Cover Image: White Trash Warlock

White Trash Warlock

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

n a year filled with so much of "the same old thing," this book is a totally unexpected delight. It's urban fantasy of the old style with another world filled with elves and other powerful fae touching ours. No fancy stuff. It's gritty and real, with well defined believable characters. It's about family and friendship and the pain of growing up different. Perfect pacing, relentless plot, sweet gay romance, and an evil entity that must be destroyed to save the world. I couldn't put it down. Wonderful debut to a series I plan to follow.

Was this review helpful?

What. A. Book.

Adam Binder is forced to face his family after years of separation when his brother calls him begging for help with dangerous supernatural occurrences plaguing his wife. Duty bound to help where others couldn't, Adam returns to the brother and mother who had him committed as a teen for the magical powers he couldn't control. Now they need his help to save his sister-in-law from a strange possession. But it's not just her that's posessed. In fact, something strange seems to be taking over much of Denver. And with the help of some elves and a police officer Adam saves from the brink of death--and may or may not be falling for--it's up to him to get to the bottom of what's going on and put a stop to it before it's too late.

So many complicated characters--which I love--not to mention one wholly good one with a heart of gold who I may or may not ship hard with Adam. I may be biased since my friend wrote it, but no, it's just that good. A spectacular work of character-driven fantasy. Go ahead and add this to your TBR now and get ready for an incredible ride of a trilogy. I for one can't wait to see where it takes us.

Was this review helpful?

OK -- I drew a comic recently about my feelings on this book (and forgot to credit hubs for the writing SORRY) -- but this is a book that I've honestly liked from the first chapter. The story is well paced and includes the more fantastical parts of dealing with creatures and non-human beings, which I feel like can be sometimes watered down when reading a fantasy/fantasy-ish book. I enjoy the main character feeling just awkward and out-of-place with everything going on, and it feels like we're both learning about what the hell is going on with the universe as he uncovers more and more problems.

The name gave me a totally different impression of what the book was going to be about. I'm not disappointed at all, but I just got a kick out of it. :)

Was this review helpful?

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

"All the signs points to Denver"

Adam Binder's life isn't an easy one. He has the Sight, the ability of seeing beyond the physical world and into the Spirit Realm, inhabited by gnomes, elves, giants and spirits of every kind. This ability, though, didn't help him either with his family either with his classmates, hindering possibile friendships, making difficult for him to connect with people, worrying his own family and fueling his father's rage.
Now, years after his brother had him committed, Adam is trying to understand what and who he is, to find purpose, love and using his own magic for good, looking for an evil warlock who is abusing creatures's powers and trying to find out what happened to his father.
When his brother Bobby calls him for help because a spirit took possession of his wife, Adam is forced to confront his past, his family, mother and brother and to fight for what is right.

Told by two POVs, Adam's and Bobby's, White Trash Warlock is a wonderful and intense fantasy, with a complex and relatable main character and a captivating plot, with an interesting and thrilling worldbuilding and a wonderful LGBTQIA+ rep, starting with the main character.

Adam's power always complicated his life. Without guidance and help, he was always considered the strange kid, the crazy or stoned one, until, worried for him and unable to help him properly, his older brother decided to send him to a new school, without (or don't wanting to) realize the real nature of the place.
Adam was so forced to grow up on his own and discovering his powers, how to use it, how to control the, how to avoid being overwhelmed by other's feelings, with his great-aunt Sue and an elf's help.
Bobby's call threatened to turn upside down his already precarious life, with his almost destroyed Cutlass, his scraping by life, unearthing rage, resentment, sadness and bad memories about his childhood and teenager years.
Adam and Bobby are very different. Bond by blood and memories, they are diametrically opposite. Adam is bound to the Spirit world by his power, his curiosity, his acceptance and desire to discover things, to find answers and meaning, while Bobby always refused to accept the existence of another realm. He created his perfect normal life, he's a doctor, he has a wife, he has an Audi and a perfect life and everything is ruined when a spirit intrudes in his world, forcing him to ask his brother for help and, as with Adam, forcing to unearth memories, lies and untold truths.

The side characters are also very interesting. Tilla, their mother, who finds peace and understanding in her Bible, struggling to accept her younger's son abilities and sexuality. Sue, Adam and Bobby's great-aunt, who was and is for Adam one of the few people able to understand him and his powers, helping and supporting him in every way. Perak, an older lover, an elf who changed everything for Adam and Vic, a cop Adam meets in Denver and who turns again his life upside down.

I love the way the author describes the characters' conflicts and emotions and the reader is able to connect to and understand them, above all Adam with his rage, loneliness, frustration, desire and stubborness. David R. Slayton created complex and relatable characters and, swinging from Adam to Bobby and viceversa, the reader is able to know them, really know them.

I love how the book focus on the various problems and issues Adam is forced to deal with. He's investigating a warlock abusing creatures and he's convinced he and his father are the same person. At the same time he's forced to confront his past and family, he's helping his sister in law and discovers answers and new interesting people who wants to part of his life.

The whole worldbuilding is interesting and fascinating. The idea of a Spirit world, connected and separated to the "real" one is thrilling, so it's the whole world introduced. Sara and the Reapers, the Guardians and the Watchtowers, the politics in the realm of the elves, the Sights and Adam's ability to see and understand. I like the way the romance was present, the connection created between Adam and Vic, a sweet and loving building relationship between them and how they start to like one other in the uncertain and dangerous situation they are thrown in.

Above all, White Trash Warlock is a wonderful read, an interesting and thrilling first installment with an ending that left me so curious I can't wait to discover what will happen next!

If you love complex and captivating characters, past traumas, spirits, magic, love and family this book is perfect for you!

Was this review helpful?

All signs point to Denver and Adam Binder knows he can't ignore them.

When Adam receives a phone call from his brother claiming that his wife Annie is possessed, the last thing Adam wants to do is help. Not when the last memories he has of his brother Bobby is sending Adam to an insane asylum as a teen when really, he'd only burst into his magical powers as a teen with no guidance on how to navigate the new world he'd been tossed into. But he figures he owes it to Annie to try and help her overcome whatever nasty thing has gotten a hold of her. It doesn't hurt that Adam's search for his father, who has been missing for years, is supposedly in Denver, too.

In Denver, Adam is forced to confront the ugly feelings he has toward his estranged family who is different from him in every way that counts, an evil spirit that is power-hungry, and the strong emotions he feels toward a gorgeous cop who is anything but bashful in his interest of Adam.

"White Trash Warlock" by David R. Slayton was a fun, delightful read about the trials of magic and relationships with a dash of humour thrown in. The combining of two worlds (the utterly mundane and highly fantastical) resulted in a fantastic journey from the perspectives of both Adam and Bobby who struggle to confront their past differences as they work together to fight against the looming threat of the evil spirit.

I absolutely loved the diversity of the characters which ranged from mere mortals whose daily routines have been disrupted by the evil spirit, to those of the magical realm with complex laws and social orders that impact the way they move among mortals and deal with magical issues. Slayton's novel is one I highly recommend because like a pack of skittles, it contains every colour and flavour an urban fantasy novel should have to create one action-packed journey that is anything but simple.

Was this review helpful?

This is one of the best YA books I’ve read in years. The main characters are fully fleshed out and feel alive, the world building is excellent (without sacrificing characters, which I feel is so hard to do), the themes well address issues of intersectionality often unremarked on in YA lit (namely, class), and the side characters are a blast. For those worried that this is another moody teen boy book, Adam is that, but he’s also richly compelling and goes on a journey of real growth.

Was this review helpful?

I'd like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC of White Trash Warlock.

When I requested this review copy after being exposed to title, cover and summary, I expected something more quirky and action filled that this moody character exploration decorated with some urban fantasy elements that miss more than hit and that drives a bit too close to home.

Overall, Adam's journey was one I liked, he's an interesting protagonist that has suffered a lot and yet refuses to give up, even if he's a bit bitter. He feels complex emotions and tries to connect with a family scared not only of his magical abilities but also of his sexual orientation. The family is also something to mention, as both his mother and his older brother, who's also the other main POV character, are written in a more morally questionable way than outright villainous. Relationships are complicated and things don't have to be black and white. With that, I can agree.

Unlike other readers, I found the world building messy at best, as it's highly entwined with the "magic system" that follows narrative needs instead of any semblance of internal logic. That's not always bad, like when writing very soft magic systems, but more and more elements get thrown around in this fantasy soup that I couldn't care enough to follow because they didn't add much to the core of the main plot nor to the character arcs, besides one small plot point that could have been removed and I wouldn't have noticed. The most interesting part is the Tarot related elements, because everything else we've seen before hundreds of times.

I also didn't appreciate the insta love, but Vic is such a sweet dude that I didn't' mind. So yeah! It was an entertaining read that explores complicated relationships, the strength of family bonds, what it means being true to yourself in the face of rejection and still being receptive to second chances.

Was this review helpful?

I've got to admit I only got a few pages and gave up. No offense, but just not characters I was in to.

Was this review helpful?

The first book in a new urban fantasy series, Adam Binder has the Sight something that caused a rift with his family. The same brother who had Adam committed to a psych ward now needs his help freeing his wife from possession by an evil spirit.

Great worldbuilding and kudos for writing about sexually and racially diverse characters. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for the DRC.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

If there is one thing that White Trash Warlock has a lot of, it's heart. This charming start to a fantasy series follows Adam Lee Binder, a gay witch still grappling with the trauma of his past (most notably, his time in a mental hospital because his family thought he was crazy instead of just, you know, magical). But when a member of his family falls prey to an evil spirit, he has to return to the people who wronged him.

This is a really interesting, smooth ride of a novel. I enjoyed the unique backwater setting, and the exploration of characters we rarely get to see: the titular "white trash", that is. Adam is adorable and relatable, and I don't think I've seen a main gay dude magical character in a while, or ever. The plot moves pretty quickly, and the fluid writing skillfully moves the reader along. Excited to see where Slayton goes next.

(trigger warnings: child abuse, miscarriage, being forced into mental hospital)

Was this review helpful?

I got my hands on an eGalley advance copy of this title. I believe this is a debut novel and I was quite pleased to find it an excellent example of the urban fantasy sub genre.
The main character is quite sympathetic. He grew up rural and extremely poor in an unstable house and yet is still a decent enough human being to risk himself for the sake of an innocent in danger. I don’t want to say too much about the plot since it isn’t out for months.
I do think I should include a warning that if you would find descriptions of child abuse too distressing this is not the book for you.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you so much to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

White Trash Warlock follows Adam Binder on a journey with his brother(whom he doesn't speak to) to help his sister-in-law, Annie, who's begun acting very strange. Adam has magic and it has caused a rift between him and his family his entire life, can he and his family get past their differences to help Annie before it's too late, and what magical forces will Adam have to barter with in order to solve this mystery?

Wow....just WOW! Five enthusiastic, bright and shiny stars for this novel. The world is wonderfully pieced together without sacrificing the pacing of this novel, which is really hard to find in YA novels. Normally you sacrifice one or the other but not in this story. The characters are so well written, they suck you in and don't let go until the very last page. I adored all the magical characters and guardians, as well as the muggles. The main character is super lovable while also massively flawed. I really enjoyed his journey and all those supporting pieces that moved around with him. His Brother, Bobby is another complex being in this novel who grips your heart and doesn't let go. It's rare that I feel connected to more than one character throughout a story, but both Adam and Bobby have something that most people can relate to and it pushes this novel over the top, if I could give it 20 stars I would.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, horror, or even a good mystery. Age range 13 and above, just because there is some violence and a smidge of romance(nothing explicit).

Was this review helpful?

Growing up is difficult for many. Growing up poor worsens it. Adam Lee Binder is Oklahoma trailer trash. The low class of society, which most don't give a fuck about. Adam has been able use the Sight to see the other side; the spirit realm and other planes since he was a child and it happened frequently growing older and to every day in his teens. This causes strain on his family resulting in tense relationships. His own brother and mom locked him up in a psychiatric facility, which they think was good for him. It wasn't. Years have passed and college aged Adam is flung back into his estranged older brother's life. He has to save his possessed sister in law. Lives are at stake and his life will never be the same.

Urban fantasy often has middle to upper class protagonists. This is extremely prevalent in YA. You rarely see rural , lower class or poor protagonists in adult and YA urban fantasy. And queer and this case gay protagonists even less.

I love how Adam's social and financial situation colored this book. Slayton crafted a highly traumatized young man with a past who perservers and tries to remain kind. Adam really is a cinnamon roll but boy is he broken. You feel for Adam , want to hug him and say everything will be okay. I immediately liked him on page one and fell more in love chapter by chapter. Every queer experience is unique and every person is different. Adam is real and was real reading his story. I love how Adam felt like a real guy, had sexual urges but wasn't a horndog. He's fully fleshed person. I would be his friend no doubt.

You feel that Slayton cares for every character he created. From smaller to more important. Every being Adam encountered had a life when they were off and on the page. You jump into action from the get go. Every character is important and helps reveal the story or is revealed throughout the book. The pace slows down at parts to help build character but is never boring and always important.

The love story between Adam and his lover past and present builds organically. You understand why they are a thing. And why Adam has doubts with both because of things and power beyond his control.

I love how Adam is low powered. This means winning and defeating his enemies won't be easy. Adam being over powered is less of a thing.Adam has to work with other beings to get things done. Beings that are sneaky. Don't mess with the Fae is all I'm saying. I adore Argent and Silver , high fae , who are maybe or not friends. Magic has a price and Adam really pays for it. I know he will grow stronger, build stronger relationships and heal. Be less broken in his story. I'm in for the ride and thank you Slayton for creating Adam Lee Binder.



Cover talk: It is standard with urban fantasy to have the lead or leads on the cover. I expected it but change is good. I still love the first mentioned cover style. The green and purple fit perfect together. It depicts a scene and I'm looking forward what will depicted the following books.

Was this review helpful?

Adam Binder isn’t just a regular guy. Adam has magic and can see things, creatures and other worlds normal people can’t see. That’s how he ends up in a psych ward where his mum and his brother sent him as a teen. They didn’t believe him. Years after he’s been out he gets a message from his brother who’s asking him for help. He hasn’t heard from him since the day they sent him away. And to top all of this, his brother needs magical help...

The thing I really loved about White Trash Warlock is that it started off right away with lots of action. You were thrown in this magical world right from the beginning. It’s been a fast and exciting read. With lots of twists and surprises.
I really liked that connection Vic and Adam had after Adam saved him but I’m also still rooting for Silver. I’m torn and I wonder where this storyline/love triangle thing will take us.
The story was fast paced with lots of insight in the magical world/beings. It was all described very visual and I liked that you had barley time to take a breath when something has been cleared because the next problem was already waiting around the corner.
The only issue I had was that the characters were lacking a bit of depth. But I hope we will get more of this in the sequels.

I must say I’m very excited for the next books and for Adam’s further journey. I will definitely continue to follow his story. After all there’s still so much that needs to get resolved.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed 'White Trash Warlock," both for the twists it offered on Urban Fantasy tropes and for the really excellent LGBTQIA+ rep it offered, ESPECIALLY in having a bi, Latinx, male love interest end up with the protagonist - we need more bi/pan men to enter into relationships with men in all genres and for it to happen so naturally in this book was delightful.
I also loved that Adam, the voice character, doesn't end up even flirting with a Chosen One narrative. We have plenty of those in fantasy lit. He's a human doing his best in the world, like the rest of us, he just happens to have some magical abilities to assist him in his attempts to leave the world a little better than he found it. Readers will connect with him on a fundamental level that isn't always possibly in more epic quest narratives, which is one of the joys of the urban fantasy sub-genre writers don't take advantage of nearly often enough.

Was this review helpful?