Just wanted to stick my head in and say how much I enjoyed this book. I didn't have the highest expectations in the world (no reflection intended on you, Christopher. I hadn't actually read any of your previous books, since I really only read Next Gen novelisations). I was really pleasantly surprised.
One of the things I was a bit skeptical about was the Picard & Crusher storyline. There's always a danger that when you pair up two characters, and one of them's the focus of most stories, the other just becomes fodder for emotional angst - the generic wife'n'kid whose pictures the hero can carry around and anguish over. (One thing I've really liked about the relaunch has been the extra page time Crusher's gotten as a character in her own right. I think there's still a great deal of potential there, and I'd hate to see that get lost in the shuffle.)
Of course, we don't know yet how that's going to play out in later books, but I like the way it was handled here. What I got from Picard's story arc was that he had to learn to nip those tendencies in the bud. If later books give us a Picard who remembers this lesson, then I think GttS's set their story on an excellent trajectory for proving Picard doesn't have to be a lone wolf to be a hero, and that his family don't have to be a liability. Not to mention making the Crusher-Picard dynamic an interesting new heart to the crew's interaction.
I was also a bit wary when I read this thread and heard Trys described. Spunky young girl with a wacky sense of humour and a problem with authority sets off all my alarm bells in Star Trek
, because nobody does an obnoxious Mary Sues quite like Trek. That's why it pays to withold judgement, because she ended up being one of my favourite things in the book; likable without being irritating. I enjoyed her very much. She's a total tonic to the stick-up-arse syndrome to which so many Starfleet officers are prone. I do hope future books can keep her on the endearing side of exasperating though. GttS managed it; it lays down the gauntlet to the next set of books to do the same.
In fact, I really love the new crew. I feel like we're going forward into the next round of the relaunch with a set of characters about whom I'm really interested in learning more. Hope we're in it for the long haul with them this time 'round.
I did notice this book had a lot of work to do in meshing together the previous relaunch books into a coherent starting point for what's to come. There were, I think, some serious holes that needed to be darned, and that wasn't an enviable task. In that sense, it did feel like a bridging work. But one that made me very hopeful for what's to come.