After a long and totally undeserved break, I’m back! With summer break just starting an a to read list longer than my arm I should be busy for awhile. I’m sorting out my library at the moment, so there may be a couple of giveaways down the road for some books that I, unfortunately, just don’t have space for anymore. It’s good to be back though so, as always, on to the review!
James R. Tuck’s Blood and Bullets is a mix of urban fantasy and action movie with a main character who is a study in over done manly man-ness. Chalk is a larger than life, gun toting, monster slaying badass and he’s going to tell the reader about it at every chance he gets. This gets old really quickly. Chalk is supposed to be the big tough monster hunter who shows up and gets things done, the problem is he reads a lot like a bad self insert from a kid who wants to be the tough guy that solves problems. This could have still worked out alright if the story had been in third person, the plot itself is fairly solid if a bit underwhelming. The book is in first person though with the world’s most talkative know it all narrating everything that he does no matter how insignificant it is. Even with that I would have been alright were it not for the repeat descriptions, Chalk describes his guns and himself at least three times. His apparent effect on some women is also brought up repeatedly. I don’t know if Tuck ran out of things to write with these descriptions or just didn’t trust his readers to remember any of it.
The plot, as I said before, is fairly decent. Good guy gets attacked by more vampires than any of the major players in the city should have been able to put together, discovers the big bad’s existence, and has to figure out how to beat her without losing his rag tag team of monster hunters. It’s been done, but that doesn’t stop it from working here. To my mind the things that bring down the plot are, yet again, Chalk’s reiterating things too much, the big bad’s throwing logic out the window because she wants to have sex with Chalk, and the dues ex machina character that shows up towards the end. I’d have really liked to have seen more of the secondary characters doing what they’re supposed to be good at rather than just taking Chalk’s word for it, it seems like most of them could do pretty well as protagonists on their own.
At the end of the day, the blurb for the next book sounds interesting but this seems like more of a series to borrow from the library than one that I would purchase the rest of. I’m giving Blood and Bullets a three out of five for decent premise but a miss with the main character.