In October 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union spent 13 arduous days dancing on the edge of World War III. Little trust existed on either side. The Federation and her allies face the same situation in Brinkmanship by Uma McCormack. The Tzenkethi seem to be actively using the Venetans and their starbases as a general quarters, the staging ground for war with the Federation. Venetan space and its starbases are on borders of three different Khitomer powers: the Federation, the Ferengi and the Cardassians. What ensues is a nail-biting tale of point and counterpoint that may lead to another Armageddon.
McCormack does an excellent job of bringing insight into one for the most underdeveloped races in Star Trek. The Tzenkethi have never before been so deeply explored and their society been brought to life in such vivid fashion. They are a genetically modified caste people. Each caste has its purpose and they experience no growth beyond that purpose. Some would see this as slavery. Others see it as freedom. This is one of the interesting philosophical questions that McCormack debates through two characters who never meet in the story. (Rest of the review at Trek.Fm)