Books by Jeff Stone

PHOENIX by Jeff Stone
Released: Sept. 25, 2012

"A thrill ride from start to finish for fans of high-speed plank hurdles and scorpion kicks alike. (Fantasy. 11-13)"
Kung fu, bicycle racing and an ancient Chinese supersteroid provide the central elements for a spinoff series opener set in the modern era from the creator of the Five Ancestors heptalogy. Read full book review >
Released: March 14, 2006

The third volume of a projected seven in Stone's 17th-century kung-fu epic adds even more characters to an already-unwieldy cast but does move the plot forward an inch or so amid much journeying back and forth, continuing revelations about the parentage of the five young monks, violent encounters and astounding feats of martial arts. The focus here is on Seh, whose Snake style manifests itself in a secretive nature and great sensitivity to the "chi" of others. With fellow monks Fu and Malao, Seh witnesses the widespread destruction and other injustices sanctioned by the new Emperor, then travels to the city of Kaifeng where rebellion is brewing. Shot through with developing intrigues, sudden reversals and amusing, sometimes modern-sounding banter ("You think?"), this will go down as easily as a B-grade martial-arts flick—but despite frequent references to past events, it will be more comprehensible to readers of the preceding episodes. (Fantasy. 10-12)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 27, 2005

The second in a projected set of interwoven kung-fu adventures revisits incidents from the previous episode, Tiger (p. 236), through the eyes of Malao ("Monkey" in Cantonese)—named after both the fighting style in which he's been trained, and his noisy, restless disposition. Here, he and fellow child monks in various combinations battle their renegade former leader Ying for possession of four scrolls containing mighty kung-fu secrets. Amid much treetop back and forth with a mysterious old macaque, Malao torments his companions with continual chaffing, while participating in hyper-complicated pranks and well-described battles marked by stunning physical feats; though the plot sometimes moves forward in fits and starts, action scenes are fast, furious and often comic. Stone tosses in hints of deeper intrigues, and closes with an inconclusive encounter with a powerful, super-fast new adversary. Stay tuned. Fine fare for fans of lower-budget martial arts films and graphic novels. (Fantasy. 10-12)Read full book review >
Released: March 22, 2005

Five young brothers, each master of a different kung fu style, flee the destruction of their hidden monastery in this unpolished but energetic martial-arts series opener. Here, Fu (Cantonese for "Tiger," as the author repeatedly explains), the largest and most hot-headed of the quintet, struggles to master both his temper and a host of soldiers led by older-brother-gone-to-the-bad Ying, while several times saving and losing a precious set of scrolls that lay out the deepest secrets of kung fu. Stone is better at describing gruesomely effective fighting techniques than at dialogue—"He let me loose, and now we're even. If he ever stands between me and the scrolls, he'll taste my fist!"—but fans of lower-budget martial-arts films, or for that matter the character interplay that animates Lensey Namioka's samurai adventures (which are set at roughly the same time), will find themselves on familiar ground. Readers hoping for the wild twists and epic sweep of L.G. Bass's Sign of the Qin (2004) may be disappointed, though, and several plot threads are left a-dangling. (Fiction. 11-13)Read full book review >