Deadbeat Druid is imaginative, thrilling, and well-written urban fantasy with underworld journey and amazing character growth.
Deadbeat Druid (Adam Binder #3) by David R. Slayton
Publication Date : October 18, 2022
Publisher : Blackstone Publishing
Read Date : May 25, 2023
Genre : Fantasy / Urban Fantasy
Pages : 350
Disclaimer – Many thanks to the author for sending a review copy and MTMC tours for review opportunity.
This post contains affiliate links.
Previous books I read in the series –
White Trash Warlock (Book 1)
Trailer Park Trickster (Book 2)
The living cannot be allowed to infect the dead.
Adam Binder has lost what matters most to him. Having finally learned the true identity of the warlock preying on his family, what was supposed to be a final confrontation with the fiend instead became a trap that sent Vic into the realm of the dead, where none living are meant to be. Bound by debt, oath, and love, Adam blazes his own trail into the underworld to get Vic back and to end the threat of the warlock once and for all.
But the road to hell is paved with more than good intentions. Demons are hungry and ghosts are relentless. What awaits Adam in the underworld is nothing he is prepared to face. If that weren’t enough, Adam has one more thing he must do if he and Vic are to return to world of the living: find the lost heart of Death herself.
fantasy with underworld journey
[Note that there are mild Spoilers so if you haven’t read previous books and plan to read them please avoid reading first two paragraphs]
Deadbeat Druid is immersive and thrilling urban fantasy, final book in Adam Binder trilogy, where Adam Binder takes a road trip to the underworld to save his love Vic and also his cousin, Jodi, who landed him in this situation in the previous book and while he is there saving Vic and Jodi, Death also ask him to bring someone else from the underworld, Mel.
It was interesting to see how they are going to survive in the underworld, if Adam is going to keep his promise to leprechaun about killing the druid who turned out his great-grandfather who was living for a century by stealing the lives of his descendant, and who is Mel and how she is important to Death.
Writing is the same as the previous book, engaging, imaginative and steady-paced with alternative dual perspectives from Adam and Vic, but this time there is more emotional depth and more character growth.
I found the initial chapters a little slow as we are taken to the new setting and the underworld isn’t like I have read in other books with underworld journeys. But as more of the setting was explored I was hooked to the story. I liked the theme of making the right choices and the message of forgiveness.
Characters are the best part of the book. I loved Adam in previous books and I loved him even more in this. He is just as kind and compassionate. He is better at his magical abilities now and the more he has to use his warlock power, the more it complicates his feelings and his ability to retain his nature, what makes him who he is without turning into a bad person like his grandfather. As the story progresses, the harder choices he has to make and it was sad to see him faltering even though what he was doing throughout the book was for the greater good. It was interesting to see how he dealt with his past and unresolved issue with his father and brother.
I loved what he did in the climax, how he could understand that his choices weren’t wrong and how in the future he would get many chances to make choices. I also admire him for what he decided to do with his great-grandfather. It’s very like him. Any other hero in his place wouldn’t have made that choice. I could see why immortals had more interest in him. His tender heart is his fatal flaw but it also made him different and not bad or evil like other warlocks and druids were in the past.
Vic was also amazing. I loved how he put aside his dislikes for Jodi and other characters who did wrong to Adam once he got to know them better and I loved how he wasn’t jealous of Silver and was open to forming his own opinion. Even though we see lots of his perspectives somehow it felt he took the backseat here and mostly served as a supportive character and leading other characters through the underworld journey.
Familial relationship is complex and well-written. Adam still has a complicated relationship with Bobby, Jodi, and his father but they all grew along with him and they could understand each other much better. It was amazing to see how this journey changed them, stripped them of burdens they carried all their lives, and their opinions towards each other.
I missed Silver and Argent here but it was fun to meet them again even for the shortest part and I also loved they too were like a family to Adam.
Adam’s Great-grandfather is crazy but at the same time I liked reading more about him, what made him like that, and at the same time, Adam’s bloodline. It all made much more sense about druids.
The setting of the underworld is unique and imaginative. I liked how it was described as creation of Death, her dream, and how it somehow reflects the living world but all gray and dead. I also liked the idea of ghosts or souls staying on their path and demons in the underworld eating their emotions so they are relieved of the burden they lived in life and are prepared for their final stop at the black sea, passing the world when they are ready. I also loved how some of the ghosts could find purpose in the underworld and chose to live there rather than passing in the sea.
It was interesting to read about the landscape, levels in the underworld, the process, cult-creating demons, dead cowboys herding the ghosts on their path, demons in form of buildings and plants, and how living beings in the underworld changed things. Meeting Life and how both Life and Death worked and how they both are opposite but also same was another interesting part.
The climax is tense, thrilling, and even more complex. Silver’s idea and how they all worked to make things right was interesting. The end is satisfying. I sure will miss Adam.
Why 4 stars-
The pace is slow compared to the previous book. I still don’t understand what happened to Vran and how whatever happened changed him. I wanted more of him. Like every reader, I also feel we get less Adam-Vic moments. For most of the book they just thought about being with each other and how they wanted their life together when they got out of the whole situation but they were really together only in 20% of the book and they had lot to deal with in that part than having moments together.
Overall, Deadbeat Druid is imaginative, thrilling, and well-written urban fantasy with underworld journey and amazing character growth.
I recommend this if you like,
Complicated familial relationship
Journey through underworld
Imaginative and unique underworld setting
Message of forgiveness
Theme of choices
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