Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book Review: 'Alien: Covenant' by Alan Dean Foster

I've yet to see the movie, so I can't compare if there's bits expanded upon, left out or whatever, but it was kind of a decent read.

The crew of the Covenant, a spaceship sent out into deep space to colonise a new world, happen upon a mysterious signal. Changing course, they investigate the planet it originated from, with devastating consequences.

I've enjoyed Alan Dean Foster's previous movie novelizations, his adaptation of the first 'Alien' movie is pretty good and I liked his telling of the original 'Clash Of The Titans' as well as 'The Force Awakens'. He definitely has the writing ability to polish a turd of a story and make it worth reading. And that's what he's done here. It's a decent enough Sci-Fi story overall, but I wouldn't necessarily say it was a good story set in the Alien universe. I felt it was populated with characters that I just didn't care about, as we didn't spend long getting to know them. The only ones that were fleshed out the most were the main characters of Daniels and Tennessee.

But I think the story falls down in the last third as the crew seek sanctuary with David and we find out what happened to Dr Elizabeth Shaw in between the 'Covenant' and 'Prometheus' movies. David also explains away the mystery of the origin of the Xenomorph Alien, and promptly demystifies the species. Much like the 'Star Wars' Prequels did with the Force and midichlorian levels. But I guess it does make sense now as to why the Company is so interested in the Xenomorph in the later (earlier) films, even if it feels like a bit of a retcon and shoehorned in.

Overall though, it's a decent enough read with a much needed Alan Dean Foster polish.