Strike Zone is interesting but also a little odd - almost like someone decided to write a sitcom episode based aboard the Enterprise. Everything seems to be played for laughs to some extent.
I'm reminded of PAD's author's note to A Rock and a Hard Place
Be warned: I think this novel is even more serious than my last ST:TNG novel, Strike Zone. Rock features borderline psychotics, tragedy, loss, narrow escapes... and at least one genuine cliffhanger. But probably everyone will tell me they loved the poker game and it's another David laugh riot (just as they did with Strike Zone, which featured such side-splitting topics as terminal illness and nervous breakdowns.)
PAD has always been a writer who tackles very edgy and dark subject matter with biting wit. Although some do feel the humor overwhelms the rest.