While there are some interesting situations in this particular novel, it pretty much ignores Star Trek canon and most characterizations, much to its detriment. Apparently, the author, normally a fairly good writer, chose to forego proper research for a novel so set in the past of the original series. According to Ms. McIntyre, the events of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and “The Cage” didn’t happen in the way we saw them, given her methodology for crewing this “first adventure” with Jim Kirk as Captain of the Enterprise.
The Worldship and even the interstellar vaudeville troupe would be nice touches in a proper Trek novel; here they just make bad characterizations and ignorance droll on and on. Having Sulu at the helm, and even Chekov on the ship, and no Dr. Piper, and numerous other canon mistakes compound a bad reading experience.
I can’t even recommend this one for the completists out there, as it doesn’t fill any voice other than a spine number on a paperback shelf.