That Thing at the Zoo by James R. Tuck
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
e-book: 713 KB
Release date: January 27, 2012
Series: Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter #0.5
Reviewed by: Jenn
Shredding monsters is his stock and trade. He sniffs them out, tracks them down, and corners them. End of story. But when the tables are turned, expect the unexpected. . .
Knowing his enemy is a rule Deacon Chalk swears by. But he's never seen anything like whatever is leaving the Atlanta Zoo's most dangerous predators bloodless, skinned, and hanging high in treetops. And he's only got till sunrise to keep it from turning the entire city into a slaughterhouse. Now Deacon is in zoo lockdown with a handful of staffers to save. His zookeeper backup has more guts than monster-hunting experience. And the only chance Deacon has to run this thing to unholy ground is to risk unleashing his darkest, most uncontrollable instincts. . .
Well, hello, Mr. Chalk. I am hopelessly intrigued about this series thanks to this introductory e-novella. I wasn’t sure what That Thing at the Zoo would be like since James R. Tuck is a new author but he had me hooked from the very first page. I desperate to know what was killing the animals at the zoo. As it turns out, the answer is both straightforward and complicated. The cover gives you a hint as to what might be doing the killing but it’s not your average vampire. It’s something a little darker, a lot less sparkly, and very, very motivated. It wasn’t what I expected and I love it when authors surprise me. This time around, in fact, I had a couple “Oh no he didn’t!” moments, which was great. James has done a wonderful job with this story and I was sad to see Deacon take care of business so quickly but, alas, this is the nature of novellas. Thankfully, I have a review copy of Deacon Chalk’s first full-length novel, Blood and Bullets, up next in my e-reader queue.
Before I close, though, I have to talk about Deacon. He’s an Occult Bounty Hunter with tragedy in his path and a gift for tracking down the spooky. I feel like I have a very good sense of what makes him tick, a testament to the author’s talent with words. I’m quite curious to learn more about Deacon and his friends because they seem like quite the team. After all, anybody who uses a strip club to finance a war on the occult is worth a second glance. Plus, we don’t know where Deacon’s abilities come from and I *need* to know what’s going on there!
In under 100 pages, James R. Tuck has thoroughly captivated my imagination. I can’t wait to see what he does with 300+ pages at his disposal.