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Alien: Prototype (The Alien Series) Audio CD – Unabridged, January 28, 2020
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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.
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About the Author
Tim Waggoner has published over forty novels and five collections of short stories. He writes fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins for properties including Supernatural, Grimm, the X-Files, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Transformers. He is also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College. In 2017 he won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Long Fiction with The Winter Box.
- Publisher : Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged edition (January 28, 2020)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1094030732
- ISBN-13 : 978-1094030739
- Item Weight : 9.3 ounces
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,686,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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First off a few definitions of overused terms within this "novel".
Lesion: An injury, wound or abnormal change in a bodily area/organ often caused by disease or infection. examples would include the wound channel left by a venomous spider/snakebite or an ulcer, or the sores left by syphillis or herpes.
Necrosis: A form of injury to the body's cells caused by either trauma, infection or disease via autolysis (self - digestion of the cell by its own enzymes), leading to premature and rapid cellular death/destruction. Examples would include gangrene and Necrotizing Fasciitis (flesh eating disease).
So now that I've defined a few oft over - used terms from this dumpster fire. Let's jump feet first into the summary of this "novel" and point out the many times Mr. Waggoner fails high school biology throughout the course of it.
1. Alien egg found by freelance corporate spy in cryostasis.
2. Egg brought to research lab on a colony planet owned by the Venture megacorporation.
3. Volunteer who had previously been exposed to various diseases including one that causes cellular necrosis as part of clinical studies is impregnated by facehugger released from the alien egg. All fine and dandy so far.
4. Chestburster erupts from human host and immediately shows the same symptoms of being infected with the deceased host's cellular necrosis disease, just at a far more accelerated rate to the point where it's exoskeleton can be seen forming and rupturing lesions in real time over the entirety of its body. Alien survives and doesn't dissolve into a puddle of organic sludge due to its hyperactive metabolism - wait WHAT?
Hold on for a minute and let's go over that last point in the summary: The Alien (Xenomorph) contracts a disease that causes its very cellular structure to self - destruct and devour itself from its host (which right off the bat shouldn't be possible due to the xenomorph's selective biology). and yet it happens anyways and the little monster survives because it has a fast metabolism? That's not how a metabolism works Mr. Waggoner.
Metabolism: The chemical processes that occur within the body to maintain life, specifically the conversion of food to energy for cellular processes, the creation of necessary compounds necessary to maintain growth (amino acids, fats and lipids etc.) and the elimination of waste matter.
Having a fast metabolism would encourage the spread of the cellular necrosis not render the xenomorph resistant to it as the xenomorph's own body would effectively devour itself at an even faster rate ultimately leading to a short painful existence followed by death and dissolution into an organic soup of chitin and acid. The faster one's bodily processes operate the faster diseases transmit through one's system. There is a reason slowing a person's bodily functions down via both medical and environmental methods is used to slow the spread of disease within a person.
Anyways on with the show.
5. The chestburster (zombieburster?) escapes containment by tearing its way through a grate and entering the ventilation system. Pretty bog standard xenomorph maneuver there.
6. The chestburster, now hungry and needing more biomass to grow attacks a pair of warehouse workers and defends itself from one of them by spraying acidic pus from several of its various lesions. said pus is apparently highly virulent and causes the same cellular necrosis that has infected the xenomorph to infect anyone who is sprayed by it. HUH?
You would think having molecular acid for blood and pus would neutralize any sort of virus within one's bloodstream. Apparently not according to Mr. Waggoner. Somewhere a biologist and a chemist are crying.
7. Chestburster continues to feed and grow and quickly morphs in an adult. (The Alien Covenant school of thought is strong with this one).
8. Adult xenomorph attacks several colonists at the colony's shopping center/bazaar. During the attack it is confronted by several security guards and dispatches them via more acidic/viral pus showers courtesy of the newly formed lesions covering its entire exoskeleton.
9. The doctor that was experimenting on the xenomorph egg decides to call the creature a "Necromorph" due to the cellular necrosis disease it's spreading.
10. Xenomorph escapes back into the ventilation system before reappearing back in the station's medical bay. The Xenomorph kills several patients before security forces arrive and open fire on it.
11. The xenomorph proves to be immune to bullets due to the Lesions on its exoskeleton acting as another layer of armor plating - Must be some strong stuff the author was imbibing when he wrote this.
A lesion can best be described as an open sore/breach in the body's exterior skin/exoskeleton. In other words it's a weakpoint on the xenomorph's hide, not armor plating. At least it would be if M.r. Waggoner knew that of which he wrought!
12. Xenomorph continues to kill colonists, it spreads the cellular necrosis virus throughout the ventilation shafts of the colony's admin building. With the way this thing continues to gain new powers as the plot demands, it sounds like a monster out of a lame Greg Bear novel.
13. More people die, including the corporate spy from the beginning of the book after she stupidly infects herself with the cellular necrosis virus a la some ridley scott - esque moment of sheer and utter idiocy.
14. Xenomorph is lured towards the colony junkyard by surviving security forces, ambushed by training robots controlled by the protagonist's synthetic buddy Davis and gets shot up with pulse rifles - the end. NOPE JUST KIDDING JAJAJAJAJAJAJA! The glorious biology defying lesions again render the space cockroach impervious to weapons - fire even from weapons such as pulse rifles that (as seen repeatedly through all of Jame's Cameron's Aliens) should be tearing the bug into tiny pieces of kibble.
15. The bug is finally lured into the security force's air skimmer/VTOL which the protagonist's synthetic pal Davis self destructs via engine overload. The bug finally dies.
AAaanndd that's a wrap! To be frank the minute The colony doctor (a sop by the name of Millard Gagnon) decided to call the Xenomorph a "Necromorph" everything just went down hill. Suspension of disbelief was tossed out for the crows to feast on and the novel ended up reading like some bad Greg Bear inspired fanfiction.
A corporate spy steals a xenomorph egg; The spy works for Venture, a company that competes with Weyland-Yutani. The egg is taken to Jericho 3, a scientific research facility that also houses a space colonist training program. Surprise surprise! Things go wrong, a xenomorph gets loose in the facility, and it's up to Zula Hendricks and her team of Colonist Protection Force trainees to vanquish yet another of one of science fiction's most fearsome creatures.
Just as you might expect, "Alien: Prototype" fits very neatly (too neatly?) into the formula that we've come to expect from Alien novels: Human discovers alien, underestimates threat, xenomorph gets loose, and gory pandemonium ensues. It's quite the entertaining formula, and Tim Waggoner puts an effective spin on it, but in the end it's exactly what you would expect. Waggoner does try to add some variables to the story that we haven't seen before, such as a xenomorph that caries a disease, and also adding a new corporation that competes with Weyland-Yutani. But in the end, these additions are just not enough to raise the plot of the novel above what Alien readers are already familiar with.
"Alien: Prototype" is a well-written novel. The pacing and action are very tight, and it never feels as if the book drags. Mr. Waggoner doesn't waste space on unneeded filler, and the result is a lean, mean, read that--while predictable--is still an entertaining good time. I appreciated the author's obvious care in crafting the setting. He clearly put some thought in creating the physical layout of the facility, and also gave a new perspective on space colonization that we have not seen before. As someone who is in the military, I also found that some of the jargon used by Zula really is used in the military, and it's always nice to see that. There is less profanity in this novel than I have seen in other Alien novels, and that is fine by me.
Like the plot, the characterization in "Prototype" is caricatured. There's a tough heroine who just wants to kill xenomorphs, an evil scientist, a greedy corporate hack, and the list goes on. The most well-rendered and compelling characters end up being androids. The author raises some interesting questions about androids and their behavior and cognitive abilities, and this content steals the show in terms of characterization. I wish the author had taken a more nuanced approach to corporate intrigue. Venture and Weyland-Yutani are treated just as you would expect--as faceless, greedy, ghouls who are after nothing but money. In his novel "Alien: Covenant: Origins," Alan Dean Foster gives one of the best story treatments of Weyland-Yutani that I've seen, and I wish other writers would pick up on that cue.
For the record, I very much enjoyed "Alien: Prototype." It's absolutely an entertaining, well-written novel that deserves to be part of the Alien pantheon. However, looking to the future, Titan Publishing needs to give readers something new. The tried and true formula is starting to sag, and plot devices are becoming overly familiar. I thought Tim Lebbon's Rage War trilogy was a step in the right direction, and I would love to see more of that kind of fare going forward.
Top reviews from other countries
Ok to start with the Alien Prototype, I do like this idea that at the beginning of the Alien life cycle that first human impregnated has a disease that effects the alien embryo. We have seen things like this in the extended Alien universe, especially with the likes of gorilla Aliens from the cold forge, the dog alien from alien 3 or even the snake Alien from the line of Kenner/Neca action figures. There's alot of potential and I like this whole idea. So the prototype alien in question, in theory is a great idea. The alien expels a toxin the infects the immune system giving them a disease, it does this by breathing out the toxin or when damaged by gun fire it expels the killer toxin onto its victims and they die an agonising death. Its a cool idea for an alien in some chapters you read what the creature is thinking a feeling and its desire to kill and create more xenomorphs. Some good aspects.
But the rest of the book is undercooked, the characters are just uncreative. You have a spy that starts out great, shes smart and ruthless, but ends up being killed in a stupid way. The evil scientist and administrators working for the company (Not WY, but practically are just the same) start off as great characters but are just killed off unceremoniously. The main character zula is awful in this along with the rest of security staff. You root for nobody. There's a whole chapter near the start of the book based on a young couple, having marriage troubles, living on the surface away from the rest of the base. Its a long chapter and adds nothing to the story. But then near the end of the book they are both killed in one paragraph. Absolutely pointless. The way the Alien is dispatched is just so underwhelming, especially for an Alien that is in regards quite well written and creative.
I've read all the Alien books now and the majority of the lead characters are female, thats great 👍, we are talking about a franchise that has one of the greatest female leads in history, but all these novels just Include under written female characters that are trying to duplicate Ripley.
If you are new to Alien/ xenomorph novels then I highly recommend Alien:phalanx or the cold forge, they are the high standard for the extended universe. For me Alien prototype is the worst Alien novel out there currentley, only read if you have nothing else left to consume.