This is billed as a continuation of the Lensman saga, and a story about Worsel. The first is true; the second isn't.
In this era of Star Wars: Expanded Universe, and endless Star Trek novels, not to mention the Brian Herbert's prequels, and pre-prequel Dune novels, you get used to other people wanting to build upon others ingenuity. Occasionally, as in the case of the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, and in ST:TNG "Q-Squared," you get surprising winners. However, most of the time, to books read like a mediocre episode of the series.
It is not that Kyle has big shoes to fill. Rather, he has quirky shoes that are several decades out of style. You can forgive Doc Smith for writing pulp because he was a bona fide pulp writer. Kyle, however, has a better soul, prose, and style that does not flow well with Doc Smith's.
In some ways, this is an improvement. Doc could get word and awk-"wordy" at times. The pacing was too quick at times, and the breezy slang can be like reading another language. This slows the modern reader down.
I think Kyle has only two problems. One, he tweaks the Lensman continuum too much. With 29 of 6 not getting the regenerative treatment that was already established "Second Stage Lensman," it was a hefty discontinuity. Since this is a main character, it did not seem believable.
Then there is the problems of el-sike, a purely Kyle invention which doe not flow out of the original Doc cannon.
Second, you could feel the influence of other SF in this book-Pok reminded me of the Death Star, Arrow-22-a here-and-gone character-was Hal 9000 with a stutter.
The last and biggest problem is that this story is not about Worsel, but about Kallatra. The Old Snake is the point of view character, but he is not the main character, in the same way that Holmes provides the POV, with Sherlock the main charter. The resolution of the plot hinges upon Kallatra. Consequently, she steals all of Worsel's potential thunder. The Snake is more of a mentor (no pun intended), with Kinnison and Mentor being redundant beings.
I find Kallatra a very disturbing character. She appears out of nowhere, is the central being to the plot, and undergoes an agonizing near death with the entire Galactic Patrol and Lensman Corps looking on in awe. In short, she is a MARY SUE character.
So . . . if you are a die hard Lensman fan, buy the whole trilogy to round out your collection. But do not expect the same type of book. It is an easier read, but not as good a story.