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The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda) 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 1,985 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0981546261
ISBN-10: 0981546269
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Enthusiastically recommended reading for Sci-fi fans...and UFO buffs. The Second Ship will leave the reader looking eagerly toward the next installment of this gripping new series. --Jim Cox, Midwest Book Review

Review

“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 political 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…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…as good as any science fiction being written today.”
-Orson Scott Card  says of Immune (The Rho Agenda: Book Two)

"The three books of the Rho Agenda trilogy (The Second Ship, Immune, and Wormhole) are a story that links a considerable amount of science with a thrilling storyline...I highly recommend readers pack their imagination and go for a ride with The Rho Agenda."
-NY Times best-selling Author Bob Mayer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Rho Agenda (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Synergy Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981546269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981546261
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,985 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #777,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Roswell, New Mexico in 1956, Richard Phillips graduated from West Point in 1979, qualified as an Army Ranger, and served for several years as an officer in the United States Army. In 1989, he graduated with a Master of Science degree in Physics from the Naval Post Graduate School, completing his thesis work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He then spent three years as a Research Associate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, before completing his tour of duty as an Army Officer. He now lives in Phoenix, with his lovely wife, Carol, where he develops simulation software for the U.S. military and writes science fiction.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a Sci-Fi fan, but I am SOOOoooo tired of the Roswell Alien story. I put the book down the second I found out it was ANOTHER Roswell story. However a friend couldn't stop raving about the book so I reluctantly gave it a read. I was pleasantly surprised. The book doesn't try to point out some overlooked detail and then try and convince the reader that maybe the whole thing was real. Instead it was a fast paced, first class piece of sci-fi work. The characters are interesting and have some depth. The technology described comes across not only as way cool but maybe even kind of possible. The main characters are teens but it's not a Harry Potter kind of book. It's an easy read but the writing is top quality. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because "Book 2" is a must and if I don't get it I'm going to feel cheated.
18 Comments 342 of 388 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, be aware that the third book of this series is not out yet. Second, if torture/rape is a non-starter for you, look elsewhere. That stuff is not overly graphic and doesnt take up big pages, but its there. Ok, assuming your ok with these two things, lets get to the review.

I'll go over the plot a bit first. I'll provide the level of info sometimes found on a back cover, most of which is revealed in the first 10 pages. Its "safe" to read, but if you prefer to take 0 risk of the slightest spoiler, just skip the next paragraph.

Two ships fight high in the atmosphere in 1945 near Roswell and crash. Only one is discovered, and studied for 60 years. The deputy director of the project researching the ship has discovered some surprising things about it, and has his own, apparently evil, agenda. The second ship is discovered by three teens, and, for no reason other than that its necessary for the plot to move forward, they put the circlets they find inside the ship onto their heads at exactly the same time, a ship-mind connection is formed, and they learn that their ship was the good guys and the other ship is some sort of harbringer of destruction. From this beginning, we are off to the races, and treated to a mix of alien technologies, evil plots, secret agents, assassins, with some rape, torture and murder thrown in.

The book moves along fairly nicely, and is a breezy and easy read. Lots of action and the heroes are fairly likeable. A few issues knocked it down to 3 stars for me though. First, the three protagonists are teens, and there are teen romances, high school hazing and revenge. These parts of the book almost feel a little like a young adult novel -- but with the rape, torture and killings in the book, its clear that isnt the intent.
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9 Comments 362 of 418 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I really appreciated this book. I love science fiction/thriller type books, but sometimes they are lacking in plot and believability. I have to say that this was one of the most INTELLIGENT books in this genre I have read.

I read the author's bio on the back of the book and noticed that he has the background to write this book. And it definitely shows.
The book centers on a space ship known as the Rho ship hidden by the government, three teens who find a second ship (hence the title of the book), and various mercenaries and government plots involved with the technology of the ships. The teens have started exploring the Second ship, learning about it, letting it learn them, and wisely keeping it a bit of a secret. I love the fact that Mr. Phillips didn't dumb down the teens. I'm not TOO far from that age group, myself, and I've often despaired of the fact that teens are treated as if they don't have a brain and can't make mature decisions.

Unfortunately there is one person aware of the second ship. A person who sees it as a sort of God-given gift to him. He's more or less inconsequential, but he IS a lesson.
The Rho ship that the government has found, and is releasing technology bit by bit to the public is a pawn used by various people. People blinded by science, and so, willing to lay aside the morality of their decisions. People after something greater, but in a gray way we're not privy to yet. And of course people who want what it yields for the perceived power of controlling the world.

The technology in this book is great. Computers on the Second ship are mind controlled. The ship computer enhances the abilities of the human mind from the 10% we use now to full capacity. The technology of both ships can be used for good.
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7 Comments 156 of 182 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book sometimes feels like it was targeted at a younger audience, but the themes involved and some of the more graphic scenes are definitely mature. This trend really becomes noticeable in the sequel, when things really get nasty sometimes. My only problems with the story stem from the somewhat overpowered main characters; the alien technology really does some impressive stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I couldn't finish this. If you require your teen protagonists to be halfway believable, this isn't a book for you. They all talk like they're fresh out of Mayberry, it's a total disconnect with reality and the author seems to have no idea that his characters come across as paper dolls from a 1950s Hardy Boys novel. Dad's the breadwinner, Mom rules the roost, the kids all remember to do their homework and politely thank their parents for breakfast and run off to fly their model airplane. It's bizarre.

The writing is flat and clumsy - I stopped reading before any real science kicked in, because the characterization was just that bad. And it's not just the kids, the adults are similarly stupid. They do things because the plot requires those things to be done. Does it make sense that they take those actions? No, not in a million years. But heck, if that's what the story requires, by golly let's do it!

At least Reese Witherspoon's character was trying to escape Pleasantville. Here, no one seems to have any idea that they're mimicking an era almost 75 years gone, and one that arguably didn't even exist then.

I read this because of the Orson Scott Card praise. Based on this reading, and keeping in mind some of OSC's public statements and his charming gay panic revamp of Hamlet, I think I'm just going to have to stick to enjoying his early works and writing the man and his recent ideas off completely.
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