to do with the story. I hate to give it such a bad rating because I love the alien series from audible and want it to keep going. the horrible story and agenda from the Tim Waggoner was just too much to bear. I hope in the future this author is kept from writing anymore aliens or predator books.

14 people found this helpful

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  • default151
  • 20-01-21

Woke Bingo

I made it 25% through this before I just couldn't go on. I had already filled my woke bingo card. Shoehorning every possible 'identity politics' character in was, I'll admit, an impressive feat for a book that is supposed to be about aliens and sci-fi. Glad the writer found the time to throw in some PC shaming.

Ellen Ripley was and is my absolute favorite character of all time. I have watched the movies and played the video games since I was a kid and can quote them verbatim. You know why I loved Ripley and wanted so much to be her? Why I thought Hicks and Apone were so cool? Why Vasquez and Bishop and Ash were great characters? Because the movies didn't need to cram it down my throat that this character is a woman and this character is a man and let me lecture you on current political correctness you ignoramus. Ripley was a lead character fighting to survive that just HAPPENED to be a woman. The other characters didn't need to point it out or make a big thing of it, it just WAS. It happened organically and without raging fanfare. As a woman, I certainly do not need books where the writer thinks I am too much of a simpleton to recognize pandering when I see it. It's insulting and makes me feel used. Stop it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-01-21

Terrible Writing

Managed to make fighting the xenomorphs boring and attempts to put a unique twist on the aliens that is nonsensical.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • K. F.
  • 11-12-20

Mediocre

The story is not bad overall but not great either. The narrator has a droning monotone that is difficult to listen to.

In this book any Xenomorph can reproduce asexually without needing a queen - queens are never even mentioned. I found this very jarring, but apparently it's based on a deleted scene from the original film?

There's a totally idiotic scene where a disembodied AI attempts to hack another AI by going into what can only be described as The Matrix and literally fights the other AI with the power of its "imagination." I'm not editorializing - the author went so far as to repeatedly say that the AI is fighting with the power of imagination. Is this a children's book?

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Touk
  • 05-12-20

Okay Story, Noticable Woke After Taste

The story is alright, it moves along briskly without too much loitering or lag. But issues begin to surface with character introductions that are painfully self-conscious and irrelevant to the action. The seemingly compulsory inventory of specific minorities included only to check the block for each special identity, by name, A through Z. I’m waiting for Identity Politics to catch up to Achondroplasia. Things should really get interesting then.
The problems continue with a less than authentic protagonist. This is the Alien Diaspora, so of course, it will be a female voice - but her presentation fails to deliver in terms of believability. She does not think, plan, or act like the one thing she is supposed to be - a xenomorph experienced former Space Marine. She always comes across as a collection of modern middle-class female stereotypes stuffed into a role that she play-acts her way through, in tepid pedestrian fashion.

For all of that, it isn’t terrible. The Xenomorph is interesting and unusual, bringing a new and different threat to the standard Alien narrative, and the story does roll right along. Waggoner never lets the action get too bogged down or over-involved. Mollo-Christensen’s narration is a good fit for the character and action, as well as carrying the story over moments where the character’s believability falters. If you like the Alien Franchise, [why else would you be listening to the book?] you won’t think it’s the worst Alien story ever - just one of the more Okayest.

1 person found this helpful