The central plot for this book is more like something in the Original Series: the Enterprise encounters an interstellar monster and must destroy it. The author really created an epic foe for the Enterprise. Her writing is on her as usual high level. The descriptions of scenes and events are very clear. The action scenes are very clear and vividly described, and make for exciting reading. The language the characters use is a little strange though. This author just gets a bit too poetic when writing for the Next Generation crew. On a somewhat similar note, one flaw I found in this book was that the tension level, considering the magnitude of the enemy the Enterprise is facing and some of the things it does, was definitely lacking. Diane Duane showed in Dark Mirror that she could create a very tense, creepy atmosphere, but for some reason she neglected to do so here. Part of that flaw is her treatment of the monster's victims. Either they are people that we have little sympathy for, or their deaths are held at a distance from the reader, as though deliberately not to have too much impact. Instead, we get too little. On the plus side, this book also describes the lifestyle and some of the work of Starfleet's dedicated deep space explorers, which I found very interesting. All in all this is a very entertaining and well written book. A ghost story just should have been spookier, that's all.