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Alien: Prototype

The Alien™ Series, Book 7
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (206 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

4 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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(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.

4 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.

7 people found this helpful

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loved it!

love the plot, the voice actress, the characters,? just brilliant I hope there is a sequel considering the small cliffhangers.

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another amazing continuance of the alien franchise

loved every moment and leaves you wanting more.... let's hope there is more to the story as need some more

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  • Lady Carmichael
  • 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.

8 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.

1 person 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.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • George Mundinger
  • 19-11-19

Not the best.

I think all of the other alien stories are better. This one had a interesting spin though. It is not the worst read ever.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nyamekye Kofi Hymore
  • 17-11-19

wish it lasted longer. the story was that good.

great naration
interesting xenomorphs
I wish these books were longer really. I enjoyed being in that world for a bit.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michel O'Hara
  • 03-11-19

Great Narration, Story Very Slow in Places

This is a fairly standard, predictable Alien story, which is fine, but it seems to really get bogged down in places. The narration was great but I just couldn't get into it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ariella Candelaria
  • 30-10-19

Another Exciting Adventure in the Alien Universe!

I have been a Alien franchise fan since I was 8 years old. And this is another fantastic adventure! And it features a fascinating twist with the Xenomorph which answers a question I have had for years! Don’t worry I won’t spoil it!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Admiralu
  • 23-11-19

Predictable, Gory & not Up to Earlier Original Books


This book is the latest edition of the Alien series. The last book, was based on the Isolation game. Like the last book, it's somewhat of a letdown. Predictable, gory and fast moving, it's an entry that should've been more. Adding a new genetic equation in the evolution of the species, it just serves as an outlet to make the book similar to Alien Covenant on the gore quotient. What's lacking is corporate hijinks. I was hoping for a larger focus on this. The earlier original story books did a fantastic job of incorporating corporate greed vs the need to capture an alien and the stories were solid, not needing shock value. If you haven't read them, Alien, Out of the Shadows and Alien Sea of Sorrows were much better books of suspense, great characters and solid stories. This book did have Zula and her synth friend Davis who were very likable, but parts of the story were not addressed.
I read this book using immersion reading while listening to the audio book. The same narrator from the last book was used and her voice is too soft. Her male accents aren't great either. I'm sorry they couldn't get the wonderful Tom Taylorson who did the Alien Covenant books. Just a so-so entry.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luis Barahona
  • 31-10-19

very much enjoyed it pls make into audio drama

very much liked the book i would love to see it dramatized for audible later

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • jcmwbjs
  • 31-10-19

It drags on and on

I’m a huge alien fan, this edition is painful, it drags on and on, the narration is AWFUL, the story is painful, predictable, except for the few moments when the plot defies logic. Listen at your own peril

3 people found this helpful