Friday, 9 December 2016

Book Review: That Thing at the Zoo by James R Tuck (Deacon Chalk #0.5)

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 the treetops. And he's only got until 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 holy ground is to unleash his darkest, most uncontrollable instincts...

My Review: 
Deacon is an occult bounty hunter, still trying to get over the death of his wife and kids. His latest job is to stop a beast that is stalking the zoo and mutilating the animals. He has to take on a helper-Jimmy the redneck zookeeper as his normal team are not with him.

I liked this story. First we had a good urban fantasy plot with the deadly beast stalking the zoo at night and Deacon setting traps to capture and kill it. There is a lot of good tension and action sequences in those dark shadows of the zoo closed at night! It would be a bit of a creepy place to be hunting vampires and things! I can't really say much else about the plot without telling the whole story but urban fantasy fans should enjoy it.

The second good thing about it was the characters. Deacon himself is the kickass bounty hunter with a human side, as you see how he is suffering the loss of his family. He looks like the big tough guy on the book covers in the series so it is good to see the real human emotions in him as he struggles to function in his job while mourning the family he adored. It makes you like the guy and feel real sympathy for him. He is also snarky, brave and intelligent, which I like in a male lead. I also liked Jimmy the redneck zookeeper who is in some ways the comic relief sidekick who I liked very much. I don't know if he features later in the series or not but I hope we see him again. Despite his terror, he wants to protect his animals, which makes him ok by me. Deacon has contact with his usual partners by computer-the feisty female Kat and the Catholic priest/exorcist Father Mulcahy, who I assume feature in the books.

I'm quite excited at the prospect of this series, based on how good this prequel story is. Sometimes the prequels are good but the series doesn't match up...well I have high hopes for Deacon Chalk and look forward to trying the first novel soon!
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg


  1. "He wants to protect his animals...." sounds like a read for me. I've always been curious about this one and I hope the series continues to be good.

    1. I've now read books 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 and enjoyed them all...reading book 3 tonight!

  2. This sounds like a great twist! Going to go check it out night. Would be a perfect read for tonight. And a new series for me too!

    1. I'm on book 3 in the series and I'm loving it! It's good to see a series live up to the prequel.