Star Trek Picard – Firewall

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We were provided a a pre-release copy of the book by Simon & Schuster for the purpose of the review.

Since Seven materialized on our screens in season one of Star Trek Picard, fans, old and new, have been clamoring for more content about this beloved character. Written by New York Times bestselling author David Mack, “Firewall” explores the era of Seven’s life following Voyager’s return to Earth. We know from Star Trek Picard that Seven joined the Fenris Rangers, but what led Seven to join this group has been left to our collective imaginations, until now.

Firewall finds Seven lost and disillusioned by Starfleet’s continued denial of her requests to join the organization following Voyager’s return to Earth. Janeway has even pulled every favor she has to get Starfleet to reconsider their decision. Despite all attempts, Seven is denied admission to the one organization she had been striving to embrace her entire time on Voyager.

Seven makes the decision to leave behind her scattered Voyager family to try and figure out not only who she is but where she belongs. She finds a place where she is isolated from the discrimination of being an ex-Borg but finds herself incredibly lonely. This journey of self-discovery takes Seven to one of her lowest points personally but also finds her discovering comfort and belonging in the queer community.

When Seven is approached by an agent from the Federation Security Agency and is asked to infiltrate the vigilante branded Fenris Rangers things begin to change for Seven quickly. The Federation Security agent entices Seven with a promise of getting her admission into Starfleet and this is when we really begin to see Seven regain her confidence and become the Fenris Ranger we met in Star Trek Picard. Seven’s instincts of protecting those that need help quickly kick in upon becoming affiliated with the Fenris Rangers and she soon trades in her spy mission to join the Rangers.

Through a series of events with the Rangers, Seven embraces her unique abilities as an ex-Borg but also makes several mistakes that deliver some hard life lessons that will impact her for a very long time. Seven is also quickly put to the test of protecting the Alpha Quadrant and aiding the Fenris Rangers in shaking their vigilante status. Through her time with the Rangers, Seven witnesses an act of genocide, falls in love, nearly dies several times, and loses her Rangers mentor. Seven carries a lot of guilt from her mistakes and losses but she begins to shift her thinking and actions from her normal linear thoughts which strengthens her resolve beyond anything she could have imagined.

David Mack truly takes readers on an action-packed adventure that keeps readers engaged and eager to learn what the next page will bring. The layering of stories and relationships explored throughout Firewall are exactly what fans of Star Trek want, especially when they are centered around Seven of Nine. The action scenes and detail put into the characters, locations, ships, and all the things that make Star Trek unique are so well paced throughout the book that it really feels like you are experiencing a television series.

Incorporating Kathryn Janeway into Firewall was truly a chef’s kiss to the Seven and Janeway relationship on Voyager. David Mack really understood the mentor and mentee roles they played in addition to the parental figure Janeway assumed during Voyager. Mack allows the Janeway and Seven relationship to face the pain of letting go but opens avenues for the relationship to evolve, which is something fans will truly appreciate.

Seven is also presented as still possessing some naiveté when it comes to understanding human colloquial phrases. She is, at times, very literal in her interpretations but begins learning and adapting thanks to her Ranger affiliations. David Mack also does something that Star Trek Picard never really achieved and that is allowing Seven to use her unique skills and powers granted her through her Borg implants and technology. Having Seven use her advanced speed, agility, eye sight, and thinking throughout Firewall will have fans cheering and wanting more.

It is important to acknowledge that David Mack made an important effort to have Seven identify as queer. Allowing Seven to be comfortable in relationships with women soon after Voyager’s return to the Alpha Quadrant is significant to not only Seven’s character development but also to solidifying the acceptance of the queer community in the 24th century. Allowing queer characters in Star Trek to grow, thrive, and love is imperative. The fandom looks to all of Trek’s storytellers to continue pushing for more representation not only in simply identifying characters as LGBTQIA+ but to also exploring how these relationships are impactful to character and story development.

Firewall is a must read for all fans of Star Trek. There is something for everyone, including important storylines and characters from Star Trek Voyager, Prodigy, and Picard. This novel also offers great insight into the organizational structure and operations of the Fenris Rangers while also delivering non-stop, heart racing action. There is also an intriguing bookend to Firewall that fans of Star Trek Picard will truly enjoy. Ultimately, Firewall tells a version of Seven’s story during an era that has never been explored before which is exactly why this reader will be reading “Firewall” again and again.

Star Trek Picard – Firewall by David Mack is available now from Scifier.com.

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Jodi

Fueled by coffee and willing to charge into a nebula for more. I’m a lifelong musician and creative with a love for all things sci-fi. In a universe where you can be anyone, be a Trekkie.

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