Excellent choice, Sho
I'm going to be very general and very vague because I want to be sure not to give anything away from the upcoming novels.
This is a book I enjoy as much on each re-read that I did when I read it for the first time. The cast of characters, while not the traditional formula in most Trek adventures, show depth, growth... and flaws. The integration of the Enterprise crew (includng M'Benga) into the story was masterful, even to the detail of the uniform changes.
I didn't see T'Prynn as larger than life so much in this first novel. I did like her scenes with Spock: two Starfleet Vulcans trying to come to terms with their pasts.
I went hot and cold on Pennington as the story progressed (again, speaking only about the first novel.)
The story of the Bombay moved me to tears. I think this event, more than any other (even the meta-genome), provided the springboard for most of the character growth we'll see as the story progresses.
I loved it.