White Trash Warlock is intriguing, heartfelt, fast-paced and dark paranormal urban fantasy with a complicated plot and imaginative world.
White Trash Warlock (Adam Binder #1) by David R. Slayton
Publication Date : October 13, 2020
Publisher : Blackstone Publishing
Read Date :
Genre : Urban Fantasy / Paranormal
Pages : 320
Disclaimer – Many thanks to author and MTMC tours for review copy.
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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.
dark paranormal urban fantasy
White Trash Warlock is an intriguing and enjoyable paranormal urban fantasy about Adam Binders on the path of facing the deadly ancient spirit that has taken over Denver city, reconnecting with his estranged family, and uncovering the truth of his past that changes his relationship with his family and life.
Adam had lots of baggage. He was put into a psych ward by his elder brother, he and their mother never looked back on him or tried to find out how he was doing when he was released at 18. He lived with his father’s aunt, who was the same as him but with more potent magic, living poorly and doing odd jobs to survive. His father disappeared when he was five. He wanted to figure out what his magic is and who he was by finding out what happened to his father. Everything changes when he gets a distress call from his brother for help that takes him to Denver city where his brother and mother live now.
The story is about family misunderstanding, poverty, prejudice, classism, unresolved past, how normal people treat something that they don’t understand and people related to it, and queerness in the world. Writing is gripping and imaginative with even smooth pace. Most of the story is written from Adam’s perspective.
We get to know more about the characters and the world as the story progressed and it got more complicated than I anticipated. The emotions and past are deeper and looking at what the Binders family went through it was dark and also heartfelt.
Adam is not amazing throughout the book. It was easy to root for him. We see lots of vulnerability. I wouldn’t feel sorry for his brother if Adam decided to walk away from his problem after what he did to Adam. He is a lonely person. Because of his past with his family and the betrayal of his first love, he had trust issues and had trouble relying on anyone or asking for help when needed. I liked him for keeping his calm with his family and did what he has to not because he felt he was some hero out to save the world. He was smart and cautious. He knew how to navigate through the magical world in the spirit realm and deal with other higher-ups in the magical system. It was great to see him slowly developing and forming a little connection not just with his family but also with Vic.
There are intermittent perspectives of Robert/Bobby, Adam’s brother, that show what happened to him and his mother, how they lived when his father was around, how he was physically abused by him and why he felt right to put Adam in psych ward. He wasn’t likable in first half of the book. He couldn’t understand the magic in Adam and how he sees the world, not even when he actually saw it with his own eyes. But as the story progressed and more of his past was revealed he made more sense. He wasn’t very forthcoming with his emotions which looks like a common thing in the Binder family but It was easy to see his love for Adam. His guilt, anger, regrets, dealing with the past, pain and sadness for what is happening to his wife were realistic.
There wasn’t much romance between Vic and Adam but it brought the LGBTQ rep in focus. Their connection looked like fate brought them together but I liked how it changed Adam’s life and how he learned to rely on Vic and opened up to him not just about the magical world but how he felt.
The magical system is interesting and complicated. It was interesting to read the old definition of Warlock is a Traitor. Like in other fantasies, here too it comes through blood but the potency is different with everyone. There are hierarchies and everything comes with the deal/bargain in this world… knowledge, and even power… one has to pay the right price for what one wants. They can cross between the worlds physically depending on how much power they have. Adam was lower in the hierarchy so he traveled through a spirit walk which was interesting and very well written without making it confusing.
There are watchtowers and guardians looking over the realms and other magical beings making sure the balance between the worlds is right and no spirit harms the mortals. There are gods, immortals, elves, and leprechauns; there are also dragons, spirits, gnomes, pixies, druids, and more. It felt like there is still so much to know in the world that I hope to discover in next books of the series.
The mystery about who freed the spirit and why the Binders family was involved in all this was interesting but it didn’t have the effect it should have. Climax is action-packed, surprising, and adrenaline filled. It was also interesting to know the real truth about what happened to Adam’s father. It added more mystery to who was the druid that freed the spirit which will be revealed in the next book. The end is emotional, hopeful, and with a hint of what’s to come next.
Why 4 stars-
There was a little repetitiveness in the chapters with Robert’s perspective. I was kind of tired of him saying it was best for everyone until the truth was revealed. Like I said, the revelation of the person who plotted all this and why didn’t wow me.
Overall, White Trash Warlock is intriguing, heartfelt, fast-paced and dark paranormal urban fantasy with a complicated plot and imaginative world.
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