I enjoyed the story, especially with Uhura getting a shot at the center seat. However, I do notice that there are a lot of references to the episodes and frankly it got annoying after the first ten. The Meow scene from Super Troopers popped in my head every time a TOS episode reference was made.
Yeah, I know this bugs people, and I probably overdo it sometimes, but, honestly, such references always seem plausible to me . . . and hard to avoid. In real life, people have memories and flash on past experiences when they find themselves in similar circumstances. One of the things that occasionally bugs me about TOS (the tv episodes) is that nobody on the ship ever mentions anything that's happened to them before . . . even when they're running into an android or a shape-shifter or a berserk computer yet again. I mean, why wouldn't Sulu worry about being zombified again, like he was in "Catspaw" and "Return of the Archons"? Seems to me that's something you wouldn't soon forget!
Ditto for finding yourself stuck in another person's body, or having a mind-meld with a Horta, or being split into your good and evil halves, and other traumatic, unforgettable experiences that most people would never, ever get over.
And why wouldn't Kirk think ruefully of Edith Keeler or Miramanee or poor Sam Kirk now and then? Again, in real life, people don't stop mourning dead loved ones once the episode is over. I like the fact that these characters have complicated, colorful pasts that they carry with them everywhere they go.
Anyway, that's my reasoning at least . . . .
(You'll be relieved to know, however, that my editor deleted a Miramanee reference from my next
book on the grounds that it was one too many trips down memory line!)