I finished “The Klingon Gambit” by Robert E. Vardeman. Its the third novel in the Star Trek series by Pocket Books. My edition is not the Timescape edition, but it also features the cover art by Andy Lackow.
This story was fair. I suspect that several chapters could have been omitted without damaging the story. It seems at times the author wanted to build suspense and really express the conundrum of the Enterprise’s crew. Unfortunately, it felt to me that the story was repetitive and not moving forward.
Clearly, the story is a bit “dated” because all of the depictions of the Klingons are negative. They are brute savages, operating on a self-gain, Machiavellian ideal, and their snarls and harsh tones only emphasize their animalistic nature. The Kirk, McCoy, and Sulu in this story could never handle a Lieutenant Worf, for example. After all, Klingons are very clearly bad guys, simple, predictable, and baaad.