This is one of the many Star Trek books. It follows the crew of the Enterprise (Next Generation) as they work studying a nebula. In the process they discover a Preserver world and a mostly incompetent group of poachers, thieves, and con men.
It reads rather like an episode of Star Trek. The plot is predictable and the characters don’t develop at all, but the interactions and the action are enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a generic sci-fi book to take on an airplane this is a decent book. If you aren’t… well, there are a great many higher quality books.
For those Trekkers interested in the chronology this story takes place before the sixth season episode, “Rascals”.