Blood and Silver (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter Series #2)

Blood and Silver - James R. Tuck Deacon Chalk can’t enjoy a good day – something bad always happens that he can’t ignore. This time it was a man beating a dog. But when he intervened he found that the man was no man – and the dog no simple dog either. He quickly becomes the rescuer of a lycanthrope and facing off against an entire pack of predatory shapeshiftersBut more, he has stepped into a civil war – between predatory shapeshifters who wish to dominate, kill and control prey species as they always have – and those who are seeking for a more egalitarian co-existence. This, combined with Charlotte’s involvement and the fact the predators are just bad guys Deacon Chalk doesn’t want in his city is reason enough for him to get involved.But things are not that simple – and whatever the mission of the peaceful weres is, they’re clearly more than they seem and perhaps more than Deacon Chalk can tolerate. Especially since he’s putting his friends, his people at risk for someone else’s war.This book is one of those that vindicates my habit of not giving up on a series just because the first book (or the first several books) didn’t work for me.It’s not that this book is radically different from the first book – it isn’t. Much of the style remains the same – so it’s still very much a male power fantasy, it’s still a book of getting the girl, saving he innocent and running around in a big car with a big gun and blowing stuff up and beating stuff up and cutting stuff up while the character equally gets mauled himself in a big, dramatic, gorefest action-movie style romp.It’s not sophisticated, it’s not subtle and it’s not going to engage too many brain cells – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be immense fun! There’s a weredinosaur for crying out loud! A weredinosaur! Your arguments are invalid!What has happened is that a lot of the irritants that were in book 1 have been toned down a lot. They’re still there, but in a much much much less annoying fashion. So is it still long winded? Yes, but it’s not nearly as repetitive – we get the long spiel about his guns, once. Not four or five times. And the spiel’s not as long. He waxes lyrically about how amazing his car is – but he doesn’t do it every few pages. We hear what music he’s listening to, but we don’t get treated to the Deacon Chalk guide to all things musical. This helps, this helps so much that I don’t have feel like I have to skim past endless pointless irrelevancies to try and drag the actual story out from the fluff.We also don’t have Deacon Chalk being fawned over by a vast crowd of adoring fans (especially women) who play groupie to let us know just how amazing Chalk is. We know he’s done some good stuff, we know he’s helped people, but it’s toned down on the flock of fanpoodles. This could be because, with Tiff, we now have an established love interest and the flock of adoring women wouldn’t work as well.And we don’t have the massive info dumps about the world – only what is appropriate as it is appropriate and without the constant repetition and long winded delivery. Read More