My expectations for this book, after reading the reviews here and with the Lost Era series being 2 for 4, were not high. I found this to be good reading, though not spectacular. Obviously the book follows two stories, Kyle's and Will's. Will's story is a personal drama, without the dramatic Academy tests or conspiracies that Original Series books set there have. Still, I found it to be a well written, interesting, and entertaining depiction of Will Riker at that time. I don't really like Will Riker all that much as a TNG character, so making him interesting for me was a good achievement on the author's part. The cadets are rather clichéd, but apart from the eternally patient girlfriend I've known people just like them, and they work well as part of Will's story. Kyle's story has much more action in its beginning and end. The descriptions there and overall are very well done. This author understands how to make long descriptive passages interesting. The middle of Kyle's story was essentially filler, as Kyle himself puts it, to prepare him for the end of the story. It was entertaining and well done, but it had almost nothing to do with the central plot of Kyle's story. I would have preferred more time on the conspiracy. I did quite enjoy the resolution of that. It's refreshing, after "Serpents Among the Ruins", to see a murderous conspiracy be viewed by Starfleet Command as something to stop. All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable read. Nothing was spectacularly good, but lately just enjoyable has been too much for some Trek authors.