Author: James R. Tuck
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Series/Standalone: Book 1 in the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series
Cover Artist: Gene Mollica
Who/What/Why/Where/How: Author sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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…
This review was hard for me to write because I really enjoyed the story and I wanted to blab all about it but, for obvious reasons I won’t. So I’ll start by saying that I am really loving me some Deacon Chalk. The man is a bad ass, loyal to those closest to him, fierce yet kind and totally hot, in a scary and rugged way. James Tuck has created a character that has gone through hell and back and carries that burden like a backpack. No matter how heavy that burden is, he still manages to go out every day (or night) and kill off the scary monsters that go bump in the night. Believe me when I say these things are friggin’ scary. He’s also created an awesome cast of secondary characters. They range from awkward and geeky to so ruthless they’ll backhand you if you so much as give them side eye. The villains are dastardly and evil which is just how I like them.
James does a great job of world building. You get a pretty clear vision of what his Atlanta, the places he hangs out at, kicks ass at and visits are like. I thought the mythology he created with regard to his vamps, some secondary characters and background info was unique and interesting. And OMG I love it when scenes involve Deacon’s car. What can I say? I like muscle cars. I also loved all the music he mentions during the story. It gives you a better feel for Deacon and sets the tone for certain parts of the story.
The only negative thing I can say is that the writing was a little rough around the edges. That said, it wasn’t so rough that it distracted me from enjoying the book. So if you’re the type of reader that likes your Urban Fantasy on the darker, grittier and slightly bloodier side you definitely need to give Blood and Bullets a try.
Favorite Lines / Scenes:
In my world, nights that started strange usually crash landed in the town of Fucked-Upville before they were said and done. -Location 86
It turns into blood-a-palooza when you go to stake the undead sons of bitches. Seriously, I usually wear a raincoat. -Location 92
Rob Zombie was good fighting music. -Location 2885 (Side note: Yes, yes he is.)
That Thing at the Zoo – Book 0.5
Blood and Bullets – Book 1
Spider’s Lullaby – Book 1.5 (Summer 2012)
Blood and Silver – Book 2 (August 2012)
James is a former bouncer and has been a professional tattoo artist for over 15 years. His tattoo work has been published in national tattoo magazines and he owns Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga. He lives near there with a wonderful wife, three wonderful children, and six dogs of varying degrees of wonderfulness.