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…
Blood and Magick by James R. Tuck is full of monsters, with a good-sized heaping of gore to round out the plot and action. While it can be difficult to jump into a series midway, the third book in the Deacon Chalk novels is both a strong novel, and can even be a good starting point, that is, if a reader doesn’t care about knowing all the background. Part of this has to do with the fact that Tuck wastes no time when it comes to getting down to the action, and it’s all downhill for Deacon Chalk, which makes it a lot of fun for readers.
This series could be compared to the Jim Butcher novels, but it’s much messier; the personal problems, and the violence aren’t for the faint-hearted, and Deacon isn’t a reluctant hero, but more of a vigilante, who will step in to help others, often with a round of bullets. And, unlike other series, being an important character does mean one is off limits when it comes to tragedy or even death.
A peaceful meal with Deacon, and his friends and loved ones, including Tiff. But, the evening doesn’t go to plan, and the meal is interrupted by a group of witches. Kids with unusual abilities or supernatural heritage are always a target, and Deacon learns that this time is no different. Sophia’s sons are the keys to a nasty ritual. Usually Deacon would rely on his friends to fend off this enemy, but now the government is involved.
Afterward, the Occult Crimes Investigation Division shows up, and Deacon has to work with this agency. Murderous witches aren’t something the government wants around, and they figure that Deacon is a useful tool for clearing up the problem.
While urban fantasy battles usually come down to a fight between the forces of good and evil, this one also includes issues of faith, as well as some big secrets finally being revealed, and some shake ups with friends and enemies,
For some, the action scenes may be too lengthy, but overall, the book is a fairly quick read, and sets things for the next book. Anyone who likes their urban fantasy with a little more gore, and less elves will find this book fits nicely on their shelf.