Spider’s Lullaby by James R. Tuck

JTuck-Spiders LullabyJames R. Tuck has a new Deacon Chalk novella, Spider’s Lullaby, coming out in two weeks and I finally got to read it. Now normally, I’m not a big fan of novellas and pass them by.  But we’re talking Deacon Chalk. Monsters. Kickass fighting…considering I loved Blood and Bullets and That Thing at the Zoo, I could not NOT read Spider’s Lullaby.

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities take out any kind of unnatural threat. But between this bad-ass bounty hunter and rescuing the most helpless of victims stands the one evil he can’t defeat…

For Deacon Chalk, loyalty is worth dying for. And now that something has taken were-spider Charlotte’s un-hatched children and one of his closest friends, he’ll tear up the human and supernatural underworlds to find them. But with his allies stripped away by an invincible Yakuza hit man and time running out, Deacon must face down the most ancient of demonic entities. And his last hope means surrendering to the inner darkness waiting hungrily to consume him …

Before I go any farther, I need to confess my love/hate for novellas.  I don’t particularly like being teased with just a teensy glimpse into a world that I love, I want the whole book LOL.  I know that a novella is supposed to be a tease and get you excited for the coming book.  But I get aggravated because the ride is over so quickly and frustrated because it wasn’t enough to satisfy me, I want more! Spider’s Lullaby can be summed up nicely as kick ass and it did it’s job of teasing me into wanting to read the next book

You have Deacon, who I absolutely love, fighting to save not just someone he cares about but the whole world.  By his side is a were-spider, Charlotte, who is trying to find her eggs before all hell breaks loose if they hatch without her.  Those little suckers must imprint on someone and if they don’t, they go on a killing rampage.  If someone so happens to be there when they hatch, well God help the poor soul.  Unless it’s another were-spider, the imprinting could destroy the persons mind.  There’s also Tiff with him, who is in this limbo of friend and wanna be lover, that he’s trained to be one crazy fighter.  The three of them go all Rambo on the bad guy….so yeah kickass sums it up perfectly.

I absolutely love the characters that James R. Tuck creates.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them.  Deacon is this mean mo-fo with a tender heart.  He’s someone you would not want to meet in a dark alley if you are a bad guy, because he will chew you up and spit you out without missing a step.  If you are a good guy, better believe he’ll protect you with his last breath.  Have I mentioned I have crush on this man?  Even with his scraggly goatee, I’d get tangled with him ;).

Charlotte is a crazy cool were-spider, what more can I say about that?  She’s scary, she’s lethal, she’s slightly creepy, and she doesn’t think like a human, she thinks like a spider.  Amazeballs.  Tiff is just a regular human that Deacon saved in Blood and Bullets and she isn’t going anywhere.  For her to survive in his world, Deacon taught her how to fight, so the girl can hold her own against those tall dark and scary.  And the sexual tension between Tiff and Deacon is so thick you could eat it with a spoon.  I love seeing attraction and lust through his eyes; especially since you typically read the tension via a woman’s point of view.  A part of me wants them to shag already, the man clearly wants it and clearly deserves it, and it’s torturing the poor guy.  The other part is very curious about seeing him getting in stickier situations and having to fight off the urge.

A new character makes his debut in Spider’s Lullaby,  a Russian dragon.  Oh yeah.  Ivan Dragonovich is the human form of Zmey Gorynych, the three headed wyrm of doom who terrorized ancient Russia.  You don’t see him shift to a dragon though, but man I hope we do someday.  He’s only in the spotlight for a little bit, but in that time I got very interested in him.  He’s dangerous and Deacon sees him as an equal assassin.  If Deacon is impressed by him, the man has got to be scary…tell me Mr. Tuck that we see him again?  Pretty please?!

The search and rescue all happens within a few hours, so this is a very fast read.  I think it took me three hours or so, and I’m not the fastest reader and have two ankle biters to distract me.  I knew things would more than likely end in Deacon’s favor, there is Blood and Silver next after all, but I couldn’t see what was going to happen.  I didn’t see the reason the eggs were stolen or how dangerous the bad guy ended up being.  I was on the edge of my seat saying ‘Go Deacon, go!’ as I read…really I was, the kids asked me to stop…  I gasped and got all worked up every time someone had a close call.  I was truly engrossed, impressed and really disappointed there wasn’t more.

I can’t write a review for a James R. Tuck book without quotes.  I just can’t.  One of the things I like about this series is Deacon’s/Tuck’s sense of humor, he’s funny as hell but it’s dry humor, it’s crass and shocking…it’s awesome and I always laugh and end up using the phrase at random times for giggles.  In Spider’s Lullaby you have:

  • A cute girl, a pissed off Were-spider, and an occult bounty hunter carrying a small arsenal walk into a bar…I bet this joke was gonna have one helluva punch line.
  • …if this situation went tits up.
  • I’d helped her boot the last of those sadistic perverts into the fiery depths of Satan’s asshole.
  • Shitdamn

If those don’t make you giggle snort, then we can’t be friends.

I love Mr. Tuck’s use of short and sweet sentences; but the man can describe things in perfect detail when he needs to.  He has the talent of making you ‘see’ what is happening.  I could see the crates in the warehouse as if they were right in front of me, could smell the spray painted letters on them and the wood of the crates themselves.  I could see him peaking around corners, looking for the bad guys…etc.  It’s not often I can do that with other novels as most of the time the descriptions are so bogged down, I’m trying to keep track of all the details.  He gives you just enough to set the scene up, to get you in his vision without being overly wordy and detailed.

See?  Kickass explains this novella, and well just about all books that I’ve read so far by James R. Tuck.  I love him, his writing and I cannot get enough.  If he ever makes a movie based on this series, I will be the first in line on opening night.  I will straight up cut someone to keep my spot and I will watch it every day until it goes to video.  Then I’ll buy the DVD and watch it some more.  Call me crazy, cause I kinda am, but I love this series that much.  You must for the love of all things holy, buy his books.  You will be missing out on an incredible ride if you don’t.

Read Order:
That Thing At the Zoo
Blood and Bullets
Spider’s Lullaby
Blood and Silver

About Nikki R 120 Articles
SAHM of 2, happily married bookworm, blogger and aspiring author. If I could read/write all day, every day, I would. Luckily I have a very understanding, and patient, husband who lets me get away with it as much as possible. Now if only the kids would understand my obsession, and the house would clean itself, then I'd be all set.


  1. Sandy you should read Blood and Bullets ASAP! It’s crazy good ;). I have a review for it here on LE if you’d like to check it out.

Comments are closed.