Blood and MagickBlood and Silver by James R. Tuck
(Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter #3)
Kensington (March 2013) | Paperback, 352 pages
Urban Fantasy

Deacon is back! Blood and Magick is book number 3 in Tuck’s Deacon Chalk series (if you don’t count the additional novellas), and as always within the first page you’re thrown into a serious, edge of your seat action scene. This series gives you very little time to breathe, there are just too many evil, bad guys. Witches it would seem this time.

Deacon is an occult bounty-hunter and ruthless to the point of brutal. After his family were murdered and he was saved by an Angel, he’s got some extra powers he never had before, and is bent on stopping evil at all costs. He doesn’t pull any punches or guns for that matter.

I’ve said it before (in nearly all my Deacon reviews sorry!), but I will say it again, Deacon really reminds me of a male Anita Blake. In Blood and Magick he seemed even more hard-line than before. You just don’t cross lines in Deacon’s world, even a little bit of grey might find you with his gun pointed at you. He seems even harder in this book than previous instalments, Deacon always has been a tough man, who leads a brutal life, but I did feel in this book that his edge took on a sharper tone.

Tuck himself has described Blood and Magick as a ‘game changer‘ in the book’s afterword:

 The book is the game changer. From here on out things only get wilder in the Deaconverse. I definitely want you to hold on tight.

So be prepared for some serious plot developments. I can’t really say much more than that without giving too much away, but the development did leave me quite surprised and really intrigued about where the series is going to go next. Honestly there are multiple changes for many characters, as well as previously unknown occult government division and religious order. Also Deacon’s magical abilities seem to be growing and as yet have not been fully explored.

I’ve also grown used to Tuck’s plot style. Instead of expecting a mystery element like you see in a lot of urban fantasy books, you generally know who the baddie is upfront. Which means the story centres around how Deacon and co. are going to stop them, usually with a lot of fight scenes and oh yes guns ;-). Tuck obviously still does have a lot up his sleeve, you can see different threads being sewn into the larger plot, as well as more to learn about existing characters. I for one would love to know more about Father Mulcahy for starters.

I’m still on the fence about the Deacon/Tiff relationship, although reading other reviews for previous books, I think I might be in the minority on this. Tiff has most definitely grown up and got a hell of a lot tougher. Her injury and loss of an eye in Blood and Silver has added texture to her character, adding both vulnerability and strength. It’s not even that I don’t like her as a character, I really do. I have especially enjoyed her character development, but there were periods when I enjoyed the relationship between her and Deacon, and periods when I wasn’t sure it worked. But, I do enjoy seeing the softer side of Deacon when he’s with her. There is however a tiny part of me that still has hopes of a mini Charlotte and Deacon romance, who was sadly noticeable by her absence in this book, I do hope she returns for next instalment.

One thing that niggled me a bit was a plot continuity issue. Before a pivotal scene with a key character Deacon’s shoulder was badly injured, then afterwards in the last battle scene when he’s fighting with a rather bad-ass sword and it’s like the injury is totally forgotten. Perhaps it’s because I was reading an ARC, anyone else notice this?

VERDICT:

A good, solid addition to Tuck’s urban fantasy series. I feel like the series is now on the cusp of something big. The introduction of an occult government agency alone leaves some really great possibilities for plot development, I also wonder where Deacon’s magical abilities are going to take him as well as his relationship with Tiff. If your a fan of quite violent, gritty urban fantasy I recommend you pick this series up.

RATING:

JAMES R. TUCK ONLINE
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Laura

A self-confessed bookworm who's favourite genres are urban fantasy, horror and a good love story with a sexy supernatural beastie. Also has a bit of a handbag fetish… actually, let's not mention the handbags; they seem to be breeding!

2 Comments


Gemma April 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

Guess what it will be regarding his shoulder injury… The Angels healed it! or he was on an adreniline high and never noticed.

I’ve read your other reviews for this series and I am tempted to pick these up. I do like male protagonists in books for a change.

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Laura April 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Yes but it bugged me you know, I kept thinking but what about his shoulder, I thought it might have even been dislocated lol.

This is a pretty good series and I generally prefer female leads and writes to be fair, but I do like Deacon. I must try the Dresden files, these books keep making me think I’ll like them as it’s also a male lead.

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