Man, I wish DRGIII still posted here, because I'd like to personally thank him and commend him for writing one of the best Trek Lit novels I've ever read.
For better or worse, the Destiny trilogy, Kirsten Beyer's Full Circle (not to mention her subsequent Voyager books) and the previous books that were released under the Typhon Pact banner really raised the bar in terms of the scope of storytelling in Trek Lit, and Raise the Dawn fits right into that mold. The book's scale and scope wasn't as far-reaching or all-encompassing as the Destiny trilogy or Full Circle, but, like its predecessor Plagues of Night, it certainly didn't shy away from covering a ton of material in a relatively short span of time.
I was saddened to see the destruction of the old DS9, but, for me, what made that series great - both onscreen and off - was the characters more than the setting, and so I wasn't terribly upset at the decision to destroy the station. I was saddened by the death of Jeanette Chao, though, because I liked what DRGIII did with her in Plagues of Night and was looking forward to seeing more of her in the future, but that's really neither here nor there.
Kira and Vaughn's deaths were more saddening for me than the destruction of the station itself, but the way DRGIII handled things on that front was incredibly satisfying nonetheless, not to mention really interesting (especially since I don't believe I ever saw the episode which spawned the 'alt history' dream/vision sequences that were a fairly big part of Kira's arc in this book and played a substantial part in Plagues of Night and S.D. Perry's Unity).
I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with DS9 and her crew going forward, especially since I'm interested to see if Sisko and his ship and crew continue to be featured prominently, and what specific roles Odo and Nog will play. I can't really envision both the Chief Engineer and Assistant Chief Engineer being featured prominently in subsequent stories, which leads me to wonder if we won't see Nog join Prynn as being permanently assigned to the Defiant.
Not only did the book really set the table incredibly well for future DS9 stories, it also, IMO, set the table pretty well for a buildup to the events of 2387 as seen in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. I love Praetor Kammemor, and cannot wait to see what happens next with her government.
As an aside, did anyone else find it interesting that the book didn't feature an Acknowledgements section? I can't remember many Trek books that lacked one.
I closing, I've got to say that, if you haven't already picked up this book and its predecessor, do so now, because it's excellent with a capitol 'E'.