Google+ If You Like Books: Wormhole by Richard Phillips

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wormhole by Richard Phillips

If you like: aliens * action movies * moral conflict 

This review contains mild spoilers. 

Wormhole is the third book of the Rho Agenda series. (See my other reviews here and here.) After meeting up with Jack and Janet at the end of book two, Heather, Jennifer, and Mark enter into an elaborate training program. It provides them with the tactical, technological, and covert expertise they will need in order to stop the opening of the wormhole created by Dr. Stephenson. As they are still teens, they eventually succumb to the desire to speak with their parents and reassure them they are okay, which puts their secret location in jeopardy. They must use their new skills to escape detention, infiltrate the group at CERN, and stop the final escalation of the alien technology. 

Wormhole further develops the familial relationship between Jack, Janet, and the teens that was hinted at in the previous books. Not only do Jack and Janet act as trainers, but they also become surrogate parents. The strong feelings go both ways, and they feel intense pride and concern for their new students. Though they previously worked together, the lack of secrets in their new relationship pushes all of their development further. The training that Jack puts Heather, Jennifer, and Mark through answers many questions that were raised in book two: both about the intentions of the ships’ creators and the extent of the abilities. This effort to expand the abilities provided by the ship turns all three teens into full fledged action heroes. The painstaking work that goes into this skill development prevents that dramatic enhancements from seeming implausible (at least in the context of the story.) 

Wormhole continues to question what the best outcome is for the people of Earth. Those influenced by each ship have opposing views about which alien race has the best intentions. Though Heather, Jennifer, and Mark learn that those behind their ship consider one planet or race inconsequential to the greater good, they also believe they are on the right side. Raul’s storyline also raises interesting questions about faith, ego, and desire. Though at times it seems to distract from the overall plot, his unyielding selfish desires illustrate just how much infinite power can corrupt a person’s judgement. The actions of the US government also raise many questions. It is without a doubt that their intentions are to save the world, but the continued insistence on ignoring the advice of more knowledgeable scientists and the lack of accurate information lead them to the wrong conclusion more often than not. It is easy to see why the succession of decisions is made, but it is still inexcusable. With the truth hidden, the errors that lead to the near extinction of life on Earth will no doubt be compounded in the future. It seems that that world would be better served if the truth came out, but the very nature of the gifts bestowed by the Rho Ship will always undermine any conversation about its dangerous agenda.

If you would go to any length to save the world, read Wormhole.

Phillips, Richard. Wormhole. 47 North, 2012. Kindle edition.

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