Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: Blood and Magick by James R. Tuck

Book Description:

Taking out hellish creatures—not a problem. Armed with blessed silver hollow-points and the ability to manipulate magick, he’s ready for anything—except betrayal he never saw coming…

Deacon Chalk knows the biggest danger in fighting monsters is becoming one. Just another day at the office for your friendly neighborhood occult bounty hunter. If keeping three helpless were-dog children safe means battling a malevolent trio of witches by any means necessary, so be it. If that means partnering with a ruthless government agent to stay one step ahead of the allies and friends he must now suspect, he’s not going to cry about it. The only way Deacon can save humans and shape-shifters alike is to embrace a power beyond his imagining, putting his team at stake—and his soul on the line…


As the title implies there is plenty of blood and magic to satisfy even the pickiest urban fantasy/horror fans, and as usual, James R. Tuck delivers a high octane, gritty, no nonsense blood and guts look into the world of Deacon Chalk. 

You can't really summarize the book without giving away too many spoilers, so I will leave off with saying that in Blood and Magick it is once again up to Deacon Chalk to save his local shape shifters because in this instance, witches are on the power play, hunting down Sophia and her kids. Deacon isn't one to rest on his laurels so he partners up with Agent Heck and a shady government group that seems to know an awful lot about the paranormal community. To save the boys he must use his fighting skills in a very different capacity and rely most heavily on the faith of his own childhood (and a massively cool broadsword imbued with the power of heaven) to defeat the witches once and for all.

When I read an urban fantasy like this one I am always taken back to St. Louis and the world of Anita Blake, so much so that I often wish they could somehow crossover and play together, just once, to kill some major baddies. Deacon Chalk started out in Blood and Bullets very much the loner badass and as we learn more about him it becomes obvious that his exterior is a front for the hurt he as suffered in the past, losing his family and being forced to go on without them. With the help of Tiff, his new lady love, and a strong supporting cast the reader is grated a deeper understanding of his behaviors and actions. Deacon has a soul capable of great love, and also great violence, so the trick to his character is finding a balance, something I think was done very well in this installment. 

At the end of this story the author mentions that this was a turning point in the Deaconverse, and I agree with that assessment 100%. Things have changed and I am eagerly anticipating what happens next! If you haven't read these books before, don't be intimidated that this is the third full novel, just pick one up and start reading. This a favorite urban fantasy/horror world and you don't want to miss out on all the fun!

Reviewed by Anna Dougherty

Author site:

Books in series:

Blood and Bullets
Blood and Silver
Blood and Magick


That Thing at the Zoo
Spider's Lullaby
Circus of Blood

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