The stories are generally good, as is the writing (better than I expected, anyway). Good character development on almost everyone. I especially enjoyed the return of Ro Laren -- she's always been one of my favorite Trek characters. I've heard that the producers wanted Ro to fill the Kira role, but Michelle Forbes either passed or was unavailable. Much as I loved Kira, I still wonder what the show would have been like with Ro as the Bajoran representative. This isn't quite that, since Ro is the security chief here, not second in command, but it's still interesting to have her interacting with the remaining DS9 regulars. However, I CANNOT STAND the Ro/Quark 'ship. I was okay with it when it started out one-sided -- Quark's passion for strong brunette women with a healthy respect for bending the rules is well established. But his being serious about her seems all wrong, and I just can't believe that Ro returns his feelings. It seems all wrong for what we know of the character. It feels like they wanted to pair Ro up with someone, anyone, and since Quark is the only eligible male left in the series... It just doesn't work for me. I won't stop reading the books because of it, but I'll have to hold my nose during the R/Q chapters.
In general, I'm liking the original characters. Prynn and Shar, especially, appeal to me. Particularly, I'm dying to find out more about Andorrian society, and I hope that future books have more about Shar. And it's great to see an individual Jem'Hadar as a developed character. I haven't decided what to make of Commander Vaughn, though. For one thing, I can't figure out whether he's actually an original character -- I don't remember him from any of the series or films, and an IMDb search came up dry. But he's described as if we're supposed to be familiar with him. Maybe he's been in previous books? Anyway, his backstory is intriguing, although I'm a little annoyed with the whole estranged-daughter subplot. Mostly, I just can't believe that Starfleet would allow a starship captain to have his daughter under his command. It seems like the very worst conflict of interest situation, even worse than allowing one spouse to command another. I have similar issues with Julian and Ezri being assigned to the Gamma mission together, although that might just be that I've never been fond of that 'ship, either. (Actually, I've never been much of a Trek 'shipper -- I find the show much more interesting when it concentrations on the relationships between friends, like Sisko and Kira or Julian and Miles. But I found Julian and Ezri particularly irritating, because it came out of nowhere and seemed like it was just made up to placate fans who had wanted Julian and Jadzia together. But then I might be the only person in the world who actually liked the Jadzia/Worf 'ship, so I could be biased. But I digress.)
The books have been a little busy with the plot threads. I think I might like them better if they were more like the episodes -- one "episode" about getting the Defiant ready for its Gamma quadrant mission, one "episode" about Bajor being accepted into the Federation, and one "episode" about the planet with the energy pulse. Sometimes the narrative gets jumpy, and the books are written in too many voices for my taste -- Avatar has more than half a dozen narrative voices, some characters for only one chapter. It's like the author wants to make sure that we get every single person's perspective on an event, when three or four perspectives would be enough. Still, I have missed this show, and it's been very satisfying to "catch up" with the characters again. I'm happy to keep reading.