Title: Blood and Silver
Author: James R. Tuck
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Series: Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty-Hunter (Book 2)
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0758271484 (Kensington)
ISBN-13: 978-0758271488 (Kensington)
Reviewed by: Sheila
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…
Quick & Dirty: Hardcore bad-a$$ Deacon Chalk takes on a bunch of weres that are causing trouble in his town.
Opening Sentence: Good days don’t last.
Things have been kind of quiet lately, ever since Deacon Chalk wiped out most of the vampires in the Southeast region of the USA. But there is always something to do, especially if you are an occult bounty hunter. So when Deacon and Tiff come across a dog being beaten to death, he doesn’t hesitate to step in. Now he has found himself involved within the political machinations of the were community, protecting a weredog and her unborn children, and maneuvering through the twisting and unsuspecting depths of the human (and not so human) heart. A bounty hunter’s work is never done.
Sophia, the weredog, is in a bind. The father of her unborn children, Marcus, is mated to another and his brother, Leonidas, would do anything to hurt him, including harming Sophia. It was lucky that Deacon came along when he did, or she would have died at the hands of a mad man (or lion, as it were). While Marcus is ignorant of his impeding fatherhood, he is still responsible for Sophia’s welfare. His pacifism and anti-violence stance means he is unwilling to compromise his morals and fight for her. Deacon, on the other hand, has no problem using guns to make his point. While Deacon’s new magical abilities are tested when it comes to helping out Sophia, it is his leadership that is really put to the test in this book. Sophia and others like her, non-predators, need someone to stand up for them. Is Deacon the right man for the job?
One of the best titles I have ever heard given to a monster hunter, and their ilk, is the “self-appointed Sheriff of Monstertown”; Deacon certainly fits the bill. He does fight for his own little territory and gives his protection to those he lets in to it. For a man that says his heart is long dead, he contradicts himself through his actions. It is his protectiveness (and penance toward violence) that makes this series worth the paper it’s written on. I like the fact that he is taking more and more responsibility for areas, and people, outside his personal club, Polecats. It allows the overall series arc to be more than just Deacon running around killing things, no matter how good he makes it look.
Tiffany, better known to her friends as Tiff, is the romantic interest. Deacon never sees it coming, but he can’t imagine life now without Tiff in it. She puts no demands on him, romantically or emotionally; allowing Deacon to make the first move at his own pace. Though most of Deacon’s heart still lies buried with his dead family, Tiff has managed to carve out a small spot to call her own. Her character is giving and supportive (with a touch of naughty) and is the perfect balance to an impulsive hard-a$$ like Deacon. She is able to help balance out his destructive tendencies and gives him something to look forward to, other than death. I am grateful that Tuck brought someone in for our lovable yet broody hero to give us hope for the future.
For fans, the fighting is just as intense and grimy as the first book. Deacon always is willing to share his unique perspective on things; including guns, girls, and guerilla warfare. His “insight” and code of conduct makes him a pair of $hitkickers among the high heels and ballet flats. And while I appreciate his softer side revealed by Tiff, I am happy to report that it doesn’t affect his work. James R. Tuck is one of my favorite up and coming authors!
“I don’t take hits. I am not a paid assassin.”
Boothe leaned up. “Listen, Marcus’s safety be damned. Leonidas and his crew are too dangerous to just let them do whatever they are in town to do. You appointed yourself the Sheriff of Monstertown. If you don’t do something to stop them, then people will get hurt.”
An objection formed in my mouth. It shriveled to nothing as my hand was bumped by something covered in soft, russet fur. I looked down. Sophia sat beside me, head rubbing my hand and blue eye tilted up at me. I thought about how Tiff and I had rescued her. I thought about the asshole who had tried to beat her to death, or at least beat her until she lost her babies. For that… well, for that I could kill someone. She sat up on her hindquarters and put her front paws up in the air.
I hate it when a woman begs.
Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty-Hunter Series:
1.5 Spider’s Lullaby
FTC Advisory: Kensington graciously provided a copy of Blood and Silver. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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