Customer Reviews: Wormhole (The Rho Agenda Book 3)
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on November 24, 2012
I have been waiting for this book, the third and final episode of "The Rho Agenda" to finally be published and it was well worth the wait. Sometimes 5 stars are given to a book because it is a fun read or pretty good, but this book deserves a better score than the regular 5. It is finely detailed, events happen logically, has well developed characters, kept me on the edge of my seat (literally--I could hardly sit still!) and I had even peeked at the ending when it got too tense so I knew how it was going to end. The action was terrific and really thrilling. There are some unanswered questions that could easily be developed into a new series but all the important loose ends are tied up satisfactorily.

I would recommend reading the series in order to get the full enjoyment of the entire plot. It has been over a year since I finished the first two books and I have a poor memory for details so there was enough refreshing of previous plot points to keep the story moving smoothly, but you will really enjoy the first two books as well.

Briefly, the story is about 3 teenaged friends who stumble upon an alien star ship that had crashed in the New Mexico desert years before. Their curiosity and the ship's subtle attraction lead them to become changed by their encounters with the ship. That leads to problems in their daily lives and school activities as their special talents are developed and become public in book one.
The second book involves their growth in abilities and increase in problems with the government when scientists find the second ship and start messing with it in the second book. Enter an evil scientist who has his own agenda for using the secrets of the alien artifacts.
Then finally the third book where the kids are becoming adults, having adult feelings, and fulling developing the specials skills that will be needed to counter the renewed strength and political power of the evil scientist when he is restored to his former glory and is given even more power than he had before. The government wants to suppress the use of their special skills because they fear what they can't control and they do not know that they will one day be needed to fight for the safety of everyone on Earth.

Now I'm not a great writer so the stories are much better than they look when outlined as I have done above. If you read the description of the author and notice all the skills, experience, and learning he has and remember he uses many facets of his own background in these stories it will give you an idea of the thrilling parts I have left out.
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on November 20, 2012
I read the first two books and was anxiously awaiting the release of the third book. I do recommend reading the first two books before diving into this book. Richard was kind enough to let his avid readers get a preview copy of his book. This has to be one of the best (initially) self-published sci-fi trilogies on Amazon. Richard's style is reminiscent of Tim Zahn's, of Star Wars fame, style. Very good military type action and descriptions. His physics are also well described and in reasonably understandable detail for a non-physicist and throws in enough reality to actual physics concepts that makes the physicist in me squeal.

This is an action book, first and foremost, with some language and violence that is probably inappropriate for children. However, the action is well tempered and never gets too graphic. The characters, while not entirely fleshed out, are believable in their reactions and responses and have enough substance to keep you caring about them. There are still some loose ends at the conclusion, but it is satisfying nonetheless. All in all, a good read and highly recommended.
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on November 20, 2012
I have read all three books in the trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed them. Because the first two books contain a tremendous amount of background information and character development, do yourself a favor and read them first for a fuller understanding and appreciation of Wormhole. (All three books are available for Kindle at a reasonable price.)
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on January 30, 2013
Well, Wormhole certainly lived up to the promise of the earlier Rho books! Buy them all and read them start to finish!
Phillips has arrived as a top author for intelligent SciFi. The pace of the story is breathtaking as he carries his complex characters towards a thrilling conclusion to the Rho story. His science is confident, subtle and tantalising.
At times the portrayal of the US agencies is 'Bourne-like', but that just makes me want to see the Rho books on-screen.
The book is high-quality digital publishing (well-written, well-proofed) - no annoying typos here.

NOTE... to shoppers who have not read Book One (The Second Ship) and Two (Immune): it is not really possible to read Wormhole out of sequence and pick up the complex threads. Start at the beginning - you won't be disappointed.

Slight spoiler note... The conclusion of the Rho series is very satisfying, but I can't help but wonder whether Jennifer and Raul's role could open some interesting doors for Phillips in the future... not quite concluded?

My ranking rules:
5-star (*****) EXCEPTIONAL: Faultless; awe-inspiring; humbling; a good ambassador for the genre, deserving broad readership; potentially a classic of the genre.
4-star (****) EXCELLENT: Highly recommended; difficult to fault; completely satisfying.
3-star (***) GOOD: A really good read and thoroughly enjoyable; time well spent; minor and few misgivings.
2-star (**) OK: Unlikely to inspire or to offend; ultimately doesn't measure up to the broader body of work in the genre, and therefore may disappoint.
1-star (*) POOR: Life-shortening, ineffective, rife with error and a waste of ink (whether on physical- or e-paper).
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on November 20, 2012
This book fully completes the series in ways that only reading it yourself can do it justice. There is one totally unexpected turn of events that might both shock and sadden the reader, but that is all I am going to say about that. The technical details with respect to the physics are awesome and the details of the interworking of the federal government are completely accurate.
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on December 14, 2012
You could probably read Wormhole as a standalone, but I would not recommend it. Do yourself a favor and start with Book 1. Otherwise, you will miss too much in the way of characters and events.

I had forgotten about this trilogy (having read the first book ages ago) but rediscovered it while I was reviewing my Kindle library. So I purchased Immune and Wormhole and then read all 3 books in succession starting with The Second Ship. I was drawn into this story from the beginning of the first book. I laughed, I cried, I became angry. At times I found myself holding my breath, my heart racing with fear. I couldn't put it down and read the entire trilogy in 2 days. It's an action-packed story with multiple plotlines and even has a little romance included as well. Overall, I would classify this trilogy as a sci-fi action adventure mystery thriller.

Some reviewers here have said the ending was predictable, but I totally disagree. I found the ending a total shock. And there's enough left to the story for another book should Mr. Phillips wish to pursue that. I'd buy it. I'd love to see this trilogy become a movie; it was that good.

So why 4 stars instead of 5? It isn't perfect (most books aren't). I saw a definite improvement in the writing style as the trilogy progressed. The plots and subplots seemed more tightly knit together as the story progressed. The characters seemed natural, real, and believable. The science/tech descriptions were outstanding; without them much of the plot just wouldn't have made sense. So great job, Mr. Phillips.

I've been reading sci-fi since I was a child, and The Rho Agenda trilogy did not disappoint. I look forward to reading more from Richard Phillips.
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on November 20, 2012
I read the first two books and Richard was kind enough to let me download the pre edited version of Wormhole. It was a great ending of a terrific adventure. I can't wait to get my hands on his spin off book about Jack the Ripper. Buy this - you won't regret it.
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on March 3, 2013
This is a great sci-fi trilogy. Because we are looking at the future, the characters are pretty believable, and the situations are not unreasonable. The books are best read in order (THE SECOND SHIP, IMMUNE, and WORMHOLE) in order to follow the character and plot development. I agree with some of the other reviews that a fourth book might not be out the realm of possibility. RECOVERY (my choice for a title) would address several loose ends--how do Mark & Heather deal with their advanced capabilities and maintain their cover as farmers in Australia? What happened to Jack Gregory and Janet, and their baby? How will the baby, obviously with advaced capabilities, cope with life as a "terrible two"? Will the RHO technology be able to return Jennifer, and Raul, from the wormhole? Finally, will there be closure for the Smythe and McFarland families? All questions to be considered.
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Loved the first two books in this trilogy, as well as the "spin-off" sequels featuring the main character Jack Gregory. Rated them all 5-Star. This book was just a tad disappointing and not quite of equal caliber compared to the other books for my personal taste. Too much highly speculative scientific content. "Wormholes" are strictly hypothetical, and though possibly indicated by some theoretical physicist's abstract mathematical formulas; mainstream science has produced absolutely nothing concrete to support their existence. Intuitively, from years of reading in the sciences and specifically quantum physics, wormholes are too illogical and improbable to literally exist. Great scifi pushes the scientific envelope ... but a good author can only push so far and remain credible.
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on September 29, 2015
I thought it was fast paced. The author must be an engineer in real life. The details of the alien technology and how it influenced engines and stuff like that, as well as turning the three main characters into brilliant scientists and everything else was very detailed. I thought the characters were likable, and the plot, well, it is science fiction, but all of the scientific knowledge in the books made it plausible., Three teen agers found an alien ship and wound up saying the world. Sounds gee whiz, not again..................... right? It had me turning the pages until I went through all three of the novels.
there are three back novels about one character, Jack, in the series, and I am also going to order those,
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