Read the book this weekend, thoroughly enjoyed it.
I can't believe what's happened to Trek Lit in recent years, but gosh, I LOVE IT. This was the kind of story I've always wanted to see, and frankly, I wish we'd seen in on television in an Enterprise
season 5, 6, or 7. Mr. Bennett answered questions I forgot I even had (namely about the aliens that are more thoroughly fleshed out) and also about how the Federation's early days were, not surprisingly, very rocky.