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Book Review: Blood and Silver by James R. Tuck

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There are books that I love and books that I hate. The same can be true for authors as well. In the very rarest of circumstances, as has happened with Blood and Silver by James Ray Tuck, I have a book that I love and an author that I absofrickenlutely hate, seriously and with every bone in my body. Tuck is someone now nearly at the top of my hate list, because I simply cannot stand someone that makes it all look so damn easy.

How in the hell does this guy write like this?

Blood and Silver is the second book in his “Deacon Chalk, Occult Bounty Hunter” series, as well as being the second book that Tuck has ever written. His first, Blood and Bullets, was a book that knocked me flat and impressed the hell out of me with how well it was written…but I thought it was a fluke.

Nobody is that good that soon.

Sure of myself that he would disappoint me as many other writers have eventually disappointed me, I picked up Blood and Silver and immediately started cursing his name. Not only was Blood and Bullets not a fluke, but it seems as if it was nothing more than Tuck merely flexing his muscles, cracking his knuckles as he tossed off a quick “warming-up” novel before he really got down to business and started writing.

Bastard.

Blood and Silver opens up about a year after we first meet Deacon Chalk and the challenges and dangers he faces are no less imposing than they were the first time around. Actually, now that I think about it, they are considerably worse.

Kick-started from the simple and urgently negative reaction of seeing someone beating what appears to be a dog, Chalk is immediately drawn into an adventure – though adventure is not the word when as many nasty things are trying to kill you as happens to be the case throughout this book – where the decision to stop the man and save the dog turns out to be a much more intense situation than might have first appeared.

The man, you see, was not a man. Oh, the dog was not a dog, either. Not really. Blood and Silver, as you may have guessed by the title, deals with many characters that have an alternate side to themselves, as lycanthropes and shape-shifters abound. And if you’re thinking that I’m simply talking about werewolves here then I can safely tell you that Deacon Chalk wishes to hell that that was all he had to deal with.

There are some creatures and combinations of creatures that I have genuinely never seen in the pages of a book. Some of them, in fact, stood a hell of a chance at being ridiculous and cartoony, but Tuck’s writing never lets you feel that way.

The sheer adrenaline some of these creatures and the absolute havoc and danger they wreak upon the other characters in this book, well it’s as if a syringe holding all the ink pouring from pages were plunged into your veins.

That’s right…i’m comparing James Ray Tuck’s writing to literary heroin…and I will kick your ASS if you try to bring me something weaker to try and ween me off of it like methadone. Deacon Chalk has become an addiction, and I am hooked for life. Whatever Tuck writes, if I’m alive, I’m reading it.

I’m sitting there flipping my middle finger to the air and cursing his name at the talent the big bastard has, but I’m reading every damned word.

Buy this book. Buy this other book, Blood and Bullets. Buy his two e-novellas that also share this universe and give you a broader glimpse into the awesomeness of Deacon Chalk.

Then we can sit down in our blessed out haze and talk about the crazy and amazing things we just read. And, also, how much we hate the author.

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