I hadn't even heard of it before looking up Chen's appearances. I haven't read many books from this ongoing trek novel continuity that are pre-Destiny (and I only read the first destiny book). Its not usually a big deal that I didn't read a lot of the early parts of the ongoing novel continuity, although I still have no idea what books had the big borg invasion in them that the current books can't stop talking about. When it comes to the early books, if the one you mentioned focuses on Chen (or any other enterprise crew member not seen on TV or movies) I'd avoid it if I saw it.
I would read a newer book if a new book crew member was the focus, but mostly to stay caught up. At this point, I'm caught up enough with the pre Typhoon Pact events to not have to go through the early books that set up people like Chen. Even though I liked the TNG parts of The Fall, Typhon Pact and the Cold Equations trilogy (which the E-E crew was a big part of aftert part 1), I do miss the TNG books having a stronger cast. Maybe they can steal Tuvok from Titan now that its just an admiral's taxi.