- Author: Richard Phillips
- Performed by MacLeod Andrews
- Published: Brilliance Audio, released on Audible January 2015
- Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense, Supernatural, Sci-fi
Ex-CIA assassin Jack Gregory has been hired for a singular mission: to journey to South America and rescue an imprisoned shaman. Beloved by the struggling masses and feared by the ruling elite, shaman Tupac Inti is destined to unite Bolivia’s indigenous people and bring down the corrupt government.
The second of the Rho Agenda prequels centres around a very powerful and ancient Incan artefact known as the Sun Staff, formerly held by Pizzaro after conquering the Incan empire hundreds of years ago, now being hunted for the mystical and alien powers it’s believed to possess.
Tupac Inti, a shaman in the Quechua tribe, is currently in Palmasola prison, Bolivia. Only he knows the whereabouts of the Sun Staff. Jack Gregory has been hired to keep Tupac alive and out of the hands of an evil group of Neo-Nazis led by Conrad Altmann, the bastard son of Klaus Barbie, who needs Tupac in order to gain control of the Sun Staff. Barbie realised the Sun Staff had mystical power and had managed to return the artefact to Bolivia. Now Altmann was about to lay claim to the reality.
But Jack still had to meet the man. And then he had to get them both the hell out of here. In this part of the world, bribery was the best option for making something like that happen. The trick was to find the right people to bribe, and then to make sure that they feared Jack more than they feared the UJC. He’d accomplished the first part before getting in here. Yesterday’s violence closed the deal. Now, if Jack could avoid being poisoned in the meantime, so much the better.
Janet Price is employed by the NSA and accountable to Admiral Jonathan Riles, who has been working towards the opportunity to study the Sun Staff for the last three years, although he doesn’t subscribe to the theory claiming the activation of the Sun Staff will be the catalyst to bring a master race back to earth. Janet’s assignment is to get to Tupac Inti before Jack.
Jack is slowly succumbing more and more to the entity known as Anchanchu, and understanding more of it’s interaction with human hosts makes it vital that Jack controls Anchanchu rather than the other way around.
Jack is no stranger to dreams of a past not his own but now vivid waking visions plague him, of memories that also aren’t his, about Pizzaro and the Sun Staff. They give his mission a new meaning when he realises what they imply. It’s more than just a job to Jack now, it’s a matter of survival. Can Jack free himself from the being that controls his mind and wants to kill him? The ever more violent emotions Anchanchu evokes in Jack threaten his state of mind.
The characters, and Jack and Janet’s relationship, continue to develop as more of their back story is revealed, along with an extraordinary and well thought through storyline full of action, suspense, Neo-Nazis and corrupt officials. The writing is descriptive, detailed and powerful and it’s really a confirmation of that writing, and narration, that I was totally engaged in the story.
And again, each short and compelling chapter is from different characters’ perspectives, which works extremely well. I always enjoy MacLeod Andrews’ excellent, and wonderfully voiced, narrations and I’m looking forward to the third instalment to see how it all plays out and ties in with the Second Ship.