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The Rosetta Codex

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  201 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Philip K. Dick Award-winning author of Ship of Fools and the Carlucci trilogy.

After he crash-landed on an untamed planet, young Cale Alexandros was a slave for most of his life. But when freed, he would discover a secret that some people want to learn-and a revelation that some will do anything to control.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Ace (first published December 2005)
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Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by the author and, though it definitely isn't as good as Ship of Fools, I found myself enjoying it quite a lot. I'm fairly new to scifi, I know world building is suppose to be a huge element and there was some of that in the book, but I think Russo's main strength is in his writing and his characters. The main protagonist, Cale, was a very compelling reluctant yet steadfast sort of hero on a mission I'm not sure I even agree with, but was interested in reading a ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
It's one of those books that are good novels without being good SF. The story is the bildungsroman of Cale who is determined to bring an alien race back to life through the Codex of the title. The book is beautifully, even hauntingly, written: details of life on alien worlds stand out with an almost hallucinatory vividness; Cale's tribulations are well-described; the plot and focalization are impeccably handled. But...what is the point? Who are those aliens? Why is Cale so determined? Is there f ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
A few points to summarize this book:

1. The book has an interesting blend of technology and mysticism.
2. Through the main character the reader is introduced to several mysteries and enigmas. However, the presentation of the mysteries was much more appealing than the actual resolution.
3. The flow of time and space is somewhat choppy throughout the book. I found myself backtracking a few paragraphs from time-to-time to understand just what was happening. To the author's credit, he does not bog the
Feb 20, 2009 rated it liked it
The Rosetta Codex is the story of Cale Alexandros, a boy of wealthy background who at the age of 5 becomes captured and enslaved on a world far from his own. He lives this life until, as a teenager, he flees his captors, sending him on a series of events that bring him to uncover an indecipherable book several years later. This book contains secrets that could change the world forever, and some see that as a threat... a threat that needs to be taken care of by whatever means necessary.

This isn't
C.M. Muller
The first part of this book was absolutely wonderful, the middle section left me feeling a bit disappointed, the end redeemed the whole to a slight degree. Overall, the concept and writing was brilliant, but I found myself losing interest in the story about halfway through. I think a lot of this had to do with the various jumps in time, in which we follow the young protagonist into adulthood. That said, I am a huge Richard Paul Russo fan. If this is your first foray into his fiction, I suggest y ...more
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, by the author of Ship of Fools. The story follows the life of a boy named Cale Alexandros, whose father is killed when the ship they are on is attacked. Cale was 5 when this happened. His father sent him and his guardian, Sidonie, down to the planet they were going to in a shuttle, but it crashes. Cale is taken by a bunch of rogues and is shuffled from place to place and group to group throughout this story. It held my attention very well, and was difficult to put dow ...more
Roddy Williams
‘Cale Alexandros was five years old when his family’s starship was attacked en route to Morningstar, the lone outpost of civilization on a savage planet. Cale crash-landed in the wilds, and was picked from the wreckage by brutish nomads.

For years, he was forced to endure life as a slave, until a kind trader finally freed him. But Cale never forgot what he had seen in the desert wastes... or the temple that held a book with pages made of a strange metal, and the writings he could not identify.

Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Science Fiction is similar to fantasy; it usually requires some kind of world-building. But where fantasy world-building is often filled with intrigue and mystery, I’ve found some science fiction to be overly expository, which can be dull or lead to really long books.

In The Rosetta Codex, author Richard Paul Russo skews in-depth world-building in favor of immediate action. That’s probably a wise choice, because the story focuses entirely on one character. With one focus, the author can play his
Kyle Johnson
I picked this book up while bored out of my skull one evening, interupting my reading of "The Dragon's Nine Sons". The name was similar to something my dad had mentioned to me just a few days before, though it turns out that was a different book.

For a random snag off the Choice Reads shelf, I was pleasantly surprised by all but the very end of the book. The premise and plot remained interesting throughout, but once I had finished the book, it just felt flat. There weren't many high points in th
Micah Sisk
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Mmm...yeah, it was alright. Not as good as his Ship of Fools or his Carlucci trilogy, but reasonable.

As someone pointed out, this is what's called a Bildungsroman, a story that focuses on the protagonist's development through his life...a "coming of age" story and all that. It suffers a bit in that the author seemed more interested in the main character's early development rather than his later "life's work" adventure. Which is a bit sad because the idea of what the main character was later to a
Aug 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivan Mkrtchyan
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Sadly, this book is a lot weaker than brilliant 'Ship of Fools'. It starts with aome decent plot-hooks... And none of them rests resolved.
And yes: too few "gray colors", and the slightest doubt whether the main character is doing right is immediately dissipated by author talking through supporting cast. I guessed what's the ending going to be somewhere through 2/3 of the novel, and still hoped for plot twist. It didn't happen, and that dissapointed me most.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sf, aliens
Slow going at first, but it builds to a fairly satisfying climax. Clean, well crafted prose made this more enjoyable than much run-of-the-mill SF genre stuff. My wife really liked Russo's Carlucci novels, and so I plan to give them a chance, based on this stand-alone novel.
Mike Gething
A little disappointing after Unto Leviathon. Last 40 pages were the highlight (-reminding me of Tchaikovsky's Scarab's Path) but up until then it felt too bitty, characters too fragile, spanning 30-40 years. Russo clearly has a good imagination but sometimes it was hard to visualise what he was describing. Too many expletives.
aguuz yukiko bahl
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
lo odié todo hasta la pagina 250.. ahi recien empezó la historia.. como esta contado el paso del tiempo. en cada pagina. ej: 2 semanas despues 3 meses despues etc EN CADA PAGINA, me desespera demaciado. no tiene continuidad nada con nada..
pero de la pagina 250 en adelante me gustó, aunque el final podria haber sido mejor.
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well apparently I like sci-fi. I thought the character building in this book was excellent. However, the ending left many unanswered questions. Perhaps there is a sequel? I'll have to read more by this author for sure.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
I tried. An adolescent on a quest. Mysterious ancient aliens. Everything I need, but it just didn't do it for me. I lost it for a while, and when it turned up, I couldn't bring myself to finish it. My loss, no doubt.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Galvin
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent good old fashioned sci-fi adventure refreshingly sparse of gratuitous violence.
Nov 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Review forthcoming.
Sean Drybrough
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
good book, not a whole lot of conversation but pretty good
Dean Mallory
rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2017
Yule Rg
rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2013
rated it liked it
May 25, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2014
rated it it was ok
Jul 04, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2014
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
excellent story telling- would love to see a sequel
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2015
rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2013
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