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REVIEW: Star Trek: Picard 'FIREWALL'

*** spoiler alert ***

Reviewed by: Bradon Jurn

Seven of Nine made her bold entrance on 'Star Trek: Picard' roughly four years ago. Since then, many fans have wanted to know the untold story of how she became a Fenris Ranger. "Firewall" gives fans that story. And I'm happy to report-it's well worth the wait!

"Firewall" not only chronicles Seven of Nine's early days with the Fenris Rangers, but also serves as an appropriate bookend for 'Star Trek: Picard'.

And while this book may connect to other Trek shows-primarily 'Star Trek: Picard'- it very much stands on its own as a Seven of Nine, aka 'Seven's' story.

We find Seven on earth roughly two years after Voyager's return home. Her application to Starfleet has been denied. Her rights to citizenship, revoked. She has essentially been disavowed and blacklisted from the very organization that gave her back her humanity.

The ostracized Seven leaves earth and becomes a working-class nomad in search of herself, and ends up a deputy for the infamous Fenris Rangers.

'Firewall' does a terrific deep dive into this group of intergalactic peacekeepers. We find out that they're more than just a band of gunslinging vigilantes. Thier world, thier cause, and all they stand for is fully explored. With the Rangers, Seven finds a cause worth fighting for-as she and her posse take on a genocidal warlord.

Author David Mack writes our favorite ex-Borg with both bravado and vulnerability. She's essentially on her own for the first time ever. No Voyager crew, no collective.

There's a cloak and dagger element to this story that I found very appealing. These espionage elements capitalize on Mack's strengths as a writer-as he weeves this type of thread exceptionally well.

'Firewall' runs the full gammit of emotions. I found myself on the verge of tears at times, and pumping my fist at others. (YES-I actually 'pumped' a fist!)

There's a cinematic exhilaration to the action scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat and out of your comfort zone. But for every space battle and phaser fight, there's a great character interaction, or quiet moment of reflection. .

Seven's experiences with Fenris Rangers enable her to further explore her humanity in a variety of ways: some tragic, some triumphant.

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This book boast a queer romance that is refreshingly heartfelt and sincere. There is also a transgender character that I found very interesting, and a nice addition to the story. These elements represent Star Trek's ethics of diversity and inclusion very well, and I was glad to see them on display.

'Firewall' is the epitome of the term 'space western'. It boast sensational action sequences while simultaneously furthering the development of Seven's character and her place in the universe. And there's just the right amount of emotional weight to balance the story out nicely.

Fans of "Star Trek: Picard' will love how seamlessly this story works into the show, and utilizes it's established mythology.

Fans of David Mack will be pleased to see that his writing is sharper than ever, as he utilizes every word put on the page and doesn't allow for any drag.

But the fans I'm REALLY hoping this book will reach are the one's who have ever felt ostracized or shut out from society. The one's who've been shamed or bullied because of thier gender, sexual orientation, race, or appearance. If you're one of those fans...'Firewall' will speak to you.



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