Roswell High (1) The Outsider by Melinda Metz (November 1999, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, ISBN: 0671774662)
First Lines: "One Sigourney Weaver and one Will Smith." Liz Ortecho slid two thick burgers onto the table - one with avocado and sprouts, one with jalapeño peppers and cheese.
Review: This is the first of a ten book series which was subsequently made into a three season tv series comprising a total of 61 episodes, which aired in 1999-2002. When Roswell was first shown on the tv, I quickly became addicted and I think the match between the tv theme song - Here With Me by Dido - and the relationship between the two main characters, Max and Liz, is nigh on perfect. (Not everyone though shares my enthusiasm for Dido). I bought the cd on import and also the first two books in the Roswell High series. I wish I'd bought all ten now. It's taken me 9 years to actually get round to reading The Outsider but at least I've finally have and I got the same warm glow when I read the book as I did when I watched the show.
Max, Isabel and Michael are aliens who were in incubation pods when their space-ship crashed - at the time of the infamous Roswell sighting. When they they reached the appearance of six in human years the three broke out of their pods and wandered aimlessly. Max and Isabel, brother and sister, went one way, Michael another. Max and Isabel were the lucky ones, being adopted by a loving couple, whereas Michael ended up bouncing around in foster care. The three have kept their true identities and the fact that they have special powers secret until one fateful afternoon in the Crashdown cafe when an argument between two crooks ends in Max's friend Liz being shot. Max, secretly in love with Liz, will not allow her to die and so uses his healing power to save her life and though Liz covers up for him, the local sheriff, Valenti, is soon sniffing around. He knows there are aliens around, but who are they?
Max tells Liz the truth about himself and at first she doesn't react well and when the information is also known by Liz's best friend Maria and their close friend Alex, Isabel goes frantic with worry. Max has to find a way for the group to trust each other and also devise a plan to divert Valenti's attention away from them.
The pilot for the tv series sticks quite close to The Outsider from what I can remember and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books to see what's the same and what's different. In The Outsider we meet the main cast, plus the enemy (Valenti) and are now all set to watch the battle between them play out and Liz and Max's on-off-on relationship that pulls at the heartstrings, is just beginning. I love this mix of science-fiction with a 'difficult' romance.
Cover: Shows the main characters from the tv series with the exception of Alex. Main difference between the book and tv cast is that Max is supposed to be blonde (he's the actor in front and centre).
The tv series can be viewed online on the WB (US only).
The theme is on YouTube and overlays clips from all three series.