They served the clear purpose of continuing the ongoing serialized story of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which has always -- on TV and in the Relaunch novels -- contained character-based B-plots that were not directly related to the main plot. Or are you going to say that, for instance, the Quark/Garak scenes should have been removed from "The Way of the Warrior?"
There was a nugget here that I missed the first time through, that I think deserves pointing out. This novel was not marketed as a serial. Serials are something entirely different.
DSN Relaunch novels are inherently serial. Further, this was marketed as part one of the miniseries The Fall
-- clear serialization in that direction as well. This book was clearly a serialized entry from the start.