Why is everyone's particular history repeated so much! Everything feels extremely unnecessarily explained. This is the fifth book in a series: really, the reader can - should - be trusted to know who most people are and recall events from the prior 4 (for example: really, Dygal's history? A major character in book 2 needs re-introduction? Or Sakoura needs another mention? Or Tom Riker needs a reintroduction after the rather effortless introduction of such a major player of Book 4? Etc).
I noticed that too. It is as though the book was going out of its way to be as much of a standalone book as possible. Perhaps the publisher put pressure on the author to include these passage so that the book would be more accessible to new readers who had not read the previous books?
I thought the first chapters were a bit slow. But I did enjoy the second half after the E starts chasing the other ship.
So why was the series called "the fall"? I can only assume it is a reference to the Federation's fall from its core principles. But I was hoping for something more epic like seeing the collapse of the Typhon Pact.