( ...)and the entire story line about a 'ghostship' was all a bit out there.
I felt it was very reminiscent of Vornholt's previous Dominion Wars entry, where I agree the backdrop of the Badlands made much more sense (and which I enjoyed more). I didn't care much for the Cabot/Wesley story, but the duology had its highlights for me, such as Nechayev finally going to bat for Picard, and I liked the design of the Ontaillians.
The storyline involving Kyle Riker was also one of those farfetched concepts for me.
I agree this was the weaker part of this story, but also believe Riker resolving his father issues was important for his growth as a character, and his ultimate decision to leave the Enterprise
. I tend to be rather forgiving of things I don't like much if they lead to something better.