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Alien Branches Into Young Adult Fiction with Alien: Echo

The Alien series is branching out into the Young Adult genre with the announcement of a new novel, Alien: Echo! To be published by Imprint, the 320 page long hardcover novel is being written by Mira Grant.

Olivia and her twin sister Viola have been dragged around the universe for as long as they can remember. Their parents, both xenobiologists, are always in high demand for their research into obscure alien biology.

Just settled on a new colony world, they discover an alien threat unlike anything they’ve ever seen. And suddenly the sisters’ world is ripped apart.

On the run from terrifying aliens, Olivia’s knowledge of xenobiology and determination to protect her sister are her only weapons as the colony collapses into chaos. But then a shocking family secret bursts open―one that’s as horrifying to Olivia as the aliens surrounding them.

The creatures infiltrate the rich wildlife on this virgin colony world―and quickly start adapting. Olivia’s going to have to adapt, too, if she’s going to survive…

 Alien Branches Into Young Adult Fiction with Alien: Echo

Grant has previously written in the Predator franchise, contributing the short Blood and Sand to the fantastic Predator: If It Bleeds! Alien: Echo is currently scheduled for release on April 9th, 2019 and is now available to pre-order from Amazon (US/UK). Thanks to felix for the heads-up.

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Comments: 54
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  1. Xiggz456
    Unrelated to the upcoming interview, but did anyone else notice how this was published by Macmillan and not Titan?

    Yeah I noticed before the book even came out. Guessing that YA is a whole other licensing agreement. Probably similar to Star Wars where Del Rey publishes the “adult” novels and Lucasfilm Press handles the YA novels.

    @Hicks I’d be interested in knowing if she’s familiar with any of the EU.
  2. SM
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    Is the writer involved, has a say in how Olivia is portrayed in the comic and game, or is it all up to Fox what they do with her?

    She's not involved with the comic.
  3. Still Collating...
    I enjoyed this one a lot (as stated in my previous review), so I'll really be looking forward to this interview.

    Who from (the writer or Fox) and how did the idea come to write an Alien novel in the YA genre? How easy or difficult was it to write such a story, making the characters believable and relatable whilst at the same time being respectable to the deadliness of the Aliens? And does the writer know that the character of Olivia is going to be used in the new comic and game, was that the plan right from the start? Is the writer involved, has a say in how Olivia is portrayed in the comic and game, or is it all up to Fox what they do with her?
  4. SM
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
  5. Xiggz456
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    I'm talking about after that. When she's
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    Oh okay
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)


    May have to give this another read before the new comic comes out.
  6. Still Collating...
    Finally got around to reading this. Or should I say, listening to the audiobook.

    Now this... was good. Really good. I really felt a connection with Olivia. I usually don't like the main character this much in Alien novels, I just don't get so emotionally attached to them even when they're written well. I get more immersed in the world and eagerly await to see which character becomes fodder for the horrible carnage the aliens bring forth.

    Olivia was quite charming and felt "human". I didn't know at first why I cared so much for her as I'm a mid twenties straight white guy, but then I figured out that she acted like real teens do. Like I and my friends behaved and would've behaved. Her constant lovesick state was written, at times, a bit clumsily. It does get on the verge of being annoying, as well as her frequent thought tangents even in high risk situations. But I'll be damned if I don't admit that I wouldn't act the same way if I were in her shoes. I was just as obsessive when I was a teen in love, and the tangents are frequent when you're out of your depth and your mind tries to sway your thoughts away from horrific and painful events. For me, everything felt all too real. When normal everyday life in the Alien universe is interrupted by space horrors. Felt real, got me more engaged cause of that and everything had more weight to it when things happened.

    I liked that we spent good time getting to know the characters before we get to the action. If done right, that's always needed. The character deaths were impactful, I was frequently worried who would go next. The world, the characters, the story, everything felt immersive, it got me attached to it all.
    Won't go into spoilers, but IMO, the aliens were done well. I always get super aggro when the beast isn't handled correctly. I applaud the author in the way she treated them, I was more than satisfied. The Alien felt real and horrific.

    I personally loved this book. Wasn't written as well as The Cold Forge and since I'm comparing it to a book I also adore, I can say that maybe the characters in Echo weren't as intriguing as the ones in The Cold Forge, but in Echo they were a lot more likable and I got more emotionally attached to them. Though that's maybe a given since the books have very different goals in portraying their characters and both achieve what they were aiming for, I'd say.

    I like Olivia as much as Amanda, honestly, so I'm glad we'll be seeing more of her in the upcoming comic and game. Of course, I hope she isn't milked to death, less is more...

    Not a perfect novel by any means, but quite a pleasant surprise! My score? Prime.  :laugh:
  7. Hudson
    I dunno, I thought things like

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    was pretty violent.

    Most of that is described either indirectly or in a vanilla way. When I think of Steel Egg, I think about more graphic descriptions of violence. Maybe even Out of the Shadows, but I haven't read either in a while. The concept of this isn't anywhere near the potentially objectionable idea of adolescents murdering each other, though, and

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    It's one of the more memorably graphic sequences in a book in recent memory.

    You're talking about Alien books, right? Because if you mean all books, and your statement was objectively true, then this book would probably be getting quite a bit of press.
  8. Naginata
    For some reason, people assume YA = Twilight, and that's like.... Really dumb. Hunger Games is YA, after all, and that features children being forced to murder each other in gladiatorial combat for the sake of political repression.

    And this book contains nowhere near that level of violence so the comparison makes no sense.

    My point was that 'YA' doesn't mean Lisa Frank-level content.
  9. Nostromo
    Just finished it, was stuck at chapter 22 and was thinking it would have
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  10. Naginata
    For some reason, people assume YA = Twilight, and that's like.... Really dumb. Hunger Games is YA, after all, and that features children being forced to murder each other in gladiatorial combat for the sake of political repression.
  11. Nostromo
    Reeee! The gays!

    I might actually pick it up now, although I'm sure Nostromo is being hyperbolic with "one of the best novels ever written" now, c'mon.

    Chapters 1-8, 4/10, chapters 8.5-22 great, say 8.5/10, to me anyways. It's pretty adventurous from bases to caves etc.. and it has an interesting aspect of a future colonist out in space. If this were a comic it'd be pretty good actually It reminds me of Aliens: More than Human. Without the forced upon pincers, lol. And with a much better story.

     https://www.darkhorse.com/Books/16-781/Aliens-More-Than-Human-TPB

    But again, I'm still at chapter 22, if it completely bombs now, than yeah it may reach your 5/10.
  12. SM
    Quote
    Oh, what a hero you are.  :laugh: My posts are fine. You pick and choose what you want to respond to out of my posts to misrepresent my position while never really offering your own, which is typical. Nothing new there since you've become the shadow trustee of the Alien franchise EU.

    I picked and chose one dumb thing to respond to because it was dumb.  I quoted your words in the context you posted them.  I didn't mention anything else you've said, because it was your opinion which doesn't need attacking nor defending.

    Quote
    If you hadn't been a consultant on this project, I doubt you would've cared to begin with. Hence why you're so comfortable calling out Cauldron, but refuse to engage in any opinion-based, subjective discussion on anything which you participated in yourself. No one's aloud to dislike Blackout, The WY Report, or now Echo when you're around. I wonder why?

    Consultant is overstating it.  I read a draft, I liked it, offered a couple of very minor thoughts, and I don't even know were enacted or not.  Even if I did participate in it, it would be disingenuous for me to participate in opinion based discussion.

    I had nothing to do with Blackout, so you're just making yourself look silly here.

    Quote
    As long as you see praise, you remain silent. The first sign of a dissenting opinion and you spring out of the woodwork to explain why a fan is wrong.

    Once again, I pointed out a stupid thing you said about 'a big push to alienate fans in favour of LGBTQI teenage girls', because it was utterly baseless.  Which you've not mentioned again in favour of little rant that comes across as rather personal.  I 'remained silent' on the rest of your negative opinion - because that's your opinion and it's not my job to change it.
  13. Samhain13
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    Everyone is useless except the main character, there is no urgency for survival, no tension, no fear. Forget marines they just need to send in this girl. As I said I wanted to love it but it wasn’t what I expected at all.

    Huh. Thinking now, Olivia had some of a Mary Sue.

    If you hadn't been a consultant on this project, I doubt you would've cared to begin with. Hence why you're so comfortable calling out Cauldron, but refuse to engage in any opinion-based, subjective discussion on anything which you participated in yourself. No one's aloud to dislike Blackout, The WY Report, or now Echo when you're around. I wonder why?

    As long as you see praise, you remain silent. The first sign of a dissenting opinion and you spring out of the woodwork to explain why a fan is wrong.

    Don't forget Alien: Isolation Digital Series. We are just toxic fans after all.  :P
  14. Hudson
    Finished it.

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    As The Old One would say, this book was white bread. Didn't realize YA books were written for parents to be comfortable buying them for their sheltered kids. Nothing about this book took any risks, especially if there's nothing new or unique about the target audience.

    Here's a review on Goodreads which echoes many of my thoughts:

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    I wanted to love this. I really did. From the moment I found out about this book before its release I waited in anticipation and bought it the moment it came out. I am a hardcore Aliens fan and settled in for a horror story of a teenager trying to protect her sister. That is what I expected. That is not what I got. I got a YA romance novel with a dash of aliens for seasoning. The MC was much more concerned about her “maybe girlfriend” to care about anything else going on in the book. Deaths don’t effect her, she doesn’t care, so long as it isn’t the “maybe girlfriend”. Adults are useless. There is one scene where an adult is present and as soon as anything starts happening seems to vanish. Then after everything it says the person kind of shakes themselves awake. Really!? An adult just stood there and did nothing! This book seems to have very low opinions of teenagers. Maybe the author forgot what it was like to be a teenager. But I’m pretty sure that even the flakiest teenager would stop mooning over the person they like in order to survive an alien attack. I did not find the characters believable. Everyone is useless except the main character, there is no urgency for survival, no tension, no fear. Forget marines they just need to send in this girl. As I said I wanted to love it but it wasn’t what I expected at all. Want a good alien read then go read Alien: Out of Shadows.

    Quote
    My main gripe is that it's boring and the characters are one-dimensional, regardless of their sexual orientation. I couldn't give two shits about that. As cliche as it is for a teenager to obsess over being kissed, it would obviously be more cliche if it was Olivia and Michel. But the book doesn't take any real risks other than a mere introduction of a progressive romance among adolescents. If this book wants to pretend like it's the first YA novel to lean into LGBTQ+ territory... LOL. Boring is about as bad a transgression as a piece of writing can commit. One-dimensional is about as bad a transgression as a writer can commit when creating characters. Flat characters are needed, as are foils. But it's a bit overboard when basically every character, again save Viola, has no dynamism or complexity. I couldn't care less about their orientation, but if you think my argument is homophobic, keep building a straw man. I predicted that response as soon as I sent the post.

    Then construct better posts.

    Thirty-plus years of Alien comics and novels, but apparently one single YA novel with a teenage lesbian protagonist is a "big push here to alienate ... the already existing fan base in favor of drawing in adolescent LGBTQ females".

    'Big push to alienate'.

    Oh, but apparently you "couldn't give two shits about that".  One shit was plenty.

    Oh, what a hero you are.  :laugh: My posts are fine. You pick and choose what you want to respond to out of my posts to misrepresent my position while never really offering your own, which is typical. Nothing new there since you've become the shadow trustee of the Alien franchise EU.

    If you hadn't been a consultant on this project, I doubt you would've cared to begin with. Hence why you're so comfortable calling out Cauldron, but refuse to engage in any opinion-based, subjective discussion on anything which you participated in yourself. No one's aloud to dislike Blackout, The WY Report, or now Echo when you're around. I wonder why?

    As long as you see praise, you remain silent. The first sign of a dissenting opinion and you spring out of the woodwork to explain why a fan is wrong.
  15. SM
    Quote
    My main gripe is that it's boring and the characters are one-dimensional, regardless of their sexual orientation. I couldn't give two shits about that. As cliche as it is for a teenager to obsess over being kissed, it would obviously be more cliche if it was Olivia and Michel. But the book doesn't take any real risks other than a mere introduction of a progressive romance among adolescents. If this book wants to pretend like it's the first YA novel to lean into LGBTQ+ territory... LOL. Boring is about as bad a transgression as a piece of writing can commit. One-dimensional is about as bad a transgression as a writer can commit when creating characters. Flat characters are needed, as are foils. But it's a bit overboard when basically every character, again save Viola, has no dynamism or complexity. I couldn't care less about their orientation, but if you think my argument is homophobic, keep building a straw man. I predicted that response as soon as I sent the post.

    Then construct better posts.

    Thirty-plus years of Alien comics and novels, but apparently one single YA novel with a teenage lesbian protagonist is a "big push here to alienate ... the already existing fan base in favor of drawing in adolescent LGBTQ females".

    'Big push to alienate'.

    Oh, but apparently you "couldn't give two shits about that".  One shit was plenty.
  16. Samhain13
    I might actually pick it up now, although I'm sure Nostromo is being hyperbolic with "one of the best novels ever written" now, c'mon.

    I finished it and can't give Echo more than a 5/10. TCF is a 8.5-9/10 to me for comparison.

    I think in one of the commentaries he mentions something about casual sex, and not necessarily heterosexual. 

    Wat, Lambert and Ripley?
  17. Hudson
    Quote
    I figured that a teenage lesbian romance with a brown skinned girl in an Alien title would give a few people an attack of the vapours at some point.

    Ah, here you are again to call me out on overreacting to something without really responding to what I was saying, as you've pretty much done in my interactions with you on boards for the past 15+ years.

    Quote
    I’m not really sure why there’s a big push here to alienate (pun intended) the already existing fan base in favor of drawing in adolescent LGBTQ females. I felt Alex White’s novel made some serious strides in opening up Alien to LGBTQ identity politics while remaining satisfying to fans who were already into the franchise. This book is doing the opposite.

    ^That's me, having an "attack of the vapours."

    My main gripe is that it's boring and the characters are one-dimensional, regardless of their sexual orientation. I couldn't give two shits about that. As cliche as it is for a teenager to obsess over being kissed, it would obviously be more cliche if it was Olivia and Michel. But the book doesn't take any real risks other than a mere introduction of a progressive romance among adolescents. If this book wants to pretend like it's the first YA novel to lean into LGBTQ+ territory... LOL. Boring is about as bad a transgression as a piece of writing can commit. One-dimensional is about as bad a transgression as a writer can commit when creating characters. Flat characters are needed, as are foils. But it's a bit overboard when basically every character, again save Viola, has no dynamism or complexity. I couldn't care less about their orientation, but if you think my argument is homophobic, keep building a straw man. I predicted that response as soon as I sent the post.

    Reeee! The gays!

    I might actually pick it up now, although I'm sure Nostromo is being hyperbolic with "one of the best novels ever written" now, c'mon.

    In the thousands of years of human writing, it's not even close. I'm not saying people aren't allowed to like it. But yeah, c'mon.

  18. The Old One
    Reeee! The gays!

    I might actually pick it up now, although I'm sure Nostromo is being hyperbolic with "one of the best novels ever written" now, c'mon.
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