I like mystery writers like kate Wilhelm, Authur Upfield and Ellis Peters, where even the bad guys are not blood thirsty, crazy, manics. I like science fiction that has a sociological bent like Ursula Le Guin, Robert Sawyer and the early works of Orson Scott Card. But I don't much like the science fiction that is just space ships and interstellar fighting.
I thought this was science fiction. But by he 3rd chapter we have a serial killer who captures and tortures young women. I don't want to read stories of mutilation and torture
It would be helpful to warn readers in the description that it is another torture story.
This was the most amazing, brilliant trilogy I have read in years. It was impossible to put down. The writing was good, the characters relate-able, the story was amazing - I know, I keep saying amazing. I just finished the third book and I am just sitting here in awe of the story. WOW is really the only word that comes to mind. I hope that Richard Phillips continues to write stories like this for years to come. If you like a great science fiction story, that could be happening out your front door as you read this review, then you will love this trio.
A great experience!
It has everything you want in a story if you like sci-fi, thriller, suspense, amazing characters, romance, mystery spy. I listened to all three books within a week or less. I am a stay at home mom so I have more time to listen. My kids aren't small anymore. Anyways, this series is among the best for me. One I would listen to again to find little things I missed. There is so much depth to it. Plus I just want to hear it again!
When they find the ship.
There were so many moments to choose one.
Yes, as the author was very involved in the book, and I would stop reading and just sit back and listen.
As the young people began to be changed by the alien presence.
As the agents who came to investigate began to realize something was not as it seemed.
No, but I listened to it in two.
Probably not though I am enjoying it okay. I know the three main characters are just 16 or 17 but their relationship with their parents are amazing sweet and sticky. Also, the kids are just so.... sweet. Also, I think Mr Phillips could have done a little more research on the psychopathology of the really nasty antagonist being both a sadist and a masochist and on the reality of this character actually being all he was supposed to have been in the Army.
Having said all that I think it is a great idea and the story is written more than well enough for me to want to keep listening because I want to know what happens next.
Maybe it's just me but are more and more narrators interpreting and performing the emotional aspects of the story for the reader now? The best part of reading, rather than listening to, a book is interpreting and reacting to the emotional aspect of the story the way I feel it. I hate it when the narrator does it for me and I think they are wrong. Without exception I like the narrators who read the book, with perhaps some characterization and some minor emotion, but don't try to ACT the book. If I wanted a 'movie in my mind' or 'a story in my head' I would listen to the serializations that are written and acted to be just that; but I don't. I am now starting to pay as much attention to the narrator as I do to the author. In this case the narrator is right on the edge. I hope he doesn't crossover that line or I won't listen to any more books he narrates.
Reading and listening goes straight into your medulla oblongota and you learn through thought memory. It's like being programmed into intelligence. If you read this, you just learned that the best gifts are free. Or One Credit... and that's kinda free.
Somewhat choppy in parts and not as believable as the story required. 12-18 inches of snow and everyone is running around like its early spring?...that kind of unbelievable.
Really was hoping the story would fill in a few blanks as it neared the end...and I know there's a Book 2 coming, but it just sort of ended, then ended again. I couldn't tell if the story was over....or the author just couldn't wrap up Book 1 like it needed.
Tech stuff was fun to listen to and well thought out, author at his best there. The impact of the ship on the had on the three protagonists was entertaining and is where this book really shines. Then it skips to HS basketball and just clanks a bit off the rim for me.
No problem with the narrator, easy to listen to and engaging.
Will I get book 2? Probably; the full picture of the story has yet to be told, so regardless of some of the choppiness, its interesting enough that I wan't to see the kids continue to be impacted by the ship and figure out what the heck is really going on and get away from the who's taking whom to the prom. Thanks!
This first book of the trilogy was by far my favorite - it is tightly written and very consistent, focusing on the three teenage protagonists as they cleverly stumble their way through a story that is far larger than the three of them. We laugh and smile and hold our breath with them as they discover the extent to which the world around them is changing. We applaud their bravery as they take on the forces that promise harm. The book succeeds wonderfully at weaving the science and the fiction into the story of these three kids without letting it take over - no matter how well equipped the three might be for the fight that lies ahead, they remain as intrinsically vulnerable and as rightfully scared of the forces they are up against as any three high school juniors. Science fiction is an important part of their quest - but their superhuman courage is what stands out.
THE TRILOGY AND THE NARRATION
The Rho Agenda is a thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi trilogy - Richard Phillips succeeds in painting a sci-fi universe that is firmly anchored on earth and in its human protagonists and accordingly doesn't require an all-round suspension of disbelief from the reader. He sets the sci-fi parameters for his story early on and diligently sticks to them, resisting the temptation to constantly introduce new sci-fi "miracles" to toss around his characters. The human story and the political thriller may be instigated by input from another world, but they remain exactly that: a human story and a political thriller. With some cool sci-fi stuff going on.
The author switches between points of view more than a hundred times per book, but MacLeod Andrews narrates his way through these transitions seamlessly, taking the listener along with ease. We always know exactly where we are and who, out of the large ensemble of characters, we are currently with. The books give him a wonderful opportunity to show off his range, in terms of both voices and accents, and he brings its countless twists and turns to life masterfully, instilling the main characters with his characteristic humor and warmth. His voice grips us as tightly through the densely packed action and political intrigue as it charms us during the spells of the teenage life of our heros.
One additional point: I greatly appreciated that Phillips keeps the story at a very agreeable level of "clean" - he abstains from being gratuitously graphic in his characters' language or actions, but doesn't shy away from strong language, violence and even a little carnage when they are necessary. I enjoyed not feeling myself be dragged through gore and bodily fluids at every turn as is so easily the case in contemporary otherworldly fiction.
I don't pick books that are targeted to kids or teens and this is not one of those. I actually didn't know that three of the main characters were high school students and that's good because by the time I realized it, I was so engrossed in the book that I hardly noticed. Not only is this an adult series, filled with incredible science, espionage, international events and amazing story lines, it is a masterpiece of character development. I don't think I ever felt the kind of anxiety for the safety and success of the characters this series brought up for me. I don't know why...just really cared about every one of them. I think a lot of it was because this is more of a character-centric author, vs. situation-centric. He just didn't spend as much time describing the minutia if detail in the environment that so many other authors like to do. Instead, even his environment descriptions were really more of a description of the characters' experience, insights and realizations.
You will not be disappointed in this series. Just be forewarned, if you start with "The Second Ship" I can pretty much guarantee you'll buy the other two in the series and then you'll be left longing for more.
I was looking for something new to read and purchased this book solely on the reviews. Fun story, great narrator, I plan to purchase the next book in the series.
Yes, awesome science and spy novel.
Jack the Ripper!
The way he could build tension.