Well, I finally finished the book and reading through this thread (which took longer than the book and was at times more entertaining!). In all honesty, I was one of the people yelling "cash grab" after finding out about the book's second volume and after it was revealed that the book would not be bridging the 25-year gap as it was originally announced (which I think was a bit of advertising that was really detrimental to what the book ultimately turned out to be), but I was determined to read it with an open mind, forgoing my hopes and expectations and just going with what the book is rather than what I wanted it to be. All in all, I found the book to be a bit of a mixed bag, with some astounding sections and some that were frankly a plod to get through.
First off, I absolutely love the design of the book and I think it was lovingly created and put together. That being said, a Kindle version is near-impossible to read, and I was not that interested in the audiobook (as I generally am not so much into audiobooks).
I think, perhaps most importantly, that the book gets the creepy, disturbing, unsettling atmosphere of the show and the film just right, which makes for a genuinely interesting reading in keeping with the world that we all know and love.
I loved the Lewis and Clark stuff (which at first I thought I would have zero interest in), the stuff regarding our beloved characters, especially Margaret, Audrey, Josie, Briggs, Jacoby, Carl Rodd, etc. and the hints and bits of revelation given to us for post-S2 stuff. If I'm to be perfectly honest, that is what I REALLY wanted this book to be, but perhaps that would reveal too much going into S3, which is why it was scrapped. I also loved Jack Parsons stuff, and I was particularly intrigued with the whole Devil's Gate Dam (in fact, being pretty close to it makes me want to go visit, though perhaps I shouldn't.... Anyone on here brave enough to come with??)
What I was much less interested in was the UFO sections, as I feel that topic has been done to death already and to be frank, done better. It feels too long, obvious, and repetitive, and it wasn't holding my interest as much as the other sections. Same with the Nixon transcripts, and the only moment in the book that really made me groan with incredulity was the mention that Nixon is wearing the Owl Cave ring. That was probably the one thing that really felt ridiculous to me, though I see some people on here liked it.
As far as the many inconsistencies, I am in the camp of: some intentional, some mistakes. The Norma/Annie stuff is just too obvious to be a mistake (and Frost himself seems to suggest as much), Jacoby's mention of Laura being 18 I think is his way of justifying his own actions (retconning them, if you will), Audrey fighting against Ben may be suggesting that Ben was never really "good" (at least that makes most sense to me), and some of the stuff is easily ascribed to subjective memory. The rest of it (e.g. Jacoby's date of death, etc.) I think are just simply rushed mistakes, and yes I think that does take away from the book, but it didn't necessarily ruin my enjoyment. However, I do understand and sympathize with those fans for whom it did.
In the end, I'm glad I read the book and I generally liked it, though perhaps not loved it as much as I wished I would, and I doubt I will really go back to it and explore it further. In fact, I have a feeling it will play no (or very little) role in the new series. But I was wrong about it being a cash grab. I think it was done too lovingly and painstakingly to really be considered that. I can appreciate it for what it is and not for what I wanted it to be.
Finally, one question that I haven't seen discussed here much. Who may be "the walking owl" mentioned throughout? BOB?