I thought Gods of Night was one of the better Trek books I've read -certainly in the top 10. David Mack seemed raring to take the story straight into territory other writers have til now either been too timid or never allowed to do previously.
I came in unfamiliar with the newly created crew members and pretty much left that way, except for a handful that made an impression: Ree, Bowers, Vale. Keeping them all straight was something I stopped worrying about early on. "I head for licensed fiction to be with old friends, not make new ones", as Odo might say.
I read this over the course of several weeks, which could be why I had an ongoing problem of not being able to recall what any of the 24th century ships were trying to accomplish when their storyline would pick back up ("let's see, were they tracking the pulse trail or investigating the dark planetoids?"). I found all
the segments equally intriguing and never felt let down to be leaving one storyline to go back to another. Conversely, while the book was consistently excellent, I never felt like there was one moment that really floored me, either. The best laugh in the book for me (and the only one read out loud to my better half) was "Did you say girl?", followed by Ree's reaction. As to whether the 4 storylines meshed perfectly together, that I probably can't answer until book 3.
Not to badmouth other authors, but I can imagine the Riker/Troi plot in other hands turning out painfully bad. Despite to spotty science applied, I thought it made great drama. What's more, I don't think Allyn's "Federation ban" explanation would have worked dramatically - the reader would just be constantly wiating for Dr. Ree to ignore the stupid rule in the sake of saving Troi. In retrospect, maybe David didn't make it "techobabbly" enough, since why
she can't carry the fetus to term isn't the point.
Can't wait for book two!