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The Second Ship

(The Rho Agenda #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  10,962 ratings  ·  636 reviews
Book One in the Rho Agenda trilogy

In 1948, an alien starship fell from the New Mexico sky—and immediately vanished behind the walls of the Los Alamos Laboratory. Since that day the US military has endeavored to reverse engineer the ship’s alien technology through top-secret research known only as the Rho Project. Now, sixty years after the crash, the government is prepared
Kindle Edition, 445 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by 47North (first published 2006)
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Piotr The chronological order recommended by the author is as follows:

1. Once Dead
2. Dead Wrong
3. Dead Shift
4. The Second Ship
5. Immune
6. Wormhole
7. The Kas…more
The chronological order recommended by the author is as follows:

1. Once Dead
2. Dead Wrong
3. Dead Shift
4. The Second Ship
5. Immune
6. Wormhole
7. The Kasari Nexus(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,962 ratings  ·  636 reviews

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Apr 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandon-all-hope
I'm bailing on this. I feel like I'm in Pleasantville - these kids do not act like kids. They don't talk like kids, they don't interact like kids, they are just 1950s paper dolls doing wholesome things. And no matter how good the science supposedly is later in the book, I CANNOT deal with really horrible characterization. You know those kids in school who were so weirdly Mayberry that you actually avoided them because they kind of weirded you out a bit? Yeah. I don't want to spend a book (never ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
To Readers who adored this book: I apologize for rating this book so low and disliking it.

I'm the wrong audience even though I frequently read teen and YA books. I'm a retired old lady, so don't mind me. Move along.

As for the rest of the readers who attempted this book and who also rated it low, this is why I disliked it:

This is the most boring book I've picked up to this year of my life since college 20 years ago. I haven't experience writing so blankly functional since I was learning to read.
Gah. The book was fairly hard for me to get into until the last 30 or so pages. Then I couldn't tear through it fast enough. Alas, the rest is awaiting in two sequels.

One major thing I enjoyed: the incredible intelligence of the two girls and boy. Love computer science and math genius girls!
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slightly clumsy, but ultimately interesting SciFi entry. There were several times when I was screaming to myself, "Where is this author's editor, and why was this not edited????" when the text showed weird phrases being used repeatedly or when there was a really long, awkward metaphor going on that should have been pared down or cut out entirely.

Also, there was way too much "Nerd vs. Jock" stuff going on, which shows the age of the author and how he doesn't understand that there has been a pa
Brett Dunst
The dialog felt like something out of an 80s after-school special.

People in 2012 don't talk like they do in this book, and I found that to be a huge distraction.

So it's sort of this innocent "kids find a space ship" story, but then there's lots of secret agent-types moving around, people talking all old-tymey...and then, out of nowhere, rape scene!

Then we're back to teenagers talking about basketball games and backyard BBQs in this weird throwback dialog.

It's just totally bizarre and it made me
Montzalee Wittmann
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Second Ship
The Rho Agenda, Book 1
By: Richard Phillips
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
This book has everything a good sci-fi book needs. A space ship, teens that find it and keep it a secret, evil powers that be, powers enhance those exposed to the ship (the teens), and suspense never ends!!! There are so many side things going on that are also involved, all suspenseful too. This is one nail biter book!!!
The narration is perfect for this book! Not once did I stop to think that I was listenin
Exceptional first book in the Rho Agenda series! I was grabbed in the Prologue and wasn't let go. Great reading for young people, sci-fi buffs and UFO fans, amazing yet made plausible, some perhaps even probable, BUT you do not have to be a fan of sci-fi to thoroughly enjoy this book, it covers so many genres. Richard Phillips is an author to be reckoned with, absolutely incredible. He knows exactly what he is saying and knows how to say it.

For those readers who are UFOnauts, it all begins in Gr
A. R.
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Writing is not for everyone. In recent years, I've abandoned my snobbish tastes in reading to read more thrillers as often that's about all I have the available concentration for during the brief time I have to read before falling asleep. I keep running again and again into these thrillers that have fairly interesting premises with terrible execution (either poorly plotted or overly simplistic). Given the author's bio, I would expect much more than what you end up with. I just wish some of these ...more
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Second Ship is a bizarre pastiche of "Golden Age"-style science fiction writing (think 1950's b-movie dialog and equally hollow characterizations), pulp-novel action heroes (think Don Pendleton), and semi-modern science (think semi-modern science). It reads like Young Adult fiction until you hit the occasional rape or beheading.

Still, how bad could it be if I got through it and decided to purchase the sequel to see what would happen next? I lost count of the number of times I thought to myse
Aug 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No one talks like this. It reads like it was written by a child with a thesaurus. Maybe it was, I don't know. Or possibly by a machine using some kind of algorithm. If either was true I'd give it more stars, but I can only assume this was written by a human adult person, in which case, Nope. ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book reads like Encyclopedia Brown meets Nancy Drew times two.
The technology is fascinating and well-fleshed out. The concepts are fantastic (though some we have seen before) Where this novel loses so many points is in the actual writing.
Trite and cliché, the book plods along with the feeling that the reader is reading a high-tech novel for teens. They aren't going to get the tech, but the dialogue panders to the lowest common denominator.
I do not think this was the intent, but I also do no
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

As I read this book I was projecting ratings from 2 stars to 5. I decided on three and I do recommend the book. It being the first of a trilogy that I haven't read (but plan too) I will say it got off to a good start.

What was most negative to me was the quality of writing in the first half of the book. Characters seemed so plastic and the over all feel of the book reminded me of a b rate movie. But it improved as the story developed . This is one of those books that you may want to put down, but
Jan 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
Sometimes I confuse high visibility of a book for quality. This series kept popping up on Amazon and blogs which inspired me to purchase the whole series when they went on sale. The basic premise sounded intriguing and I was ready for another science fiction series. Where to begin with the problems in this book. Trite, obvious, and tired dialog that seemed to lack any sense of originality and showcases a very weak command of storytelling. Often it read like a pre-teen book from the 80s and nothi ...more
Robert Turner
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
3 stars might be a bit generous but I can't say that I got no pleasure from this book. it moved along okay no stuttering and stalling although at times the juvenile nature of it made me unsure if I was reading a book about kids for kids or something aimed at a different audience. The goody goody wholesome Waltons style family thing didn't bother me at all, I presume people like this still exist even though to a lot of readers it appears to be a bigger fiction than the actual subject matter. Anyw ...more
Stuart Love
Dec 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't get into this book for one glaring reason that somehow everyone else has missed the main antagonist is called Donald r Stephenson!!! If I was Stephen r Donaldson I would be trying to find this Richard Phillips bloke and pimp slap him all over the floor. My guess is Phillips read the gap series ( best sci-fi ever! ) and saw this as some kind of misguided homage to a far superior author. The writing is childish, the characters one dimensional.... Amazon I want my three bucks back! ...more

I wanted to like The Second Ship so freaking badly.. but I just couldn't get into it. Maybe it's just me.. but this book kind of seemed pointless. Nothing really made sense. The characters were annoyingly frustrating to even think about liking them. Then the random ass violent scenes were just a bit cringeworthy. Nothing excited me while reading this - which is probably why it took me so dang long to read.

With despising the characters, I'm not just talking about the main ones. No, th
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a new favorite author. Not only did Richard Phillips come up with an engaging plot, he used a wide range of different points of view that did not sound forced, even when switching from a middle aged NSA agent to a teenage girl to a crazy man in the dessert. The main characters of the story were teenagers, and they acted like it, but not in an annoying way.

What really sold me was the science. I love science fiction novels, but I get fed up with poorly described science or "scientific theo
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, ya
There seem to be quite a few negative reviews this book on GR. As is often the case , I instead found this book entertaining. I haven't read much YA fiction in a while but this was a well written story, without the usual whining teenaged that many YA novels seem to have.

The author clearly used The Tommyknockers as a jumping off point for the plot, but I enjoyed the direction the story took. I can see how this isn't a book for everyone, but the world would be a pretty boring place if we all like
Love of Hopeless Causes
The Audiobook has a good narrator and the story moves quickly, so if this is your cuppa, give it a shot. Typically, I rate abandoned books as ones, but here it is my personal bias that makes for a DNF. I don't care for Universal Point of View head hopping, or a large modern cast. The only authors that can get those past have been King and Crichton. Happy listening. ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
After reading around fifty pages of The Second Ship, I came to realize that it was less a novel than a collection of clichés done up to look like a novel. One can only cringe so many times per page before throwing in the towel.
Shannon Callahan
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Quite enjoyable

I can see others’ displeasure on the plot and characters. However, as it goes I do find the plot moving fast but curiously. Kids making a ton of high tech stuff. I’m so in! I wanted to give it four stars but for some reasons I couldn’ hasn’t actually grab my eyes and glued it to the story. Since this book ended up with an open end. So I’m gonna read second and maybe the third one too for sake of ending.
Jean Hontz
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable sci fi with a few twists that surprised me. I'll probably continue the series ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We’ve all heard theories about what may or may not have happened at Rosewell, New Mexico in 1948. Some believe the remnants of an alien ship from that incident have been keep secret by the government. What almost no one knows is that after Rosewell, there was another event and another ship. This time though, the government managed to completely contain the rumours.

Sixty years later, three teenagers find and explore the craft. Even today, the alien technology is far beyond our comprehension. In
Gina Basham
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like GOOD science fiction you will like this series. The character development was outstanding. You knew who they were, what they cared about and just enough twists in their characters to be believable. The story was well defined and escalated at the appropriate pace to keep you engaged and wondering - where is he taking me next? The plot line for the trilogy was well thought and progressed from one book to the next as it should. If I hadn't bought all three at once and just read the firs ...more
Deborah Sloan
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

If you are a SciFi fan or should I say SyFy, you'll want to read The Second Ship by Richard Phillips. I absolutely loved reading this and can't wait for the second and third books of the series about The Rho Agenda. Phillips writing style has made this a great read for both adults and teens with interesting Physics descriptions and technical information to satisfy the most detailed SyFy fan. The three high schoolers who discover the second ship are changed forever not only by the ship itself, bu
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gets off to a slow start as it sets the scene carefully for the ongoing plot, or perhaps it got off to a slow start for me because the main protagonists are all teenagers with the usual high school traumas, a subject I personally dislike. By the end of the book, however, I was hooked. There are times when dread overwhelms and others when confidence in a good outcome is uppermost in the reader's reactions and at no time are you sure that what is happening is all good or all bad. So, on ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very slow going. I love how smart the main characters are but the book didn't get really interesting until the last 20% of the book. Don't think i'll be reading the rest of the books in the series. ...more
Toby Turner
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, well paced and enjoyable sci-fi thriller. This established the characters for the trilogy whilst ensuring that they weren't just ciphers to progress the concept.
Be good to see where this one goes.
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A great idea for a novel!

Not only did one alien spacecraft crash on Earth near Roswell, a second ship crashed as well. The second ship came to rest in a cave and set up a camoflauged barrier that has prevented it from being discovered. Until now. Three teenaged friends accidentally discover the ship and discover a way to "link" to the ship through mysterious headbands they find inside. The three friends soon begin to develop strange powers.

Meanwhile, at the first ship, a scientist has finally m
Sarah Sammis
The Second Ship by Richard Phillips is the first book in the Rho Agenda. As it was sent unsolicited and as it has such strong Christian undertones, I wasn't expecting to like it. Despite those two hits against it before I even opened the book, the first novel is pretty good.

The book follows three teens, Jennifer, Heather and Mark, who find a ship crashed in the hills just outside of the National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. After their initial encounter the begin to bond with the ship a
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Richard Phillips is the million copy bestselling author of the Rho Agenda scifi series, the Jack 'The Ripper' Gregory series, and the epic fantasy series, The Endarian Prophecy. He is a retired Army Officer, West Point graduate, and has a Master of Science degree in Physics from the Naval Post Graduate School. H

Other books in the series

The Rho Agenda (3 books)
  • Immune (The Rho Agenda, #2)
  • Wormhole (The Rho Agenda, #3)

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What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
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“Leaning back in the couch, she let her mind relax. Think, Heather. Think. She visualized a grid containing the origin of a coordinate system. A perpendicular set of lines labeled “x axis” and “y axis” appeared to float before her. She drew a single point located right three ticks and up four ticks from the origin on the grid, then followed up with another point, connecting the two with a line. It was there, floating perfectly in the air before her. Right, she thought. She added another dimension to the grid to form a cube, and into this cube she drew spheres, ellipsoids, cubes, and pyramids. It was easy. The equations came faster and faster, as if she had fumbled around and found a switch in the dark. A part of her mind turned on, big time. Adding a fourth dimension was easy. She took her three-dimensional grid cube, shrank it to the size of a pinhead, then formed a line of these cubes. Five dimensions formed from a plane of the 3D grid cubes. Six: a cube made of cubes. Seven dimensions: a line made of the new cube of cubes. On and on the mental sequence spun from her mind. Easy. Oh so easy. She no longer had to think about the equations that represented the shapes. Merely visualizing the shape brought the corresponding equations to her mind. She didn’t have to solve them; she just knew them. It was beautiful beyond her wildest imaginings.” 1 likes
“Your journey will proceed faster with a brief delay.’ In other words, don’t go off half-cocked, but don’t wait until the other fellow shoots you either.” A” 1 likes
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