National Book Award-winning author William Alexander is writing in a completely different genre from his fantasy novel and award winner, Goblin Secrets, a book I didn’t care for all that much. Ambassador is science fiction, close encounters of the third kind, and I did enjoy it.
Gabriel Sandro Fuentes is an eleven year old middle child, with an older sister and twin toddler brother and sister. Gabe is what my mom would fondly call “a lover, not a fighter.” He’s plenty courageous, but he’s learned in his eleven years to be a peacemaker. His mother calls him “the most sensible member of this whole family” and “the only one who knows how to keep your head down.”
When The Envoy asks Gabe to become Earth’s Ambassdor to the Galaxy and to avert an impending crisis in the universe using his skills in diplomacy and playground negotiation, Gabe feels it is his duty to take up the challenge. But while Gabe is dealing with a destructive alien force headed for Earth and an assassination attempt, his family on Earth is in danger of being deported from the U.S. because of their undocumented status. How can Gabe save Earth and be there for his family?
Ambassador is lots of fun. It doesn’t tie all the loose ends up neatly at the end of the book. Readers will want to know more about what happens to Gabe’s family as well as the motivations and intentions of the enigmatic Outlast Omegan. Maybe there’s a sequel planned.
Nevertheless, it’s not an unsatisfying ending. Gabe is an engaging character, and he does do what he needs to do in a well-planned and plucky way. Whovians and Trekkies and fans of classic sci-fi in general will enjoy the ride.
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This book is also nominated for a Cybil Award, but the views expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect or determine the judging panel’s opinions.