This book (and the three volume series) provides one of the best realized portrayals of a multi-species political entity (and the alien races that make it up) in modern science fiction. In many ways comparable to the diversified sentient species David Brin populated the galaxies with in his Uplift novels, Ore tells the story of how one (and soon several) humans struggle to fit into a society where they are very much in the minority. The protagonist, a human teenager from Virginia, finds himself (through a series of lucky (?) accidents) a cadet, and the sole human representative, in the equivalent of Star Trek's "Star Fleet Academy." Only in this case, instead of a human dominated federation, the aliens, of many species, are dominant. How humans fit into such a system is a major theme of the novels, but alien species share the stage, and in fact humans react to them, not the other way around. In fact, there are more alien than human characters in these novels, something itself unusual, and making these books stand out. The vaguely bat-like Gwyngs are as well described and plausible an alien species as I've seen in SF, and they are but one of many. These books are fun to read but, like life itself, are not all sweetness and light. But if you want to have a sense of how intelligent species in the universe could interact, these books offer a good perspective.