The passage at the very start of the book was well written, and there was some good scenes between the characters, but I found the book just a little too slow. I have read some of Diane Carey's other ST books, and while she's not my favourite Trek author, I do enjoy most of her books, especially 'Ship of the Line'.
I think the book would be better if more time was spent on developing a more complicated storyline, and less time on the characters feelings on the 'Ghost Ship'. Maybe it's just me, but the plot seemed too basic, and centred completely on what to do about the life draining entity. As it was, the book was more a question of ethics than a Star Trek novel.
A good, thought-provoking Star Trek novel, but not one of the best.
While the plot is disappointing, the interaction among the main characters is worthwhile if for no other reason than to contrast the original concept with their eventual, more developed, incarnations. The highlights are the budding relationship between Giordi and Data and the contradictory early relationship between Deanna and Riker. But at the same time, Giordi is painted as an arrogant and insubordinant brat and Riker an incompetent buffoon when the two are on the bridge.
Bottom line: This isn't a horrible novel, but there are many superior Star Trek books out there (some of them written by Diane Carey herself). If you are going to invest the time it takes to read a book, invest it in one you'll get more out of.
It was 15 pages into the book before we met any of the main characters, and there was some very odd writing as has been commented on by one of the other reviewers ("Her faint Greek accent tapped the words out with the click of a sparrow's talons hopping across marble.") and, also as one of the other reviewers has pointed out, several of the characters do not seem to behave in ways that, to my admittedly limited understanding, are according to their established characterizations from the television show. Riker, particularly, seems completely out of character, very self-conscious and uncertain, very unhappy to be a first officer, thinking of Data (at least at the start of the book) as simply an ambulatory tool with no personhood, and being even more pacifistic and unwilling to cause harm to another entity, even in self-defense, than Picard.
This book would probably rate four stars if it stood alone, as a science fiction story with characters that were entirely its own; but the poor handling of established characters brings it down to three.