This book has received some crap ratings too, but in fact, is one of my favorite Star Trek books thus far. The story has Kirk in it, but is mainly focused on McCoy and Spock, and, of course, a Mary Jane. But, she was a LIKABLE Mary Jane. And was not overly damsel in distress or overly taking over the story.
The enemy they faced was fascinating, but the book in and of itself was more what I call "fluff" than anything. McCoy injures himself more than a few inconvenient times, making him look like some idiot buffoon that Star Fleet enlisted, but he saves himself in the end. I do not commend the author for putting him in such a light, but the Vulcans in the story are uniquely done. Even Amanda, as little a part as she played, was done decently.
This is not a gem of all Star Trek books such as Strangers in the Sky or Dwellers in the Crucible, but I personally enjoyed it. Love it or hate it, I still recommend it.
The cover art is by Boris Vallejo.