Los Angeles in the near future. An alien ship crashes in the Mojave desert. On it are 200,000 alien slaves now marooned on Earth. Eventually they are released into society. Now known as Newcomers they are assigned new names and most settle in L.A. Detective Matt Sykes is on routine patrol with his partner Tuggs when a Newcomer robbery of a local mini mart results in the death of his partner. Wanting to get revenge he partners with a new Newcomer detective George Francisco. He needs the Newcomer’s help in tracking down the killer. The two eventually stumble on a plot by a successful Newcomer businessman to introduce a new alien drug to the Newcomer populace. A drug that could threaten the existence of the Newcomers on Earth.
The eighties were the height of the buddy cop movies. There were all sorts of combinations at the time. There were dead cops, Soviet cops, Japanese cops, vampire cops, kid cops and dog cops. It was only a matter of time they had to have an alien cop. The movie Alien Nation had a simple premise. A group of aliens had become the newest additions to American society. Like many they moved into society and had various levels of success. I found the idea interesting enough to get the novelization of the movie. For the most part it was a standard cop buddy movie. Yet it would take Kenneth Johnson and his TV series to flesh out the mythology of the Newcomers. Alan Dean Foster the go to guy to novelize movies from the seventies to nineties did his usual excellent job. You get a good story with fleshed out characters. It also follows the movie pretty good. An enjoyable book.