69 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2010
I've been reading Sci-fi for about 40 years now, so it seems like I already own or have read all the good books. I have to keep waiting for new writers to come on the scene or the oldies but goodies to write more stuff. So I delight in finding a new author with a worthwhile story. I got the Kindle for Christmas and decided to try Second Ship as one of my first downloads. I was very pleasantly surprised, but hated the ending, it ended almost mid-paragraph. The second book Immune was also good, and it ended well, still leaving you with the feeling that the story would go on, but not leaving you practically mid-sentence like the first book. I can't wait for the third installment; Wormhole, but there is no pub date for it yet. Its a good read, although the second book is darker, and worthy of a Jack Reacher novel.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2010
I found the first book to be a light, fast read with an almost YA feel to it. To say the second book is darker is a big understatement. There are numerous scenes of graphic violence, which was not an issue for me, but might be with some readers. It also took a more determined effort to finish it. As the plot started to deviate more and more from ordinary reality, I found it harder to suspend my disbelief. Also, I found the characters to be more abstract, losing the flesh-and-blood feel they had in the first book. Finally, I found some of the decisions made by the characters not believable. Despite those reservations, I did enjoy the book, though not quite as much as the first one. I will read the third one when it becomes available.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2012
While I agree with previous reviewers that this book may not be suitable for younger readers, I found it a better book for adults. The action and plot are on par with adult spy thrillers, and create a riveting novel. I have pre-ordered the 3rd book, Wormhole, and am looking forward to what Richard Phillips does to continue this story.
The first book in the series set the stage and did indeed read more like a young adult book. Building on this, the 2nd novel ties several characters together and adds more villains to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I bought the 2nd book because I enjoyed the first one, but this far exceeded my expectations.
40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2010
I have been avidly reading books since I was 10 years old. Science fiction was my first love and continued to be so until I was in my early thirties. The first two books I ever read were "Starman Jones" and "The Year When Stardust Fell", and they still remain my favorites. I still have the copy of "The Year When Stardust Fell" that I first read all those years ago. My middle years I found myself gravitating toward military fiction (Tom Clancy). I am 51 now and find that after reading the first two books in the Rho series that I have a renewed love of science fiction. The author kept me riveted to each page and I am so longing that the third in the series were out already. Thanks to Richard Phillips I have found myself back to dreaming of far away worlds and other wordly adventures! Thank you, Richard for bringing me back to my youthful exuberance for science fiction!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Read both first and second of this series. Excellent reading. I enjoy SFI and intrigue. These two books are excellent for both. First book a bit slow but when it gets going you can't put it down. Had to buy the second and definitely waiting for the final book of the series. I found the second book "Immune" better. You never know or can predict the interaction of the various characters in the story. I strongly recommend these books.
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2010
Richard Phillips produced an amazing `Roswell' science fiction thriller with `The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda)' and he certainly did not disappoint with `Immune (Book Two of the Rho Agenda)'. I was on the edge of suspense while submersed in his created world as the story continues with Mark, Jen and Heather trying to expose what the Los Alamos Laboratory is attempting to release to the world, as being dangerous for the population. Along the way, the teens suffer their personal trials and the team sent in to investigate the National Laboratory is left on their own as many attached to them are killed. An investigative reporter becomes involved and leaks the information on the nano-serum and others meet tragic ends.
Phillips is phenomenal at adding in a few new characters, giving description of all things occurring and taking this story to another twisted, but enjoyable level. If you have an overly active imagination and find violence offensive, then I would suggest you pass as descriptions on some events are just enough to provoke the wildest imagination to take over. Yet for any sci-fi lover, or those that just love to read anything `alien' related, this was amazing as it grips you immediately and the conspiracies unwrap and you find yourself rooting for the main characters to overcome! I am anxiously and impatiently awaiting `Wormhole', the third in this wonderful series.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2013
As with the whole "The Rho Agenda", I just thought this was one of the best new science fiction series I have read in a long time. The action was no stop and the characters and their develeopment was great.
Richard Phillips is one of the best science fiction writers to come on the scene!!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
Wow, what can i say? I don't do a whole lot of reading, but this book series is impossible to put down once you begin. I've read the whole series and I'm enthralled with this universe. I hope the author has more to tell about the characters involved.
21 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2011
First off, the price of this e-book is silly. I'm kicking myself that I paid more than 99 cents for it, and the author really needs to reconsider his pricing. Rather than feeling that I'd gotten a bargain, I felt cheated and spat upon as a reader.
Phillips falls prey to his own mistakes again, and in a more spectacular fashion. It's as if he read only his own positive reviews, and then imagined that his writing needed more of what the negative reviews said needed to be fixed. The villains are worse than cookie-cutter, 2-dimensional bad guys; they're all rapists, torturers, and violent sociopaths. Even the most ridiculous of characters is at his best a murderer, at worst a rapist, serial murderer, criminal overlord of unimaginal power who has a room in his house solely for violating the bodies and minds of his victims while he hires assasins and eats gourmet cuisine. I'm not sure why Phillips thinks that only villains who want to sexually violate young women are interesting, or why a character performing unanesthetized surgery on himself with a forcefield in graphic detail would excite a reader. I sincerely hope it is his attempts at pathos that force these ridiculous archetypes, and not something else entirely.
Yet again, the drama between teenage characters is a prominent feature. In his favor, Phillips makes these fights between adolescents less of an interruption to the plot. Unfortunately, making the ENTIRE novel almost entirely driven by it was a mistake, and made reading it almost a chore. When one main character takes off, abandoning everything on some insane power trip, it isn't adequately explained or believable. It just kind of happens, and then the entire story has to revolve around it.
Beyond that, the carefully thought-out scientific explanations and plot devices which made the first book interesting. Large plot points that rely solely on tech are almost glossed over, and too many times the main characters super-human powers are just assumed to save the day. I've seen X-Men comics with more believable explanations for the fantastic. It's as if Phillips decided that there was too much science in his science fiction, and needed more graphic violence and rape.
In some novels, this is forgiveable. Given a more complex plot (rather than the bad guys want to take over the world and be rich trope) I could overlook the almost silly amount of sexual bravado, violent machismo, and hackneyed zealotry that this book contains.
The only reason that this novel gets 2 stars instead of 1 is that sadly, I've read worse. I was disappointed in my purchase, and will not be buying the third book, nor any more written by Phillips, unless someone can show me a convincing argument that he is not in fact writing solely as a form of literary self-aggrandizement.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2013
This is the second book in "The Rho Agenda" series, and in it author Richard Phillips increases the adrenaline without spending a bit of time bringing the reader back up to speed. As I recall even Edgar Rice Burroughs spent about a paragraph explaining the situation to newcomers in case they hadn't been there previously. For instance, Tarzan was always more comfortable in the wilderness with a blade by his side. But I digress. Phillips' heroes in "Immune," Jennifer, Mark and Heather, have very little time to simply be high school students. Their actions from the first book have them in deep trouble. They found a hidden alien space ship and using its long-dormant systems to enhance their senses and make them aware of a off-earth sentient rivalry with massive implications for global stability. Now their secret is out. The government found their craft and likely will track them down through this ex-friend of theirs who's been sickeningly hooked up to a computer in another space ship (note previously mentioned rivalry, war really) by a sick head scientist with a god complex. They enlist the aid of a disgraced government agent nicknamed the Ripper. The pace doesn't slow down. The one thing that bugged me was the absolute evil of the bad guys. Really nasty. But obviously I liked it.