Richard Phillips was delightfully technically correct. There are many networking, cryptography, security, and mathematical nuances in the plots. He got most of them right. It is still a SciFi, of course there are creative licenses — for example the inner working of stasis field and cold-fusion technologies.
I whipped through Rho Agenda book 1 & 2 (Second Ship and Immune) only for the agony of not knowing when the final one will come. Wormhole finally came out last November. You should read all three in one sitting.
Earth was the flag and the next conquest for the battling inter-galactic civilizations. The scheme was devious: find planets with reasonable advanced species capable of managing nuclear technologies; trick them into building a wormhole connecting to the home planet; use the wormhole to send in the army to assimilate, or annihilate, the target. Yes, good old Trojan horse trick, at planet level.
Our protagonists were three teenagers who were neurologically enhanced by one of the alien civilization (the Second Ship). The antagonist was a genius physicist equally enhanced by the other side. They battled once and the good guys won. This is the “Empire Strike Back” scenario. The antagonist managed to persuade the entire G7 nations to back him. The young heroes had been trained by a master (remember Luke and Yoda?). The plot now became epic: three kids against the entire world, puppetized by the evil genius mastermind.
I imagined the final climax as a movie scene and found it way too complex visually. Too many threads were going at the same time. This is where words on pages work much better than light dots on the screen. Minds can assemble scenes with complex details at reading pace, but, if on screen, the processing of information will exceed my processing capacity. The ending was deliciously satisfying. Richard Phillips left several loose ends untied, I believe intentional. He is clearly working on a “Jack the Ripper Prequel” and a “Robby, 20 years later” sequel. I won’t be waiting for them, but will definitely check out whatever he comes up with in the future.