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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.

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  •  
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 01-03-13
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 01-03-13 Member Since 2003

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrific story"

    Being well past what is euphemistically called "middle age" I tend to be suspicious of books with "young adults" as the main protagonists. Clearly not all such books are aimed exclusively at teenagers (see Harry Potter, for one example), but many are written for and aimed at a reading group to which I no longer belong. Had I known that the 3 main characters in this book were teenagers I would probably have passed it by, so I am glad that I did not know.

    For a book with young heroes and heroines (I am old enough to still use that term) this book is surprisingly well drawn with an interesting story line, characters with sufficient faults to be believable and enough really bad villains to have caught my attention immediately. Added to that is the fact that the author does not fall into any of the easy clichés, things do not happen as expected and there are enough interesting turns of events to keep things from getting boring. This is a terrific first volume in the series.

    By the time I realized that our 3 young characters were the central characters in the book I was far too hooked to stop listening. When I finished listening to the book I decided to buy and download the sequel. The story was great, the narration was superb and I am curious exactly what is going to happen next. I can't ask for much more than that in a work of fiction.

    70 of 72 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Lansing, MI, United States 06-20-13
    Brian Lansing, MI, United States 06-20-13 Member Since 2013

    I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Light fare sci-fi - But I liked it!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Second Ship the most enjoyable?

    It is a good premise and there is a lot going on to keep you interested. There was always the sense of wanting to know what was going to happen next making this a fast read/listen.


    What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's not the best narrator I've listened to but he did a very good job. Character voices were okay.


    Any additional comments?

    I've seen a lot of reviews that say it's geared for Teen or YA, but being in my mid forties I enjoyed it. It seems that if a story isn't "Gritty" or "Dark" then some people think it must be for teenagers. I don't agree. I guess I'm more of the Star Trek mindset where a Sci-Fi story can have fun and include happy people. While at times the story is a bit Juvenal (it does center around teenagers,) there are other times where the story involves killing with some blood and gore described. There's talk of kidnapping, rape, and torture but without details - which was fine with me.

    There was a lot of stuff going on that I think the author wove together pretty well and the action / fighting scenes were well done I thought. It was a little hard to keep track of all of the characters and I found myself reviewing some chapters to make sure I knew who-was-who.

    If you want a light fare sci-fi read where you don't have to think too hard, with a clever story that has a lot of suspense, mystery, and action, then is may be a good story for you. If you're looking for a dark and gritty story then you should probably pass. But you may be missing a good thing...

    32 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 06-21-14
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 06-21-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Uninspired Title and Theme Delivers Inspired Book"

    There are so many audiobooks out there to choose from and a lot of series to possibly buy into. I recently read Stealheart and it was a good book but there was an unexplained fantasy element and a few other things that kept me from emotionally committing to the story and series.

    I would never have guessed that another "Roswell" type story could hook me so thoroughly. My first reaction to the provocative ominous ending was to immediately decide on reading the second book in this series.

    The science feels legitimate in this captivating story and our young high school heroes are immersed into a very dangerous world made even worse by some despicable characters who have gained advantages from alien technology taken from a spaceship that had crashed in the U.S. Although the government is controlling the access to the ship, that control is not airtight and some of the people working on discovering the ship's secrets are up to a different agenda.

    Fortunately the teens have harnessed some advantages from the alien technology from a second ship they accidentally discovered. There was a battle between both ships that destroyed all the occupants and now it seems the battle is being continued largely in secret between the people who have access to the ships. Meanwhile the young protagonists are trying to alert the NSA to the danger without giving away their identities. This brings in some ruthless heroes who move into the area with harmless cover stories. These agents want to find out if the teens warnings are legitimate and who the leak is for the information coming their way.

    This series is not only for young adults - us old jaded folks will have a grand old time with these books. There are some stomach turning characters you don't normally associate with a YA book. You will not like the man who likes to call himself "The Priest".

    If you choose to start this series, you will have a hard time stopping. Like I said at the beginning - so many audiobooks to choose from and now this set will be demanding your attention. I'm sure most of you will be happy to take on the commitment.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Browning Texas, USA 10-12-12
    W. Browning Texas, USA 10-12-12 Member Since 2004

    WB from Athens

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    "Outstanding story I could not put down"
    Would you listen to The Second Ship again? Why?

    Yes, in fact I have already started. The story has some great science and theoretical sciences, so in re-listening to the book I look forward to getting more details than on the first pass. This book is like movies that keep you glued to the screen. The second time you watch, you learn new info making the story even better.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Second Ship?

    Although I won't give away the actual details (don't want to spoil anything), my favorite parts were the clever uses of alien technology. Not your typical sci-fi story.


    Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

    It wasn't just one, but the three high school students. They are the main characters and I found myself eager for the story to return to them.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This is the first of three books so I had no previous knowledge to base such a sitting on. However, now that I've completed the book, I would love to re-listen to it in a single sitting. Furthermore, when book two and three are released in the coming weeks, I will definitely plan my time to allow as much uninterrupted listening as possible. This is such a great story and I can't wait to hear more.


    Any additional comments?

    If the next two books maintain the same level of intensity and quality of their science I believe this book trilogy will land itself in my top 5 - maybe even top 3. It's that good! Cannot wait to get the next books!

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farall Phoenix, AZ, United States 10-29-12
    Farall Phoenix, AZ, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Part One of Present Day Sci-Fi Thriller"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audio book to my friends or to anyone who loves pure, unadulterated escapism. If you're looking for Arthur C. Clarke, may I recommend Arthur C. Clarke. If, on the other hand, you liked The Avengers movie, you'll love this story. It's a coming of age story about three high school juniors who stumble upon something both fantastic and horrible and find themselves transformed, becoming they know not what. Thrust into an adult world, they find themselves completely out of their depth as their once comfortable lives are shredded around them. On a deeper level, this is also a story about humanity attempting to make use of technological advances for which it is completely unprepared, raising very real questions about how much advancement is too much. If we can cure all disease, should we?


    What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This book is told from multiple perspectives and MacLeod Andrews does a fine job of subtly changing his voice to give you the sense of who is speaking during the dialogue without overdoing it so that you are jarred out of the story. Well told.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is part one of a three part story. I really enjoyed the first act and look forward to the next two.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 08-13-13
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A little Sci Fi fun."

    The Second Ship is the first book in The Rho Agenda trilogy with the second being Immune and the third Wormhole. The book starts out in the past in 1948 with alien ships crash landing on our planet and quickly works it's way in to the present day. One of the ships is held by the government in a secret facility and the second ship is found by 3 high school kids. The three high schoolers quickly find that their life's are about to change when they discover they are capable of more, a lot more.

    This series was a fun light read that was fun to seat back and see where things lead. I never tried to over analysis things and just let the writer take liberty's for the sake of convenience sometimes. That being said I was always entertained and looked forward to seeing what would happen next. One of the nice things about this series is it has the same narrator MacLeod Andrews throughout.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenton Highland Park, IL, United States 11-22-13
    Kenton Highland Park, IL, United States 11-22-13 Member Since 2007

    Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Y A much?"

    When your heroes are all teenagers, it's pretty hard to tell a grown up story. Honestly, I'm seeing a blatant example of publishers reaching for increased revenue on a Young Adult novel by not marketing it as a Young Adult novel.

    Fun(ish), but not much in the way of new ideas or story devices, and character development of such solid oaken construction, it would be right at home on an Amish-built show floor.

    • Kids smarter than their folks? CHECK.
    • Parents in perfect Mayberry marriages? CHECK.
    • Bosses all A Holes? CHECK.
    • Teachers all bigger A Holes? CHECK.
    • School bullies get meaner and meaner till shown what 'fer by the hero? CHECK.
    • Government officials all idiots not to be trusted? CHECK.
    • Bad guys all self-healing alien zombies who look just like the rest of us? CHECK.

    C'mon guys. Really? I'm sure teens can dig it, but the storyline is so clearly marked, all you have to do in the event of reduced visibility is follow white lights which lead to red lights which lead to the exits.

    Ughhh.

    I quit at 5 hours in.

    47 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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.

    45 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tarike Ocala, FL, United States 12-11-12
    Tarike Ocala, FL, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "STIMULATING READ"

    The storyline in this book is brilliant. It's majestic, but real. It's cynical, but on point. The content is inherently epic, but you still feel a connection with all of the characters, even if you decide that you hate some of them with a passion!

    The ideas that are in the story are common place in the small world that is science fiction, However, the author threads the needle of the storyline so well, that as an intermediate sci-fi junky, I can say with true conviction, that the book takes you on an amazing joyride that leaves you wanting for more.

    The narrator's range is sickening! How do you laugh in a completely different voice other than your own, and do it across various characters and still make it feel authentic is beyond me. It's not just the various voices that draw you into the story, it's also the little things that the narrator does, the pauses, the labored breaths, the quick bursts in emotion, etc.

    I loved the book, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-13-12
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-13-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 83 results PREVIOUS129NEXT
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  • John
    Oldham, United Kingdom
    2/6/13
    Overall
    "Very engaging audiobook series"

    I've now listened to all three in the Rho Agenda series and found them to be very very good in audio format and excellently narrated. Good storylines and well paced if some are a little predictable at times but I found this added to the experience and great character building too. Room for a continuance of the series - I hope so Mr Phillips...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. R. J. King
    Cambridge, UK
    12/28/12
    Overall
    "Boring and trite"

    Amazon have been pushing The Second Ship at me for a while based on my reading habits. Having just finished Hamilton's Void trilogy I thought I'd try a new author and relented to suggestion pressure. Within a few minutes I was regretting the use of my monthly credit.

    This book really doesn't know what it wants to be. It's like Enid Blyton's Famous Five meets the X-Files, swinging between teen fiction and much darker conspiracy sci-fi. The three principal characters are irritating and two dimensional, and almost everyone else is either undeveloped, or worse, a transparent cliche. Suspicious, "you kids are up to no good", battleaxe teacher who tries to thwart them at every turn, anyone?

    Science fiction needs to be believable, if not necessarily possible, but the polymathic knowledge of computing, physics, biology and chemistry shown by the three high-school students, not to mention the way they deftly outmaneuver the NSA, is simply not plausible. It stretches your belief too far, and because these devices underpin the entire book the whole thing fails to stand.

    Initially I thought I'd mistakenly picked up a teen-fiction book, but the violence and sexual themes make it unsuitable for younger readers.

    This book is dull and trite, and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone; teens, conspiracy lovers or hard sci-fi fans. I'm not sure if it's aimed at any of these markets, but if it is, it fails. I found it a real effort to finish, and I won't be buying the sequels because I just don't care what happens to these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karl Gjertsen
    Northampton, UK
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "The Rho Agenda"

    The Rho agenda was a surprise find for me, having seen it on the Audible website. Not quite what I was expecting, but I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    reading, United Kingdom
    12/7/12
    Overall
    "Excellent stuff"

    This story is amazing, I've listened to the trilogy twice now, if you love science and science fiction you will love this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Janus Hansen
    Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
    8/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I have no clue"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People audible compatible devices may find this book enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    So far this book is crap. I haven't heard a word of it yet. The time I've spent on it so far has gone into converting it to a format I can use on my Android phone. Maybe it will turn out fine, but on the outset I'm just annoyed with it.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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