Jackal (The Five Ancestors: Out of the Ashes #3)

Title: Jackal

Author: Jeff Stone

Jake was happy to win the road bike race in California, but the win has come with complications: an offer to race again in China. Jake would much prefer the rest of his summer vacation to actually be, well, a vacation. Relaxing. But complications within their team eventually lead him overseas, and soon more than the race is at stake . . .

For being the only one of the four without any kung-fu training, Jake is also ironically the one who ends up killing people. It’s an amusing turn of events. He’s also the only one of the four without a vested interest in actually training all day, and for that I found him a lot more relatable. It’s certainly admirable that Phoenix and Ryan want to practice all day, but Jake’s desire to veg out and play games is more in line with most of us, I think.

Once again, a new facet of biking takes center stage. Jake’s passion is BMX. The technical terms do show up, but the story doesn’t get overwhelmed in them. It’s far too busy pitting Jake against the accumulated rage and rivalry of some old enemies the previous books left alone, as well as tying up the loose ends about the Five Ancestors and Cangzhen Temple. Because of all the action, the story flies.

It’s a satisfying conclusion to a solid series. Although not in the same vein exactly as the original Five Ancestors series, I think that was a good thing. It allowed this series to become its own story, not just something that would rely on the original seven books. I rate this book Recommended.


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