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..Show More » 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.
Richard Phillips has led such a life that he absolutely nails the science aspect of this new sci-fi classic - and yet also gets the action and the pol..Show More »itical aspects exactly right as well. Speaking as an old sci-fi writer myself, I know how hard it is to do what Phillips has done.
But here's the clincher. Reading on my Nano, I began this book without remembering that this was volume two of the Rho Agenda series. Within a few chapters I realized that there must have been an earlier book. But so skillfully does Phillips handle exposition, and so clearly and deeply did he create his characters and their relationships, that I felt no need to stop and go back to listen to the first volume.
I WILL go back and listen to The Second Ship, now that I've read Immune to its brilliant and completely satisfying end - but only because this new writer is so skillful and this storyline is so inventive and moving that I don't want to miss a chapter of it.
I promise you that Richard Phillips is going to be a popular and influential writer, period.
The Rho Agenda has young protagonists, and so the series could be viewed as YA (Young Adult) fiction. While the novel is brutally real, including sexual tension, there is NO explicit sex and nothing to keep you from handing this book to a mature and well-informed twelve-year-old. Yet it is also completely fulfilling for adult readers - as good as any science fiction being written today.
MacLeod Andrews gives a perfect performance. You forget you're listening to a book. All you can think about is what's happening and why. Moving back and forth among characters, he is always clear as to who's talking - without "doing" voices in any obvious way. This is how audiobooks are supposed to be read.
The story telling was exceptional and the narration was great. For many key events, the author "rewinds" and re-tells the scene from a different char..Show More »acter's perspective. Beware, it is hard to put down (or turn off) this book. I whipped through all three books in under two weeks. I found myself listening any chance I could get.