I have to agree that the book was a bit anticlimatic. It felt a bit by the numbers to me. One thing that bothered me also was that the editing in this volume seemed a bit shoddy. For example there's a scene where a piece of dialogue is attributed to a character who isn't even "on screen". (Cruzen is given a line that should've gone to Konya)
The ending felt rushed, and I guess ultimately the weakness was in that the book basically focused on snippets from character lives that were in the end ephemeral to the overall ARC. I feel almost like the Crusher/Daret/Ishan bits should've been an ebook filling in pieces, while more could've been done with the conspiracy within Starfleet Command (which to me seemed the more interesting thing than Ishan being a manchurian candidate).
The characters we expected to be more central to unraveling the plot, whether it be Picard, Riker, Akaar, et. al. became side pieces to the action down on the planet. This would be fine if we had an additional volume to tease out the big picture stuff, and have more to do with the presidential race, but that tension never seemed to be conveyed properly in the book. The epilogue was okay, but we don't care about anyone in that scene because, unlike say the final A Time To... books we never saw much of the staff outside of one throw away chapter.