SPOILER REVIEW BELOW
So I just finished this book the other day. I will say overall it was a great read and a real page turner but it did leave me disappointed.
Now part of the problem is the author just had very different ideas about McCoy then I did. Pretty much the central point of the story is that McCoy can't form a lasting relationship with a woman because of issues with his parents. I thought the issues with his parents were compelling, but the romantic issues McCoy had just didn't work for me. It's not something that makes for interesting drama to me.
First of all I think my major problem is in the end of the book McCoy has gotten over his issues and is now in a fulfilling relationship with Tonia Barrows. Well the story never made me believe in this romance. It felt almost like romance for the sake of romance. I admit I have not seen Shore Leave
yet so maybe there is something in that episode that will make me think that Barrows is the love of McCoy's life, because I just didn't get it from this story.
Now I am not trying to criticize the way the author writes romance because I felt the exact opposite about the other McCoy romance in the story: Alt!McCoy/Lynn. I felt this romance was beautifully written and compelling. The difference is unlike Barrows I wasn't just thrust into a relationship but I saw it grow over the years from deep friendship & respect to something more. That is the difference here I wasn't told these characters were in love, I was shown. Lynn also became a fully realized character that I felt Barrows never did.
Now I realize the author wanted to somehow connect the two alternate stories together with both McCoy's having relationship issues in both but I was somehow disappointed that in the Alt!Timeline (which was beautifully written overall) I never felt McCoy really dealt with how he changed history. The end of that storyline has McCoy stabbed and the war ongoing. But according to City on the Edge of Forever,
the Nazi's won
the war in that timeline. I could actually see Alt!McCoy not wanting to get with Lynn because of his guilt over this. In fact I was at least hoping he would have somehow told her the truth about who he was.
Overall I thought the alternative storyline was fantastic, but just having Alt!McCoy be stabbed in the end made it feel like a great story go out with a whimper instead of a bang. I guess because I feel there was so many more compelling things to explore with Alt!McCoy (things you can't actually explore with normal timeline McCoy) that it felt like a missed opportunity in the end.
As for the normal timeline I was less interested because it was mostly stuff I already knew but it was still overall a good read (except the relationship stuff). I especially liked that there was so much Spock/McCoy friendship depicted in the book since it is one of my favorite relationships of the series.
Overall I would say I really enjoyed this book, just the book didn't end up exactly where I had hoped.