More than two years have passed since the destruction of the original Deep Space 9.

In that time, a brand-new, state-of-the-art starbase has replaced it, commanded by Captain Ro Laren, still the crew and residents of the former station continue to experience the repercussions of its loss.

For instance: Quark continues his search for Morn, as the Lurian—his best customer and friend—left Bajor without a word and never returned. Quark enlists a private detective to track Morn down, and she claims to be hot on his trail. Yet the barkeep distrusts the woman he hired, and his suspicions skyrocket when she too suddenly vanishes.

At the same time, Kira Nerys emerges from a wormhole after being caught inside it when it collapsed two years earlier. She arrives on the new DS9 to discover Altek Dans already there.

While inside the Celestial Temple, Kira lived a different life in Bajor’s past, where she fell in love with Altek. So why have the Prophets moved him forward in time…and why have They brought him and Kira together?

Scorecards might be needed for readers to keep track of everything that is happening as David R. George III over-stuffs his latest Deep Space Nine novel, The Long Mirage.

The ongoing, serialized adventures of post-television Star Trek continues as Vedek Kira returns, Nog searches for Vic, Quark for Morn and Captain Ro for meaning in her life.

Clocking in at 386 pages, The Long Mirage is not a light read. George seemed to have a checklist of items he needed to include in the novel to catch readers up on the whereabouts of their favorite DS9 characters.

It’s been almost a year since the last DS9 novel — as Pocket Books mainly focused on the Original Series during last year’s jubilee celebration — and the book can be overwhelming and confusing at times with the amount of characters the novel touches on. In this sense, the book very much reads like one of DS9’s later season episodes, especially when the crew was separated during the Dominion War.

Readers who have been reading the DS9 books since the beginning of the post-series saga will no doubt enjoy The Long Mirage. Vedek Kira returns from the Bajoran wormhole after being trapped within… only to discover the man she loved as another person in Bajor’s past is alive and well at the station. it turns out that he’s developed a relationship with Captain Ro, leading to a very awkward moment when the Vedek arrived at Ro’s quarters.

Meanwhile, the station’s resident Ferengi are starring in an episode of Leonard Nimoy’s In Search Of… as Quark continues to look for Morn, who disappeared after the destruction of the original station – all while Nog makes an exodus into the holodeck in an attempt to once again fix Vic Fontaine’s program before his holo-friend is lost for good.

Juggling so many characters and story threads can be a difficult task, and George has demonstrated that he’s more than up to the challenge. With so much going on, the author does a terrific job with pacing the story, allowing characters — as well as readers — the time needed to breathe and reflect.

Ro Laren, the Bajoran captain of DS9 has always been an enigma to fans: originally written into The Next Generation to serve as a bridge between the two series, Michelle Forbes passed on the opportunity to reprise her role as a full-time cast member when DS9 was being cast, and it’s fascinating to see how those real-life decisions appeared to mirror those of the character.

Nog’s quest is also of interest as he once again attempts to help Vic, who may very well have replaced Jake Sisko as the Ferengi’s best friend. Nog’s relationship with the sentient hologram – much like Voyager’s EMH – is fascinating. The station’s science officier, John Candlewood, provides a perfect foil to Nog’s search, grounding the story for readers who might not understand Nog’s attachment to the fictional character (as if they are all not fictional characters).

Overflowing with story, Ro and Nog’s journeys throughout the book are the most interesting — save perhaps for Kira’s return, and the continuing aftereffects of her decision to upload the Ohalu prophecies for all of Bajor to read (all the way back in 2003’s Avatar).

Her determination to let the people of Bajor decide for themselves the validity of the religious documents has had serious ramification on the Prophets’ faithful, and this story itself deserves its own novel to explore these all ideas.

The Long Mirage is an enjoyable next chapter in the DS9 saga, and is perfect for readers who watched the show and have followed the new adventures since its relaunch — though new readers looking to get reacquainted with the characters or who have just discovered them through digital streaming will most likely be more than a little lost if this is their first foray into Deep Space Nine‘s print afterlife.

Luckily, a scorecard won’t need player numbers for readers to figure out who’s who.