Book Review | White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton

White Trash Warlock (The Adam Binder Novels, #1)

Title: White Trash Warlock
Author: David R. Slayton
Pages: 320

Synopsis:

Guthrie was a good place to be from, but it wasn’t a great place to live, not when you were like Adam, in all the ways Adam was like Adam.

Adam Binder hasn’t spoken to his brother in years, not since Bobby had him committed to a psych ward for hearing voices. When a murderous spirit possesses Bobby’s wife and disrupts the perfect life he’s built away from Oklahoma, he’s forced to ask for his little brother’s help. Adam is happy to escape the trailer park and get the chance to say I told you so, but he arrives in Denver to find the local magicians dead.

It isn’t long before Adam is the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, he’ll have to risk bargaining with powers he’d rather avoid, including his first love, the elf who broke his heart.

The Binder brothers don’t realize that they’re unwitting pawns in a game played by immortals. Death herself wants the spirit’s head, and she’s willing to destroy their family to reap it.

Review:

White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton is the first book in a new urban fantasy series. Adam Binder has the Sight. It’s a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam’s life, that power has been a curse, hindering friendships, worrying his backwoods family, and fueling his abusive father’s rage. Years after his brother, Bobby, had him committed to a psych ward, Adam is ready to come to grips with who he is, to live his life on his terms, to find love, and maybe even use his magic to do some good. Hoping to track down his missing father, Adam follows a trail of cursed artifacts to Denver, only to discover that an ancient and horrifying spirit has taken possession of Bobby’s wife. It isn’t long before Adam becomes the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, save his sister-in-law, and learn the truth about his father, Adam will have to risk bargaining with very dangerous beings, including his first love.

Adam is on a hunt for his father. A father that could potentially be an evil warlock, so that’s great. He’s pretty sure he inherited his Sight, and what little magic he has, from his dad, chasing monsters from the Other Side as a way to atone for his dad’s evil actions, but things derail fast when he gets a call from his brother, someone he’d rather not even look at or speak to again, frantically asking for his help. Turns out his sister-in-law is being possessed by a heinous spirit. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰, 𝘣𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘴 𝘈𝘥𝘢𝘮’𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥, 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯.

This book was so calming to read, even though Adam was being attached by a disgusting otherworldly spirit. I wouldn’t say boring, just something that really pulls you in even though not a loss is happening.

The world seemed to keep expanding and becoming more interesting through every chapter. He befriended an Elven Queen, even though he’s slightly terrified of her and thinks all Elves utterly obnoxious.

White Trash Warlock is an urban fantasy novel that hooked me right away and kept dragging me deeper into its world until I did not want to leave when I finished the book. Adam is a character that is flawed, and aware of most of those flaws. His relationships and understanding of himself is complicated and only becomes more so when his brother asks him for help and he has to face all the messy history and manipulation that leads to the current situation. I thought the characters were very well developed, complex, and none perfect or too static. The world-building was well done as well, I would love to dive in a little deeper into the how’s and whys of things, but that really did not have any place in this story, and look forward to more being revealed as the series continues.

I thought the world and character building and development were nicely balanced with the action and mystery aspects of the story. Relationships, self-perception, and family and hard and complicated- more so when magic and destruction are involved. The fact that the characters were complex, diverse, and outside the scope of what I normally see in the genre made it even better. I never found myself bored, and often found myself wishing I was reading while I was forced to do other things, and then when I finished it I was sad that there was no more waiting for me.
is character a lot more. One of the things that were a bit lacking for me was the romance element, there seemed to be a bit of a love triangle going on, which I really don’t enjoy. But also the romance felt super underdeveloped and rushed. It probably would’ve worked better for me if the romantic arc was spread out over the course of the series.

Throughout the story, we meet many magic-filled creatures, elves, dwarves, even leprechauns. Each brought their own history and added more layers of kickassness to the story. It all blended together to give us a rich, magic-filled world. A place where nothing is as it seems. Slayton does a wonderful job of making you feel the overwhelming oppressive force of the spirit.

So much of this book gives you background on Adam and how that affects everything happening in the story. It isn’t a happy story since there is so much grief in Adam’s life as a child that comes up in all his adult encounters with his family. Hopefully, in the next book things will be a bit better for Adam, he does get a boyfriend and makes peace with his past in this one even as it has him traveling to see his great aunt at the end of the book.

I couldn’t help but love Adam and I felt so sad at everything he had to go through. I was especially mad at his mother, and also Bobby (his brother), at the start. But as Bobby also had his own POV, I could sympathize with his character a lot more. One of the things that were a bit lacking for me was the romance element, there seemed to be a bit of a love triangle going on, which I really don’t enjoy. But also the romance felt super underdeveloped and rushed. It probably would’ve worked better for me if the romantic arc was spread out over the course of the series.

Throughout the story, we meet many magic-filled creatures, elves, dwarves, even leprechauns. Each brought their own history and added more layers of kickassness to the story. It all blended together to give us a rich, magic-filled world. A place where nothing is as it seems. Slayton does a wonderful job of making you feel the overwhelming oppressive force of the spirit.

So much of this book gives you background on Adam and how that affects everything happening in the story. It isn’t a happy story since there is so much grief in Adam’s life as a child that comes up in all his adult encounters with his family. Hopefully, in the next book things will be a bit better for Adam, he does get a boyfriend and makes peace with his past in this one even as it has him traveling to see his great aunt at the end of the book.

Dark, haunting, lyrical, and innovative, beautiful and heartfelt, White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton is crafted like something rarely seen in the world of urban fantasy: He’s given the reader something unique, which is a rare and wonderful treat.

Big thanks to TheWriteReads for including me on this amazing tour and to all the readers who give feedback on my posts! I’m looking forward to responding to every comment and tweet!

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