Google+ If You Like Books: Immune by Richard Phillips

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Immune by Richard Phillips

If you like: conspiracies * the singularity * telepathy 

Immune is the second book in the Rho Agenda series. (See my review of The Second Ship here.) Heather, Mark, and Jennifer have embraced their new skills, and put them to the test in the defense of their planet. Though they initially attempt to maintain their lives, the depths of their abilities push them beyond their home and out into the world. Each struggles to find a balance between complete immersion in their alien talents and passing for normal among the rest of society.

The stakes are much higher in Immune. The widespread use of the technologies provided by the Rho Ship affords Dr. Stephenson unlimited resources and power. At the same time, he cleverly maintains secrecy of his true role. His ultimate goal is not yet revealed, but his motives are clearly far from benevolent. His relationship with the ship has made him omnipotent, and he never restricts the abuse of that power. On the other hand, Heather and Mark are reluctant to fully explore their new strengths. Jennifer is much less cautious, but her secrecy prevents her from seeing the true extent of the potential to work with her friends rather than behind their backs. As the trio comes together to evade capture and imminent death, their synergistic interactions reveal just how much stronger they are when they interact harmoniously. 

Immune continues to leave the intentions of both alien races ambiguous. Though it seems clear that those behind the Rho Ship do not have benevolent intentions, the data on board contradicts this idea. At the same time, the footage on the second ship indicates it was sent by protectors of the realm, but this could just as easily be propaganda of a race that seeks to be the first to dominate a new planet. How much does the technology reflect the good or bad intentions of its creator compared to that of its discoverer? Even the protagonists are not immune to the lure of unlimited power and skill, and at times succumb to manipulating events to their favor at the expense of others. This is by no means equal to that of Dr. Stephenson. The complete corruption of his mind by the power that consumes him prevents him from exercising any amount of empathy; he is in constant pursuit of the rational assertion of mastery over all others. Either set of technologies could be used for good or evil. It remains unclear whether the creators have imbued their ships with intention, or if the direction they are exercised in is left entirely up to the user.

If you would immerse yourself in a strange new technology, read Immune.

Phillips, Richard. Immune. AmazonEncore, 2010. Kindle Edition.

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