At uni I read quite a lot of Star Trek books (mostly Next Gen, I think, and some original series - there weren't any others at the time). They have varying levels of crapness, frankly. But they were all free, so I read them. Since then I have, unsurprisingly, not bought any, apart from the ones that Una McCormack has written.
I bought Brinkmanship despite the title telling me that it was part of a series of books about which I know nothing. I could tell that it was set in the future when I looked at the back and mentioned Captain Ezri Dax. I thought about looking up the details of what's happened since the end of DS9, but decided that if the book's written well enough I should be able to follow it.
And I did. If they took the 'Typhon Pact' part of it off the book it would work perfectly well as a stand-alone. To the point where I'm not sure I can be bothered to look up details from the rest of the series. I was perfectly happy with this one as a self-contained thing.
The only characters in this that I recognise from TNG and DS9 are Picard, Crusher and Ezri (and Garak, but he only appears in one scene). Ezri I struggled to remember very well. Picard and Crusher are now married with a two year old son. I know they had some shippiness going on in the programme, but I still found that hard to get my head round.
I was more interested in the characters I didn't know (they might be from elsewhere, I don't know). Especially Neta Efheny, who the story starts with. And Ilka, the (female) Ferengi diplomat. I'd probably have enjoyed it just as much without Ezri, Picard or Crusher in. Once I got into it, I would have been quite happy sticking with Efheny and not bothering with any other characters - she was definitely my favourite and the whole Tzenkethi culture was interesting.
In summary: I liked it (although that's not a surprise because I've liked Una's other Star Trek & Doctor Who books) and it's perfectly possible to read it without having read any other Star Trek book at all ever.
Mirrored from my blog.