Review – Blood and Silver by James R Tuck

Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: Out not
How I got this book: review copy from publisher

He hasn’t met a monster yet that could give him a scare. With ice in his veins, silver hollow-points in his chambers, and an innate ability to rise from the dead, what’s to fear? The answer may be something he doesn’t want to face. . .

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. . .
*Blurb from Amazon*

Tuck is back with the 2nd novel in his Deacon Chalk series, and when I went back to re-read my review of the first book, I was happy to say that a lot of the elements that made the book a C read for me before were not as prevalent and bumped up my overall enjoyment of this book. This was a FABULOUS sophomore novel and I am looking forward to more from Tuck and the rag-tag crew of Deacon and his pals.

It’s been a quiet few months for Deacon, but one night changes all of that. He steps in to save a dog being beaten, and stumbles into a hornet’s nest of shifter politics and deadly family secrets. With his group of friends at his side, Deacon is convinced to help the local group of prey shifters stand up to the rogue group of predator shifters. But with a few guns and only a few fighters able to stand by his side, Deacon might be outmatched and outgunned, and lif as he knows it is threatened beyond his expectations.

I really enjoyed this book, and the more time I spent with Deacon, the more and more I liked him. So many times I’ve read male protagonists that I just didn’t really like. They were assholes and did jerk-like things, but Deacon is like a real southern gentleman. The death of his family still haunts him, but with Tiff in the picture now, he is starting to feel the ice crack around his heart. He is smiling more, and living life instead of just letting it pass by. I love that Deacon has such a huge and caring heart. Despite the fact that he kills monsters for a living, he also takes everyone and anyone under his wing and will protect them with everything he is. He’s the kind of hero that you can really root for.

I loved the action with the shifters too. Tuck has carved out a very unique way of looking at the shape shifter world, with predators and prey animals, and a hierarchy within that world that is twisted and screwed up beyond belief. I liked that it felt as if it had never been done before, and it was fresh and different and gave this book a feeling of individuality that I didn’t feel in the 1st in the series. I loved the twists and turns of who was a good guy and who was bad. I loved all the different shifters that Tuck introduced into the story, and how hard Deacon had to fight to take most of them down.

The book is brutal, it’s dark and gritty and there is a LOT of bloodshed. But it was also sweet at times, it had an ongoing romance that took a backseat to the action, but was also on the forefront of Deacon’s – and my mind. The romance parts really broke up the action and gave me a chance to recover from the craziness that was the rest of the book. I also really enjoyed the sense of family that we get from Deacon’s crew. They are all people he has saved and taken under his wing, and although they don’t have his Angel blood, they each have their own way of contributing to story, to Deacon and to the fight.

I was also glad to see more develop with Deacon and his power. I didn’t think it was explored enough in the first book, so seeing Deacon struggle with what he can do, taking it to the next level and using his gift for both healing and killing was great to see. Tuck has really started to take Deacon’s unique situation and make it his own, giving the series a new and fresh feel. I can’t wait to see what Deacon discovers he can do next!

All in all I was extremely happy with the 2nd Deacon Chalk book. Whereas I thought the first was a little unoriginal, Tuck has stepped out of the mold and created a unique plot with different shifter society and has taken Deacon’s unusual skills and highlighted them more and more. I love the addition of the romance plot, and the way the high-action and drama plot was broken up by more tender moments. I can’t wait to see what Tuck has in store for us and Deacon next.

I give Blood and Silver a B

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