Jack Gregory, the CIA's top assassin, went rogue after a mission gone wrong. When a confrontation leaves him bleeding out on death's doorstep, he is faced with an offer from a dark figure named Anchanchu. If Jack is willing to act as a human host for Anchanchu, the entity will revive him and give him another shot at life. Jack takes the deal...but he must now face the consequences of having the same dark creature in his head as some of history's greatest villains. Struggling with desires and memories that are not his own, Jack is not the man he once was.
One year later, he is known internationally as The Ripper, assassin for hire, and is faced with having to wrest control of his dark compulsions while preventing a nuclear attack on the United States.
From the bestselling author of the Rho Agenda trilogy comes a globe-spanning thriller with a twist unlike anything you've ever seen....
©2014 Richard Phillips (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"Not my usual cup of tea but pretty good"
This book is really more of a spy novel than a fantasy or sci-fi book. There is just enough of a sci-fi fantasy element to give the protagonist a direction and reason to do what he does and that is about it. I hope they expand upon the sci-fi aspects at a later date, but I am halfway through the 2nd book in the series and not so much has been added yet.
The novel is good for a spy novel. All the characters are turned up to 11. I mean everyone is the absolute best at what they do. No person or thing in this series is anywhere near the normal end of the spectrum. It is a bit irritatingly over the top at times, but not enough to really hamper the book. That is more me whining than actually a complaint.
I really have to hand it to Macleod Andrews. I thought he was good narrating Sandman Slim but he takes it to a whole other level in this series. Each chapter is from a different character POV and every voice is completely unique and distinct. He has accents from all over the world and doesn't mess up even once. Even if I didn't care for the book the skill the narrarator shows alone would be worth a listen.
If you like spy novels (I don't usually read them). You should like this one. In the future if he expands on the sci-fi aspects the series should be even better. It's worth a credit as long as you understand you are getting a spy novel and not urban fantasy or sci-fi.
"The "supernatural" component was unnecessary"
There is a bit of a ... disconnect... here... the story is a realistic action novel but the underlying premise is supernatural, with just a hint of horror. I liked it, but I can see how it doesn't fit clearly into a specific genre. And the "writeups" seem to focus on the "history of villians" as if that were a central theme in this novel - it is not. There are, of course, periodic (and, actually, mainly unnecessary) side tracks into the heads of various historical "bad guys". I didn't find any of these side tracks added anything to the story, and were all too short to be of much interest on their own... not sure why they were included because the story is good and action filled without the author having to use the historical "Jack the Ripper" (etc) persona to capture our interest.
As an action-thriller, it's a good 4.5 star. Its supernatural component is weak and drags the book down a half star. The characters are interesting and the females aren't completely useless, nor are they exclusively there as sex interests.
I'm not clear on how this book relates to the other "Rho Agenda" books - it was completely stand-alone so it didn't occur after them, and there was no cliffhanger, and it was not YA like the other Rho series is... not sure why the author "re-used" the title as I think it's a bit confusing for the audience. Anyway, this story was entertaining, and I'll read the next one.
The narration was good. It isn't graphic or particularly violent, and there isn't any described sex.
"Sci-Fi Cont/Paranormal/terrorism/ and Techno"
I so wanted to love this book, or at least like. It is included in all the categories above and in the top 50 to 100 in most. A five star review from me, could do well for my rankings in four different categories, plus I would be on page one of reviews, since there are still some 0-0's on the page. Matter of fact, I try very hard these days to only buy books, I believe I will love. Negative reviews rarely buy you fame.
The main character dies in the first few lines of the book and we are given a fairly interesting concept of what happens, which is later expanded upon. Than we quickly get into the espionage or conspiracy part, quickly jumping from one group to another. At times I was lost on who was who. Than I was not lost, I was bored. As I said, the guy dies early in the book, but the story goes on for the next 2 hours having these espionage groups come to the realization that the main character is not dead. Two hours, going over what the reader already knows. The characters are comic book superheroes. I am sure when Audible comes out with their new category SUPERHEROES, this will be included or least it should.
GOING WITH HIS GUT
I could not talk myself in to loving this book and could not finish it, even though MacLeod Andrews is one of the best narrators in the business.
"Just got much better!"
I enjoyed the 3 books in The Rho Agenda Series but they were clearly YA or Young Adult. I tend to stay clear of YA but occasionally a book or series catches my attention and this one obviously did that. This book is before the teen protagonists came along. It is about Jack Gregory and some of his past. No Spoilers, don't worry. We finally get to find out more about Jack and this book did answer a few questions I've had since finishing the last 3 books.
One thing I liked about the book was that it didn't seem to be specifically geared toward YA. I don't know the author's history so I apologize if he has many titles under his belt but it seems to me the author has grown. It feels like he is getting better and better and his storytelling skills are really improving. His writing style is evolving nicely and he kept me riveted to this book. I wanted to finish it in one sitting. I didn't feel that in the other 3 books. While I liked those books I really loved this one. I hated seeing it end.
I would like to see more about the 3 kids from the Rho Agenda Series but I would really like to see more about Jack Gregory. The teens have these wild special abilities now but I think Jack is the most able of the bunch by a long shot.
Lastly, MacLeod Andrews is awesome, as always. He never disappoints.
"Great story should be first of the Rho Agenda"
I real like the way Richard Phillps puts the story together and not to say that narrator MacLeod Andrews really bring the characters to life.
Jack & Janet
The Whole Book, but probably the the end .I mean that in a good way.
Could not stop listening, it hook me from the the start but so did the other 3 Rho books
This series of 4 books by Phillps have been the best listening in a while.Can't wait for his next one.
"Great new action thriller!"
Yes and I have already done so. The action is non-stop and the narrator is fabulous.
Jack Gregory and Janet Price. These two characters from The Rho Agenda are fun to imagine.
His character voices are great without being so over the top that it pulls you out of the story. His voice really brings the characters to life.
There were several but to avoid spoilers I will vaguely describe three. The first is the scene in Poland at Kazimer's estate and the second is the hotel room scene in Prague. As for the climax, it is great from start to finish.
You will have a lot of fun listening to this audiobook.
"A bit implausable but still a worthy novel"
While the original Rho Agenda trilogy fit comfortably into a YA/Adult crossover category, make no mistake, this follow-on trilogy is definitely for mature audiences due mostly to Jack's brutality and ethical lapses. Even so, the story was well written and narrated and kept my interest level high going from one high octane situational encounter to another.
Without going into detail, I did find CIA deputy director's rationale for committing treason rather thin on believability and his expectation of the eventual outcome a bit far-fetched.
Still, it was an exciting novel filled with interesting players, plot twists and intrigue.
"Good plot but lots of violence"
The story includes an interesting premise regarding a man facing death. It starts out violent an remains so throughout the story. I was reminded of Jason Bourne and 007.Narrator was decent at changing his voice for some character s.
I started with book 3 and the second ship and finished book 4 & 5. This doesn't let you down if you liked that series. I recommend.
Superb narration and storyline. I look forward to the sequel in the Jack Gregory character.
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