Well yeah, in universe, as I said, you can justify it. It was just too much for me personally.
Then maybe books as broad in scope as these aren't the right ones for you. Given how the crew has scattered, I can't very well focus on just a single ship and a single story for the duration of the narrative, because then a lot of the ENT characters would go unseen in each volume.
As an aside, did those books reconcile Archer and Mayweather? If they did, fine, if they didnt then that animosity gets handwaved away very quickly in this book.
They were reconciled by the end of To Brave the Storm
Its not just Mayweather, Reed should never have been made captain at this point either (he wasnt ready or experienced for it), but I felt that was done much better and was ok with it at the end.
I think the compactness of the Romulan War
books may have created a misleading impression about the time interval between ENT and ROTF. The fourth season of ENT, finale aside, concluded in January 2155. A Choice of Futures
begins in September 2162, over seven and a half years later. That's nearly twice as much time as the show itself covered. These characters are considerably older and more experienced than they were on the show. They've changed and grown from who you remember them to be.
At the time Reed is made captain, it's over 11 years since he first became armory officer on Enterprise
. We know he'd been in Starfleet for several years before that, long enough to make lieutenant. So he's got maybe 15 or more years of Starfleet experience when he makes captain. That's more than Kirk had when he became captain of the Enterprise
. It's more than twice as much experience as Riker had when he was offered his first command and turned it down to serve as Picard's first officer. It's comparable to the amount of experience Janeway had when Voyager
started, and we know that wasn't her first command. If anything, Reed's overdue for a captaincy at this point.