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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He's not the best narrator I've listened to but he did a very good job. Character voices were okay.
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...
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
Well, I fell into an Audible trap - bought books 2 and 3 on sale but I hadn't read book 1. I won't do that again. It's not that I hated these books, but had I listened to The Second Ship before I bought the next two, I wouldn't have bought the next two. Live and Learn.
Since I had all 3, I listened to the whole trilogy and it's not the worst I've ever heard but I did have some problems with it. Much of the writing and definitely all of the characterizations are standard YA. You have 3 SUPER SMART teens, 1 rogue Black Ops agent who might as well be Super Man (seriously - chiseled features, body like a brick house, flashing eyes - somehow with these stellar good looks, the guy is never recognized???), well-intentioned but completely oblivious parents, and a slew of evil scientists and government baddies. Oh yeah, also one intrepid reporter who goes so far beyond the call of duty that it isn't funny. The plot is a step above that with a lot of action, some pretty interesting and decent science, and quite a lot of suspense. However, the entire series is chalk full of sadists, psychopaths, rapists, and murderers and there are several scenes in each book of torture, kidnapping, rape, gang rape, and gruesome murders. Each of the books in this series made me feel like taking a shower when I finished because they pushed me past my disgust limit. Kind of a shame because I don't think that added anything to the story.
I've heard MacLeod Andrews perform better - I didn't think he added much or took much away from this book.
Most adults can probably handle the seamier parts of these books, but I would not recommend these for teens.
WB from Athens
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
This book is part one of a three part story. I really enjoyed the first act and look forward to the next two.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I quit at 5 hours in.
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.
"Interesting story , and a good performance"
I bought the rest of the series, it had me wanting to keep listening . Though you must out the exact number of words in the mobile app
It keeps you listening
MacLeod Andrew is a great Narrator and is able to distinguish between characters very well.
"Good Read.. See a movie on the way."
Great read. looking forward to the next Twp books. Did not loose pace. kept your interest. Expect a movie to be made from the story.
can not wait until the next book. Easy to get completely involved in the story
"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...
"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.
"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.
"I have no clue"
People audible compatible devices may find this book enjoyable.
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.
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