Whilst it was certainly a good novel, I don't get the love for Children Of The Storm. When all is said and done its another 'strange new worlds' exploration story, albeit a good one, in a franchise chock full of them. Full Circle was so much more.
Sure, exploration is the template for most of ST, but like any story template, it's a framework for exploring characters and ideas. It's the character work in CotS, and the potent way in which ST's core values and optimism are explored and affirmed, that make it so effective.