RELEASE DATE: 7th August 2012
FORMAT: Paperback, 352 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
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…(Amazon)
BLOOD AND SILVER is book two in James R. Tuck’s Deacon Chalk series, a man whose family were murdered by a supernatural evil and since then has dedicated his life to stopping them. The writing has definitely much improved in this book in comparison to the first. Ok, there were times when you can tell that Tuck is quite a new writer. For example there were several parts of the back story that were repeated on more than one occasion. However, overall it’s definitely tighter.
The story is a bloody, gritty and violent urban fantasy fest. Weapons, bombs, guns and explosions galore. What has really moved on is the world building, it’s worth reading just for the imaginative different were-creatures Tuck keeps coming up with. Just when I thought he’s come up with the best with a were-shark, he chucks in the ultimate terrifying were-baddie in the finale. I’m not telling you, you have to read it
The book opens with a bang, Tuck certainly knows how to grab your attention and I was sucked in within minutes. Submerged into the action. Chalk is a great, dark hero. There are times he really reminds me of a male Anita Blake, even with some of his lines:
I stared back, deep inside the cold place that lets me kill.
Hamilton fans might find that it sounds familiar? He’s a hit first type of guy and very much wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s the kind of guy who will die for his friends and those he believes needs protecting. And most importantly he’s cool.
When he comes across a pregnant shifter in desperate need of help, you know that Chalk will blow up everyone in his way in order to do so. Even if by doing so he ends up pulled right into the middle of a were-animal war. Luckily he has plenty of grenades ready for the job!
He’s got a great group of sidekicks too. Now I’m a huge arachnophobe, but I found myself growing very fond of Charlotte the were-spider. Never thought I’d say that! It was great to see Larson back in a new mature form, we met him in book one where he was terribly injured. He’s moved on and found his place in the group. I’m not sure where he got all of his medical skills from, but in the end it didn’t really matter.
One part of the story I’m not totally convinced on is the love story. Chalk is one hell of a man, and Tiff just seems too young for him. I like the fact he is moving on, but I feel like he needs more of a woman. Now a Charlotte/Chalk love story that could be interesting…! I suspect though that Tiff may be here to stay, and developments at the end of the story might help her become the woman I want for him.
Fans of gritty urban fantasy should have their eye on Tuck. Deacon Chalk is a dark, violent and caring hero that gives the baddies a reason to be scared. I suspect the writing in this series is only going to improve as it progresses. I look forward to book three.
BUY THE BOOK