The Second Shipby Richard Phillips
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, decades after the crash, the government is prepared tell all.
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, decades after the crash, the government is prepared tell all.
Or so it claims…
For there is a second ship, hidden for all these years, just out of the military’s reach. And when a trio of students discovers it buried deep inside a remote canyon, they are changed forever. With a single touch, the technology the government has spent billions trying to unlock is uploaded into the minds of three teenagers—teenagers who now know the frightening truth about the Rho Project. When the NSA black-ops team of Jack “The Ripper” Gregory and Janet Price come calling, they are thrust into a violent world of secrets and corruption, becoming reluctant soldiers in a war destined to alter what it means to be human.
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THE SECOND SHIP
By Richard Phillips
Infinity PublishingCopyright © 2006 Richard Phillips
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHeather McFarland had always been an early riser, never needing an alarm to wake her for school, even when she had been a little girl. The fact that the 2006 school year had not yet started did nothing to alter her habits. If it hadn't been for the dreams, everything would have been perfect.
But the dreams were robbing her of her sleep, leaving her wide awake long before dawn, with a general sense of wrongness lingering in the shadows of her mind. She couldn't even remember what the dreams were about, only the dread they left in their wake providing evidence that they had not been good.
Unable to get back to sleep, Heather rolled out of bed and made her way downstairs. The digital clock on the microwave read 4:43 AM. Wonderful. Far too early, even for her.
She couldn't remember at what age she had started getting up before her parents, nor even how she had picked up the habit of preparing herself a pot of herbal tea. It was merely the way she celebrated the arrival of a new day, here on their back deck, looking out to the east as the sun crested the mountainous horizon.
There was something about the sunrise in the high country of New Mexico that was pure magic. Perhaps it wasthe way the air was so thin a mile and a half above sea level that the sun's rays sparkled and danced across the rock cliffs, tinting them the pink of a dew covered rose. Or maybe it was the way color splashed the eastern sky. Here, the tang of the high pines hung in the morning air, air that was cold at this hour even in early August.
White Rock had been her home all her life, the bedroom community for the Los Alamos National Laboratories providing homes for her closest friends, although many of her school chums lived a few miles away in the Los Alamos city limits. Heather chuckled to herself. City limits indeed. While Los Alamos and White Rock were beautiful towns situated in the stunning surroundings of the high canyon country of northern New Mexico, the use of the term city touched her funny bone.
Despite the dream worry that tickled at the back of her mind, Heather still could barely contain her excitement, today being the day her two best friends were scheduled to return from their family summer vacation. While a cruise up the coast of Alaska sounded fun and she did not begrudge them those activities with their own family, she had missed the twins immensely these last three weeks.
Jennifer and Mark Smythe were as different from each other as siblings could be, with the exception that they were both lovely people in their own rights. Mark was strong and athletic, already having been heavily recruited for the high school basketball team even though this would be his freshman year. He was also blessed with a quick wit and a dry sense of humor that Heather found endearing. Despite these gifts, he was not part of the popular crowd, something that Heather admitted that none of them were likely to become a member of any time soon.
As for Jennifer, bookish was the term that leapt to mind whenever anyone met her. All three of them could hold their own against the kids of the physicists and mathematicians that populated the towns, but Jennifer augmented her intelligence with a love of study the like of which Heather had never seen.
Even on their frequent adventure outings, she always managed to stow away a physics or computer book to pass the time, as Heather and Mark worked on their rock climbing skills. That, and the skinny little professor glasses that she wore when she read, produced a combined effect that earned her the nickname, Doc.
By the time she was into her third cup of herbal tea, Heather had almost relaxed enough that she was considering a trip back to bed, when the sound of dishes rattling in the kitchen alerted her to the fact that her mother was up and that breakfast would soon follow. The screen door opened and her father stepped out, a mug of steaming coffee in his hand.
"Good morning, Sweetheart."
Gilbert McFarland was a tall, slender man with brown eyes, a mouth upturned in the remnants of a perpetual smile, and with a head full of thick brown hair which was rarely seen. He constantly wore an old floppy fishing hat, complete with an assortment of hand tied flies and a button that proclaimed, 'One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish ...'
Heather moved over and hugged him firmly. Gil, as his friends called him, smiled down at her.
"It looks like it's going to be another beautiful day."
"Yep, but you've missed the best part of the sunrise."
"Your mom and I saw it through our bedroom window."
"That hardly counts. Glass filters the view."
"Hmmmf. Not everyone is born to rise before the sun. You hungry?"
"Like a hibernating bear."
"Good. Your mom sent me out with word that breakfast is served."
The kitchen, like the rest of their home, took on her mother's personality. It reminded Heather of a hobbit hole, like in Tolkein's books. Although it wasn't underground, this was a comfortable, welcoming place that made you want to sit down for hot scones, honey, and a cup of hot tea. This morning's breakfast of pancakes, melted butter, and a small pitcher of warm maple syrup was just as inviting.
Anna McFarland moved through the kitchen and nook with an efficiency that made everything seem as if it positioned itself of its own accord. She was a comely brunette woman who had been a real beauty in her younger days and who could still attract the gaze of men, a fact that she seemed completely oblivious to. She loved her family, her home, her neighbors and her life, not caring that their income would never be close to that of the PhDs who formed the Los Alamos equivalent of upper class society.
"Well, you're looking a little tired this morning," Mrs. McFarland said, touching her daughter's forehead. "Are you feeling okay?"
"I'm fine, Mom. I guess I was just a little bit anxious to get up this morning."
Anna McFarland smiled knowingly. "As if we don't all know the reason. I suppose I should set out a couple of extra places for breakfast."
Heather was about to say she wasn't sure what time the Smythes were returning when the doorbell rang. Some might consider it rude to ring a friend's doorbell so early, let alone arrive uninvited for breakfast, but the Smythe twins might as well have been the McFarlands' own.
Their habit of eating breakfast at their friend's house, or for that matter any other meal they could get away with, had started years ago, Mrs. Smythe's cooking having become legendary for its horrific quality. The funniest thing was that Linda Smythe didn't even like eating her own cooking, so she hardly blamed the kids for taking advantage of the McFarland hospitality. The favor was returned in the form of regular barbecues hosted at the Smythe abode, Fred Smythe acting as grill meister.
Although the thump she gave the table as she leapt up did not spill anyone's drinks, it was strong enough to bring a disapproving raised eyebrow to Mrs. McFarland's face.
"Heather, slow down. They aren't going to disappear before you get to the door."
The reprimand trailed after her, lost in her vapor trail, failing to register with any of her onboard sensors until after the door was already thrown wide and she was wrapped in a firm three-way embrace.
Heather stepped back. "Wow. You guys look great. I didn't think you could get a tan in Alaska."
Mark grinned broadly. "Don't kid yourself. You'd love it there. Rock climbing, hiking, kayaking galore. I went ice climbing on a glacier. You wouldn't believe what you can sign up for on a cruise ship."
Jennifer arched an eyebrow. "Speak for yourself. Don't get me wrong, though. I loved the trip. Curled up on the deck with the ocean breeze blowing through my hair, completely engulfed in light reading."
Mark snickered. "I would hardly call 'The Lesser Known Works of Marie Curie' light reading."
Heather laughed. "You guys hungry?"
"Starved," Mark said. "Mom almost got up and made omelets this morning." The look of horror on his face made Heather laugh even harder.
"She said we should at least give your mom a chance to know we were back in town before barging over. Thank God she bought it when Jen said it would probably hurt your mom's feelings if we didn't rush straight over for breakfast."
Heather turned to lead them toward the kitchen. "Let's not keep Mom's poor heart breaking then."
Indeed, Anna McFarland met the twins with huge hugs, immediately ushering them to their chairs and passing around the pancake platter, which everyone set about doing their best to empty.
By the time breakfast was over, the family had heard all about cruising Alaska, followed by Jennifer's excited summary of Madame Curie's life.
A horn honked outside and Gil McFarland rose, wiping his chin with a napkin. "Oops. My ride's here. Gotta run."
"Have fun at the lab today," said Heather.
Gil McFarland grinned. "Always do."
While he had never gotten a doctorate, or even a master's degree, Gil McFarland was one of those indispensable people known at the lab as techs. As a matter of fact, so was Mr. Smythe, who currently waited outside in their driveway, being the designated driver for the carpool this week.
Gil McFarland had a knack for building any mechanical contraption to exact specifications, given the most cursory information. His real title was machinist, but he had turned this into an art form. He loved the lab, which provided him access to an unequaled machine shop and gave him the opportunity to make an assortment of oddities for the scientists.
While Gil McFarland was master of all things mechanical, Fred Smythe was lord of electronics. Together, there was nothing they could not create or improve upon. It was only fitting that they were next-door neighbors.
As Gil McFarland reached for the front doorknob it burst open, knocking him backward several steps where he was almost bowled over by the blocky form of Fred Smythe as he raced into the living room.
Gil McFarland's mouth could not have opened wider in surprise if the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. "What the ...?"
Fred ignored him, fumbling through the pile of remote controls that covered a significant corner of the coffee table.
"Damn it, Gil. Which one of these darned things works your TV? Help me get CNN turned on quick. You have to hear this!"
"Hear what?" Gil asked as he moved over to help with the remote selection.
"You wouldn't believe it if I told you. Just get the news on. Hey everyone, get in here. Hurry up."
The TV set flickered to life, revealing the CNN logo and the words "Breaking News" in big letters in a banner along the bottom of the screen. A news anchor was interrupted by a cutaway to the President of the United States of America seated at his desk in the Oval Office, back-dropped by the Presidential Seal and an American Flag.
The President began speaking directly into the camera.
"My fellow Americans. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I come before you today with an announcement, for which you have unknowingly been kept waiting almost sixty years. Through multiple presidencies, several wars, the landing of men on the moon, up through today's troubled world situation, a matter of unfathomable scientific importance has been preciously guarded by this government.
"As will become clear in moments, this secrecy was required so the government could investigate the national security and public safety ramifications of this discovery. However, recent breakthroughs promise such huge benefits to mankind that I, in consultation with key congressional leaders, have decided to make them public."
The President paused momentarily, as if he had lost his place on the teleprompter. Then, taking a deep breath, he continued.
"In early July, 1947, just outside Roswell, New Mexico, the United States Military discovered a crash site for a ship of unknown origin. That origin has since been conclusively determined to be from a star system other than our own. In short, it is a spaceship from another world, constructed using advanced technologies, many of which we still cannot fathom."
The McFarland household erupted into pandemonium, with excited shouts eventually drowned out by bellows for quiet from Misters McFarland and Smythe.
On the television, the President's image had been replaced by a speaker standing at a podium in a briefing room like one of those at the Houston Space Center. The speaker was immediately recognizable to anyone from the Los Alamos area, none other than Donald R. Stephenson, Deputy Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in charge of special projects, many of which were unnamed. Apparently one of those projects was about to make a name for itself.
Looking at the man had always made Heather feel uncomfortable somehow, as if those sharp eyes were picking her out of the crowd, drilling through her, reaching into her very soul. He was a wiry, slender man with a sharp face, a high forehead, and an intense mouth that looked as if it had never been forced to twist into a smile. His brown hair still showed no sign of graying or thinning, despite the fact that the man was in his mid fifties.
Timeless. That was how Heather though of Dr. Stephenson. No age fitted him. It was much like the way the funny, Pat character on the old Saturday Night Live reruns was gender-ambiguous. You certainly couldn't tell by looking.
Dr. Donald Stephenson was widely regarded as the smartest man on the planet, having gotten out of the army in his mid-twenties, quickly attaining doctorates in astrophysics, mathematics, and chemistry from MIT. Three Nobel Prizes before he was forty had been enough to propel him into his current high position at the laboratory. If the man were not so completely dislikable, he would no doubt have been named director instead of deputy director, not that he showed any interest in moving away from the projects he kept under his strict control.
Both Gil McFarland and Fred Smythe despised the man, although that was a sentiment so widely held among the scientists and technicians around the laboratory that it raised no eyebrows. Indeed, it seemed that Donald Stephenson reveled in making others hate him.
Now before a roomful of reporters, he spoke steadily, as a sequence of slides flashed on the screen behind him, scenes filled with a cigar shaped ship draped with instruments, workers moving along catwalks which clung to its surface, a ramp extending up into the interior. There were no shots of the interior of the spaceship.
Although Heather was too excited to follow the droning monologue, the gist of it was clear. Recent breakthroughs in deciphering some of the alien technology had yielded results so important and startling that they could not, in good conscience, be kept bottled up from the world, results that had ramifications on both energy production and on the health of the world's population.
Those results would be carefully released to a select group of the world's scientists for verification and to allow for external analysis of whether the breakthroughs were safe for rapid dissemination to the governments of the world.
The slide show ended. Dr. Stephenson's steel gray eyes swept the room. "I will now take your questions."
Bedlam. It took a full five minutes to get the reporters settled down so that anyone could make a question heard. After that they came hot and fast.
"Why keep this from the American people all this time?"
"Will independent scientists have access to the starship?"
"After this cover-up, why should Americans trust their government again?"
"Why must the American government maintain control of the ship?"
"Won't other nations conclude that the US is continuing to deceive them??"
"Shouldn't this discovery be turned over to the United Nations?"
On and on went the questions, many of which were deferred to the political leadership to answer. It was immediately clear however, that despite the US Government's declared willingness to share technologies from the project, that openness would not extend to access to the ship itself.
As the news conference ended, a slow shudder crawled along Heather's back, up her bare neck and into her hairline. For a split second, it seemed that she would recall the details of last night's dream. Then the feeling was gone, replaced by the lingering sense of dread with which she had awakened.
Excerpted from THE SECOND SHIP by Richard Phillips Copyright © 2006 by Richard Phillips. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Richard Phillips was born in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1956. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1979 and qualified as an Army Ranger, going on to serve as an officer in the US Army. He earned a master’s degree in physics from Naval Postgraduate School, completing his thesis work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. After working for three years as a research associate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he returned to the army to complete his tour of duty. Today he lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Carol, dividing his time between developing simulation software for the US military and writing science fiction.
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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 Groom Lake, Nevada, site of the infamous Area 51. Book One of the Rho Agenda, takes place in and around Los Alamos, New Mexico. I am old enough to recall the "Roswell Incident" when it happened, so the book is of particular interest to me. However, don't be led astray by that personal fact, this is not about Roswell. This is The Second Ship. A model plane is the method through which this ship will be discovered; not just a model plane but one carrying a camera as an experiment. This model plane just happens to crash in some difficult terrain and must be retrieved. Three high school students, while retrieving their plane, have stumbled across a cave which hides the back entrance, or rather entry point, where an alien ship buried itself when crashing. A highly sophisticated camouflaging device almost thwarts them, but no, they can actually walk right through it, disappearing as they go in and completely out of sight once they are in. As they turn around, they see the back of the ship which they feel must have been able to generate the cloaking devise at the mouth of the cave. There is a gaping hole where it appears the ship was shot down, perhaps by the Rho ship. The Rho ship crashed in the next year after the Roswell event, and has been undergoing tests in either another cavern or another part of the same cave. This ship was also damaged but whether from the crash or a collision or shot down is unknown. The authorities, from several different areas of security, presumably only know of the Rho ship, a cigar-shaped monster. This second ship the teens have just discovered is round, has a mind of its own and is only too ready to give portions of it to the newcomers. The problem with being a high school student though, is that there are certain restrictions on your free time, which makes it difficult for them to spend much time with the ship, but when they do, miraculous things happen. Each student already excels in specific areas: Heather in mathematics, her next-door neighbours the twins Jennifer, excelling in technology, and Mark, into sports. Now, having investigated a number of areas in the ship and done some tests, they have found these skills amplified by multiples. They must now play down their skills so they won't draw attention to themselves and raise suspicion. Soon, Heather realizes that she is being 'stalked' by a skinny tattered man who appears homeless and possibly dangerous. Somehow he knows that they have been to the Second Ship. This book has it all; humour, terror, alien ships, corruption, love, kidnapping, good, evil, secret agents, exciting, conspiracy, greed, thrills and chills, intrigue, deep dark secrets, action, adventure, and great cliff-hangers, especially the last one... Complete review can be seen at R&B: Read and Blog.
I use a simple formula for scoring books on a five star method: -- Is the book free of grammatical errors, typos and editing mistakes? -- Are the characters well developed and believable? -- Is the dialogue natural, adding to the story not getting in its way? -- Is the story/plot compelling - is it a page-turner? -- Does the story show innovation or cleverness in the happenings of the story? A "no" answer to any of the first three points will cause me to lay the book aside and move on to the next book on my list in hopes that it will be a better reading experience. The Second Ship was a slam-dunk 5 star book. Technically excellent, characters that draw you in and cause you to care about them - even the bad guys are compelling. Dialogue is perfectly natural and flows effortlessly. The story includes a lot of advanced communications and physics concepts and Mr. Phillips does an excellent job of keeping them understandable and believable. There were several nights I was kept up late because I did not want to put the book down yet. The entire concept of the story is a clever new twist on the "alien spacecraft recovered at Roswell" theme. The ongoing juxtaposition of good elements versus bad elements also keeps things interesting. This is not a farmers versus the government story. Some elements of the government are good, some bad, some you're not real sure about. One ship is good, one bad; but which is which? Even among the story's main characters, some are good, some bad, some change sides. It never got boring, it was never trite. This is the first book in a trilogy, so the story ends in an open-ended manner, but THIS story does conclude with most of the major factors resolved. It does not end in such a cliff-hanger that you feel cheated. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys science fiction, and especially if you have a fascination with alien conspiracy theory. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
My Take: What a rollercoaster ride of a book!!. I really liked this book, it grabbed you with the first page and never let go. When the government decides to start releasing the technology that has been found on the ship the whole would is excited. The first technology to be released is cold fusion. Is this a good thing or the beginning of something else? Heather and her friends,twins, Mark and Jen find a second ship out in the desert and enter it. what they find changes their life drastically and they have to keep it secret for now. This is a great book and I think anyone who reads it will enjoy the mystery and thrill of the ride.
The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda) is the first in what is to become a trilogy. This story introduces a wonderful set of strong characters that you can easily follow. The three main characters are Heather and her neighbor twins Mark and Jen. These three are still in high school, and their father's work with the National Laboratory with the Rho Project. When these three teens test a remote control plane with some tweaked equipment, they discover a well-hidden space ship that crashed with the other ship that is the Rho Project. The three decide to keep their ship a secret, at least until they have had the time to fully explore it and what it offers. Events occur after these teens spend time on the second ship that dramatically begins to change their lives in more than a few ways. They work hard to keep these changes from being noticed by everyone, but it proves to be a challenge. After having a special fitted remote control plane crash inside a restricted zone, the teens also notice the special changes that are occurring with the deputy director of the Rho Project and witness this deputy director's sinister side and they decide to take some creative action. The government is finally announcing to the public some of the hidden mysteries of the Rho Project and what advance technology the Roswell ship provided. Many are pleased, but the three teens feel a certain dread over the news. This was a very suspenseful and exciting story and the reader is left hanging as the story is to be continued. I personally love all stories that tie into the Roswell incident, as well as a fascinating science fiction story and this tale is no exception to that rule. The introduction of characters is easy to follow, even as the events begin to unfold. I found myself wrapped up in this story and along for the ride. With the events that occur, I felt that I saw a symbolism of what can happen when someone is allowed too much power in certain positions in life and career. I am anxious to see what happens as this story ends leaving the reader in suspense as the events that needed answers are left until the installments to come. I definitely recommend this as I feel Mr. Phillips will have 'Roswell' tale that will rival all others.
America has hidden a secret for more than 60 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory: the recovery of a crashed alien ship and the new technology it may offer to humanity. Labeled the "Rho Project," the President has decided to reveal some of this technology to the world, the first piece of which is the successful use of cold fusion as an energy source. While this is heralded as a "green" energy source, there are those whose livelihoods would be damaged by the resulting decline in demand for oil. While this is going on, 3 high school students make a startling discovery in a desert cave: a second alien ship, possibly the one who caused the damage present on the one at Los Alamos. Their exploration of the ship leads to an enhancement of their apparent dormant abilities and their discovery of unauthorized human experimentation by the lab director puts their lives at risk. The students have unwittingly become involved in a conspiracy centered at the highest levels of government and may be the key to humanity's survival. The Second Ship by Richard Phillips is the first book in his Rho Agenda trilogy. If you are a sci-fi fan or believe that more happened at Roswell in 1948 then has been revealed, this book is a must read. Phillips is a native of Roswell, NM and as such is uniquely qualified to write a book centered on the famed crash of 1948. I myself have also wondered if the public will ever know the truth about the Roswell incident. Phillips takes the crash and runs with it, painting a fascinating version of what might have become of recovered craft. No book of this type would be complete without an unauthorized experiment or two and this book has them in spades. Throw in agents of the NSA and a political fight in the nation's capitol and you have a book that you can hardly put down. I look forward to reading the next installment of The Rho Agenda and predict this author will be around for a long time to come. This book definitely gets two thumbs up from me.
I really appreciated this book. I love science fiction/thriller type books, but sometimes they are lacking in plot and believability. I have to say that this was one of the most INTELLIGENT books in this genre I have read. I read the author's bio on the back of the book and noticed that he has the background to write this book. And it definitely shows. The book centers on a space ship known as the Rho ship hidden by the government, three teens who find a second ship (hence the title of the book), and various mercenaries and government plots involved with the technology of the ships. The teens have started exploring the Second ship, learning about it, letting it learn them, and wisely keeping it a bit of a secret. I love the fact that Mr. Phillips didn't dumb down the teens. I'm not TOO far from that age group, myself, and I've often despaired of the fact that teens are treated as if they don't have a brain and can't make mature decisions. Unfortunately there is one person aware of the second ship. A person who sees it as a sort of God-given gift to him. He's more or less inconsequential, but he IS a lesson. The Rho ship that the government has found, and is releasing technology bit by bit to the public is a pawn used by various people. People blinded by science, and so, willing to lay aside the morality of their decisions. People after something greater, but in a gray way we're not privy to yet. And of course people who want what it yields for the perceived power of controlling the world. The technology in this book is great. Computers on the Second ship are mind controlled. The ship computer enhances the abilities of the human mind from the 10% we use now to full capacity. The technology of both ships can be used for good. Or for, not exactly evil, but selfish reasons. For delusions of grandeur, for power, for manipulation. All the things that make us so very human. The Second Ship explores who we are, what we are, and what we could be if given the chance. But is that "chance" for the best?
In 1947 there was a battle over New Mexico between two alien ships. Both crashed, but only one was found by the U.S. Government and sequestered away in Roswell, NM. In Los Alamos three teenagers stumble across the second ship that had crashed into the side of a hill. They enter the ship and explore it over several days, but without telling their parents or anyone else about it. All three begin to show signs of abilities and powers that evidently were taught to them by the ship. They find their secret and themselves endangered, both by government and private parties. The evil overall supervisor of the section their fathers work with has his own agenda with what he finds inside the first ship. It is adventurous for teens, but adult science fiction fans will like it too. I am ready for the next two books of the trilogy. This could become a television series with a little work on the script, or at least a made for TV movie.
An alien ship landed in New Mexico over sixty years ago and the secrets of this arrival have been hidden in the National Laboratory in Los Alamos by some very brilliant scientists and one very egomaniacal Director who plans to use these discoveries for his own vision. Enter three teenage friends whose fathers are technicians at the lab who are initially fascinated by this discovery but then enter an unimaginable world when they actually find a second, unknown alien ship located in a nearby cave in the same area. Instead of reporting this discovery, they begin their own exploration of the ship's technology, a course which is about to change their lives forever! Heather, Jennifer and Mark aren't your average high school teens; each has a unique, advanced knowledge of physics, math, computers and technology. Yeah, they're technogeeks for sure but that ability is about to enable them to expand their physical, mental, and emotional boundaries far beyond ordinary human capacities! Meanwhile, however, there are multiple foes anxious to possess the discoveries about to be revealed to the public at the Los Alamos Lab, facts that could not only create a new form of clean energy and a super race of humans but could enter America into a final Armageddon war. Is this the plan of the aliens behind the Rho Project? Are the teens' findings an attempt by aliens to save or destroy Earth? In between the step-by-step discovery process, fearful, murderous, innocent and evil characters fill this story with an unparalleled tension and riveting fear. While the characters might be a tad stereotypical, the plot and settings within this hard science fiction, first of a series novel, never lag in gripping the reader's attention on every page. There's enough scientific physics and technological information for similar technogeeks and enough explanation for non-tech geeks to thoroughly enjoy the first of what promises to be an engaging series of novels that this reviewer could definitely envision as an exciting movie as well as fascinating read! Nicely done, Richard Phillips! Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on April 4, 2009
I throughly enjoyed this book. I found it very interesting and quick reading. I am trying to be patience waiting for books 2 & 3. I wish they were already completed to purchase.
I heard a radio advertisement for the book's website, took a chance and placed an order. Haven't slept since I got it... just couldn't stop reading. Please give me more, and soon.
What a wonderful start to this series. I noticed several others said that they couldn't wait for the next one and I agree. But I just hope the series doesn't end anytime soon.
I couldn't put it down. A word of caution though, this is not a book for the grandkids. It gets scary and it gets violent. I can't imagine how the next one in the series can be as good as this one but I am anxious to find out.
We just started selling this book in our restaurant, AZBreadCo in Tempe, AZ, and the customer response has been amazing. The only question we have been getting is, 'When is the next book in the series coming out?'
'The Second Ship' is enthusiastically recommended reading for Sci-FI fans in general, and UFO buffs in particular! 'The Second Ship will leave the reader looking eagerly toward the next installment of this gripping new series by an accomplished and imaginative writer. Jim Cox, Midwest Book Review