- Author: Richard Phillips
- Performed by MacLeod Andrews
- Released: December 2016 by Brilliance Audio
- Category: Science Fiction, Thriller
When Mark and Heather Smythe saved Earth from the conquest-hungry Kasari Collective, they thought their work was done. But the world’s vast new government continued its quest to make extraterrestrial contact. And now, as a new gateway is activated to welcome the Kasari, whom world leaders take to be benefactors, only the Smythes stand a chance of countering their planet’s invasion and subjugation by a race of ruthless conquerors.
The Altreian Enigma continues the ongoing saga and again, three main storylines run concurrently in three different worlds. Jennifer, now a crack soldier and General Dgarra’s aide-de-camp, is involved in the Koranthian battle with the Kasari, while Raul maintains command of the appropriated Kasari space ship, ready and waiting to help out when needed.
Heather, Mark, Janet and Robby are still fighting to prevent the new government alliance from opening the gateway which will allow the Kasari Collective to land on Earth. If the Kasari are allowed to enter the gateway their plan is to assimilate and enslave humanity. But a far greater peril is imminent which would destroy all life on Earth. The danger lies deep underground beneath the Kalasasya Temple in Bolivia and there is only one person able to prevent the unthinkable. Khal Teth’s projected visions mean Jack Gregory must honour his promise, taking him to the Altreians’ home planet, even though it may cost him everything he holds dear.
It summons me forward, down the metallic ramp that leads into a large chamber illuminated with a soft magenta glow. As I step into the room, the knowledge that this place was not built by the hands of men is absolute. And at it’s center, five translucent pedestals rise from the floor as if extruded from the ends of a glassblower’s pipe, moulded into the form of chairs.
The recognition of this place floods into me from the being who shares my mind. I stand inside a massive alien research craft, sent here centuries ago with a dual purpose: to conduct a scientific mission to observe and record humanity’s advancement and, should humans adopt the banned wormhole technologies of the Kasari Collective, to summon a planet killer to cleanse Earth of all life before it can be completely assimilated.
The series continues to evolve, the world building is amazing and the characters, especially Jack, are distinctive; detailed, well developed and easy to empathise with. Richard Phillips writes extremely well, maintaining the momentum and connection to the well crafted and very inventive narrative. The plot lines flow, interconnecting and moving the story on at a fast clip, the pace never slowing down with plenty of action and political treachery.
There’s enough background information sprinkled throughout without it being too much for those who have followed the series from the start. But if you’re a science fiction fan it’s well worth starting from the beginning.
I’m constantly amazed at the scope of Richard Phillips’ imagination. Jack’s battle for mind control with his nemesis, Khal Teth. Jennifer’s struggle not to be possessed by the Kasari, while fighting the invasion. The lengthy conflict to destroy the gateway on Earth, although I felt that story arc perhaps went a little too far. I can’t wait to see how it’s all resolved in the final book. While I enjoyed the previous narrator, it was good to have MacLeod Andrews back with a performance which, as always, was stellar.
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.