Okay, I just finished. I am a little unsure how how to rate the book. I think that, in the broadest sense, it was a nice idea. Poor Geordi had been under-utilized and under-developed for far too long. This novel did a good job of finally putting him in the spotlight and also addressing a number of things that I think a lot of people have been waiting for. His lack of professional and personal development over so many years finally gets thrown in the character's face. Can Geordi really be happy as the chief engineer of the Enterprise for the rest of his life? He's been doing the job for so long... is there really nothing else for him? I definitely appreciated the fact that he was given the opportunity to stretch his wings.
However, I have to say that I was really disappointed in the plots and execution of the book. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I do not think it was necessary to bring in so many familiar characters. Maybe had it just been limited to Scotty and Leah, I would have been okay with it. I see absolutely no reason why so many others needed to be included. This is probably one of the worst examples of Small Universe Syndrome that I've read in recent memory. I also do not understand at all why the book was broken into two parts. What, exactly, was the point of including Rasmussen and Bok? That story element ultimately does not need to be in this book at all, and the way it just ends half-way through seems very odd. I really just felt like the story structure was a mess, and I wasn't terribly engrossed in what was going on.