Can Val save the Galaxy – and pass trig?

Val Vega figured that in her junior year of high school, all she’d have to worry about was getting a decent score on the SATs, captaining the softball team, and figuring out her unrequited crush on her cute nonbinary bestie. Then Val discovers a family secret she never expected: her tío Umberto is Earth’s ambassador to an interstellar council of planets, and his unexpected death installs Val as his successor.

Two Galactic empires are on the brink of war, and only Val can salvage interstellar peace. She has to hammer out treaties with giant jellyfish-shaped aliens that float like zeppelins, gets abducted by underground insurgents, and has to navigate the divisions of a colonized planet where telepathy puts every thought and every conflict out in the open. Her impossible task is even harder since Earth is known across the Galaxy as a violent, self-destructive backwater planet with intolerable humidity. Worse, she learns her uncle’s death was no accident – he was assassinated, and the prime suspects are the three aliens Val trusted as her uncle’s allies.

Our of her depth and with the weight of two worlds on her shoulders, Val must solve her uncle’s murder and bring peace to the Galaxy—all while helping her grieving family, managing the dramas of her friends, and getting a passing grade in trig.

Ben Francisco’s debut novel is a Latinx space adventure populated by diverse humans and aliens who break the binaries of Earth and the Galaxy! SECRET AMBASSADOR OF EARTH releases February 5, 2024. Preorders available soon – sign up for Ben’s newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know.

Cover art by Luis Carlos Barragán Castro.