Movie novelizations are generally designed primarily to be enjoyed by fans of the film in question.
However, Alien Resurrection was my least favourite of all the Alien franchise and I went into this one with trepidation. What I found was a surprisingly compelling read that repaired most of the flaws of the film, and produced a far better final story than the movie itself.
The same basic plot is covered as in the 1997 film: Ellen Ripley died 200 years ago, with an Alien Queen inside her. Cloning experiments are conducted to bring both of them back to life, whereupon the queen is extracted to be used in bio-weapons research, and Ellen is reborn with mysterious new powers akin to the Xenomorphs. Chaos erupts when some of the Xenomorphs escape and Ellen must team up with a group of space pirates if any one of them hopes to survive.
What the novel succeeds mostly in is giving background where it was desperately needed. Extended sequences about the scientists involved, their motivations, the motivations of the military commander, the thoughts of a man about to be sacrificed to the Xenomorphs, the space pirates, the Xenomorphs themselves: all of these are given much more space to become fleshed out characters or forces in their own rights, and when events happen to characters, you actually care about them to a far greater extent than you did before. The sequences where the minds of the Xenomorphs are seen are especially good.
A great fuss is made over the fact that Joss Whedon wrote some of the script, and to what extent is unknown, but some elements bare his hallmarks: the ragtag pirate crew especially. For any Alien fan that felt let down by the 4th entry in the main series, I suggest giving it another go after reading this. It made me want to watch the movie again, and I thought that would never happen.