ETA: looks like the ref to NCO Colt as an Ensign was a one-off, tho the spelling of Ilyria as "Illyria" and as a colony I suspect was due to an old error at Memory Beta.
Not necessarily. There are a number of clear differences from canon here. Garison is a lieutenant instead of a chief petty officer, Pitcairn is chief engineer instead of transporter chief, the Klingons already have a prototype cloak in the 2250s, and there's even a reference to the Ferengi. Plus it's evidently before "The Cage" yet Colt is already Pike's yeoman, rather than the replacement for the one he lost on Rigel VII immediately before "The Cage." I was confused at first, until I read the author's note at the end, where Stern says that the new film continuity "freed [him] of the need to write specifically to one vision of humanity's future" and that the book shows "the Enterprise
as it might have been under Captain Christopher Pike." He calls it a "prequel" to the movie, though it can't be, since the movie showed the Enterprise
's maiden voyage. So it's not quite in the Prime universe and it's not quite in the Abramsverse. It's apparently sort of a stealth Myriad Universes
tale, an alternate take on Pike's captaincy and on the astropolitical situation of the 2250s.
It's an interesting approach. I'd imagine it's a product of the period when the editors weren't sure how to deal with the new continuity and were developing projects adaptable to either timeline, or at least not specifically bound to either one.
This stuff about taking minor liberties sold me for this book, which I wasn't sure I would spring for at first. I think a major point is that it is not presented as an alternate continuity, but simply as the work of an author who decided to take a few liberties with "established facts." It's definitely a good thing that the author included an explanation of what he was going for (and it was certainly an interesting read) and I like it as a rallying cry for developing Star Trek material in new ways. I also like the fact that he didn't throw in a "Nero" to explain the changes; it's up to the reader to decide why there are differences (this is not meant to be a slam on the new movie, which I like, Nero and all).
All that being said, a glance at the first review on amazon.com makes me think that maybe that afterword should have been a foreward, that reader went into reading the book without an understanding of Stern's creative philosophical approach, and he's judging the book on it's accuracy to the "Prime" continuity.