Amoral, shrouded in secrecy, and answerable to no one, Section 31 is the mysterious covert operations division of Starfleet, a rogue shadow group committed to safeguarding the Federation at any cost. Doctor Julian Bashir sacrificed his career for a chance to infiltrate Section 31 and destroy it from within. Now it's asking him to help it stop the Breen from stealing a dangerous new technology from the Mirror Universe-one that could give the Breen control over the galaxy. It's a mission Bashir can't refuse-but is it really the shot he's been waiting for? Or is it a trap from which even his genetically enhanced intellect can't escape?
Reviewed on 8th November 2014
Although labelled as a Section 31 novel, this isn't really part of the series of that name from some ten years ago, but rather a sequel to the recent 'The Fall' crossover series of novels, and follows Dr Bashir as he attempts to infiltrate the shadowy organisation that has been trying to recruit him since DS9's sixth season.
Like all the Star Trek novels I've read by David Mack, this is really good. He manages to write for the TV series characters perfectly and to continue to develop their characters in an authentic and believable manner, while bringing in new unfamiliar characters and building them up so that the reader has as much invested in them as the stars.
I was a bit nervous when I discovered that this book was taking a dive into the Mirror Universe, as I've always felt a bit of a disconnect from this and never read the MU series of novels and novellas from a few years ago, but having now read this I can report that I barely felt I'd missed out and Mack filled me in through the narrative on everything I needed to know about the setting and characters. I liked very much how he used the opportunity to use a range of familiar and new faces in the MU to add to its tapestry, and I'm almost inspired to go back and fill in some of the gaps in my past reading.
The plot is strong and solid, and a great adventure that I enjoyed taking alongside the characters. I can do little but look forward to more in the promised follow-up novel. Great once again, and could even provide a good entry point into the series for readers who've not kept up with the many strands of the post-Nemesis novel series.