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The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book 1 | [Richard Phillips]

The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book 1

In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now....
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Publisher's Summary

In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now.

The US president is preparing to unveil one of the nation’s greatest secrets when three students stumble across the wreckage of a second ship outside of Los Alamos. With a single touch, the alien technology the government has spent untold resources trying to unlock is uploaded into the minds of three teenagers — teenagers who now know the frightening truth about the Rho Project.The battle for humanity has begun.

©2012 Richard Phillips (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1989 )
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4.3 (1791 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 12-14-12
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Power Rangers meets Scooby Doo"

    The Second Ship is a childish, sci-fi romp. The basic premise is that the government has been studying an alien vessel for decades. Coincidentally, just as its presence (and wonderful technology) is revealed to the public, three teenagers discover a 2nd alien ship and become endowed with various superpowers, both mental and physical. As the story progresses, sinister activities are taking place with the cabal studying the 1st vessel which the kids stumble into and begin to investigate. This is the initial installment in a longer story arc that ends rather suddenly with little closure or resolution and some minor set-ups for the next.

    The major knock to the story is the pre-teen orientation in terms of style. All the adults are one dimensional with parents being largely clueless, teachers are overbearing, the good guys are squeaky clean, and the bad guys are diabolically evil (and multiple creepy peccadillos) with the ringleader being a caricature of a megalomaniac (one can anticipate the final denouement, "and I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you kids"). The ending sets up for the next, but resolves almost nothing with lots of unanswered questions left hanging.

    The narration is well done with a great range of voices and an enjoyable pace. This is very light, mindless listening with juvenile sci-fi elements.

    49 of 59 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-13-12
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-13-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    801
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    201
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    Story
    "The kids in the high desert and the drama therein"
    Would you try another book from Richard Phillips and/or MacLeod Andrews?

    Yes, but not right away. Sometimes abit juvenile, then moving into moments of adult sci fi. Well written, and the charcters grown on you, but it is not the cleanest story I have heard.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Conflux of sci fi, science fact, conspiracy theory and thoughtfulness.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Conclusion.


    Did The Second Ship inspire you to do anything?

    Consider follow up downloads.


    Any additional comments?

    Worthwhile, but know that it hints at younger fantasy, at least for me.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Tyler, TX, United States 12-04-13
    Amy Tyler, TX, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The meddling kids."

    It's an OK story of the 'meddling kids' genre. It has the usual gaping plotholes. The kids are smart when that suits the plot, really radically dumb when that suits. Adults are 2-dimensional. Plot elements are taken from Teenwolf, ET, The Navigator, Berzerkers, and tossed in a workmanlike salad.

    I won't read any more in the series, however, because of the dialogue. It's tough to write 'teen' dialogue, and this author fails. They sound flatter than any sitcom.

    There's also a goodly dose of coincedences that will bug you. Finally, I had to sort of marvel at the idea of super-genius teenagers who can calculate the answers to mankind's energy problems, but who pee in the their pants to avoid being sent to the principal's office.

    Weird, and not in a good way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy West Lake Hills, Texas, United States 05-13-13
    Nancy West Lake Hills, Texas, United States 05-13-13 Member Since 2013

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another serial killer"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flapjack 04-23-13
    Flapjack 04-23-13 Member Since 2012

    Flapjack Jones

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    26
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    "This book is a cartoon"

    Skip this unless you want a book with all the depth and characterization of a Saturday Morning sci-fi animated cartoon. I suppose young listener could like it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 09-26-13
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 09-26-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is for kids"
    Would you try another book from Richard Phillips and/or MacLeod Andrews?

    I have already bought the rest of the trilogy, but I don't think that I will listen to them for a while.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I will not listen to the next book in this series for a while. I will probably listen to some Stephen King.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was OK, it was the story and the writing that was bad.


    What character would you cut from The Second Ship?

    I didn't think that anybody should be removed. The problem wasn't that there were too many characters. The problem was that this is a book written for young adults, kids.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Treadway Mooresville NC 01-23-13
    S. Treadway Mooresville NC 01-23-13 Member Since 2012

    physics_decoder

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad, Bad, Bad...."
    Would you try another book from Richard Phillips and/or MacLeod Andrews?

    No, I would not risk money something that might be as bad as this. I had to stop after chapter 4. The writing is terrible. Phillips should really stay away from writing teenagers.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Sadness, because I cannot get my money back.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance was fine.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Houston, TX, United States 11-13-14
    Pat Houston, TX, United States 11-13-14 Member Since 2010

    Evening and Weekend Manager Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center Houston, TX 77060

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
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    421
    64
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    5
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    "A Fruitcake Thriller"

    This science fiction suspense thriller throws in all elements:Two alien space ships with secret powers, a deranged psychotic sexual sadist, the Hardy boys and Nancy Drew characters, villains that cannot die, traitorous politicians, and an evil scientist. It is a a fruit cake thriller that will keep you as spellbound as a kid at a Saturday Morning serial.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 09-20-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 09-20-14

    People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    214
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    Story
    "Putting a Little Science in Your Fiction"

    Too often, the science in science fiction is just that -- fiction. Of course that must be true by definition since (as some aficionados prefer to cal it) it is meant to be speculative fiction. But when the science in science fiction is actually believable, fact-based, the speculative and fictional aspects become that much more powerful. Such is the case with The Second Ship, the first entry in The Rho Agenda trilogy.

    RIchard Phillips (not the same one from Captain Phillips) turned to writing after starting out as an army ranger and then becoming a physicist. So while the writing itself may not be much more than serviceable, the science and technology at the core of this story are spectacular -- as is the character of army ranger Jack Gregory, the author drawing on another of his past lives. Add in a third element -- that Phillips is writing about a famous incident from his original home town of Roswell, New Mexico -- and The Second Ship really clicks.

    Without rehashing or relitigating the Roswell conspiracy theories about alien spaceships, Phillips starts his story by accepting the premise that many technological advances of the past 60-70 years may have derived from the recovery of an alien craft that crashed near Roswell. What makes it work for me is that the technology is described in such believable detail, starting with what is scientifically true and extrapolating into scientific speculation.

    There is another angle to the scientific rigor of this book is key for me. The main characters are three high school students who derive special powers from the alien technology. My usual reaction to that would be to groan loudly and decry how ovedone that is -- Heroes, X-Men, 4400, Number Four, Mortal Instruments, on and on and on. But the difference here is that the powers are explained right away, the source being alien technology, and much of it manifests itself as mathematical, scientific, or computer proficiency, setting nice role models for YA readers that are attainable in real life.

    This may not be for everyone. Some people may not be interested in such exacting scientific detail. Others may be weary of anything arising from the Roswell conspiracy. I found both to be excellent starting points for good YA science fiction set in the present day. I will definitely listen to the next entry in the trilogy, having already procured the audiobook, although after 11+ hours, I'm going to listen to something else as a change of pace before tackling the next 15-hour segment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-17-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-17-14 Member Since 2014

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1879
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    "Don't Mess with the Johnsons"

    HIS STOMACH LOOKED LIKE IT BELONGED TO A COMIC BOOK SUPER HERO.
    I did listened to all of this, but I almost gave up several times. This is another book that suffers from Trilogyitists. It also suffers from not knowing what it wants to be. The author writes mostly a YA book and then throws in gory fight scenes. In one scene a guy is strangled with his own intestines. There are also some sexual innuendo's, but not much. All the gory scenes put together could probably fit on two pages, but they are there. The plot is so convoluted that it almost gets silly. Do we need another teenage super hero book? If I heard, I FORGOT TO BREATHE, once I heard it ten times. How original is it to have the cheerleaders and football players be mean and evil? The theme of the book has been done so many times it worn out. The book is not terrible, it is just very common and over done.

    The narrator is so bad at voices, that at times I not only could not tell which character was speaking, but I could not tell what gender they were.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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