This exciting Part 2 of the Rho Agenda series ups the ante for the three teenage protagonists and we follow them through a suspenseful web of lies and intrigue. Phillips draws the net more tightly around the three (and the world!) without giving himself leave to reinvent his universe - the suspense he masterfully built in Part 1 continues its hold and we remain on our toes.
As the series progresses and expands outwards from Los Alamos, the plot gets a little more cluttered with characters and scientific loops that are a little superfluous, a few plot points are developed but never picked up again. The timeline also introduces some slack, while we felt pushed through a tightly woven narrative arc in Part 1, Parts 2 and 3 suddenly allow world events to progress for weeks or even months without escalating our sense of urgency.
Nevertheless, Phillips always picks us up again and sweeps us into the whirlwind of the Rho Agenda - despite these moments of respite, this is a thoroughly suspenseful and charming tale, leaving the listeners (and the fate of the world) in the hands of three protagonists who are supremely likable and, in no small part because of their internal dynamics, never too dull or too perfect.
The narrator deserves tremendous praise for keeping the story as sharp, quick and warm as it is. Parts 2 and 3 challenge him to even greater range than Part 1 did (or any common audiobook would) and he excels at keeping us always at the crest of the story as it thunders through its countless different characters, locales and emotional peaks and valleys.
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 huy man 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.
Avid fan of science fiction and love books. I do not have enough time to read the books and audiobooks is perfect for me.
The book follows the story where book 1 left off, and ends when you just want more! All 3 books are incredible well written, and the characters seems so real! The story is captivating, and in lack of a propper "page turner" expression for audiobooks I will have to call it a "sleep stealer", I can not tell you how many times I had to extend the sleep timer another 30 minutes :)
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Phillips takes the story in unexpected directions with this second book. While the first installment hits on all the Young Adult clichés, with the teens being smarter than everyone else, this book forces the protagonists to face the consequences of their secretive actions. They lie and people die. At about the halfway mark this becomes a spy thriller complete with corrupt politicians, manhunts, Colombian drug lords, and dread assassins with hearts of gold. I found the plot to be steady and exciting with a heavy does of Science Fiction technology extrapolation.
If there is fault to be found it is in the character motivation. It is typical of all novels that the heroes are in the center of all the action and this is no different. I understand how the kids would be excited and protective of their discovery that they consider to be their own private playground. At some point I expect them to grow a conscience and realize their selfishness and utter inadequacy to administer the other-worldly technology they now wield. One character, Jennifer, does undergo a major personality change, turning against the others, and I thought that this would be the impetus for some soul-searching revelation. But no. The trio of friends reunite with not so much as a hint of introspection. So this loose end just unravels, forgotten and ignored, at the end.
My critique is not that the characters do not develop. By the end of this book itc is clear that the three protagonists, Heather, Jennifer and Mark, are clearly changing; and not for the better. My critique is that the characters seem blind to their personality transformations and behave in a manner inconsistent with the way they have been portrayed. Perhaps this will all be resolved in the third volume. I think it far more likely that the story will again be carried away in the hurricane force of the strong plot and that the characters will be left flapping in the wind as an afterthought.
MacLeod Andrews is a good choice for this book. He seems to get the personality of each character as needed and keeps up with the story with an energetic delivery.
Immune picks up pretty much where The Second Ship leaves off and this one is where the wild ride takes off...we learn a lot more about both ships and the plans that Dr. Stephens has start to become clear. Heather, Jen and Mark grow up fast in this one and we see more of what their capabilities are but not really any new info about their ship.
As with the first, the narrator for this is great and make sure you have the third one ready to go, while there is not a cliff hanger at the end it's still nice to jump right to the next book.
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.
Definitely! This series has everything a sci-fi thriller should have. Though its based on three teens it is not a teen book. There is a lot of violence and suspence with just the right amount of romance and plenty sci-fi. This review is based on the whole series. So you have to listen to all three for the whole experience! Start with The Second Ship!
I remember the series as a whole. So I can't really say specifically. That should say something great about the story.
Everything! He did an awesome job! There are a lot of characters and he gave them all destinct voices.
This series takes you on a ride you don't want to end!
Worked in radio stations all over California from A to Z; KABC, Los Angeles and KZAP, Sacramento plus many more in between. I was a voice talent, copy writer and production director; I'm retired now but still do voice overs.
OMG, this is a page turner. Very exciting, lots of action, and a terrific story. Can't wait to jump into Wormhole!
The narrator is excellent and the story is addictive (as is the whole trilogy).
When Mark and Heather went to South America to rescue Jennifer and Mark unleashed his full fury.
Hard to say. He did an excellent job with Dr Stevenson's voice.
Not really. Got the adrenaline flowing and had a few very late nights listening.
The whole series makes and excellent story. One reviewer said it was a bit "Scooby Do" i.e.the 3 teenagers fighting evil forces - yeah I can see that, but it is so much more. One small niggle would be the repetitive use of some adjectives - i.e. lithe. But the bottom line is I could not stop listening to it - I was totally into it. Highly recommend it.
Yes. Listening dosen't always mean getting the whole story the first time.Some things take a second review to get all of the meaning.
No favorites all seemed to share a level stage for me.
He was at his best performing Jack.
Yes, but found it imposible to do so.
MacLeod's narration really made this a very good listen.
i recommend everyone to enjoy this audiobook
great narration and story
need to have more and more these kinds of audiobooks