Feels like I've been all over the map with my reading of the New Frontier novels. I went through the first ten paperbacks like gangbusters a number of years ago, and then lost interest when this particular installation came out in hardback (another evil marketing ploy). I read Calhoun's "Captain's Table" and "Gateways" stories, plus six or seven (or eight or nine) other Trek novels till I came across this in the library and decided "what the heck?"
"What the heck," indeed! Do I need to tell you who is "restored?" I don't think so. But I *can* tell you the way he goes about it is certainly in keeping with the purple-eyed Mackenzie Calhoun we've all come to know and love. Instead of *dying* in the explosion of the Excalibur, Calhoun instead miraculously survives his shuttle's nasty crash-landing and *lives* on an arid back-alley planet called Yakaba, taking up with a rainmaker and her young son in his effort to find a way *off* said planet.
He accomplishes this in a big way, and in the end finds himself with another boy to call his son. And there are plenty of hints for the future that this boy, Moke, ain't no one to trifle with any more than is Calhoun himself.
Meanwhile, Calhoun's former first officer, Elizabeth Paula Shelby, is busy with problems of her own as captain of the Exeter. These problems include, but are not limited to, dealing with a first officer with an all-too-familiar attitude about the rules and regs of Starfleet, grieving for Mac and what could have been, and trying to come up with a way to "Calhoun" a potential Federation member into doing the right thing. At times, she barely recognizes herself.
Add to this a 27-page "Star Trek: New Frontier Minipedia" in the back, and I'm ready to forgive 'em for publishing in hardback first. If you're reading them all, you've got to have this one.