Review: Alien Echo by Mira Grant

Why did Viola and Olivia’s parents pretend their daughter was still alive even though she died at age 3?

I guess with the technology available to them, they didn’t want to let her go. I can kind of understand as a mother and someone who believes in trans-humanism, if you could still have your child around and let your twin daughter not treat their sister any different. Why not?

The trope of having Olivia decapitate Viola had already been similarly played out in the comic Aliens Dust to Dust by Gabriel Hardman. But we have had this featured first in Alien, then in Prometheus, so I can’t really fault her if she wasn’t aware of other material that had covered it. I guess the dynamics were different because Olivia didn’t want to hurt her sister and she loved her, where as there wasn’t much of a bond between Maxon and Assistant Administrator Waugh.

There were things I really enjoyed about the book, a teenager’s point of view about moving from colony to colony. Why only a certain area would be colonised as the world is catalogued by scientists, how humans are generally afraid to venture out of their comfort zone. And how ignorant and unprepared they were for colony life in general, each place having its own set of rules. A lot of things I hadn’t thought of, come to think of it the colonist brought a lot of baggage from Earth.

The recurring trope about how hated synthetics are could have been over done and tired, but after listening to the audiobook I had come to apreciate the relationship between Olivia and Viola. It plays a stark contrast to say the upbringing of Meredith Vickers and David, it makes me wonder if Peter Weyland told Meredith what David was. Or if they had much interaction as she grew up with David at all.

With Olivia and Viola there was sisterly love and a closeness which couldn’t really compare. And because Olivia was raised to think Vi was truly her human sister, there wasn’t anything for them to argue about. Whether their parents loved one more or the other. And that is something I truly appreciate in this story.

One of the things I didn’t feel was natural was the connection between Cora and Olivia, perhaps I am too old for these books now where there is a romantic connection. I also felt this when reading Aliens: Earth Hive, the relationship between Newt and Bueller wasn’t something that felt natural. It just felt too childishly written, or perhaps it was the fact they were both teen romances.

One twist was that I kept thinking Cora would leave Olivia, some how screw her over. And it didn’t happen, she kept surprising me at every turn. Which was great, because in the Alien Universe it is hard to find someone you can rely on, especially with a colony overrun with Xenomorphs.

Another thing I really liked was the way Mira was able to paint the picture of an Alien world, even before the xenomorphs were introduced she had already established the colour of the sky, flora, fauna and how the colonists operated. The world felt lived in, kind of like an interstellar Jurassic Park.

Overall I give this book a 3 our of 5 Wheat 🌾 🌾 🌾

I really wanted to enjoy this book and I did to a degree, but I didn’t consume it as fast as previous novels.

I hope the comic Colonial Marines Rising Threat can help me understand the person Olivia will grow up to be and how her story will continue in the Cold Iron Studios Alien Game which will be released, who knows when.