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The most significant point that the others have made (IMHO) is simply that it isn't anything like a modern Trek novel.
Star Trek characters are traditionally portrayed as various American-value sterotypes a-la Lensmen novels, and all of the modern novels rely on these stereotypes, as well as familiarity with the characters to avoid spending time on character development.
In this case, the authors captured just enough of that dull style to make the book "feel" like a Star Trek novel, BUT also managed to get in significant character development -- of the kind that will give those hard-core trivia-swapping fans serious nighmares.