Review: Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck

, by Kt Clapsadl

Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck 
Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter #1

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him--and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he's got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There's also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon's greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him. . .

To avenge his murdered family, Deacon Chalk has dedicated his life to destroying evil one monster at a time, and he is very good at what he does. A mishap on a hunt cost him his life, but the Angel he saved brought him back and gave him abilities with a major edge over the undead. So when a young vampire girl tries to get him to take out another hunter, Deacon does what he does best, destroys the vamp and sets out to warn the other hunter. But doing so, he finds himself in the middle of a vampire ambush, things get a little hairy considering this hunter is nothing more than a wanna be. Narrowly escaping with their lives, Deacon knows he must get to the bottom of this threat fast as anything that can control fifty vamps at one time only spells disaster.

I should have known from the cover that this wouldn't be like the typical Urban Fantasies that I read. Blood and Bullets is decidedly much more "male" than my preferences. The main character, Deacon is so full of himself and incredibly preachy that it drove me about bonkers. I cannot count the number of times he referred to himself as a "Big Damn Hero," which added into his other behaviors only made him seem insanely egotistical and rather arrogant. Ugh! Then there was the constant lectures about EVERYTHING. It didn't matter what it was, from guns to sushi, or even multiple ones about his bloody car, you name it, he preached about it. Seriously, any time something new (or sometimes not even new as we got duplicate lectures) came around Deacon would go into this long description or lesson about why something was the way it was. Sometimes these little lectures would go on for more than a page, and honestly all they made me do was dislike him even more.

If there is one thing I can say about Blood and Bullets is that I was definitely not bored while reading it. The action is incredibly intense, and rather non-stop throughout the entire book. There was more than enough blood, bullets, knives, crosses and gore to go around. Granted a lot of the action stretched my believability meter in Deacon ability to survive the nasty situations he found himself, in but that seems par for course in this genre.

It really is a shame when a book will have a really awesome mythology but feature a protagonist that just rubs me the wrong way. In fact, it just makes me all the more frustrated with the book as I want to enjoy it due to the setting and paranormal elements that are playing out, but I just can't get past the narrator that makes me grind my teeth. In all honestly I would have given up on Blood and Bullets pretty early on if I hadn't of received the second installment for review. I'm crossing my fingers that the next installment will be a little easier now that the lectures should at least lessen a little now that things are established. So while Blood and Bullets won't be going on any of my top lists, it should appeal more to fans of pulp fiction as it definitely delivers on the hard core cover. 


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