After penning the first three chapters of the Alien anthology - Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3 - only skipping the fourth film adaptation, Alien: Resurrection, Alan Dean Foster finally returns to Ridley Scott's movie universe of humanoid synthetics and facehuggers, in Alien: Covenant.
Set between the events of Scott's Prometheus and the original Alien, the book closely follows the events of Scott's Alien: Covenant film. The crew of the doomed colonisation ship Covenant, on course for a remote planet on the opposite side of the galaxy, interrupts their journey to explore what first appears to be an uncharted paradise. But instead of God or god-like engineers, the crew find a dangerous world that reflects Scott's original title for the film, "Alien: Paradise Lost". Smilingly inhabited only by the synthetic "David" and bizarre alien lifeforms, the crew must attempt a harrowing escape before they share the fate of the planet's original inhabitants: the giant humanoids encountered in Prometheus.
There are some differences to the film, however, that make for some nice surprises for fans of the original Alien Trilogy novels Foster had previously penned that also differed slightly and massively in places to the original films. Part of the pleasure of reading Foster's adaptations is to spot those differences, and so well received have these novels become that for some Alien fans the Foster novels outshine the films they are based on. Foster's slow paced writing style suits the science fiction horror genre that Alien has come to define perfectly and the acclaimed author's attention to detail and plot elements adds layers to scenes in the film that should of been given more screen time. The opening prologue where we see David's first interaction with his creator Mr. Weyland is a good example of this. In a way the novel is almost like an accomplished writer's DVD commentary on the film, explaining to readers character motivations and plot elements that only repeated re-watching of the film version could make clear for audiences otherwise.
ALIEN COVENANT - THE OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELISATION / AUTHOR: ALAN DEAN FOSTER / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW