Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk #1) by James R. Tuck
Publisher: Kensington/Feb. 7th, 2011
Deacon Chalk Series
Kind thanks to the author and Kensington for providing a review copy
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. . .
Deacon Chalk is a man with a mission. After he’s cornered by a young vamp asking for his protection outside his place of business, he knows something’s not right. He kills vamps. He certainly doesn’t protect them, and when he’s jumped by a group of vamps bent on draining him dry, along with a (very) amateur vampire hunter, he’s sure something big is going down. His search for the culprit leads him to a very powerful vamp bent on dominating Deacon to her will, but that’s not gonna happen, and Deacon’s going to make sure of it.
With a genre that’s dominated by female writers, I’m always excited to see an urban fantasy title come out written by a dude. Not to mention that it’s nice to see a fresh voice in the genre, period. Deacon Chalk is a man’s man. He loves his guns, packs a lot of heat, and knocks heads with the best of them. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a heart, because he does, and the author makes that point more than a few times. I mean, the man’s family was brutally taken by monsters, and it’s what drives him to kill them. There’s also no black and white with vamps in Blood and Bullets. They’re evil, period, and they certainly don’t sparkle. Deacon will have some help from unlikely folks, namely a priest that kicks some pretty serious ass, a were-spider, and an immortal with quite a rich history. Blood and Bullets has some awkward bits, but I attribute that firmly to first-book growing pains¸ and all in all it was a fun, fast-paced¸ rocket powered read. I couldn’t help but like Deacon and I’m anxious to see what the author does with the supporting cast in future books. Great action scenes round out a promising start to what looks to be a fun series!
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