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MinnChica from The Book Pushers

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Blood and Bullets - James R. Tuck Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/02/06/review-blood-and-bullets-by-james-r-tuck/

Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: February 7th
How I got this book: ARC from publisher

Tuck is debuting his new series, Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter, with Blood and Bullets. This is a hard review for me to write, because while I really enjoyed the story, the book also didn’t work for me in a lot of ways.

Deacon lives for one thing and one thing only: killing vampires to avenge his family. His whole life seems to revolve around killing vampires and evil creatures, he even has a little extra kick in his blood to help him get the job done that no one else can do. One night, an ambush is set that has Deacon coming closer than ever to death, and he is determined to find out who wants him dead. With his rag-tag team of friends, Deacon goes to extremes to find the immortal who wants his head on a plate, and comes close to loosing everything.

This book is filled with fast packed action scenes. At every turn it seems as if Deacon is kicking vampire ass. But at the same time, it doesn’t seem to help the story move at a quick pace. It took awhile for the book to get moving quickly, and I found that I put the book down quite a few times before things got to a point where I was sucked into the story line.

I also felt as if this story was one that I had already read before. It had a lot of the same elements from JF Lewis’ Void City Series. They both have heroes that own strip clubs, are obsessed with their cars, have an assorted group of friends that help them fight evil, and are unique in their supernatural fighting abilities. At the same time, there were enough differences for me to enjoy the story, but the similarities were just enough that I always felt like it was a story that had been done before.

One of the things that I did like was that Deacon wasn’t a total asshat. I have read a few UF stories with a male protagonist written by a male author in which the hero came off as a douche. I was glad to see that Deacon’s character didn’t adopt that style. He was morally sound, devoted to his beloved wife, and dedicated to take out evil, regardless of the cost to himself. He cared for his group of friends, protected them in all possible ways, and was an all around likeable guy. I wanted to cheer for him and see him triumph in the end.

I think that fans of the urban fantasy genre who are always looking for stories with male leads will enjoy this. Although for me it moved at a slower pace than I would have liked, the plot and characters did eventually pull me in and keep me engaged. I am looking forward to future books in the series, especially if we get to see more of Deacon and his budding relationship.

All in all I had some mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I really enjoyed the overall story, but as I said before, it didn’t feel like it was a brand new story and that dragged it down for me a bit. I do hope that Tuck can continue to develop the series and characters and create a unique aspect to the series.
I give Blood and Bullets a C-