The Phoenix Conspiracy

Rated 4.63/5 based on 16 reviews
Calvin, an intelligence operative, is sent to eliminate a dangerous traitor. But as he chases his prey across the stars, he realizes they are both pawns in a shadowy chess game that threatens humankind everywhere.

If he is to uncover the conspiracy he must confront, and embrace, the darkest elements of the galaxy. And throw himself, his career, and everyone he loves into the line of fire. More
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About Richard L. Sanders

Richard is 35 years old (and holding) and is a Salt Lake City native where he currently lives. To his friends, he's an annoyingly persistent optimist and a romantic at heart (despite his first marriage ending in divorce and his more recent engagement also ending in 2021). Richard is an attorney admitted to all Utah state and federal courts, but he primarily works as an investigator for the Utah government. He began publishing in 2011 while a first-year law student and was very prolific with nine publications including eight novels within five years. In 2016 he took a hiatus from writing, in response to emergent and challenging life circumstances that lasted until 2019. Richard spent these years focused on family, personal growth, and pro bono legal causes, and battling his own personal demons. He is excited by his return to the publishing world with several titles planned for release in 2022. In his spare time, he's an avid motorcyclist, competition swimmer, amateur skier, and category A chess player. (Up for a game? 1. e4 ...)

His official website is

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About the Series: The Phoenix Conspiracy
A complex space opera of betrayal, conspiracy, political gamesmanship, war, dangers that threaten billions, poisonous ambition, thick clouds of grey uncertainty, and a charismatic and intrepid crew of young, expertly trained spies to do the impossible and make sense of it all--and save humanity--or die in the effort. Meanwhile the cunning chess-players and their gambits leave you guessing whom to trust and who is manipulating who, all while betrayal and blood mar the stars themselves.

Also in Series: The Phoenix Conspiracy

Also by This Author

Reviews of The Phoenix Conspiracy by Richard L. Sanders

Lee Willard reviewed on April 4, 2021

This is a grand space opera in the days of the Empire sometime between 'Star Wars' and 'Dune'. It is a tale of intrigue, plots within plots and shifting alliances with tense and relatively realistic space battles, everything one could want in a space opera. But there's more, contagious werewolves and vampires, a secret meeting with a princess, collapsing stars and a resurgent terrorist organization that seems to know everyone's secrets. This is a mystery as much as a military adventure and one must pay attention to small clues as they come by. Some are meaningful in this volume, but some don't come to fruition until later volumes of the series.

The plot begins with a young captain of an Intelligence (not 'intelligent' but 'intelligence', as in spycraft) starship is tasked with finding and capturing the Empire's most powerful warship which has been commandeered by a rogue captain who has destroyed three freighters from a neighboring, non-human civilization. The main character is a rather rowdy, undisciplined guy who runs a loose but effective ship. He is given a straight-laced but beautiful woman from a different branch of the service as his second in command, one who just happens to a be a former lover of the rogue captain.

As they begin to track the rogue ship down, the captain comes to believe there is more to this than simply a rogue captain. Meetings with a crime boss, a werewolf and a band of terrorists convince him that there is more to it than that and he begins to try to get at the truth rather than single-mindedly pursue the missing ship. This puts him at odds with his straight-laced XO and in the conflict, she seduces him, leading to the only sexual episode in the story. From then on there is a struggle for control of the ship, as well as the struggle against the conspiracy which imperils the Empire.

The story seems to be all pure entertainment except for one small part where the XO ponders the idea that all the charming, good looking men are jerks and she wonders why. The answer is trivial, because they can be. Plain-looking men can't get away with it.

The proofreading is professional grade, as is the prose. The only down side, the story is not at all complete in this volume and the remaining books in the series are unreasonably priced at $8.99. That is a print-on-demand paperback price.
(review of free book)
Nacer Chraibi reviewed on Feb. 28, 2021
(no rating)
The phoenix serie is about a conspiracy involving earth and aliens; the story is complex and folds with engaging characters, many surprises and description of space battles. I have read the first book and look forward for the following books in the serie. A great sci-fi book
(review of free book)
David Donaghe reviewed on July 28, 2020

An excellent read. I was hooked from page one.
(review of free book)
P DD reviewed on Nov. 21, 2018

A great read for classic science fiction readers. Sanders falls into a small class of writers who can straddle the divide between adventure and science fiction without devolving to fantasy. It’s not hard science, but it’s not hard to suspend disbelief as Calvin gets deeper into a conspiracy that threatens the universe.

His characters are well-developed and the mysteries are engrossing. I found myself at the end far before I wanted to leave. I’m glad I found this after more books are already waiting.

You can’t go wrong spending time aboard the Nighthawk with Calvin and his crew. A fast-paced space opera that delivers adventure and intrigue without compromise.
(review of free book)
Michael Malyon reviewed on March 14, 2018

Very interesting plot. You had me hanging on by my teeth for quite a while
(review of free book)
Krans reviewed on Sep. 26, 2014

The poor grammar made it difficult to get beyond the first few pages.
(review of free book)
stephen j gallagher reviewed on July 28, 2014

agree with all the other reviewers`s an epic tale with elements of all your favourite sci fi shows...great plot...even better characters....calvin will put you in mind of a young cap`n james t kirk....he did me...reckless yes...but very loyal to his crew and determined to find the truth no matter what
all in all a cracker...and its free! download it now or i`ll send a few remorii after you......
(review of free book)
Alex James reviewed on July 1, 2013

The Phoenix Conspiracy by Richard L Sanders - 5/5 stars

I’ll get straight to the point here: fantastic, epic, galactic space-opera!

The first chapters pulled me in immediately. The story had an interesting premise. Intel Wing, the Empire’s investigation division, is assigned to look into a very unusual case. A decorated imperial military captain, Asari Raidan, has uncharacteristically destroyed several Rotham ships. Why would Raidan risk his position and his impeccable record just to destroy what appears to be several innocent Rotham Ships? Calvin Cross of Intel Wing is tasked to discover why.

The conspiracy angle was very unique. The reader sees the conspiracy (this shouldn’t be a spoiler since it is in the title!) through the perspective of Calvin Cross and his laid-back crew. This enabled us to learn a lot about Calvin and his crewmates. When Summers Presley, a beautiful by-the-book commander, formerly under Asari Raidan’s command, is sent to help Calvin Cross, on-ship tensions threaten to breaking point. Calvin Cross and his loyal investigative crew’s ideals clash with those of Summers Presley because she is a fleet officer of the empire and she is used to doing what she is told.

About a third of the way through the book the story became even more interesting. Characters are introduced, and more information is given to the reader to digest regarding strange galactic events. The book never ceased to amaze me. My eyes were glued to it from page 1 to the end. I don’t think there was one single moment where I drifted. The characters were believable and the plot was riveting and moved forward at a fast-pace.

I have seen a few reviews citing this book as being similar to Star Trek, but I failed to see much similarity. Yes the main characters are on a ship and there is a commander trying to solve problems … hmm. The Mass Effect video-game series was where I thought similarity existed: events of galactic importance hitting the main characters again and again, and added with a sweet mixture of unusual and very interesting characters.

I am very tempted to buy his next book and read it. It was one of the best sci-fi books I have read. If you like sci-fi/military/space-opera/thriller books that are un-put-down-able then read this book!
(review of free book)
Nayriel Lynette reviewed on May 24, 2013

this was a very interesting book with an unusual main character.
(review of free book)
Steve Snider reviewed on Aug. 15, 2012

Bravo, The pages of this book seem to melt off at a staggering rate and if not for the scientific background, you could think it was an old style western. I must admit I am a page watcher, I need to know what page I am on at any given time. However this book kept me entertained and my eye off the page number. I could not go to bed at night, I did not watch the Olympics on tv or any baseball just because I had to find out how the hero Calvin Cross, his crew and his ultra sleek powerful space craft The Nighthawk got out of their latest scrap. So let’s talk about Lieutenant Commander Calvin Cross, I picture a strong handsome man who takes no bs from anyone and if the law gets in his way of the truth, he does what he needs to do and the hell with the rules. So with that being said, he is a deep flawed and haunted character, he is dealing with an addiction to drugs and he pains for a lost love he saw killed. Richard L. Sanders sets a pace and delivers at a staggering pace, that is simply one of the best works scientific fiction I have read in decades. Every scientific fiction fan in the universe needs to go to and get you a copy of this book, you will not regret it. Outstanding!!
(review of free book)
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