I loved the Ancilillary series for its take on how different far-future humans would seem to our contemporary eyes. Their different cultures, political systems and takes on gender identity and self-expression. And while there is more of that in Provenance, most of it well thought out and alive in a way that has breath and soul, there's also the main character. Ingray.
A character so breathtakingly ill at ease in her own skin, so lacking in confidence and determination that I don't know how she got out of bed the morning the story begins. Ingray's an adult who, for most of the book acts like a child, with all the impulsiveness and lack of forethought you'd imagine, and who bursts out in tears at the slightest provocation. Even after she's supposedly found her resolve.
This is a woman-child we are asked to believe not only survived growing up in a political dynasty that would have eaten JFK or the Queen Mother alive, but was trusted to help run and coordinate high-level aspects of that self same political machine. In a book with slime-aliens, sapient A.I., and FTL, Ingray is the most difficult thing to accept.
I rated Provenance 3 stars on the strength of the rich world Leckie built with it's well lived in feel. But the main character is one I just cannot stand and would have preferred died somewhere off page to make room for the much more interesting supporting cast.