UFOs and SATs

The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda) - Richard Phillips

What do you get when you mix alien ships, average teenagers, secret agents, serial killers, mercenaries, terrorists, mad scientists, stalkers, government conspiracies, a half-assed love triangle (love is a bit strong--like triangle, maybe?), god complexes, jocks hazing other jocks, and lots and lots of science? A crap-ton of exposition and a story that jumps around like a puppy in a ball pen, that's what.


More isn't always better, Linus. Sometimes it's just more.


This was an average reading experience for me. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I probably would have enjoyed it much more if the excess fat were trimmed off and the transitions smoothed out. There's a chapter in which a serial killer grabs his next victim, and then the next chapter is from the victim's point of view, two days later, with no break in between. No time to let it sink in, no real sense of time passing. And that kind of choppy transition happens frequently. I know I'm nitpicking (it's in my nature), but a story like this needs to be tight and seamless so nothing distracts you from the flow, and I was being distracted left, right, and center.


This book has the bones of a good story, and I'm interested enough to continue the series. Fingers crossed the bones get some real meat and organs in the next book. More alien sci-fi awesomeness, less cruising on the USS Exposition, please.


On a side note, the last book I read averaged about 6 2/3 pages per chapter, and it drove me nuts. This book averaged about 5 pages per chapter. It made me downright twitchy, especially when the new chapter switched point of view characters and repeated information I'd just read one or two pages ago. It would not surprise me if somewhere in the book world, someone is telling authors that readers love short chapters because our attention spans are shrinking thanks to teh interwebz. That someone should have all of his cookies taken away. All of them. Every last crumb. (I like long chapters, okay?) @_@