August 4, 2012

Early Review: Blood and Silver by James R. Tuck

Title: Blood and Silver
Author: James R Tuck
Series: Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter #2
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Release Date: August 7th 2012
Format: eBook/Paperback
Source: ARC from Author

Contact James    

Rating: 5 Bad Boys – Absolutely Loved It
Reviewer: Kat

Author Summary

Deacon Chalk normally has no trouble telling innocent victims from real monsters. So protecting an abused pregnant were-dog is a no-brainer...until a vicious lycanthrope leader and his brotherhood target Deacon, other shape-shifters, and any humans in their way. Suddenly, Deacon is outnumbered, outgunned, and unsure who - or what - to trust. The only edge he has left is a weapon hungry for his soul and his most savage impulses. And using it will exact a price even this hell-raising hunter fears to pay...

My Thoughts

Strap yourselves in my lovelies for another wild ride. Deacon’s eye is twitching and that’s never a good thing. For the monsters that is. Things are going to get dead.

In Blood and Silver, the author puts a unique spin on the world of were-animals. Some are good; some are bad.  Some want peace; others don’t. They’re at war and made the mistake of bringing it to Deacon’s town.

Since this is a series about hunting monsters, you can expect some scary and disturbing creatures. Very cool ones too actually!  Even though Charlotte (the were-spider) is one of the good guys, she creeps me the f*** out.  I have a serious fear of spiders. But since she’s one of the good guys, I can deal.

This novel is a little darker and more violent than the last. Some scenes aren’t for the faint at heart. But that is the world of monsters the author has created for us.
Deacon Chalk: The Occult Bounty Hunter series is quickly moving its way up my list of favorite Urban Fantasy series. The stories are rich with excitement and have a nice balance of character development and action. The author’s voice is unique, novels are well structured and I’m entertained from beginning to end.

About the Story

In Blood and Silver, Deacon finds himself in the middle of a war between the Were species. In Deacon’s world (otherwise known as Deaconverse), there are not only werewolves and all the cool weres we normally read about. There’s everything from were-lions to were-sharks to were-rabbits, with a clear division between predators and prey. Just the same as in the actual animal kingdom.  

The leader of the ‘predator’ weres wants to bring peace among all the weres; however, there is always the villain that doesn’t want peace. They like being the predator and having control over the ‘prey’ weres. And they want to keep it that way. So a battle over what regime will reign ensues. This battle finds its way into Deacon’s city and he inadvertently becomes embroiled in their war.  And so the adventure begins. 

About the Characters

If you follow me at all, you know I rave about my man Deacon.  A lot. Why do I love this character so much? Well, besides all the obvious reasons (hot as hell, incredibly cool, a genuinely caring person with a heart of gold), he’s the tortured and tormented hero that we all love to read about. He struggles to deal with a sad and tragic past that never leaves his mind. He became a hunter of monsters to avenge the deaths of his wife and kids who were killed in a ritualistic slaying a few years back.  Now, given an opportunity for love, he’s full of inner conflict thinking he’s being unfaithful to his wife and since he lives in a very dangerous world, he doesn’t want to put anyone else at risk.

He bravely takes on any type of baddie that is out to hurt humans or his friends. He’s tough as nails and kills these monsters without remorse.  At times, actually, he seems to have a bit of a death wish. He misses his family so much that he considered taking his own life to be with them. But that is not an option for him because he’s religious and fears he won’t meet them in the afterlife if he does.  He hopes he will meet something big and bad enough to do the job for him someday.

The supporting characters are all great and have their own stories to tell. This novel focuses more on Deacon.  Which is a good thing. He’s grown a lot in this novel and he’s discovering a lot more about himself.

About the Writing

What strikes me most about the writing in this novel is the author’s use of description. Tuck has an exceptional ability to recount events and depict scenery paying a lot of attention to detail.  Not to the point that its long and drawn out like some novels but smartly done with carefully chosen words.  A testament to the skill of a very proficient writer.

Here are a couple of my favorite examples of great description and commentary in this novel. The first one describing a werewolf Deacon is meeting for the first time…

“Thick, silver-shot hair flowed into a beard that gnarled its way down to a massive chest. Long yellow canines showed through his smile. Black eyes stared out at me under overgrown gray eyebrows. A scar pulled one side of his face up, the skin taut over his cheek and forehead. His hands sat on top of each other like washed-up driftwood. Brown liver spots covered their backs. The knuckles were swollen twice as big as the finger bones with arthritis. He was a grizzled old Were, still dangerous despite his age.  Maybe even more so because of it.”

I mean, a beard that gnarled it way and hands like driftwood …I've never read anything like it. Brilliant!

And the other is describing a scene where the women in his life comforted each other…

“The three women huddled, drawing strength from each other. Larson and I were left out by virtue of our gender, so we sat quietly, reverent in the presence of something we could never fully understand…Women already come equipped with a core of steel-fiber strength, depths of resolve a man cannot comprehend. It’s not the dynamic strength men have, all power and show. It’s a strength of endurance, fortitude. It is the strength that allows women to conceive life and to carry that life until the day it can stand on its own. These three women were now one, a three-strand cord not easily broken." 

Beautifully written!

Blood and Silver is a fast paced novel with tons of action and thus a fast read. But not too fast or too much action that we miss out on character’s feelings and emotions.  Perfect pacing.  We get to see more of the inner workings of Deacon this time as this novel seems to be a tad more character-driven than the last. There are some characters that could be more developed, however, I’m sure as the series progresses; we will see more of their stories.

In Book #1, major characters got hurt. The author keeps it real in this regard. In the world these human monster-hunters live in, its bound to happen. Its sad and unpleasant but it adds to the reality of the story. In Book #2 there’s more of the same. What’s brilliant is that the author uses the character’s ability to continue on with an intestinal fortitude that is inspiring to say the least as another theme for the story. At least that’s how I thought about it. Yet another reason why I enjoy this series so much.

Bottom Line

Overall, this series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The author delivers another action packed adventure for Deacon and his band of monster hunters that’s both character-driven and action-filled. The author’s voice is unique, the novel is well structured and I was entertained from beginning to end. If you are into Dark Urban Fantasy with badass heroes, monsters and a good vs. evil theme, you will enjoy reading this series.  I highly recommend adding this one to your To Be Read list.

Happy Reading!!

5 Bad Boys – Absolutely Loved It!!!!

Coming August 7th… Pre-order Blood and Silver Now… Blood and Silver (Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter, #2)

1 comment:

  1. Dang were spiders?! Creepy indeed. The cover guy looks like a WWE star. I'm taking an interlude with UF but I'll earmark this for when the mood strikes again. Fab review