I loved it.
It had a real SCE feel to it.
There were only four things I didn't like. I didn't use spoiler tags (its been months) so if you haven't read it, just stop here:
1. "Beaming" Barclay back from the Delta Quadrant seemed silly to me.
But it felt right to have him as a part of LaForge's first command, so I'm not too upset about it. It's better than just having him mysteriously there without explaining how he got there.
2. The relationship between Geordi and Leah. This is the part everyone (myself included) wanted to see. How they would go from the awkward state their relationship was in at the beginning to getting together, if they ever even would.
It seemed to me like they went from awkward friends to waking up in bed together (after a fairly long time jump), and the thawing of their relationship happened at some point in between? Or maybe I just missed it.
It was just weird, all of the sudden they're sleeping together and I didn't even realize they were a couple yet. It just felt like the part I was curious to see got skipped.
3. At the end, I was really disappointed to see the Challenger get destroyed and Geordi returned to the Enterprise. By the end of the novel I was really, really liking this ship and especially its crew, and hoping we might see Challenger novels pop up from time to time. Kind of like Ezri and the Aventine.
It makes sense though, I guess. The TNG series needs him. Enterprise has already lost too many of the original crew. If you take away too many more it'll end up like DS9... sigh.
4. Scotty's "death" at the end. It was another "mostly dead" (as Kirsten Beyer said about Janeway on the G&T show the other day) with an obvious "out" just in case he needs to be used again. Seems like we've seen a lot of this lately - Data, Janeway, etc...
think its too soon to be killing off Scotty, since his character got to skip so much aging when he was brought forward, but if we have to kill him off can't we just have him be dead with finality?
One last bonus question. (Apologies if it was answered upthread, there's too much to read.) Nurse, er Doctor Ogawa was pulled out of Titan to be in this book. Now that Challenger has been destroyed, will she return to Titan? Or will she find some other planetary duty somewhere else, and not be seen in the novels again?