The francise holder of Star Trek continues to restructure the Star Trek universe in the original and the alternative (Star Trek movie) timeline.
Moving backwards in the original Star Trek universe, the Star Trek novels are picking up where the Star Trek television series, Enterprise was unfortunately and prematurely canceled after the 4th season. The 5th season was supposedly to deal with the Romulan War.
According to the Memory Alpha website
This novel continues the story after the novel Kobayashi Maru. The Romulans has perfected a technique of telecapturing Coalition (future Federation) ships and the climax of this novel is that Kobayashi Maru was destroyed. Kobayashi Maru went into Star Trek lore as the classical no win scenario.
The Earth-Romulan War, also known as the Romulan Wars, was a major interstellar conflict fought from 2156 to 2160 between the forces of United Earth and those of the Romulan Star Empire. Earth was assisted by its allies Vulcan, Tellar, and the Andorian Empire. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
The two sides knew little of each other before the war, and little after the war. Based on the limited state of knowledge that still existed in as late as 2266, the war was summarized as "Earth believes the Romulans to be warlike, cruel, treacherous; and only the Romulans know what they think of Earth."
The true situation was explained in this novel. Enterprise was escorting the Kobayashi Maru when they were attacked by Klingon ships telecaptured by the Romulans. The Enterprise has to leave the Kobayashi Maru behind in order to avoid being telecaptured. The telecaptured Klingon ships destroyed the Kobayashi Maru.
The novel The Romulan War tells of the early stages of the war. The Romulans are winning and the Coalition are having a hard time. Vulcan are abandoning the Coalition. One interesting note is that to prevent their ships from being telecaptured, earth ships are reverting from digital display to knobs and lights. This will make them look like Kirk's Enterprise which comes later. A very clever innovation for the continuity.
The novel makes for interesting reading but was draggy at times as if the author were trying to stretch it out for a few more books. I only wish authors will tell the story instead of trying for trilogies or multiple books. This novel emphasize the building of Daedalus class starship as a cheaper alternative to the NX series.