((WARNING!! SPOILER ALERT!!))
Today, marks a week, since the release of New York Times Bestselling Author David Mack’s Star Trek: Section 31 Disavowed. I had been looking-forward to this one, for a long time. My respect for Dr. Bashir has been ratcheted-up by several levels over the past couple of years; his heroic actions in-regards to the Andorian’s procreation crisis, has been been nothing short of incredible. The man has given up everything to save the Andorians, both – from themselves, and – all those who would use their extinction to cause a crippling blow to the United Federation of Planets, while shattering the peace that has reigned amongst them, for nearly 225 years. So, yeah… I’ve been dying to see the next chapter in this saga.
What better way to carry these events forward, than using Bashir’s antipathy towards his nemesis; that rogue organization that has used him and manipulated him for going-on two decades. [Accountable to no one, Section 31 focuses on external threats, and pursues those it identifies by whatever means it sees fit. – Wikipedia] Bashir, and significant other, Sarina Douglas, have played their roles within the organization’s inner-echelons, carrying out their missions with bloody costs; but they’ve used their genetically-enhanced skills to imbed themselves even-deeper, so that they can destroy Section 31, from within.
That’s where Disavowed begins; Bashir, freshly-pardoned by Federation President Kellessar zh’Tarash, ‘honorably’-discharged from Starfleet and stripped of his medical license, faces the consequences of his actions, and wonders what he will do to complete his personal mission: the destruction of Section 31. He gets a visit from his handler, Cole, who offers Bashir a chance to do just-that. The doctor and Sarina agree to help sabotage a Breen plot, to acquire advanced ‘Mirror Universe’ technology that could topple the UFP decisively, if they’re successful. But, who is playing whom? Will Bashir meet his mission parameters, or – is he being set-up to meet his end? As with any Mack outing, you always start the first page wondering, who’s going to still be standing on the last page?
It’s been three years, (come December), since – we’ve been in the alternate universe; that’s when David Mack’s Rise Like Lions sorted-out all of the loose ends and set everything on a new course. The Klingon-Cardassian Alliance was crushed and the Galactic Commonwealth was born; a new era of peace and healing was ushered-in. But, seeming-foes from the Gamma Quadrant lurk on the other side of the newly-discovered Bajoran Wormhole; namely, The Dominion…
Well, David Mack has hit another one out of the park, with Disavowed, as he takes us on a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. There’s plenty of action and intrigue, and twists and turns abound, as we infiltrate a Breen space station, tear through the fabric of the universe to stop them from achieving their goals, play cloak and dagger with Section 31 agents who have very different objectives, while we face what could be an all-out war with a Dominion fleet, hellbent on bringing their style of order to the new government of the Commonwealth and the Alpha Quadrant at-large. The stakes have never been higher, and Dr. Bashir is front-and-center, as he walks a tightrope over a minefield.
David Mack has won me over, again; bringing back old characters, as-well-as, creating new ones, in what’s sure to be a fan-favorite. His villain, Thot Trom (of the Breen Confederacy’s elite Spetzkar) is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time; ruthless and calculating, he will stop at nothing to complete his mission. The Section 31 operatives are everything you’d expect; but they may find they’ve met their match. And, I don’t give a damn how old Saavik is, [Kirstie Alley] still rocks my world; as she plays an integral role in these events. So far as other components, on the other side: don’t judge a book by its cover. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, or – have it all figured out, Mack masterfully takes you in another direction. I’m not going to spoil, but if you love courtroom dramas, you do not want to miss reading this book!
My score: A+! Section 31: Disavowed is fantastic! David Mack, you are one-helluva mastermind! I may just have to read this, and Rise Like Lions, again.
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone