- Author: Richard Phillips
- Performed by Alexander Cendese
- Released: March 2016 by Brilliance Audio
- Category: Science Fiction, Thriller
Jennifer Smythe escapes Earth’s invasion by the insidious Kasari race, hijacks an alien starship, and survives the deadly passage through a wormhole.
But escape is short-lived…
Back on a divided Earth, Jennifer’s brother, Mark, and Jack “the Ripper” Gregory wage their own war against the Kasari.
Although this is the first of the Rho Agenda Assimilation trilogy, the books do follow on from the Rho Agenda Inception and the Rho Agenda series, both of which give lots of insight into the development of the characters and, of course, fill in the previous storylines.
During the battle to stop the Kasari Collective entering through the gateway built by Dr Stephenson, and invading Earth, Jennifer Smythe opts for what she sees as the only possible course of action. This results in the Rho ship, with only herself and Raul Rodriguez trapped aboard, being thrust into deep space and light years away from earth, sending them en route to an inhabited planet. Desperately needing supplies and repairs to the ship, Jennifer and Raul land on Scion only to confirm their fears the Kasari Collective are in the process of naturalizing the inhabitants.
On Earth, Mark and Heather Smythe and Jack and Janet Gregory are dealing with problems of their own. A new alliance has been born replacing the UN. The UNFS, United Federation of Nation States, is about to open the Stephenson Centre for Interspecies Reconciliation in order to welcome the aliens. Mark, Heather, Jack and Janet are engaged in helping US Senator Freddy Hagerman to build a movement designed to put a stop to the Stephenson Centre. As A Safe Earth’s backers, Heather and Mark, and by association Jack and Janet, have been brought to the attention of Alexandr Prokorov, who won’t let anything come between him and his goals.
But any attack on the Smythes or their financial empire wouldn’t be easy. Not with Jack “The Ripper” Gregory heading up their extensive security operation. Alexandr had spent a considerable amount of time going through The Ripper’s dossier, and even though he discounted some of the more outlandish acts attributed to the ex-CIA assassin, he had to admit that the man was remarkable. Even someone such as Daniil Alkaev would be hard pressed to take him out.
The ending of Wormhole (book three in the original trilogy) left a lot of unanswered questions which I was hoping would be addressed in a continuation of the story. Some details were answered in the Inception series, and other political and character driven story arcs are now seamlessly extended with The Kasari Nexus.
Two parallel action packed plot lines, bringing in new and old characters, combine in an exciting and fast moving opening instalment to the third trilogy in this amazing series. The focus shifts between each scenario leaving mini cliffhangers which add to the tenseness of the narrative. From the deluded and power-hungry factions to the wonderfully enhanced and sharpened capabilities of the Smythes, on and off planet, and the Gregory family, including young Robbie, it’s a thrilling ride.
Admittedly the very detailed sections of scientific technology, although spectacular, were beyond my scope but generally the author writes in such a way as to make everything understandable and seem very plausible; Jennifer and Raul’s space journey, Jennifer’s experiences on Scion, the alien planet, its inhabitants and technology plus the intergalactic battles. What began basically as a series with young adult protagonists has evolved into a full-blown sci-fi thriller with exceptionally well developed, complex and unforgettable characters. A descriptive, compelling, well written narrative with some surprising twists.
My favourite character throughout has been Jack Gregory and I can’t wait to find out where the portentous pact he makes takes him, and Khal Teth. Alexander Cendese’s narration, and the differentiation between characters is very good.
About Richard Phillips
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 continues to expand the universe of his bestselling science fiction series, The Rho Agenda.