Well, I was one of the 'outstanding' votes. I quite enjoyed the book. A little rough around the edges, but rather charming. Given the editorial difficulties, the rough spots aren't surprising.
Yeah, there was stuff in the Genesis Wave books in between.
As for the way it ended... it's left open. I'd like it to go that way, but there are options in case it would have interfered with future plans that I don't know about. But I hope that the other writers will take it that way.
I also wonder - do you come from a script-writing background? I noticed a lot of the scenes tended to be very short. They'd be perfect television scenes, with a lot of quick cuts at some parts. It's unusual enough among Trek writers that it stood out.
Not really as a background, but I've done a fair bit of audio play scripting, and most of what I've done over the past three or four years has been comics scripting, so I think that shows. And to a certain extent, because it's a TV series tie-in, I did have an element of trying to give it that feel, of TNG's onscreen direction and editing. Just to try to keep the mood that this is part of a well-loved screen franchise.
And thanks for the "outstanding" - I don't know what vote I'd give it if I was going to vote, cos you always want the next one (if there is one) to better, so the top score is out of the question!