Or maybe, just maybe, try not to use so many familiar names in one book
If you're going to use a Kirk dont also use a Paris and a Dax and so on...
As I've explained, the point of these books is to give an overview of the early history of the entire Federation, not just a single crew. They're supposed
to be broad and inclusive in their focus and to resonate with events and characters in the later series. It's a feature, not a bug. If you don't like it, don't read them, but the approach I've taken to these books is not thoughtless or accidental. I put a lot of thought into deciding what established characters or ancestors to use and not to use.
You dont have to defend the Reed stuff, I liked it overall.
No, I certainly don't have to "defend" anything to you. But I did need to explain some chronological facts that you seem to have missed. You said he shouldn't have the experience for a captaincy at this point, when the simple arithmetical fact is that he has more than enough years under his belt. No, Malcolm didn't think
he had enough experience, but he was wrong. He's always been insecure and modest.
For me personally, I think Reed making captain makes perfect sense. Like you pointed out the man has been in Starfleet for quite some time now, and was even foreshadowed in the episode Twilight.
And let's face facts, despite this being about the history of the Federation, I think that focusing on characters other than the Enterprise's crew wouldn't make this as good a story as it turned out. Most of us watched Enterprise when it was on to see the story of how this crew and it's adventures lead to the founding of the Federation. We have an investment in these characters, not just some random crew on a random mission in the early years of the Federation.
And I like the fact that Dax is in the book and will be a part of Reed's crew. After years of Ezri Dax's adventures, it's nice to see a Dax host that isn't so perfect. The reason I liked Ezri on DS9 and not in the novelverse is that she was quirky, you know what I mean? Like it was fun to watch her stumble her way into living with Dax when she was never meant to be joined to it in the first place. Tobin is a lot like that and his place on the crew makes since. I don't really care for Dax as captain, and this makes up or that.
As far as the Paris and Kirk ancestors being in the story, I could take them or leave them. They certainly didn't make it feel like small universe to me. As long as the story makes since for them, and in this case it has, then they make the story better in my opinion.
As much as I disagreed with Christopher
in regards to Janeway's return, I've never doubted that he is one author with a genuine love for Star Trek. It shows in this novel and everyone he's written. He did an amazing job with this book and I look forward to the next installment.