The alternating stories are a bit distracting. The 'A' about McCoy is a standard level ST adventure. The 'B' story recounting the Vulcan dissipation and the founding of the Romulan homeworld is tremendous, deep, thoughtful, and serious. Since a cover with McCoy probably more readily identifies the book as formal ST and markets the product better we get only half a book length of a tremendous epic. Also unfortunately, since this is not canon (as it is only in print, not shown on TV) and ST:Nemesis pretty much invalidates the single race concept of the twin planets, it is a wasted opportunity to give some much needed background on why the Romulans became such bad people. Oh, well. Diane Duane is, for my money, the best ST author working. Wonderful.