Second Self
Una McCormack

A thrilling untold adventure based on the acclaimed Star Trek: Picard TV series!

Following the explosive events seen in season one of Star Trek: Picard, Raffi Musiker finds herself torn between returning to her old life as a Starfleet Intelligence officer or something a little more tame—teaching at the Academy, perhaps. The decision is made for her though when a message from an old contact—a Romulan spy—is received, asking for immediate aid. With the help of Elnor and assistance from Jean-Luc Picard, Raffi decides to take on this critical mission—and quickly learns that past sins never stay buried. Finding the truth will be complicated, and deadly…

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Second Self book cover

I was gripped from the first chapter. Despite Picard having gone down some directions onscreen that I find curious, the opening to this novel portrayed Jean-Luc to perfection as an elder statesman pulling strings and having his way with a society where he’s already done so much. This is hugely contrasted with the final act of the work, where Una touches on “The history that Jean-Luc Picard had lived through”, and it begins with the Romulan Supernova, of all things. I know that, technically, that is where this chapter of his life begins now, but it seems rather tawdry to dismiss the first 75 years of his life as having no historical significance.

Apart from that, the book had solid footing all the way through. The protagonist – who I will not name due to his identity being only implied early on – is of course one of my very favourite characters whom I had not heard mention of for several decades in the trekverse. I loved every minute he was in view, enjoyed – or imagined – the callback to the White Star of Night, and will want to read more closely the scenes with the old Vedek if, other than penetrating eyes, there are more subtle clues I might have missed on the first go around.

I’ve had a rocky time with pic novels: The Last Best Hope did Romulans well, and here too, Sokara is vivid. The Dark Veil was my favourite – it had the feel of an episode about it, it was set on a starship, it returned us to what we thought of as old Trek at times. Rogue Elements was harder, because I’d not warmed up to Rios, and now here we are, with second Self pressing my buttons in a good way (and it’s only now I’ve typed that title that I realise there is more than one meaning behind it. Very clever). Given the previews of Pic Season 3 going around, I can only imagine the enjoyment authors will have with stories set around it.
Tldr? A worthwhile couple of hours with my kindle, thanks very much!

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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