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Red Phoenix (Red Phoenix #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,371 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Violent riots formented by foreign agents are breaking out in South Korea. Seizing the opportunity, North Korea launches a lightning invasion, with heavy Soviet support, whose aim is to unite North and South under Communist rule. The second Korean War has begun and World War III may be imminent.
Paperback, 736 pages
Published May 1st 1990 by Grand Central Publishing (first published June 6th 1989)
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Red Storm Rising by Tom ClancyTeam Yankee by Harold CoyleRed Army by Ralph PetersThe Third World War, August 1985 by John W. HackettRed Phoenix by Larry Bond
Cold War turns hot
5th out of 18 books — 26 voters
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Best Technothrillers Ever
130th out of 517 books — 854 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 19, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A superior offering from the genre. Kim Jong Il invades South Korea in a surprise attack, and it's up to the brave plucky men (and one woman) of the US and South Korean military to fight them off. It all works out in the end, with the fighter pilot getting the girl (no Top Gun subtext here) and the rookie young officer becomes a Man. Still, a lot less jingoistic than most, and without the Mary Sues that pollute Clancy's offerings. And the author tricked me in the end just like he did the NKs, wh ...more
Sep 26, 2014 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: generic-fiction
Really enjoyed the tactical level of this book, with all the techno-babble and "boots on the ground" perspective. It was fun to read a book written at that level instead of at the higher up, more political tone most of these types of novels follow. The material is definitely a little dated (Soviets, etc.) but still reads as an interesting, plausible story.
Christian D.  Orr
Jun 05, 2013 Christian D. Orr rated it really liked it
I just finished reading this book for the second time. The first time was in the summer of 1999,ath the age of 24, shortly before I shipped off to Air Force boot camp. I decided to re-read it with the perspective of a military veteran and world traveler under my belt, especially with North Korea having been back in the news in such a big way.

I still found the book highly enjoyable, with harrowing action scenes, engrossing story lines, and interesting characters on both sides of the conflict.

Nov 26, 2014 Terric853 rated it liked it
If you are a Tom Clancy fan, you'll like this book (although I think Clancy is a better writer). The premise is that the US imposes sanctions against South Korea because of student rioting (it's a long story)and the economy begins to collapse. North Korea's Kim Jong Il decides that the time is ripe for North Korea to liberate South Korea from the imperialist US influences and begins a war. The books follows several of the US, South Korean, North Korean and Russian combatants as the war progresse ...more
Nov 04, 2010 Zare rated it really liked it
My first contact with Larry Bond was via Harpoon, great strategy focused on naval warfare. Then I read "Red Storm Rising" he wrote in cooperation with Tom Clancy. [return]Although I like techno-thrillers thing that annoys me the most is that political maneuvers are always very highly polarized - you have good guys and bad guys (no gray area) and soldiers fighting (but commendably soldiers are never declared as bad guys because they are always ordered to war by the bad guys) - it is just not the ...more
Daniel Bratell
Jun 27, 2015 Daniel Bratell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit it, I am fond of military "what if" novels, and even though some of them are terrible, this is one is fine. Larry Bond was the co-author of the classic Red Storm Rising book by Tom Clancy so he knows what to do.

The story here is, in short, it is around 1989 (publication day of the book) and North Korea invades South Korea, with enough pre-politics/actions to make it possible. As a reader you are left with the "can this actually happen" thoughts, and I think, hmm, probably not.

As usual th
Apr 13, 2014 Iain rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 17, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
I read a lot of "Techno-Thrillers" at one time and I really liked this one. This is another time when I'm not sure that using the word "enjoyed" would be appropriate as this book concerns a fictional war in Korea.....however it is a well done book. the technology and the story telling are both first rate and "if you like this type of book" this may be for you.

I recommend it.
Jul 03, 2010 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In Larry Bond's first departure from co-authoring with Tom Clancy (Bond co-wrote Red Storm Rising), this modern war tale, centered in Korea, is very much in the same style as Red Storm Rising and just as good. This is one of my favorite books ever and I wish there were more like it (but then the few that are around wouldn't be as special).
Corey Friedrich
Sep 05, 2012 Corey Friedrich rated it it was amazing
This book may seem like a typical technothriller, but THIS is the book that made me realize that one could actually read just for the pleasure of it. Everything I'd read up until this book was because I had to read it for a class or because someone thought I'd like it. This is the first book I ever thoroughly enjoyed.
David Marshall
This is good of its time and worth 3.5 stars. The reason for slightly marking it down is that although the military side of action is well-developed, I found the politics somewhat superficial and the plot somewhat formulaic.
Apr 04, 2014 Martin rated it really liked it
Larry Bond’s ability to weave a story is rivaled by very few. From the anxious beginning moments to the dramatic end this story of a world on the brink of war is one that, with the exception of the references to the “Soviet Union” instead of Russia is very realistic.

Tensions are high when the North Korean military pours south across the 38th parallel to “liberate” South Korea from her “imperialist masters” and is met with the fierce resistance of the U.S. Military and the Republic of Korea’s we
Sep 11, 2012 Wayne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
"Excellent Kindle value". As stated in the overview, this is all about a hypothetical future war on the Korean peninsula. Plenty of action on the ground, in the air, and on the sea. Normally I finish a book in a few days, this 700 pager took a bit longer, and the action is non-stop!
Christopher Nieman
A solid first novel by Larry Bond, who collaborated with Tom Clancy on Clancy's second novel, Red Storm Rising. I haven't read Clancy's book, but I remember my father read both this and Clancy's book, and said Red Storm Rising was just as much Larry Bond as Tom Clancy--if not more.

Red Phoenix is a what-if novel about a supposed surprise attack by North Korea on the South, and how South Korea and its allies--most importantly the US--respond jointly to the North's aggression.

The book is written wi
Feb 05, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Enjoyable techno-thriller depicting a second Korean War. The sort of thing that fans of Tom Clancy (esp. Red Storm Rising, which Bond actually co-authored) would enjoy, although some of it certainly outdated by now - I read it almost 20 years ago.
David Jarrett
Sep 27, 2014 David Jarrett rated it really liked it
This book was a very ambitious project, with many characters, written in third person omniscient, so each major character's thoughts, as well as actions, were revealed. It is a well-written treatise on how a local territorial battle could, little by little, grow into a full-scale world war, sucking in superpower participants through treaties, mutual aid pacts, and the political and economic ambitions of key government officials. Larry Bond obviously knows his subject quite well, and seems to hav ...more
Oct 30, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Fantastic book. Held my attention through all 700 pages. Very well put together with great information. Puts you right in the action.
Dec 31, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This book is a few years old, but could just as easily have been written in 2014. Kim Jong-Il and the North Koreans launch an invasion of South Korea, using clever planning and the element of surprise. Can the South Koreans and the handful of American peacekeepers hold on until the cavalry arrives?

The book takes a looooong time to get going, and Bond lacks a perfect touch for political intrigue, but it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Once the action starts, Bond really excels. Infan
Feb 18, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: korea
The book that first got me interested in Korea.
Jon Molesan
Feb 10, 2013 Jon Molesan rated it it was amazing
Great book, couldn't put it down!
brian dean
Oct 11, 2012 brian dean rated it liked it
Having lived in South Korea for, my God, 14 years, it is amusing to read speculative stories based here. I have to say that part of my low rating is based on how things actually turned out and how improbable the story is, from the viewpoint of someone looking back 20-something years. It may have been a more credible book at the time it was published.

Goodreads lists the publication date as 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell, and only a few years before the USSR followed. I was inclined to be sn
Jun 18, 2013 Tim rated it really liked it
What would happen if the North Koreans pushed across the DMZ in an effort to reunite the Korean Peninsula under Communist rule? That's the premise of the the book "Red Phoenix" by Larry Bond.

Bond writes in a quick paced style, effectively cutting from battle scenes in the air to surviving an artillery barrage in a trench on the DMZ. He creates characters that make you feel like you were in the book, with them, going through the horrors and triumphs of battle. We follow three major characters as
Chaplain Stanleigh Chapin
A different story line that tremendous!

I served during the Korean Conflict [war] and have been there many times since actually was caught in rioters near the cathedral and another near a South Korea army base as was described
Alain Dewitt
Sep 10, 2011 Alain Dewitt rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Think of this book like 'Red Storm Rising East'. Bond is a competent enough storyteller. He knows military hardware and considering the book was written in 1989 it is competently researched. The problem is that his plot has very little intrigue and the characters are rather stock. The fighter pilot who gets shot down and has to make his way back behind his own lines. The green lieutenant who becomes a combat veteran after a baptism by fire. There is also a romantic subplot glued on that really h ...more
Joe Stamber
Oct 01, 2014 Joe Stamber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, read-2014
Started off quite slowly and I began to think Red Phoenix might end up being a bit of a slog. However, this speculative tale of what might happen if North Korea attempted to invade the South in a bid to unify Korea as one Communist state builds up to an exciting middle and end. By then I had realised that the scene setting earlier on was vital to give the individual stories a personal feel. The reader experiences the conflict from every perspective and to me it was rich and authentic, although I ...more
Jud Hanson
Apr 11, 2014 Jud Hanson rated it it was amazing
What would happen if the US started to withdraw its troops from the Korean DMZ and Russia joined NK to retake the peninsula? Bonds has created a stunning scenario focused on this very possibility. Like all his books, Red Phoenix contains stunning details and amazing battle sequences. I highly recommen this book for anyone who likes Clancy.
mark b harrris
Apr 06, 2016 mark b harrris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A captivating novel.

It seemed as if he was reporting a current event. The broad coverage and details created a movie in my mind. The human factors were sensitive Lynn handled.
Jan 06, 2016 Nic added it
Short of Red October (in which Larry Bond was a co-author), this is the best modern tech/war novel I've read. Pretty good characters and excellent situation/description of was in the Koreas.
May 27, 2014 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is interesting--apparently there is a series by 'Red Phoenix' which is about a girl or woman named Brie. It deals with bondage and sounds quite titilating!

This, however, is an action novel whose premise is that there is a second Korean War, with the US supporting South Korea, and Russia, and maybe China supporting North Korea. It is all quite exciting for most of the book, but then drags toward the end. The fighter pilot has a girlfriend, and another American officer has a friend who is a S
Jan 16, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing
For those of you who would rate it against Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising" I'll say this now it simply isn't as good. It feels a bit more Spartan than the former (no doubt due to it's smaller overall setting), and the depth to which the political manoeuvering is elaborated doesn't really fill out the characters enough.
However, judged with Clancy this book is another enthralling alternative timeline look at on the ground fighting and the logistical nightmare behind frontline war. The relationship
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The Mystery, Crim...: Techno-Thriller - Red Phoenix 1 7 Mar 28, 2014 12:25PM  
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Larry Bond is the author of several bestselling military thrillers, including Crash Dive, Cold Choices, Dangerous Ground, Red Phoenix and the Larry Bond’s First Team and Larry Bond’s Red Dragon Rising series. He was a naval officer for six years, serving four on a destroyer and two on shore duty in the Washington DC area. He's also worked as a warfare analyst and antisubmarine technology expert, a ...more
More about Larry Bond...

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Red Phoenix (2 books)
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