I really enjoyed this novel, after Romulan War was alternately dragged on then cut short I thought it was well paced as a stand-alone story and setup for more novels.
I also appreciated the character progression from RW; I like CBLs point that while it may be unexpected or unlikely, that's more like real life.
I really liked what CBL did with the uniforms and fleet patches, tying in the different races and references.
As a lover of little details
, I gotta ask Mr Bennett, did you give any thought to the background of the canonical Defiant patch from ENT "Mirror Darkly", or the slightly more apocryphal Bonaventure patch from TAS "Time Trap"?