Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Long Mirage
© 2017 David R George III
Bajor is a planet in crisis, as a sect which argues that that Prophets are not gods is growing in prominence, commingling with the revelation that one of Bajor’s moons is a construct, with an apparent connection to the wormhole. Into this controversy, Kira Nerys has re-appeared after several months missing in the wormhole, where she experienced years of another life, one spent freeing slaves in Bajor’s distant past. Onboard Deep Space Nine, things are less fractious, but trouble could be in the offing: as Quark and Ro Laren travel in search of a missing Morn, and Nog works to save a friend from oblivion, a Jem He’Dar cruiser is on course for the station from the Gamma Quadrant. Although I haven’t kept current with the Niner relaunch books since The Fall series (read in 2017-8, pub. in 2013), through recaps and a strong emphasis on character-stories, David R. George III kept me nose deep in this one.
Three separate stories hurtle along in The Long Mirage, but what invested me as a reader who knew nothing of what was going on was the characters. Kira, Ro, Quark, and Nog are the primaries here, and one of the subplot concerns the fate of Vic Fontaine, which delighted me to end. Vic is the arguably sentient lounge singer who everyone on DS9 regards as a friend, but something went wrong after the original DS9 was destroyed, and one of the threads involves both holoengineering and the Vegas mob. One of the reasons I haven’t kept current with Niner lit despite it being my favorite series is that I’m profoundly un-interested in the long-running Bajoran religious drama arc that’s been going for what seems like a decade. But because Kira had reappeared from the wormhole in the midst of it, and feeling as though she was there for a reason but uncertain what it could be, I found it compelling if only for her part in it. The B&C plots unexpectedly converge, and it’s in the Ro-Quark arc that I found the novel at its most compelling, in showing off how these characters have matured so greatly in the last ten years.
The Long Mirage is far and away my favorite Trek novel this year, something of a feat given how much of its backstory I needed to absorb through recaps and my own googling. (The book directly follows Sacraments of Fire and Ascension.) It helps to center on some of my favorite characters, of course (Kira and Ro, especially), but the amusing link between Quark’s attempts to find Morn, and Nog’s mission to recover Vic, really gave the book’s last half new energy.
Oh, and this is what the new station looks like. Love how it evokes the original!