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In their battle to save Earth from becoming another conquest of the alien Kasari Collective, Mark and Heather Smythe have struck crucial blows against the enemy. But their best efforts have still failed to derail the completion of the wormhole gateway that would give the insidious extraterrestrial invaders access to the planet—and doom humankind as helpless slaves of the K In their battle to save Earth from becoming another conquest of the alien Kasari Collective, Mark and Heather Smythe have struck crucial blows against the enemy. But their best efforts have still failed to derail the completion of the wormhole gateway that would give the insidious extraterrestrial invaders access to the planet—and doom humankind as helpless slaves of the Kasari hive mind. The Smythes and their intrepid allies—including the mentally altered humans, The Enhanced—stand ready to beat back the Kasari onslaught once and for all. Not by mortal combat, but with scientific cunning. Still, the success of their plan depends on a daring stealth mission into the heart of the aliens’ nerve center on Earth. And multiple threats lie in wait—including the ruthless Kasari commander, a brutal double agent with a deadly vendetta to settle, and the alien entity Khal Teth, who wears a human face but is ready to strike with monstrous force. In this stunning conclusion to the Rho Agenda Assimilation by the bestselling author of The Second Ship, the small but fierce band of altered humans and Earth’s resistance fighters face their greatest opportunity to stop the Kasari. But with the remnants of humanity and a battered Earth caught in the cross fire, can they secure a victory without sacrificing everything they’re trying to protect?


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In their battle to save Earth from becoming another conquest of the alien Kasari Collective, Mark and Heather Smythe have struck crucial blows against the enemy. But their best efforts have still failed to derail the completion of the wormhole gateway that would give the insidious extraterrestrial invaders access to the planet—and doom humankind as helpless slaves of the K In their battle to save Earth from becoming another conquest of the alien Kasari Collective, Mark and Heather Smythe have struck crucial blows against the enemy. But their best efforts have still failed to derail the completion of the wormhole gateway that would give the insidious extraterrestrial invaders access to the planet—and doom humankind as helpless slaves of the Kasari hive mind. The Smythes and their intrepid allies—including the mentally altered humans, The Enhanced—stand ready to beat back the Kasari onslaught once and for all. Not by mortal combat, but with scientific cunning. Still, the success of their plan depends on a daring stealth mission into the heart of the aliens’ nerve center on Earth. And multiple threats lie in wait—including the ruthless Kasari commander, a brutal double agent with a deadly vendetta to settle, and the alien entity Khal Teth, who wears a human face but is ready to strike with monstrous force. In this stunning conclusion to the Rho Agenda Assimilation by the bestselling author of The Second Ship, the small but fierce band of altered humans and Earth’s resistance fighters face their greatest opportunity to stop the Kasari. But with the remnants of humanity and a battered Earth caught in the cross fire, can they secure a victory without sacrificing everything they’re trying to protect?

30 review for The Meridian Ascent

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darin Brown

    I love Richard Phillips! The Meridian Ascent is the culmination of three trilogies, and it is imperative that you read the prior eight books before this one. The first series, the Rho Agenda Inception, consists of Once Dead, Dead Wrong, and Dead Shift. Philips uses these books to develop the character of Jack Gregory, including documenting his relationship to Anchanchu, and his initial exploits with later partner Janet Price. Some foreshadowing with regards to Anchanchu's nature appears during th I love Richard Phillips! The Meridian Ascent is the culmination of three trilogies, and it is imperative that you read the prior eight books before this one. The first series, the Rho Agenda Inception, consists of Once Dead, Dead Wrong, and Dead Shift. Philips uses these books to develop the character of Jack Gregory, including documenting his relationship to Anchanchu, and his initial exploits with later partner Janet Price. Some foreshadowing with regards to Anchanchu's nature appears during the second book, where the true use of the Incan Sun Staff could be deduced. The introduction of an artificial superintelligence and the expectation for more human-AI characters begins during Dead Shift. This technology appears throughout the later books. Each of these novels has their own excellent adventure rides within which the development takes place. The second series, the Rho Agenda (The Second Ship, Immune, and Wormhole), chronicles the stories of high schoolers Heather, Mark, and Jennifer, as they are the first to discover a second alien vessel. The results of their curiosity set them on a course of becoming heroes of the human race. More incredible science, such as two completely different physics models for the universe, nanoparticle healing technology, and interplanetary travel make this series extremely interesting. The third group (The Kasari Nexus, The Altreian Enigma, and the Meridian Ascent) takes place in multiple locations simultaneously. Jennifer battles two separate alien races, while back on earth, Mark and Heather try to keep humans in control of their own planet. As we are further exposed to the true nature of the both competing alien races, readers find that it isn't as easy to pick sides in the battle for supremacy. The combined technologies of both alien races are superior to either one alone, but when another superintelligence enters the fray, it adds to the already extremely detailed plot. At the conclusion of the series, every single factor from all of the prior novels comes into play, creating a wondrous climax. Since I love complex plots, I found the entire experience highly rewarding. I bought the entire series as audiobooks, so I must make an additional comment. The narrator, MacLeod Andrews, brings EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER to life. He is phenomenal and his reading makes an excellent story even better. Overall, I have to say this is one of the best series I have ever read and I highly recommend it!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. This is a good ending to a series. The ending is a bit weak due to leaving it open for another series. A good space opera.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ronny

    As before, it's gripping and entertaining (so easy to read through fast), but it's taking the whole "human ingenuity" a bit far, even with 3 traditions to build from (when the enemy is supposed to have assimilated thousands). Oh well, not a great book, but a nice read all the same.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary Valerie Stroh

    SPECTACULAR I am a huge fan of Isaac Asimov, Foundation series. I have now found an author to rival Isaac. This 9 book Rho Agenda series is well written, thought out and, in my opinion, well researched. In the beginning there were 2 main characters; throughout the series, a few additional were added throughout the series and never once did the story get convoluted. I will not reiterate the story here as others have done but I will tell you to read just the first book, I guarantee you will not sto SPECTACULAR I am a huge fan of Isaac Asimov, Foundation series. I have now found an author to rival Isaac. This 9 book Rho Agenda series is well written, thought out and, in my opinion, well researched. In the beginning there were 2 main characters; throughout the series, a few additional were added throughout the series and never once did the story get convoluted. I will not reiterate the story here as others have done but I will tell you to read just the first book, I guarantee you will not stop at just one (kinda like potato chips:-)). NOTE TO MR. PHILLIPS - you have left 3 storylines that will make fantastic additions to the previous books, PLEASE keep the great stories coming.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike Nemeth

    It doesn't look good. Earth's leaders have unwittingly opened a wormhole that will allow an alien race to assimilate mankind. All the efforts of Heather and Mark and their team of uberhackers and robots couldn't prevent disaster. And the rest of the world's governments have no idea they're headed to apocalypse despite their best intentions. Meanwhile, Khal Teth has gained the upper hand on Jack "The Ripper" Gregory on his home planet and appears intent on retooling his home planet to meet his al It doesn't look good. Earth's leaders have unwittingly opened a wormhole that will allow an alien race to assimilate mankind. All the efforts of Heather and Mark and their team of uberhackers and robots couldn't prevent disaster. And the rest of the world's governments have no idea they're headed to apocalypse despite their best intentions. Meanwhile, Khal Teth has gained the upper hand on Jack "The Ripper" Gregory on his home planet and appears intent on retooling his home planet to meet his all his diabolical ends he dreamed up while trapped in mental limbo for thousands of years. Jennifer Smythe extricated herself from Kasari mind control yet still barely escaped with her life and the life of her crew aboard their pilfered spaceship. VJ, the cloned copy, becomes the darling of the series but has trouble coming to terms with all that humanity requires. I freaked out a little bit on this book. I did space on reading the first of this final trilogy and will have to get back to it. But the conclusion is intense. And while it's a little out there, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I mean, how do all these story lines fit back together? They just do. And the series and characters grew on me. I traveled along on their journey. And yes, Jack is by far my favorite. But I find now that I'm drifting through the elements of the novels, I'd like to know about each thread. Phillips is that kind of writer. He invites you in, and like a bad guest, you don't want to leave.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    A Solid Ending to the Trilogy A very solid ending to a great trilogy! I couldn't stop reading this one, just like every other of the 9 total books! Only complaint is that I think it definitely could have been a solid 20% longer. It didn't feel too short or anything, just think more could have been added to the story. I feel like this applies to all three in the final trilogy compared to the original Second Ship trilogy. I liked how it wrapped up overall for all the character (except as usually Ra A Solid Ending to the Trilogy A very solid ending to a great trilogy! I couldn't stop reading this one, just like every other of the 9 total books! Only complaint is that I think it definitely could have been a solid 20% longer. It didn't feel too short or anything, just think more could have been added to the story. I feel like this applies to all three in the final trilogy compared to the original Second Ship trilogy. I liked how it wrapped up overall for all the character (except as usually Raul got the shaft) but I hope the universe continues, so many more opportunities to follow at the end of the book! Overall the 9 books are easily one of my favorite sets!

  7. 5 out of 5

    John

    What a great series of books. I think my favorite is still "Second Ship", however, they are all good and I dig the characters ... and their evolution. Important. I think this series is best read front to back. If you don't know or haven't followed the changes to the characters throughout multiple series of books, you probably will not enjoy the books as much. There is a lot of backstory by the time you get to Meridian Ascent ... and the main characters have changed a lot. Not saying you won't enj What a great series of books. I think my favorite is still "Second Ship", however, they are all good and I dig the characters ... and their evolution. Important. I think this series is best read front to back. If you don't know or haven't followed the changes to the characters throughout multiple series of books, you probably will not enjoy the books as much. There is a lot of backstory by the time you get to Meridian Ascent ... and the main characters have changed a lot. Not saying you won't enjoy this as a stand along book ... but it will be better if you read previous series books. AT LEAST start with Second Ship, it's fantastic. I think I've read it 2 or three times now, and listened to the audio book a couple times. ;-)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brad Kohn

    After reading the previous 8 books, I must admit I was a little disappointed in the ending. It seemed a little more like a socio-political statement than a story we'd been loving these past 8 books. Without spoiling, I also felt the sacrifice somewhat predictable and unfortunate...I thought that particular story arc was more interesting and deserved more time to mature. I also would have rather the Ripper sub-arc not have ended so early in the book since (to me) that was the most interesting). Al After reading the previous 8 books, I must admit I was a little disappointed in the ending. It seemed a little more like a socio-political statement than a story we'd been loving these past 8 books. Without spoiling, I also felt the sacrifice somewhat predictable and unfortunate...I thought that particular story arc was more interesting and deserved more time to mature. I also would have rather the Ripper sub-arc not have ended so early in the book since (to me) that was the most interesting). All in all, though, a relatively satisfying end to the series...though I wish the author had organized their storytelling differently in the end.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway and this is the first book I've read in this series and the first book I've read by this author. I don't like to jump in to a series in the middle but I wasn't lost or confused by the characters in any way. There is enough explanation that this can be read as a stand alone book. having said that I will go back and read the other books in this series when I get the chance. There is a nice mix of spectacular sci-fi devices, alien races, and relatable material here I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway and this is the first book I've read in this series and the first book I've read by this author. I don't like to jump in to a series in the middle but I wasn't lost or confused by the characters in any way. There is enough explanation that this can be read as a stand alone book. having said that I will go back and read the other books in this series when I get the chance. There is a nice mix of spectacular sci-fi devices, alien races, and relatable material here to make any genre fan happy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shervin Asgari

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I normally like fast pace books but this was takes it to a new level. Before you get a chance to dwell or think about something the focus and changed to someone else. I think having so many characters in the book and then giving so little attention to each makes the reader not connect properly. Story wise it was OK. I think humans are a bit overpowered compared to the other races which was a bit strange. I liked the twist of the ending though

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melinda M

    The Meridian Ascent by Richard Phillips is book 2 in the Rho Agenda Assimilation. The Rho Agenda Assimilation is a trilogy. It does fine as stand alone but it is better if you read the previous two books. It is entertaining and has enough plots and subplots to keep you on you r toes. It is well written. It is a great addition to the science fiction -if and military thrillers genres. AA new author for me to keep a look out for. I received a copy thru a GoodReads Giveaway.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A great wrap of a terrific set of three trilogies. Richard’s books are not overly challenging. They are quickly and easily read. They flow nicely. And, mostly, having read them (and reread the first trilogy once) I'm left with an inheritance of a truly unique and enjoyable science fiction imagination. I'll never forget these vividly painted characters, nor their many adventures.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I enjoyed the whole series, and its a good cap to the three trilogies. I think the end was a bit rushed but did tie up things pretty well. Is there a potential spin off series... definitely! I would say 3 distinct series. I t was good I read it fast and it had the same consistency as the other 8 books. the big battle scene, in the end, was big and kinda fast and satisfied the destructive wants

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pete Moyes

    Good conclusion to a wonderful series I’ve been following this series since first published. It’s expansion into a 9 volume series was good to see and to read. It was fun to see “the kids” grow up and good to know the history of Jack and Janet. Too bad about Earth’s civilization being controlled by an AI; that’s not going to go well! ( I suspect we will be able to read about it!) Thank you Richard Phillips!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt Sherwood

    Exciting to the very end. Phillips weaves together so many intriguing plots and subplots that I can't put his books down. I've truly enjoyed the whole series as it evolved and changed....but always provided a great read. If you love sci-if and military thrillers...then you'll love this series. Hope there's more to come.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Walt Mccluskey

    The Meridian Ascent The closure to the adventures begun in the earlier stories was every bit as entertaining as one might hope. The author does an exceptional job of keeping the various plot lines running in the background yet so obviously tied to the part you're immersed in at the moment. Excellent work!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robert L Allen

    Amazing book Richard Phillips is an incredible writer. I didn't think it was possible to wrap up this series in one book but he did it with ease and no loose ends. Richard now has a place alongside the greatest science fiction writers of all time. My praise can't be effusive enough.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trae

    Pretty good. Interesting romp though this world that went from super scientific-y to mythical science fiction. If you've read all the others you'd be happy with this one too, but it takes a love of the series from the beginning, there's not much meat here but for fans alone. But it doesn't act like it's not for them either.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    The decisions of all factions got to be a problem in this, the last of the series. So many people dead. The power-hungry have much to answer for on all fronts. I found the ending particularly unsatisfactory and very sad, but it should be a warning to all of us not to get too complacent and accept whatever the government is telling us without questioning it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hinckson

    Mmm In parts this was really exciting but some characters were boring. Jack will wear you out with his hardman routine.On his own he destroys one empire when all the other team members together fail. Dgarra is interesting but reduced to a henchman. The evolving character of VJ is killed off. Ultimately the ending is a deeply disappointing finale to the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim Kratzok

    Wow! What a story! I can honestly say I didn't see that coming. At times the power struggles between key players made reading this book like watching a high speed ping pong game. Beck and forth and then one player is gone. On to the next one. It was very hard to put this book down...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Haden Pike

    This was a great conclusion to an absolutely fantastic series. My only real complaint is that certain parts seem to rushed. On Earth, it's interesting to see how the different pieces introduced throughout the previous eight novels all come together.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dave T

    A satisfying conclusion to a nine book series. To begin with this has been a really engaging series. Although it may have been slightly misrepresented as three trilogies, all are interconnected. These will definitely be on my re-read list.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Loved this whole series! Our whole family has enjoyed this series, with it's twisty plot and awesome characters. I'm sorry to see it end - just means it's time to begin at the beginning - again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Der Steppenwulf

    A bit forced I found the conclusion to this saga a bit forced . I understand that writers work on a timeline, and although the conclusion was more than satisfactory, as a reader I could feel the pressure the writer was enduring trying to bring us a great product. Kudos

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anthonia

    A very good well written story that i enjoyed reading. This book had a lot of twist and turns and overall some impressive ideas. All in all a masterfully written book that was detailed and had a clear focused plot. A must read for any and all book lovers everywhere.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kulpa

    Excellent read It's nice to read a book that is not only interedting but has good grammer. Every one of these is interesting snd goes where you fo not expect. Innovstive, interesting and well written!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Reynolds

    Typical! As usual, Richard keeps the action going. Rarely a dull moment. His technical knowledge is "out of this world." Most of the "good" characters are showing their dark side. "We're only human..."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe Gulash

    I have enjoyed all of the books in these related series! Well written and very creative story that started off strong, and built in a complicated backstory that grew into an immensely satisfying read. Highly recommend you start at the beginning and read both series in order.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Denzil Ernstzen

    Great finish Definitely not what I expected for an ending. It’s is big step away from what many would believe should have happened, but I rather like it. For things to change we have to change and this is a great way to get the conversation going. Thank you for a beautiful series.

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