Orson Scott Card Reviews Immune: Book Two of The Rho Agenda December 6, 2012Posted by rhoagenda in Rho Agenda Updates.
“A second volume that stands alone – brilliantly”
Richard Phillips has led such a life that he absolutely nails the science aspect of this new sci-fi classic – and yet also gets the action and the political aspects exactly right as well. Speaking as an old sci-fi writer myself, I know how hard it is to do what Phillips has done.
But here’s the clincher. Reading on my Nano, I began this book without remembering that this was volume two of the Rho Agenda series. Within a few chapters I realized that there must have been an earlier book. But so skillfully does Phillips handle exposition, and so clearly and deeply did he create his characters and their relationships, that I felt no need to stop and go back to listen to the first volume.
I WILL go back and listen to The Second Ship, now that I’ve read Immune to its brilliant and completely satisfying end – but only because this new writer is so skillful and this storyline is so inventive and moving that I don’t want to miss a chapter of it.
I promise you that Richard Phillips is going to be a popular and influential writer, period.
The Rho Agenda has young protagonists, and so the series could be viewed as YA (Young Adult) fiction. While the novel is brutally real, including sexual tension, there is NO explicit sex and nothing to keep you from handing this book to a mature and well-informed twelve-year-old. Yet it is also completely fulfilling for adult readers – as good as any science fiction being written today.
MacLeod Andrews gives a perfect performance. You forget you’re listening to a book. All you can think about is what’s happening and why. Moving back and forth among characters, he is always clear as to who’s talking – without “doing” voices in any obvious way. This is how audiobooks are supposed to be read.