The Altreian Enigma (Rho Assimilation Book 2) by Richard Phillips @RhoAgenda #TuesdayBookBlog

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. Continue reading

Dead Wrong ~ The Rho Agenda Inception #2

  • deadwrongAuthor: Richard Phillips
  • Performed by MacLeod Andrews
  • Published: Brilliance Audio, released on Audible January 2015
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense, Supernatural, Sci-fi
  • five-stars

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.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

The Rho Agenda Series ~ the audiobooks

 

An alien spaceship crash landed in the Mexican desert in 1948 and was taken in total secrecy to the Los Alamos laboratory under the code name of the Rho Project. Scientists have spent decades trying to unlock the alien technology. Some 60 years later the President admits the United States government withheld information about the spaceship.  But now the alien technology, or a select amount anyway, is about to be made public.

The sinister Deputy Director of the Rho project, Dr Donald Stephenson, has his own corrupt agenda however, illegally experimenting with the technology on human subjects.

Twins, Jennifer and Mark, and their best friend Heather stumble upon a hidden cave in a canyon. In the cave there’s something that has lain undiscovered for years, except by one man who believes it’s sign from God. No-one except him yet knows the three friends have found a second ship and it will change the course of their lives forever, in ways they could never imagine.

Thoughts

The imagery from Richard Phillips’ writing is strikingly vivid and breathes life into the story, emotionally and visually. He takes the ‘what ifs’ and interprets it in an exciting way, as a fascinating and intriguing science fiction storyline. It’s certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility that governments could and more than likely do withhold information from the public.

The characters are strong and have depth, the protagonists are likeable while the bad guys are most definitely not. I liked the introduction of Jack Gregory and Janet Price to the story, they’re great characters, and I believe their back stories are to be published later this year. 

It’s a well structured, fast paced and tense story with lots of threads running through which are woven together well and lead on to book two.

The second instalment of the Rho Agenda series finds Heather, Mark and Jennifer plunging deeper into the complexity of the alien powers they’ve acquired with their visits to the Second Ship. They are assimilating and learning to use their enhanced abilities, gaining control and focus.

After the supposed suicide of Jonathan Riles, Jack and Janet and the rest of the NSA team are on a hit list put out by corrupt government officials. Jack and Janet barely escape, only with the help from an unexpected quarter.

Dr Stephenson’s use and exploitation of the power gained from the Rho Ship increases to a frightening extent as Raul’s situation becomes even more nightmarish and twisted.

Thoughts

As with the Second Ship the writing and descriptions in Immune are first-rate and the images and emotions conjured up are tangible. The strong character building continues with the three young protagonists drawn ever deeper into danger and evil conspiracies.

This story is much more dark and sinister with the horrific goings on in the tunnels under Henderson House, the release of the modified alien nano technology and the high level governmental corruption.

I love the introduction of Jim ‘Tall Bear’ Pino, a Native American reservation sheriff, to the story as well as Freddie Hagerman, an investigative journalist, who is instrumental to the story.

Richard Phillips’ characters are extremely well written and the intrigue and intricacy of the storyline fuels the tension and fascination as events unfold.

Dr Stephenson, imprisoned for his crimes, has been granted a pardon. He has initiated the threat of an anomaly, a black hole, which would destroy the earth. Only the Rho Ship technology can stop it. In return for his freedom Dr Stephenson consents to creating a wormhole in order to push the threat through, far away in space where it can do no harm. His plan all along.

Mark, Jennifer and Heather have been undergoing an intense training program under the supervision of Jack and Janet. The relationship between them all deepens considerably as they spend more time together. 

Their secret Bolivian hideout is compromised after the three teens could stand it no longer and contacted their parents. They will need all of their new survival and enhanced skills in the days and months to come.

Thoughts

This is an utterly compelling series, everything comes together in Wormhole, the tense and riveting third instalment of the Rho Agenda series. The evil Dr Stephenson is, of course,still  working to his own agenda which is hidden beneath his creation of the wormhole.

It’s down to Jennifer, Mark and Heather to stop Dr Stephenson, whatever it takes and now they also have poor Raul with his terrible mutilations and increasing madness to contend with. All of which results in an epic battle and a horrifying and sad outcome for one of the teens. Very emotional plot details and one of those stories that will stay with me for quite a while.

The description of the treatment Heather, Mark and Jen were subjected to in the secret government facility is shocking in the extreme. The whole premise gives rise to questions about what goes on behind governmental doors, how far they would go and how little is actually known by the general public. Are their decisions always made for the greater good?

I’m really hoping this is not the end and we get to follow all the teens again at some point. I’d like to know more about baby Robbie too with the intriguing little hint about his imaginary friend.

Performance

MacLeod Andrews gives insight and personality to the characters  which adds to a superb narration, you know exactly who is speaking, the pacing and characterization expertly done.

Buy the books from  Amazon UK and Amazon US