Forgive me for reviving this thread, but I just finished Paths. It was a difficult book for me, slow going, and it only really got interesting about 300 pages in. For a long while I wondered why this book was in the Typhon Pact series instead of books focusing on the TP members who already hadn't gotten books.
But the TP does play a role in events down the stretch and ultimately had perhaps the biggest impact that the TP has had thus far in any of the books; still haven't read Seize the Fire.
I especially liked that Geordi's romantic life finally improved, though at times I felt he was marginalized as an engineer and a senior officer; playing back up to new characters or getting snapped at by Choudhury. That was my major quibble with the characterizations in the book; the rest were fine enough. I also like that the story picked up on the threads from the DS9 books on Shar and Andor, though it also had me wondering why the TNG books are the best place for this. Outside of Doctor Crusher's expertise, this mission could've been handled by Aventine, or more of a DS9-flavored cast.
Overall, I think the ending saved this book for me. For long periods it felt aimless. I don't know, but maybe it's something about Dayton Ward's writing that doesn't do it for me. It took me a long time to finish the first of his Vanguard books, and that experience has cooled me on the books (even though I've bought most of them and hopefully will read them in the near future), and with Paths, I similarly struggled.
My TP rankings thus far:
Zero Sum Game (winner almost by default)
Paths of Disharmony
Rough Beasts of Empire
After reading the some of the reviews about Seize the Fire, I am reluctant to pick that one up again.