P. J. McDermott
After being relegated to teaching following a disastrous mission, Hickory Lace is offered another mission with the Alien Corps studying and assessing religious teachers of other species to try to find the Son of God. The mission is complicated by the presence of a rare element necessary for space travel. She puts her team together and heads off to Prosperine and the continent of Avanaux.
There are twists and turns aplenty on the way to a satisfying close. This is not preaching disguised as a novel, in spite of the religious premise, there is little talk about faith or religion except for its political aspects. McDermott avoids the trap of making the teacher in the book too closely modeled on Jesus either in his character or teachings.
If there is a weakness in the book, it is that the aliens aren’t truly alien. The people of Avanaux act and think like humans, and the humans have little trouble fitting in. There is one glaring plot hole, but describing it would involve spoilers. Fortunately it isn’t sufficient to spoil an otherwise good read.
I recommend Avanaux to sci-fi readers who like a good adventure.