Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review: Blood and Bullets

Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter - Book 1) by James R. Tuck

Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 352pp
ISBN-13: 978-0758271471
ISBN: 0758271476

(Received for an honest review from Kensington Urban Fantasy)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

James R. Tuck on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Blood and Bullets (Barnes and Noble See Inside Feature)


He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him—and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he's got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There's also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon's greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him. . .


If you like your urban fantasy dark, than the Deacon Chalk, Occult Bounty Hunter series, might be just what the doctor ordered. James Tuck brings readers the first book in a new series. Blood and Bullets is a high octane, action-packed novel that holds the reader in a death grip from the first page to the last. Tuck writes with a ferocity that is palpable. He attacks his writing just like his characters attack their foes. This is a very intense book that shows a lot of potential for the new series.

This book was definitely an interesting departure from my normal reading fare. Now I'll be the first to say I love Urban Fantasy, dark or light. But Tuck's book is in a category all it's own. Blood and Bullets is a thrill seekers dream novel. It's has so much action, there is hardly room for anything else. Violence... check! Male perspective... check! Paranormal element... check! Chauvinistic male attitude... Yeap, there was a little of that too! LOL Surprisingly, that actually seemed to work with this book. It's kind of what you would expect from a character like Deacon.

I liked the fact that the author told the story from Deacon's point of view. His first person narration gave a lot of insight into the character. This is a man who has absolutely nothing else to lose. He's already lost it all, his family, his humanity, even his fear. But the one thing he has managed to keep somehow is his need to serve and protect the innocent. He is one hard dude, complete with all the tattoo's, the bald head, and the kick-ass attitude. I wouldn't want to mess with him and apparently neither do the monsters in this one. He did repeat himself a time or two along the way and I know way more about guns and cars than I did before, but he was definitely an interesting character.

I can see a lot of potential in this series. Tuck spent a great deal of time bringing his world into focus for the reader. That's common in a first book in a series. Sometimes that takes away from the plot of the novel, but in this case I think it only enhanced the overall story. As the reader learns more about the world Deacon lives in, the story is steadily advancing. I thought Tuck did a great job of getting into a good rhythm and letting the novel flow from his pen. It was literally full of action, but it all seemed natural, like that was what was supposed to be going on. I liked that Tuck gave Deacon a few vulnerabilities and the time to express them along the way as well. 

This book was a bit of a shock to my system but I definitely liked it. It was out of  my comfort zone, but sometimes that is a good thing. If you like your fantasy a little darker than the norm, this one is for you. Tuck creates a very tough, nuanced plot, that is anything but your typical paranormal fare. Vampires are the monster of choice in Blood and Bullets but I see a lot of potential for branching into other "baddies" as well. I liked the male perspective, but not so much the women bashing... LOL! Give this one a try, it's certainly different and chalk full of action! 

Blood and Bullets is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

James R. Tuck was born and raised in The South. Brought up on a steady diet of good southern cooking, country music, Jesus, and guns; he has always been a little weird. For over 15 years he has been a professional tattoo artist and owns Family Tradition Tattoo in his hometown of Marietta, Ga. Now he writes yarns about monsters, guns, hard-eyed men, and tough as nails women.

He puts the DARK in Dark Urban Fantasy.

His Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series is a thrill ride spilling over with violence and mayhem.

Here there be monsters.

Strap up, arm yourself, and hang on for the ride

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