I'm going to have to be the first dissenting opinion here. For my tastes the book didn't deliver.
It's been years since I read it so I'm operating from long-term memory here—with all the pitfalls that implies. I went in eager, but quickly found the book a bore. I'd have put it down except that a friend loaned it to me and wanted to discuss it with me.
There's a great idea
for a story in here, with Kirk's reputation as a computer-God killer coming back to haunt him in the aftermath of the V'ger incident, but the execution doesn't serve it well and it doesn't go anywhere interesting or memorable. In fact, Kirk was effectively a non-presence, not driving the story. The rest of the crew struck me as self-absorbed, with too much introspection, too many lengthy internal monologues.
I found myself wanting to skip all the lower decks character stuff and get on with the main plot, but even that wasn't engaging.
The ultimate resolution that
is an utter anticlimax.
The book also suffers from the same things I find objectionable in most fan productions: too much dot-connecting, pointless continuity and numerous explanations of things that only a subset of hardcore fans care about, and nudge nudge wink winks that kept pulling me out of the story.
A disappointment for me, but I'm glad some of you enjoyed it.