The Return was VERY surprising. It did start out very slow and very wordy, and the fact that William Shatner is a co-author, one might keep thinking: "Let go of Kirk! He's died!" - that is, until he is resurrected in this novel.
However, once I moved past these thoughts, and looked at the story for what it was - a story, I realized it was a great book. In fact, it was everything the movie Generations was not. I am not sure how much Shatner wrote, but he did have the assistance of great Star Trek authors Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens - who are known for their great insight into Trek "fandom". However, you can clearly see Shatners' influence on this book as he takes the "fandom" to a higher level.
The Return had character interaction between all off Picard's Enterprise with the key essentials of Kirk's Enterprise - Ambassador Spock, 150 year-old McCoy, and the resurrected Kirk. Plus, it even incorporates Deep Space Nine characters - primarily Dr Bashir. A good portion of the story takes place on DS9.
When this book moved into a higher gear - it did not stop. That being a good thing. The ensuing action was relentless! I easily read the last two hundred pages straight through - even canceling my evening plans to finish.
(Spoiler Alert!) The only aspect of the story that did not sit well with me is that Kirk should have died on the Borg home planet at the end of the novel; but Shatner has to get one more book out of a Kirk story. (The Book Avenger; since this review was originally written, we learn there are several more books that follow.) However, dying on the Borg planet would be a lot more meaningful than dying by falling off of a bridge. However, I did read Avenger, and that was a very well done book too, Avenger. So keeping Kirk alive have been a good thing.
Notwithstanding, The Return was still an excellent and extremely exciting. Put away your bias and pick it up soon!