Angela is here with her review of Blood and Silver by James R. Tuck today. You can read more of her reviews at Goodreads.
Occasionally I need a break from the romance book world, when that happens I always look for a dark, gritty urban fantasy. James R. Tuck’s second book in his Deacon Chalk series certainly fits that bill. Blood and Silver is fast paced, violent, and I was literally glued to the page while reading.
Deacon Chalk is a man on a mission, an occult bounty hunter who is out to kill any monsters he finds while avenging the family he lost and protecting the new family he has made for himself. This book occurs a scant six months after the events in the first book in the series, Blood and Bullets. While rescuing an abused were-dog Deacon finds himself facing off with a new enemy and in the middle of a lycanthrope war between two brothers. The only way he is going to come out of this alive is with the help of his friends: Tiff, Kat, Larson, Father Mulcahy and Charlotte.
I liked this book so much better than the first. Everything about this world has evolved since Mr. Tuck’s debut book. The characters are better fleshed out, the world building is stronger and it just reads smoother. From the first chapter there is one action-packed scene after another. I could not tear my eyes away form the page. All kinds of new characters were introduced, from a were-shark to a T-Rex to a were-snake. I had no idea what I would find when I turned to the next page.
I like that Deacon and Tiff’s relationship is growing. In Blood and Bullets we learn that Deacon’s wife and children were murdered and this has led him to the life he lives now. He is the owner of a strip club named Polecats that helps him fund his war with the supernatural world. He constantly tells the reader throughout this story of his grief over the loss of his family, of how dark his pain has been. I wasn’t sure how the introduction of Tiff in the last book would play out. It seems like the relationship between the two of them has been set up perfectly. They are what the other needs. She accepts him for exactly who he is and he has grown to love her for her strengths and softness. She knows and accepts how Deacon feels about his deceased wife, and he has come to the realization that by loving Tiff he is not in any way replacing his family.
Deacon is a hard, brutal man who is also extremely protective of those he considers his family. He immediately welcomes the injured were-dog Sofia into his circle of protection. He is surrounded by friends who are all willing to die to protect each other. It seems with every book new people are added to this group, with this one we get two: Sofia and Boothe. While I think Deacon kicks ass, the secondary characters in this series hold him up and really make this book so much better.
The only complaint I have, and this bothered me in the first book also, is the constant description of his weapons. Yes, he has a big gun. Yes, it has silver bullets. I don’t need to know what kind of gun it is over and over. Colt 45s, AR-15s, Desert Eagle .357s… see what I mean? In every scene there was a run down of what weapons he had strapped to his body. And on Tiff’s body. And Boothe’s…
All in all Blood and Silver was the dark, gritty urban fantasy I was looking for. I was searching the author’s Goodreads page right after I finished to see when the next one is going to be released. I didn’t see any mention of when that may be, but let’s hope it’s not too far away.
“What do you want me to do to help?” George looked at me with brown gorilla eyes.
The T. rex was on his feet and looking our way. I stepped around the car and raised my gun. “You can be King Kong or Donkey Kong, I don’t care which, just keep him busy and move him toward the play sets. If you think of a way to kill him, then even better.” I began to run toward the dinosaur as he began to run toward me. The ground shook under my feet, rattled by the weight of my enemy.
Oh, this was going to completely suck.