Anyone who dares challenge the Rho Project is being systematically picked off. At the top of the hit man's death list: NSA fixer Jack Gregory, and the three teenagers who first exposed the Rho Project's dark agenda to the world.
On the run for their lives, Heather, Mark, and Jennifer know that the Rho Project's alien nano-technology has been released into the world, disguised as a miracle cure. But what they don't yet know is that the serum has taken on a life of its own, modifying human DNA in a way that even its engineers cannot control - one that will alter the very fabric of humanity.
©2012 Richard Phillips (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Probably not. Reasonable story but not as strong as the first book.
The development of the three "Heroes"
The girl friend.
Humans face agents of the galactic hoard.
"A second volume that stands alone - brilliantly"
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.
But here's the clincher. Reading on my Nano, I began this book without remembering that this was volume two of the Rho Agenda series. Within a few chapters I realized that there must have been an earlier book. But so skillfully does Phillips handle exposition, and so clearly and deeply did he create his characters and their relationships, that I felt no need to stop and go back to listen to the first volume.
I WILL go back and listen to The Second Ship, now that 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.
I promise you that Richard Phillips is going to be a popular and influential writer, period.
The Rho Agenda has young protagonists, and so the series could be viewed as YA (Young Adult) fiction. While the novel is brutally real, including sexual tension, there is NO explicit sex and nothing to keep you from handing this book to a mature and well-informed twelve-year-old. Yet it is also completely fulfilling for adult readers - as good as any science fiction being written today.
MacLeod Andrews gives a perfect performance. You forget you're listening to a book. All you can think about is what's happening and why. Moving back and forth among characters, he is always clear as to who's talking - without "doing" voices in any obvious way. This is how audiobooks are supposed to be read.
"Really good Sci-Fi Thriller"
This is the second book in the Rho Agenda Series. It works as a stand alone novel but is better if you read the 1st book (Second Ship) prior to this one. Actually, You would be better off reading the entire Rho Agenda Inception series first as it is a prequel and gives you all the background you need on Jack Gregory. You don't have to, but this series would be a lot better if you do.
This book is an improvement over the first as the characters and their skills and tech are pretty well established. The author eats up a lot of the first book explaining how things work, skills, and tech. He does a good job and is interesting but gets a little overdone a parts. It reminded me more of the old-school Asimov style sci-fi where the science gets more emphasis than the fiction.
That is not the case in this book. It is very fun and action oriented. The author still manages to handle some very adult concepts in ways that you know what is happening but could still let a young adult read it.
MacLeod Andrews does an incredible job as narrator. There are so many characters and each is distinct and not cartoony in the least. The one is definitely worth a credit.
"Fantastic Continuation of the Series"
My Audible library is nearing 200 books and I never write reviews...just no time for it. But this series took me so completely by storm that I decided it deserves a comment or two. You can read the many comments by others for details. For me, the first book was amazing and I frequently find the second in a series to be a letdown. Happily, I found this book to be even better than the first, partly because I had already fallen in love with the characters. The author, perhaps intuiting that his readers will have already made their character attachments, are ready for some surprise storyline twists and revelations about the two alien powers and agendas. He does not disappoint!
I also want to congratulate the Narrator for a five-star, perfect job. After listening to dozens of narrators, I've developed some likes and dislikes but no one does a better job than MacLeod Andrews at creating believable voices, consistent identification, and most of all, emotional vocal expressions that keep you engrossed in the story without ever being distracted by the narration itself. Like special effects in the movies, the best narration in audio books needs to be completely invisible and Mr. Andrews accomplishes this better than anyone.
"First Book's Characters Add Dimensions and Skills"
This is book 2 in a three book series. The first book caught my interest enough to bring me back to listen to 2. I liked 2 even better!! The characters - Mark, Jennifer and Heather - develop more skills and depth. Who would have guessed they could clean up in Vegas. Jack proves to be even more invincible than in book 1. Go back and read book 1 before tackling this one to fully enjoy the story.
"Book 2 kicks it up a notch"
Immune continues and "sorta" completes the story arc established by the first installment (The Second Ship). All the main characters are back with several additional new players, including a washed up newspaper reporter and a Colombian drug cartel. Raul gone missing in the first, shows up and plays a major role. As expected, in the end the teenagers with help from various adults manage to save the day while having one adventure after another along the way.
This installment is much darker than the first, with graphic and in some cases unnecessary violence. There are many more "evil doers" this time around in addition to Stephenson, including one with almost magical powers. Jack also remains an enigma, especially how capable he is even around the rho-enhanced opponents. Finally, the denouement is rather quick with a simple hack followed by public revelation. There are also a number of times when suspension of disbelief is quite strained (how exactly and why did the drug cartel get involved in the first place?).
In spite of these deficiencies and the fact that the pre-teen style of Scooby Do meets Power Rangers remains, the story is compelling and engrossing, leading to a fast and enjoyable listen as many chapters are short producing a staccato jumping from scene to scene. Once caught up, it's tough to shut down. Finally, while the immediate threat of Stephenson / VP world domination (their ulterior motives and end goals are never clearly articulated) is aborted, the story again ends abruptly with many unanswered questions.
The narration is superb with an excellent range of voices that perfectly compliments each of the characters.
"WOW - Turning out to be a great series!!"
Yes - for sure. It is fun and very well done. It was hard to put down. A gripping and interesting story with great sci-fi concepts (many of which are either new or done if a fresh way), great action, and a lot of suspense.
I listened to him on "The Second Ship" and I thought he did an okay job. But just as this book is much better than the first, I believe his performance was much better also. There are a lot of characters and he has to do a lot of voices. He does so very well without it sounding goofy.
I don't know what the tag line would be, but this story telling reminds me of Game of Thrones. There are multiple parallel stories going on and it gracefully jumps between them. As I read/listened I could almost envision this being produced into 10 or so episodes. This would pay homage to the story much better than a movie. The chapters are fairly short (but a lot of them) so you are not held in suspense for too long if the story jumps to other characters.
I reviewed "The Second Ship" and like many reviewers thought it was a little juvenile at times... but WOW, not this book!! I don't know if Richard Phillips took similar feedback to hart or if he just improved as an author, but this book was stellar in my opinion! This is really right-up-my-alley actually and I can't wait to dive into the final book. The situations are a bit "darker" than the first book, but not too dark. The language is a little more "adult" but not over the top. Just enough to keep various characters dialog believable. I think he did a splendid job making this more appealing to adults while also striking a good balance that doesn't kick it out of the Teen/YA category. I wouldn't hesitate letting my 16yo daughter read this, and likewise, I wouldn't be embarrassed to recommend it to any hard core sci-fi adult friend either. Nice job Mr. Phillips!
"Still going strong. Still no sleep"
Listened to # 1. Bought #2 and cannot stop listening. Still no sleep. This series is addicting. Great for teens
"Something Different but interesting."
These two books were good. This is a Tom Clancy meets Star Trek type book. I enjoyed the plot and it did not get boring. I can't wait for another installment to the story.
"Those krazy kids!"
Sure. It is highly entertaining. There are also some nice technical aspects thrown in for those interested in tech stories.
Only compares to The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book One, so far.
The Rho Agenda Book 1. He is easy to listed to.
Some if it was a bit gory and/or intense at times, but I did not laugh or cry that I can remember.
Looking forward to The Wormhole, Book 3, but I need to read something else first.
"Exciting continuation, artfully narrated"
This exciting Part 2 of the Rho Agenda series ups the ante for the three teenage protagonists and we follow them through a suspenseful web of lies and intrigue. Phillips draws the net more tightly around the three (and the world!) without giving himself leave to reinvent his universe - the suspense he masterfully built in Part 1 continues its hold and we remain on our toes.
As the series progresses and expands outwards from Los Alamos, the plot gets a little more cluttered with characters and scientific loops that are a little superfluous, a few plot points are developed but never picked up again. The timeline also introduces some slack, while we felt pushed through a tightly woven narrative arc in Part 1, Parts 2 and 3 suddenly allow world events to progress for weeks or even months without escalating our sense of urgency.
Nevertheless, Phillips always picks us up again and sweeps us into the whirlwind of the Rho Agenda - despite these moments of respite, this is a thoroughly suspenseful and charming tale, leaving the listeners (and the fate of the world) in the hands of three protagonists who are supremely likable and, in no small part because of their internal dynamics, never too dull or too perfect.
The narrator deserves tremendous praise for keeping the story as sharp, quick and warm as it is. Parts 2 and 3 challenge him to even greater range than Part 1 did (or any common audiobook would) and he excels at keeping us always at the crest of the story as it thunders through its countless different characters, locales and emotional peaks and valleys.
THE TRILOGY AND THE NARRATION
The Rho Agenda is a thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi trilogy - Richard Phillips succeeds in painting a sci-fi universe that is firmly anchored on earth and in its human protagonists and accordingly doesn't require an all-round suspension of disbelief from the reader. He sets the sci-fi parameters for his story early on and diligently sticks to them, resisting the temptation to constantly introduce new sci-fi "miracles" to toss around his characters. The human story and the political thriller may be instigated by input from another world, but they remain exactly that: a huy man story and a political thriller. With some cool sci-fi stuff going on.
The author switches between points of view more than a hundred times per book, but MacLeod Andrews narrates his way through these transitions seamlessly, taking the listener along with ease. We always know exactly where we are and who, out of the large ensemble of characters, we are currently with. The books give him a wonderful opportunity to show off his range, in terms of both voices and accents, and he brings its countless twists and turns to life masterfully, instilling the main characters with his characteristic humor and warmth. His voice grips us as tightly through the densely packed action and political intrigue as it charms us during the spells of the teenage life of our heros.
One additional point: I greatly appreciated that Phillips keeps the story at a very agreeable level of "clean" - he abstains from being gratuitously graphic in his characters' language or actions, but doesn't shy away from strong language, violence and even a little carnage when they are necessary. I enjoyed not feeling myself be dragged through gore and bodily fluids at every turn as is so easily the case in contemporary otherworldly fiction.
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