I finally just finished this book. It usually takes me about 3 weeks to maybe a month to read a book. I started this one back in September and just finished it. It was a struggle to finish. It is a sequel to their earlier book "The Price of the Phoenix." A lot of the homo-erotic overtones present in the earlier book I found to be largely gone in this book (I'm not sure if the editors or PTB told them to tone it down a bit but I didn't really see any of that in this book). As far as the story goes there's a lot of undeveloped bits that could be interesting but were just left unresolved. There's interesting bits about worlds thinking about seceding from the Federation and having issues with Federation laws and regulations, including the Prime Directive. But these are largely brought up and ignored until the end of the book when it's simply noted the Federation is always open to discussing it's policies. Another is Omne, the villain himself. He has the potential to be a very interesting character, and there's little tidbits about an almost forgotten history that is just left hanging. The book ends with the potential for another sequel but as far as I know this was the final book in the Phoenix series. I also found the book incredibly confusing at times. There's Omne, then there's the "Other" that is a copy of Omne that appears like Spock. Then there's a copy of Kirk, referred to as James, who is taken in by the Romulan Commander (from "The Enterprise Incident") and they eventually fall in love with one another but James is banished by Omne after Omne is banished, leaving the potential for a future story as the Commander vows to try to find James. But because of that there are times in the novel when you don't know who's who. There's also the Doyen, who I guess is the leader of a group within the Romulan Empire, though I'm not sure if they are subjects or allies, or whatever. I stopped caring. And the Doyen has a prince who's subjected to her and he tries to help James at points, and I think maybe he was copied at one point, I'm not sure. Really, it got to the point I just didn't care anymore. I really didn't care for this book at all. I rarely find a book that I just don't like. I never give up on a book so I read it to the end. But it's unfortunately because I think there are a lot of interesting bits but they were just left hanging. And Omne had a lot of potential, but there were too many loose threads. Not only his history but his motives were hard to discern as well. Why was he trying to destabilize the quadrant? He seemed like a much different character in the past, what changed? He's apparently a Romulan but how does he fit in with the Romulan Empire? And sometimes he is helping the heros (Kirk, Spock, the Commander) and other times he's trying to kill them. And the motives of the Other aren't well developed either. Why couldn't they join forces? Why can't they co-exist, they'd be stronger together. Other than some vague plotlines that Omne basically couldn't stand having his 'other self' roaming the galaxy there's no real resolution there. Maybe others have a different take. I just found the story overly complicated in some areas and I found poor development in other areas. I found it a chore to read.