• Second Self

  • Star Trek: Picard
  • By: Una McCormack
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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Second Self

By: Una McCormack
Narrated by: January LaVoy
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Publisher's Summary

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...

™, ®, & © 2021 CBS Studios, Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

©2022 CBS Studios Inc. All rights reserved. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Second Self

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great DS9 Connection

This one was a bit slow to start but wound up having a fun mystery mixed with some old DS9 faces. A fun ride!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great storytelling

I found this to be a very original story with great character development. Great story about Garrick whom we all knew from DS9. It was always hinted that he had a complicated past which is told very well here. Great read. Thanks.

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Una McCormick + January LaVoy = perfection

This is the second title I’ve read that was written by McCormick and narrated by LaVoy, and like the other I really enjoyed it. To be honest, though I love Star Trek I don’t really expect to be blown away by Star Trek novels as there are so many and I don’t know what the vetting process is. But this is a real gem. I couldn’t put it down. I really love the structure she used, making a sort of sand which with the current post Romulan super nova time as the ends past events at the end of the dominion war the second and fourth part and events during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor in the middle. It sounds convoluted as I type it out right now but trust me it’s cool. And January Lavoy is a delight to listen to.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It’s a slog

There are so many things I don’t care for with this particular book. The plot is slow and plotting. Very boring. It features some of my least favorite characters. And the authors writing style feels so amateurish. Which is strange because this author has written so many books in the Star Trek franchise. I think what grates on me listening to it is how many times she says the phrase “he said”, “she said”, “Raffi said”, “Vaul said”. I am less than halfway through and it’s like finger nails on a chalkboard.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Struggled with Narrator

Be sure to listen to sample, I did not before purchase. The narrators impersonation of Jean Luc Picard absolutely grated on me and because of this, I am returning this book before finishing, so the story rating is there only because it has to have a rating before continuing with the review.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not a good book.

Usually I enjoy Star Trek books. This is the only one that I’ve ever had that I did not enjoy, and fact really disliked. There was way too much politics involved between the federation, the Romulans, the Cardassians, etc. I understand that there is politics within the federation within the other empires but this one was exclusively almost about politics and had very little action and very little to recommend it to other readers. I’ve got six hours left but I think I may send it back (Which is something I’ve done with very, very few books that I’ve ever gotten from Audible).

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Story with a few Surprises

I enjoyed one learning more about my favorite DS9 character. The story expands the events after the Dominion War and what happened to other worlds after the war. It's a good read, kept my attention and hope to see more in the future.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The next generation is here.

The ultimate mashup of modern trek against old trek, this “wrapping up” of a legendary character wasn’t easy task or goal, but this book struck gold.

I miss the old lit universe but this book is a shining example of how the new age of trek is not only here, it’s phenomenal and inspired.

Top three of my favorite star trek books and the narrator was, as usual, top notch; the only con is it wasn’t two times longer.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not what I was hoping for.

The narration was great. There's nothing there that made me frustrated with this book. 75% of the book takes place telling back story, where while it is used in the overall plot, it spends very little time in the Picard show timeline. The wrapup of the story had me bump it to 3 stars instead of 2, but if I was reading this on my own I'm not sure I would have ever finished it. I'm also really bummed at the feel for the need for as much language in this book as there is. I will not be recommending any of these new Star Trek books to my young teens until they are adults. I really prefer cleaner older Trek books.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A look into Raffi Musiker's past

The reader gets to look into a troubled StarFleet Officer's past with substance abuse, and how it related with her part later with Admiral Jean Luc's effort to save the synthetics on Coppelius. Compelling narrative of the time she spent in the Romulan intelligence section of StarFleet Command and her dealings with Bajorans, Cardassians and Romulans.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • OldMiley
  • 01-16-23

A good listen but a bit meandering

Obviously this is only my opinion but while I enjoyed the book I don't think it added much to the ST universe as it could have.

Yeah, it fleshed out Raffi a little but didn't really touch on anything we didn't know already.

I've read quite a few of Una McCormack's ST books but this one just fell a little flat for me, despite me still enjoying it, which gives you am idea of how good some of their other books are.

I did enjoy the performance of January LaVoy though. I hope to gear something else from her in the future.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Glenn Davis
  • 01-11-23

Obvious

But not disappointing. An old character weaves with new. You could see it coming, but how they got there? Listen, and find out

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Vader
  • 09-19-22

DS9 + Picard

Sorry I never liked the whole profits thing it seemed like an easy cop out for the entire DS9 series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ensign Frrranko
  • 09-27-22

A good but slightly disappointing story.

Well, after much anticipation and a very good start I ended up a little disappointed with this story in the end. I didn't want to not like this as much as I didn't, but I did.

On the plus side this story does give Raffi some good background and we catch up with a character we haven't seen for a while. It also sets up Raffi, Rios and Elnor for the next stories too. On the minus side the guest character gets a poor story and Picard's character gets a beating.

"Have you considered that as you make your decision about what to do next, you would do better thinking less about setting your past straight and more about the shape you would like your future to take."

Picard still has a few great lines and there is also a redeeming statement by Raffi near the end where she says something like "Even for all your blind spots, you're still full of wisdom."

This story kind of continues the theme of Picard lazy-helping, or perhaps having the best intentions but applying non-ideal or even inappropriate actions. The best example I'm thinking of from this story is Picard trying to encourage both Raffi and Elnor to attend the academy where Picard will be vice chancellor. Of course, this will enable him to be there for them, to support them, but does not consider whether the academy is the best or even most desirable place for Raffi and/or Elnor.

Another thing clearly continued in this story is Raffi's suspicious difficulty with trust. When she spends time with Picard at the beginning of the story she accused him three times of having alterior motives.

Also, I'm not sure if it was a slip up or an intended irony, but when Raffi arrived at Chateau Picard, Picard says to her something like: "Oh, nice of you to think to come and visit me" which is a bit rich considering that Raffi had felt completely abandoned by him after he dropped out of Starfleet. Anywayyy.

Also, I thought it was a bit rough to offer wine to a recovering alcoholic. Anywayyy.

Well, I liked the ladies ganging up on Picard in essence, but I thought it came off as a bit harsher in tone than necessary.

I'm one of the fans who was totally cool with Raffi's nickname for Picard, but it may have been overused in this story. Fair enough when Raffi is talking to him or thinking about him, then "JL" is appropriate, but the narrative voice and other characters should have more naturally been referring to him by his name, I'd say.

This review is a bad place to bring it up. But I often wonder how Picard's family own a vineyard (and the Siskos have their family restaurant) in a moneyless society. Not because I want to pick it apart, just because I'd be interested in how that works, if it has been established.

I recently started a new gig and my reading has been way off, my note taking has copped the biggest blow, so I was a little apprehensive getting into this book right now because I didn't want to be distracted and miss the point, BUT, I guess it's a case of loving what we love or just coming "home" to a familiar book series. I instantly was drawn into this story and by about half hour into the listen I'd already penned five paragraphs of notes. This is why I'll always come back to Star Trek.

So anyway, the intro stuff is fine. No thrill. A bit heavy on the Picard-scalding. And it leads to Raffi looking for a cover-reason to head to Cardassia Prime (now that I'm reading back through this, I think it was another Cardassian colony planet, Ordeve, but maybe she had to get to Prime first). She visits a bunch of "friends" who apparently despise Picard, at least they clearly despise Raffi's relationship with him, and then asks them for anything they can think of for a reason for her to go there. And this scene was dumb to me. They just get angry at her for being Picard's bitch and storm out.

The "red alert" going off in Raffi's mind when she offers to head to Ordeve made me think she was about to make the same mistake that Picard made with the Romulans over on Elnor's refuge-world.

Apart from feeling like the Picard-isn't-perfect message came across a bit heavy-handed, I also didn't like the boomerang trajectory that the narrative took, going backwards in time before returning to the starting point.

At one point Raffi (who, don't forget, is supposed to be a sort of systems hacking wizard,) has to ask what a geophysical survey is, perhaps the jump back in time went so far that we meet a poorly educated young Raffi, but this is only one example of what I thought was some lazy writing.

I like that Raffi and to some extent Rios are put into situations where they must defend the value of Starfleet and the Federation even though they have some level of personal conflict with the idea.

The narration is good, although I have enjoyed some of January LaVoy's other readings more than this one. Actually it started a little rough but either it improved or I became comfortable with it over time. It just didn't seem to have the same energy as some of her other work.

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