I recently picked up a hardcover edition of Countdown, which I enjoyed very much. Here's why.
Countdown, brought to you by the same guys who made Star Trek, the 2009 movie, was designed specifically to tie in the Next Generation era with the new timeline created by Spock and Nero for the film. Picard, now the Federation ambasador to Vulcan, is on board for the ride, as well as General Worf of the Klingon empire. Most welcome is Captain Data of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-E, alive again thanks to his memories being integrated into the body of B-4. I'm not sure how many years have passed since the events of Nemesis, but clearly a few have gone by.
Countdown shows that the makers of Star Trek (2009) were familiar with not only the original series, but also Next Generation. There are references to the Borg and the Remans, and the Romulan senate appears pretty much exactly as it had in Nemesis.
In terms of backstory, the destruction of Romulus is shown, as well as a techno-babble explanation to what "red matter" is. Nero's character arc is fully illustrated, as is Spock's desperate mission. The end of the book seamlessly connects to the beginning of the movie.
I would recommend Countdown to anybody who enjoyed the 2009 Star Trek film, and not just those who enjoy comics. For Trekkers, this is as close as we'll get to an official, canon continuation of the Next Generation timeline as you may be likely to get.
Enjoy. Four stars.