Just finished this.
I think the gimmick here totally fails. It pretends to be something written by Jake for real people, but clearly Ė CLEARLY Ė the purposes of this thing are:
1) to set up all possible enemies and structures necessary to support the ST:O story;
2) to explain and clarify the events of the Countdown comic book;
3) to set the ST:O story within the larger novel continuity; and
4) to show what happens to beloved characters throughout this period.
None of that has anything to do with what the book says itís going to do; we get one soldierís interview as perspective on the Undine war as any kind of story, and all the rest is varyingly ominous foreshadowing about their return until the very last one, which might be more the cultural stuff, but is so ridiculously small-universe-y that it doesnít really work either. So: form does not match content. Period.
That said, though, I have to admit that said content is pretty cool. I loved the whole story of Dataís ressurrection, which I wasnít expecting to; I think the real timeline, if it does this story, should do it differently, but this was a great read. I loved the interview with Dulmer, and thought it presented great opportunities for some continuity fixes in the future; I hope the forthcoming DTI mentions it. I loved the foreshadowing of the Typhon Pact Gorn book, coming soon. Really, it was almost a short story collection, with each vignette told in interview form, and I liked the stories. They were well thought-out and exciting. Actually thatís not quite true, the baseball thing was pretty stupid, but the rest were good.
So, thatís #2, #3, and #4 accomplished pretty well, if tending a little too closely towards small universe. And of course it succeeds perfectly at #1; the ST:Online game is pretty silly in the first place, but this does everything it can to set the stage for an exciting setting where arcade shooting can survive for years, as well as introducing some in-game characters (Naomi Wildman, for instance) and situations. Itís a solid game tie-in.
I happen to think that the story here is rather antithetical to Star Trekís real strengths in the novelverse though, so I can just hope that despite this bookís totally rational explanations for all the Countdown events that the real books come at them from a different direction. This whole Undine War thing is just a little too same-y for my tastes.
But with Unspoken Truth, I was expecting like a 9/10 and got a 7/10, so I was disappointed; with this, I was expecting like a 5/10 and got a 7/10, so I'm pleasantly surprised.