Seeing Red (Ambassador, #1)
by Patty Jansen

Human Cory Wilson is a diplomat from the Nations of Earth set to start his job as a delegate to gamra– the multi world/nation trade organization in charge of the technology that allows cross-world travel.

Only just as he is sitting down with the President, there is an explosion that changes his world.

The cool thing about the Ambassador series is you can try out this first book, as I did, for free from Amazon or Jansen’s website. I picked it up being familiar with some of Jansen’s fantasy series and after reading a much earlier connected book, Watcher’s Web.

Ambassador reads as much more polished and well plotted out than the other of Jansen’s work I’ve read. Cory Wilson must contend not only with earth politicians, but also gamra delegates and the majority-ruling Coldi people and the factions against them.

Coldi are pretty neat. It was major socio-anthropological fun discovering their culture through Cory’s eyes. And I liked Cory. He’s a third nation person– he has ties and loyalties to many cultures and at one point in the book has to explicitly face that fact that his main loyalty lies to a sense of equality and justice and cooperation more than his planet of birth.

The slight thread of romance was awkward (actually Cory’s thoughts about his human fiancee, Eva, at first really put me off. He’s so deluded its clueless and their traditional courtship stilted and unhealthy) but once he moves on from his fiancee and acknowledges his feelings towards the people in his ever-deepening role as ambassador things get better.

Intriguing start to a well thought out SF world with political chicanery.