The Meridian Ascent

Rho Agenda Assimilation, Book 3
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Series: Rho Agenda Assimilation, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (698 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In their battle to save Earth from becoming another conquest of the alien Kasari Collective, Mark and Heather Smythe have struck crucial blows against the enemy. But their best efforts have still failed to derail the completion of the wormhole gateway that would give the insidious extraterrestrial invaders access to the planet - and doom humankind as helpless slaves of the Kasari hive mind.

The Smythes and their intrepid allies - including the mentally altered humans, The Enhanced - stand ready to beat back the Kasari onslaught once and for all. Not by mortal combat, but with scientific cunning. Still, the success of their plan depends on a daring stealth mission into the heart of the aliens' nerve center on Earth. And multiple threats lie in wait - including the ruthless Kasari commander, a brutal double agent with a deadly vendetta to settle, and the alien entity Khal Teth, who wears a human face but is ready to strike with monstrous force.

In this stunning conclusion to the Rho Agenda Assimilation by the bestselling author of The Second Ship, the small but fierce band of altered humans and Earth's resistance fighters face their greatest opportunity to stop the Kasari. But with the remnants of humanity and a battered Earth caught in the cross fire, can they secure a victory without sacrificing everything they're trying to protect?

©2017 Richard Phillips (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Meridian Ascent

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End of the Rho'd

As we enter the last volume of the Rho Agenda Assimilation, the last entry of the trilogy of Rho trilogies, the Ripper is Overlord of Altreia, with Khal Teph still coming after him; Jennifer Smythe and her crew on the Meridian Ascent are finishing their battle with the Kasari on Scion; and the rest of the gang are back on Earth trying to stop the Kasari from assimilating humanity into their stifling Collective.

If you don't understand what any of that means, you have to go back and read the series before you can finish it off with this, the last of its nine entries. But it will be worth it. Richard Phillips has done a great job of crafting a satisfying ending to the world he created back when the Smythes and their friend Heather, still in high school, first found the Altreian ship buried in a cave near their home in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

One thing Phillips does so well, as always in his SF (sadly, not in his fantasy), is to inject credible science into his fiction. This has the added benefit, in a climactic entry filled by necessity with action sequences, of making the action believable rather than an onslaught of mindless battles with predictable suspense. He also corrects a mistake in prior entries by sticking with characters and story lines long enough to reach suitable break points of plot resolution or the ratcheting or release of suspense.

The other thing: instead of just sticking to the story lines already in play and bringing them home, he injects a new element that dovetails with everything else and yet makes a huge difference in the ultimate outcome, without trivializing everything we have spent eight and a half volumes investing ourselves in. (It's not out of the blue new, it's a plot element that was seemingly resolved in an earlier book that comes back into play.)

Phillips has said this is the last entry in the Rho series, but the ending feels like it leaves an opening, should he choose to go that route some day.

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

I have read and re-read each of the preceding books because I love the story. It's the same old telling of normal people who are given extraordinary power, but with an honesty and truth that sets it apart. It is wonderful to see these folks become the best, and sometimes worst, they can be and how their indomitable will prevails in the end. the story telling masterfully weaves together a story with so many moving parts that it seems they must crash, but inevitably work together synergistically. loved it, thank you!

2 people found this helpful

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Worst ending of a series. Ever.

This story had so much potential. So many possible good endings. And yet the author chose none of them. It’s like he got three quarters of the way through the last book and said to hell with it, I think I’ll take up gardening. All of the story lines just petered out. All of the characters threw in the towel. I can only say that I lost interest faster than the author did. What a waste of time.

1 person found this helpful

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A dismal end to a great series

hated it. utterly disappointing in every way. watching all your favorite characters wither away into nothing memorable

1 person found this helpful

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kind of a disappointing ending

in most books of this series there was a magical ending after an impossible situation, but the author created a situation that even he couldn't "deus ex machina" himself out of.

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Great Book to end a Great Series

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, great series to read

What did you like best about this story?

As an engineer I like to read a lot of sci-fi to exercise my imagination. This book does not disappoint. Lots of far out there ideas and technology that I really enjoyed.

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

YES absolutely

1 person found this helpful

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What a great series.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Wonderful adventure, great story, great characters.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

You could make a little guess at how the story would go but the ending was a surprise!

What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

Instead of only voicing the characters for what they said each section that was about that characters was done in their voice, it really helped keep track as the story does jump around alot.

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

Yep. Keep me up too late a few times. To be honest I did not want it to end so I stopped listening to it for too long.

Any additional comments?

The only books that really did not hold me where the Ripper back story books, I guess it was the scifi missing not sure, you can skip those and no real loss, we all know Jack is a bad A$$.

1 person found this helpful

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The pesky kids finally unite...

... too bad it wasn't under better circumstances. Actually, the whole team eventually comes back together to take on the Kasari threat to earth. There are several plot arcs in this book that keep the story lively. Not the least of which is the odd relation with Jen's love affair with an alien and V.J's obsession with Raul. That and the betrayals and twists make for a very entertain story, made even more so with MacLeod Andrews skilled narration.

The ending left several threads opened which suggests either another book in this series or another saga to begin.

sigh, if only it was available now.

2 people found this helpful

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Worst ending for a series ever.

To have gone through several books worth of story, with the main characters doggedly fighting for self-determination and freedom, from an alien involuntary collective, only to happily give up and settle down with an artificial intelligence is the new master of the socialist earth, Is still at odds with any of the principles and morals that those characters espouse for the entirety of the series, that it broke the whole story. What a waste!

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HATED THE ENDING!!

The ending completely screws up what was otherwise a really good 6 book series. What a disappointment!

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  • DeanP
  • 12-03-17

Great development in series

Another great episode in the developing story. My only disappointment was the normally excellent narration became way too fast and almost breathless to create an atmosphere during action scenes. This made it difficult to hear the detail of what was happening and took a few rewinds to pick up on what was happening. A good action sequence doesn’t need this. Overall though, a fabulous book and mostly good narration.

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  • Poppey
  • 08-25-17

Worth the Wait

I always find it sad when a really good series comes to an end, and this was a really good series. Narration, as always, was very good. I look forward to more from this author.

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  • Gaz Cripps
  • 08-24-17

so excellent!! please don't let it end there!

Loved it! Please don't let it end there Richard! What happens to Helen Grange? There's so much more that I want to read (hear) about the characters. Please say that you've got more books coming in this story line......