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Stan Jones Books In Order

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Publication Order of Nathan Active Mystery Books

White Sky, Black Ice (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shaman Pass (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Frozen Sun (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Village of the Ghost Bears (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tundra Kill (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Empty (With: Patricia Watts) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghost Light (With: Patricia Watts) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Stan Jones is an American author born in 1947 and who writes science fiction and mystery.


Stan Jones was born in Anchorage in Alaska, though his parents chose to move back to Tennessee, eventually settling somewhere between Tennessee and Mississippi. The author was living on a farm by this time, spending his days shooting squirrels, riding Bob the plowhorse and taking cows to the county fair.

Jones’ home was an interesting enough place, partially because of all the moonshiners in the area and the sheriff who kept fighting to put them out of business. At 12 years, Jones was dragged back to Alaska by his parents. There he has lived since.

Stan Jones will tell you that his young adult life was very aimless. He did very little that was of significance during those earlier years, finally deciding to migrate to Kotzebue in his late 20s.

Kotzebue is an Inupiat Eskimo village. Jones couldn’t believe just how beautiful the barren Arctic landscape was. For Jones, the climate was nothing short of joyous. He took to the culture with some fervor and found ways to busy himself.

This included driving snow machines, landing bush planes on ice and hunting moose. Despite the mesmerizing landscape, though, Jones didn’t stay in Kotzebue, eventually heading to Anchorage. Jones sometimes speaks of his work as a newspaper journalist.

His fans will boast about all the awards he won over the years for the investigative stories he produced. Jones is especially proud of the role he played in the impeachment proceedings of an Alaskan governor.

He was also on the front lines of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Probably because of all the time he spent isolated in Kotzebue, Jones found that he now enjoyed life in Anchorage and even Fairbanks. The differences in weather, culture and even the people were so drastic that Jones began to perceive Northern Alaska as a far more interesting place than he remembered.

With all these experiences in his pocket, Jones began to craft the Nathan Active series of books, using his time in Kotzebue and the people he met there to create Chukchi and the various characters that populate it.

Stan Jones still lives in Anchorage with his wife Susan Jones; the couple has two adult children. When Jones isn’t writing or promoting his books, he is focusing on his work with the Prince William Sound Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council. The organization works to protect the environment by preventing oil spills like the one involving Exxon Valdez.

Outside of his work with the council, you will find Jones pursuing his passion of photography. Jones also loves to read.

+White Sky, Black Ice

Nathan Active is the son of a poor Inupiat Girl in Chukchi. Born north of the Arctic, the State Trooper was raised by a white family in Anchorage. Nathan isn’t looking forward to the prospect of returning to Chukchi.

However, there is little choice in the matter. Two suicides within the space of a week have raised suspicions and rumors have begun to swirl about a killer that might be at large in the poverty-stricken village. Nathan has a duty to find the killer before he takes another life.

This Stan Jones novel has a great sense of place. The author immerses readers in this unique Alaskan location, bringing to life all the interesting politics that might be in play. Readers are transported to the rich landscape of Chukchi in the Alaskan Winter.

Focus is placed both on Nathan as he explores the Inupiat community and the issues surrounding their culture and politics. Even though his mother came from Chukchi, Nathan doesn’t have any fond memories of the place.

In fact, the very nature of Chukchi alienates him. The village is small enough that everyone knows everyone. Everyone has a history with everyone else. As such, Nathan feels like an outsider. The fact that people consider him to be half white doesn’t help his sense of isolation.

While watching Nathan work through the mystery is interesting enough, even those individuals who find this aspect of the book boring will appreciate the effort Stan Jones injects into representing Eskimo life and the environment within which his characters live.

Without Jones’ unique rendering of the stark Alaskan landscape, this book wouldn’t be distinguishable from any other generic mystery novel.

+Shaman Pass

Nathan Active’s roots lie in Chukchi. However, the Inupiat Village has never had a place in Nathan’s life. The state trooper was adopted by a white family that raised him in Anchorage.

Previous events drove Nathan back to Chukchi, despite his reservations. And it looks like there is still more work for him to do in the village. The death of a tribal leader is drawing attention. The murder was carried out by an antique harpoon that was recently returned to the community. Nathan puts his mind to the task of finding the killer.

You cannot help but appreciate the knowledge that Stan Jones manifests in this book. The man clearly knows more about Inupiat culture than most people, and he makes good use of that knowledge in this book.

Things kick off when the mummy of a Shaman who died centuries ago is stolen. And while that particular crime would probably elicit some interest, it is the death of an old Inupiat man that draws concern.

The fact that the old man was killed by a harpoon that belonged to the stolen Mummy only complicates matters. Readers who were not sold on the Nathan Active series after the first book won’t find this book any more appealing.

Stan Jones does more of the same thing here, though he builds upon the character of Nathan. The state trooper is still struggling to reconcile the white world he grew up in with his Inupiat heritage.

Jones’ descriptions of the landscape are as amazing as ever, Jones succeeding once again to paint a vivid image of some truly mesmerizing environments. The mystery is decent enough. There are a few notable twists and turns. Jones raises the stakes somewhat, putting Nathan in even more danger.

Jones is very careful with his dialogue, especially the way each character speaks and the words they use, not to mention the accents. Fans of the first Nathan Active Book will most likely appreciate this novel.

Stan Jones is an American man of letters. Jones, who is a septuagenarian, was born in 1947 in the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, in the United States. After constantly relocating from one place to another, he later on became a permanent resident of Alaska. In the run-up to his birth, Jones’ parents had originally relocated from Tennessee and returned to the said place when he was around two years old. And thus Stan Jones spent his formative years in Tennessee, at a farm bordering Mississippi, in the famed McNairy County. After living a typical farm life in Tennessee for about a decade, Stan Jones’ parents relocated yet again to Anchorage, his birth place.

Stan Jones’ niche is especially mysteries and thrillers. He has written scientific fiction, oral history, and non-fiction books. He doubles up as an editor and works for an advisory committee. Jones has co-authored a book on oil spill with Sharon Bushell. Stan Jones, who has been a newspaper reporter, particularly working in investigative journalism tasks, is married to a woman who is an epidemiologist; his hobbies includes photographing and reading voraciously. Some of the American authors who literary works influenced Jones include Charles Bower, Edgar Keithahn, Hudson Stuck,playwright Paul Green, Chester Asakak Seveck, and Canadian writer and ethnologist-cum-explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson.

He has also lived in Fairbanks, Alaska. However, Jones was influenced and inspired greatly by the years that he spent–during his twenties– living in Alaska, at a city called Kotzebue. This city is located to the northwest of Alaska and in the polar region–Arctic. In yonder place, Jones lived among the Alaskan Natives, most notably the Inupiaq. He found the unproductive Arctic geography appealing, the harsh Arctic climate enjoyable, and the Inupiaq traditions awesome. His literary works has been greatly inspired by these aspects, especially the renowned Nathaniel Active series.

Section on Books
In book publishing circles, author Stan Jones is most notably famed for penning the Nathan Active Mystery series. According to his personal website, the fictitious village called Chukchi in the series was inspired by the real-life Kotzebue, and quite a number of the characters contained therein are based on real-life people whom he was associated with.

The Nathan Active Mystery series authored by Stan Jones is a work in progress. Even then there are presently five published books. There are approximately nine editions of the first book in the aforementioned series. The first edition was initially published in 1999, titled White Sky, Black Ice; and this series is shelved under the mystery, fiction, crime, and thriller genres.

Another early book penned by Stan Jones is titled Shaman Pass. This is the second book in the Nathan Active series; there are about ten editions of this book and the first edition was originally published in July 2003. Nathan Active is the featured protagonist in the Nathan Active Mystery series.

Meet protagonist Nathan Active. There are glaring similarities between the protagonist’s life and some aspects author Stan Jone’s life, such as Jones’ birth place. All in all, Active is a state trooper, based in Alaska. Ethnically, Nathan Active is an Alaskan Native–an Inupiaq Eskimo. Active is mandated to patrol the coldest part of the American territory. Active’s dominion falls under the Chukchi, a small village located in the northern tip of the freezing cold Arctic Circle.

The main character created by Stan Jones, Nathan Active, has an identity crisis that renders him a local and a foreigner in equal measure in his birth place. For starters, Active was originally born in Chukchi village. His mother was an impoverished Inupiaq Eskimo girl. As such, her mother gave him up for adoption. Active’s adoptive parents are white and from Anchorage wherein they work as schoolteachers. Thereby, Active grew up in a white household and suchlike lifestyle. In fact, the locals call him “naluaqmiiyaaq” which is the Inupiat term for someone who is “half-white”.

Nathan Active not only loathes his biological mother for accepting the adoption process but also greatly dislikes his impoverished birth place, Chukchi. As such, he is utterly surprised when he is assigned the area in his birth place, hard on the heels of finish the training.

The first book in Stan Jones’ Nathan Active Mystery series, White Sky, Black Ice, predominantly revolves around a suspected murder case that tests Active’s mettle. Two people from Chukchi village, who are former workers in a copper mine, are killed in what appears as suicide at face value. Active starts sleuthing the incident; by and by, it pinpoints to environmental crimes reconciling with his identity crisis all the while.

The second book, Shaman Pass, revolves around a death hot on the heels of a very old mummy that has been returned to Chukchi village. In his sleuthing endeavors, Active ends up in the far-flung and windswept place wherein mummy was originally buried.

Stan Jones Awards
In 2000, the novel named White Sky, Black Ice, was nominated for the Barry Award in the Best First Novel category.

Best Stan Jones Books
White Sky, Black Ice, Shaman Pass, and Village of the Ghost Bears are the three best books authored by Stan Jones. The first two are discussed in a previous section. The third book was published in 2009 and is the fourth in the Nathan Active Mystery series. Hereby, a mysterious fire accident claims eight Chukchi villagers, among them a famed sportsman. Protagonist Nathan Active realizes that the incident encompasses an aircraft accident, wildlife poaching, prophesy, and the spirit of a deceased twin.

Other Book Series You May Like
Readers who liked the Nathan Active Mystery series also liked the following series. The first one is called Sergeants Sueno and Bascom series authored by American novelist and former military man Martin Limon. This features protagonists George Sueno and Ernie Bascom, who are Seoul-based military police officer, from 1960s to 1970s. The second one is called Cecil Younger series penned by American author-cum-poet John Straley. The featured protagonist is named Cecil Younger; Younger is a private eye, based in Sitka, Alaska, his battling alcoholism.

The third one is titled Inspector Challis series authored by Australian novelist Garry Disher. Hal Challis is the featured protagonist; Challis is an Australian detective inspector in the Mornington Peninsula Police.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stan Jones

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