Member Reviews

I had such a good time reading White Trash Warlock! It gave me massive Supernatural TV show feels. (I used to watch that show obsessively). But make it gay with complicated mysteries and brothers warring with betrayal and healing. It’s the kind of book I always wanted, but never found until now, and am super glad it’s a series because I need more of this world of elves and magic, witches and warlocks, barely contained evil and people with surly fronts but hearts of gold.

Adam Lee Binder grew up in a trailer park with everyone thinking him crazy for hearing voices, when really he has the Sight and can see other worlds. His past will break your heart, but the way he rebuilds himself and doesn’t hesitate to save and help, no matter the cost, was everything. Also it’s perfect as an YA-to-adult crossover since Adam is only 20, and there are sassy elves and demons and magic. Super intrigued by Adam’s complicated past with Perak, and his uncanny and accidentally meeting with the young cop, Vic. That feel when you randomly save a life and fall a little bit in love. The high stakes of ancient unearthed demons and worlds cracking apart was just so enthralling too. I whipped through the whole book so fast.

Addictive and fun, White Trash Warlock will break and remake your heart and take you on a dark spiralling adventure.⁣

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This urban fantasy deals with Adam on the trail of a dark warlock who he is believes is his dad. His older estranged brother Bobby calls him begging for help with his wife, Annie has been possessed by something that has taken out the mortal magic users in Denver. When Adam was younger and struggling to deal with magic Bobby had him committed until his 18th birthday. Adam has always blamed his brother for this but Annie has always been nice to Adam so he goes to help on her behalf. When Adam gets there things are very complicated very quickly. The guardians of the magical towers in the area know about what has attacked and killed people and they want Adam to take care of it and they will help him.

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.

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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 ever 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 lost 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.

“𝘌𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘴”

It was 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘯𝘺, which made me like a bit more, and also the 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 between Adam and Vic was so endearing, especially because Adam didn’t really think he’d ever actually have someone by his side who wouldn’t judge him for who he was and what he could do.

“𝙃𝙚’𝙙 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙘, 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙡 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙥𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙨, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙝𝙚’𝙙 𝙗𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙖 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠. 𝙃𝙚’𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙖𝙩 𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙠𝙞𝙣.”

Family is a tough subject for him, having been sent away by his mom and brother to be “taken care of” by professionals, but all that did was make his life more miserable, what with the failing grades and seeing fantasies others can’t, and strengthen his hate towards them. He wishes he could love them but what they did scarred him and he doesn’t think he could ever forgive them for it.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗵𝘂𝗴𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸, 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗜 𝗮𝗯𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘁𝗼𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗳𝗲𝗹𝘁 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸. 𝗜𝘁’𝗹𝗹 𝗵𝗶𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹𝘀.


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WTW is a book that seems to be made for me. Adam Binder is, maybe, a regrettable person. He hasn’t talked to his mother or brother ever since he left Liberty House, more a jail than a school, and he lives with his aunt Sue. When his brother calls to ask him for help with his wife he will find himself obligated to return because family is family, ¿isn´t it?
The author's writing style is pretty simple and it’s easy to connect with the story; it involves us greatly in the world and through the narration the book flies by. For this being the first in the series I think it couldn’t have been done better: there’s a mystery to solve, lovable characters and a lot of diverse themes (LGBTQ+ and latin characters).
Adam Binder is not the perfect protagonist, he’s not the most powerful of his kind and he doesn’t know everything that needs to be done, which makes him a character that’s easy to relate with. It is his flaws and suppressed emotions, learning how to use “the sight” to help people and a sad past that makes us connect with him instantly. The way Adam is so connected with his magic, how he defends it and how he describes it has made me immensely happy, and the use of colors, too, to talk about his and others emotions is unique and beautifully done.
The relationship between Bobby and Adam is a HUGE part of the plot. Adam's problems with his family are gradually revealed to us, a conflict from the past based on bad decisions and regrets. I think that it was wonderful to see the evolution in both of them: two brothers that stopped talking to each other due to open wounds and that, little by little, they start healing.
Bobby was my favorite without a doubt (even though i would’ve liked for him to be more present in the novel). I have always thought that being the one in charge is a difficult position to being in. Bobby is the oldest brother, and having had an irresponsible and abusive father, soon he needed not to be only in charge of Adam, but his mother and the house alike.
Throughout the novel there’s a message about empathy, about seeing further than our own circumstances. Everyone has problems, everyone makes bad decisions and we can’t demand that only ours are listened to: just as we want everyone to understand us we need to understand them, and Adam slowly realizes that he judges too fast and that he needs to put himself in the shoes of the people that he loves.
The romance was pretty tamed. Did I like it? Of course, Vicente is a charming character and worthy of being mexican; his family, the Martinez, was one of the most precious things of the story in general. Nonetheless, I was missing a lot of his presence to see the development of the emotions that he started feeling for Adam and vice versa. Maybe me liking him so much was what made his absence so obvious: I need more pages with Vic in them please.
I also enjoyed a lot of the other characters, such as Argent and Silver, especially the badass princess Argent. The part that the fantastic creatures play was special: the saurians, elfs, the leprechauns, etc. I think that having this variety elevated the story to new heights and I also loved the importance of tarot and death. The other side, the one only a few people can see, was presented so well by Adam, doing it in a simple way and it was incredible. I would definitely love to be a warlock.
The ending left me with my mouth hanging open, this is a story that leaves you wanting more, of wanting to continue immediately. WTW is a book about fantasy, characters and love, love in every one of its representations, about love that sacrifices, helps and saves. It is a story that keeps you at the edge of your seat, that makes you connect with the world, its emotions and its lives. It has been a delightful read that I highly recommend to any fantasy lover, to anyone that enjoys great character development and someone who is looking for a story that will not leave your mind for a long time.

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Am I officially obsessed with White Trash Warlock? Yup, I think I am!

This is the kind of book that makes you flip pages non-stop. Adam Binder lives in our world but has the Sight, the magical ability that allows him to see into another realm full of elves, spirits and demons. This ability is what allowed him to pull through those cold days spent in the psych ward his brother, Bobby, had put him in so he could study a medical career. But as soon as he turned 18, Adam has lived with his Aunt Sue (and epic seer!) in a trailer park, and has lived estranged to his mother and brother, until his sister-in-law is possesed by an ancient demon and Bobby needs his help.

Adam is the type of characters I absolutely adore to read about! His heart is just in the right place?! He has gone through so much and yet he doesn’t hesitate to help those that need his help. When he first sees his sister-in-law, Annie, lying down in a state that reminds him of his days spent in the psych ward, he puts his grudge aside and dives straight into solving the mystery that surrounds the ancient demon hovering over Annie. And I 100% loved that about him.

Parts of this book reminded me a lot about the spirit world in Avatar & The Legend of Korra, particularly of Vaatu (who is the spirit of darkness and chaos). But I absolutely loved how in White Trash Warlock you get all sorts of spirits and witches/warlocks, including a certain elf called Perak who was the one that taught Adam how to spirit walk. There’s a lot of room to explore in this world and something I highly anticipate doing in the sequel!

Oh, but I also adored meeting Vic who is a young cop and the superior love interest for Adam, if I do say so myself. He also has an adorable sense of humor and I 10/10 need more of Adam and Vic together. (Oh, and he’s Mexican!!!)

If you are looking for a magical read set partly in our world with adorable characters that will cling to your heart and have you rooting for them, then look no further than White Trash Warlock!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Black Stone Publishing for the copy of this book!

White Trash Warlock is the story of Adam Binder, a gay wizard with very little power who nevertheless makes it his mission to track down the warlock he thinks might be his father. When his estranged brother calls him to help his possessed wife, Adam grudgingly agrees. He ends up on a journey rife with deep magical roots, elves and reapers, and all manner of magical beings. Helping his brother is going to end up costing someone something big, and it might just be Adam that has to pay.

I really love Adam as the main character. He's the type of character who's good to the point of exasperation. Self-sacrifice is something that just seems like a no brainer to him, his only option in some cases. He's good, but he's also self-conscious and angry at his family and perpetually annoyed both at his lack of magic and his possession of any magic at all.

The strained dynamics of the family felt real, and I was glad we got to see both Adam's point of view and his brother Robert's point of view. It's easy to write Robert off as materialistic and vain, but through his lens, we get to see his guilt at how he's treated his brother in the past, and his very real emotion over his wife being possessed. David Slayton made a great choice giving us both voices.

The story itself is well done, keeping us the readers invested emotionally and intellectually with the magic system. It's familiar to anyone who reads fantasy with any regularity, but still has it's own unique flavor. The elves are central characters here, but they're just a touch warmer than what we're used to seeing. We even get to see leprechauns, which is something new for me! The end will definitely leave you wanting the next book!

The one thing I would change about this book if I could would be the occupation of the LI and main POC in the book. He's a cop, and while it doesn't have any real bearing on the story, it still just didn't sit quite right in the current climate. He's a great character and the romance is very sweet. It certainly didn't put me off the book, just something I wish was different.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I can't wait for the second one!

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White Trash Warlock by David Slayton

Honestly, I enjoyed this story and am interested in seeing where this series goes. There are some really cool bits, and others that had I realized this was a debut novel would have lessened how harshly I judged this book while reading. I’d absolutely recommend reading White Trash Warlock, though, so please take anything negative I say about it with a teeny tiny grain of salt.

Cool bits
• Gay representation
• Love triangle
• Colors used to describe feelings
• Showcases multiple families, each with a unique dynamic
• Pretty diverse cast of characters and personalities
• Story flows well
• Magical world was really present throughout story
• Interesting story
• That cover

Less cool bits
• Why a color was chosen to describe a feeling wasn’t explained, and at least for me, wasn’t always obvious as to why they were associated with each other.
• Transitions were not always mentioned or detailed. A character was in a location one second and then a completely different one the next and I have no idea how he got there (wasn’t a magical movement).
• Unclear on why Adam cared so much for Annie. He wasn’t close with his brother and didn’t respond to the emails Annie sent with updates on her life with Bobby. She showed kindness but the extent to which Adam was protective of her doesn’t feel earned to me.
• Very minor gripe that has absolutely no effect on the story and will most likely not bother anyone else…from my experience people that poor generally don’t throw away food the first time they have a chance to eat a full meal in who knows how long because the person they’re with upsets them. You either finish the meal or take that shit to go.

A lot of this can be overlooked since this is a debut novel, though, and doesn’t excessively detract from the story

Spoiler bit because I don’t know how else to talk about it
I enjoyed the twist with Adam’s dad at the end; giant however, why was so much of the story aimed at directing the reader to buy into the idea that he was the warlock only for that possibility to be ripped away at the end of the first book? Unless the author is trying to subvert expectations for a later book or direct attention away from, I dunno, Jesse, I don’t understand why so much time was spent on that storyline.

Again, on whole this is an enjoyable read and if you are into urban fantasy I recommend checking it out.

Thank you to Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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Trigger warnings for miscarriage, postpartum, and abuse from a parent.

This novel starts with Robert Binder’s wife, who has been acting strangely, and he must contact the one person who can help. Adam Binder, who lives with his Aunt Sue, receives a call from his older brother to help his wife. But. There is much more wickedness going on in their hat Adam will have his hands full. There is a male-male romance that made my heart flutter. I could not put this novel down, and I recommend this novel!

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I'm going to be real honest and say I picked this up ENTIRELY because of its title and I didn't even bother to read a synopsis. I expected this to be stupid but boy was I wrong.

This is an adorable queer low fantasy (note below) about a young man named Adam who is just a good person. He also has magic, but so little its pretty much useless for anything other than seeing the magical realm. Without spoiling anything the author isn't shy about killing people, which is my vibe for books.

A note on the term "low fantasy", for some reason this sounds offensive but all it means is that it takes place in the real world with magic. "high fantasy" is a newly created universe that has nothing at all to do with earth.

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Adam Lee Binder’s life hasn’t been anything near simple, or anyone’s definition of normal, for that matter, since before he was committed by his mother and older brother to an institution for “talking to invisible people.” The behind-the-scenes conspiracy to bring his institutionlization to fruition unfolds over the course of the telling of his story, and everything that happens in between is nothing short of spectacular. This novel is filled with betrayals and secrets and magic and a variety of magical beings, some wonderful urban fantasy, if that’s your cuppa, all revolving around a twenty-year-old guy who thinks of himself as white trash, but he is, in fact, a pragmatic hero with a future that promises to be filled with more danger and strife. And, if Vic Martinez has anything to say about it, maybe a little love too.

“Won’t you come in?” Death asked.

When Adam is summoned by his brother, Bobby Jack—although, he’s Dr. Robert Binder now, having shed any remnants of his small-town Oklahoma past—to come to Denver to help with a situation not of this world, Adam considers flat-out rejecting Robert’s plea. Why wouldn’t he, after the brother he’d love so much betrayed him so deeply? But Adam likes his sister-in-law, Annie, too much to reject her in a time of desperate need, so he packs up his car, says goodbye to his beloved Aunt Sue, and drives away from the rundown trailer park he’s known as home since he turned eighteen and signed himself out of the “school” where he’d been abandoned years before. Which is where Adam’s life becomes complicated in myriad ways, which is, of course, when things get intensely interesting beyond his family issues.

Author David R. Slayton offers readers a relatable hero in Adam, a man whose goal isn’t to overwhelm us with his magical prowess but to make us sympathize with him as an every guy; granted, one who’s more than average and has found himself in an impossible situation, but the author scores big points in the likability department. Adam’s magic doesn’t necessarily inspire the awe of a more skilled practitioner—he has just enough Sight to allow him to get into trouble, if we’re being honest—but it’s also enough to allow him to see the ancient being that’s threatening Denver and violating its victims in a bid to absorb power. As Adam delves deeper into the problem of how to eliminate the creature, we’re given further glimpses into his past, his abusive father’s disappearance and why Adam is searching for him, and the heartache over the abandonment of his first love, an elf named Perak. Adam is forced to make alliances and seek help from various sources, some of which he’s not altogether sure he’ll survive, but all of whom do their part to craft this otherwise ordinary reality into something extraordinary.

If you’ve ever finished a book, read its final words, and the best you could come up with in the moment was “Wow,” you’ve read a book a lot like White Trash Warlock left me feeling. Even the term warlock gets a makeover in this -verse, and now, only time will tell how Adam will be impacted by the changes his life will undergo after the events that led to the final confrontation in the introduction to his series. He’s on the move, still searching for the warlock who’s practicing forbidden magic, and what he’ll find when he returns home is anyone’s guess. This is an impressive debut for David R. Slayton, and a thoroughly entertaining introduction to an alternate world teeming with plenty of charm of the supernatural variety.

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This is a new to me author, but I will definitely be back for more. This book was interesting from the beginning, and I really liked the main character Adam. He’s lived through so much, and he still has a ways to go to catch up. I was not as happy with his brother and his mother, because they should have a little more nurturing when he was growing up, but that’s how relationship are. The magic of this universe is a tad confusing, but I think that’ll clear up in future books. The plot was very interesting, although I wish we had learned a little more about what was going on. However, the writing was excellent, and I was left with wanting to know more at the end of this book, which is a very good thing. I really waffled between a four and a five-star rating. I eventually went with a five because this is a series starter, and those can be a little rockier than the succeeding ones. I’ll be a little harder on the next one. Highly recommend.

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4.5-5 stars - this is one of those books that took me totally by surprise - for the record, I love it when that happens. 😉

First, the cover is amazing, but a tad bit deceiving. There is nothing “light” about White Trash Warlock. So I guess if you’re a “judge a book by its cover” kind of reader, you might walk away from this one disappointed. I admit that some covers draw me in, but that’s the artist in me. Once I flip the cover and start reading, the cover image is forgotten.

Oh Adam… he had so much against him, but nothing is quite what it seems. Especially when magic is involved. There was a lot more going on than Adam realized. All he wanted to do was help his sister in law and get as far away from his toxic family as possible. The revelations just kept coming though and didn’t stop until the very end of White Trash Warlock. Even then, readers as well as Adam were left with more questions than when they started.

There’s probably a lot more that I could say about this first book in The Adam Binder Novels series, but not without giving something away. Decisions were made and actions were taken that changed things for everyone. It was hard to tell who could be trusted and allies came from unexpected places. Everything (and everyone) that Adam thought he knew got twisted around more than once.

Things are far from over for Adam at the end of White Trash Warlock and I can’t wait to see what David R. Slayton has in store for him next. 😉

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I received an e-book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was really enjoying this urban fantasy and the world building. I loved seeing the elves, spirits, the spirit world, all of that. I liked Adam's story and the detective-like atmosphere that we came in on. I also enjoyed the creepy hospital vibe that was going on. I love the representation of the MC. Somewhere around the climax it lost speed. The part where if the book has a slow beginning, that's where it picks up. This was the opposite. By the time the conflict was introduced and the back story, I had lost interest. This fantasy is set in our world, so not much need for extreme world building except for the spirit side. Nowhere in the story did it seem big enough for a continuation of the story, but we are left with a cliffhanger. I read 'The Last Smile in Sunder City', and although the story is similar, WTW seems lighter and easier to get into it. I haven't read Jim Butcher, but from what I understand it's also in the same vein. So, in conclusion, yes I'd buy a physical copy, and yes, I will seek out the sequel. I just wish we followed the story we started in the beginning.

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Actual rating: 4.5/5 stars
I didn't know what to think going into "White Trash Warlock" by David R. Slayton but it certainly wasn't what I got.
Adam is a small time practitioner who stumbles on something life changing when his estranged brother asks him to help his possessed wife. He reluctantly takes the case and finds himself swept up in a battle between immortal forces that only he can solve.

And that plot is so good. It's got magic, elves, an ancient monster released onto the world (all elements I love) combined in a masterful way. "White Trash Wizard" is very much plot driven. The story is dynamic, the pace is ever quickening until the climax really ties all the subplots back into the main plot. It only took a couple chapters before I was engrossed in the book, after that I could barely put it down.

Slayton's writing matches his plot. He uses 3rd person POV to look into both Adam and his brother. But what's even more interesting is that Slayton titles the chapters differently whether his characters are in the present or it's a flashback. The writing itself is very straight forward no matter the focus character while Slayton incorporates heavier themes in the book without weighing the story down.

One important theme of the book is having a home. Adam's never had a stable home. Growing up, he suffered a variety of abuse which drove him away from his close family, to his great aunt Sue. While staying with her, he had a roof over his head but it wasn't stable, he worked odd jobs in order to have enough to live, and even then would sometimes go hungry. When the plot kicking off forces him to leave her, there is a sense that it is an ending. As the novel progresses, elements within the plot push Adam to not only stay in Denver but set down roots and create a home for himself for the first time in his life.

Another important theme is acceptance. Adam's family never accepted him, not his magic nor his sexuality. While he doesn't outwardly deny these parts of himself, he hides them away, and the plot forces him to face them. This journey is heartwarming as the support he receives from key characters allows him to explore both aspects.

In general, I very much enjoyed White Trash Warlock by David R. Sleyton. The characters were fun and the plot excellent, as was the writing. I look forward to reading the sequel.

A note of warning: This is a harsh story, it contains child abuse, murder, and more general violence.

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Do you like magic? Queer romance? Weird monsters? Tears-dormant mysteries coming to the surface? White Trash Warlock has got you covered.

Adam Binder is just trying to get by when a call from his estranged brother turns his life upside down. Living in a trailer, fixing up cars and mediating magical struggles, the last thing he wants is to be dragged into drama by the family who thinks that he’s crazy. But family’s family, and when a demon possesses your sister in law, something’s gotta give. Teaming up with an array of magical creatures, Adam must fight for his family’s safety, and to overcome the heartbreak they’ve caused him.

White Trash Warlock was a pretty fun book. I completely love the title (snappy as hell) and it was very much a joy to read a book with so many queer characters - both human and inhuman. I found Adam’s romances very sweet, and his internal conflict was (as a pro-level catastrophizer myself) very believable.
Slayton has created an interesting magical system and populated his world with a veritable menagerie of fantastic creatures. I particularly enjoyed the integration of the tarot into the fabric of the magical world, the hierarchy therein, and even the poses that Adam assumes when travelling between worlds.
However, at times the book did feel a little overcrowded - there was so much going on and I feel as if one or two of the subplots didn’t get the resolution that they deserved - what happens with the warlock that Adam has been hunting? Similarly, the ending felt a little rushed to me - the plot seriously accelerated in the last quarter of the book, and it wrapped up in a manner that felt pretty abrupt. WTW is the first book of a series, so it could be that those remaining question marks will form the basis of Adam’s future adventures - either way, I’m excited to see where the series goes next!

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I knew nothing about this book when I began reading it. Sometimes, I like to do that so I don't have preconceived ideas about an author or their work. I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this debut fantasy by David R. Slayton.

Adam has magic in him. He is able to see the "spirit world" and heard voices when he was younger. As a result, he was put in a psychiatric inpatient school by his brother and his mother after the disappearance of his father. When the novel begins, Adam is living with his Aunt Sue and her cat, Spider in Guthrie, OK. He's estranged from the rest of his family and doesn't want anything to do with them in the future.

Everything changes when Adam's older brother, Bobby texts him because he needs help. It turns out that Bobby's wife has become ill and Bobby thinks the illness is of a magical nature. After years of silence, the only person who can help Bobby and Annie is Adam.

"All things lead to Denver," is the hint that Adam receives and he heads out to help his brother. Once there, Adam discovers a creature far beyond his capability has taken hold of his sister-in-law and the true battle begins.

The world that Slayton has chosen for his novel is very interesting. Magic works in patterns, the spirits of the watchtower are real entities, and there are a wide variety of other magical beings. The Elves are intriguing: haughty, vegan, extremely powerful, and protective of others. There are Leprechauns guarding one of the watchtowers: tricksters, bargain makers and they like to get what they're after. There are a lot of creatures and beings in this novel that are intriguing and it seems we may see more of them later as this series continues.

"Magic is life" in this story. There's not a lot of explanation regarding magic and where it comes from. As the series unfolds, there may be more opportunities for the author to reveal some of the structure of the magical system. It's clear that Adam Binder has a role to play in the magical world and this book is setting up many more potential stories.

Adam has a complicated life on the "real" side of the world. He's connected by accident to a police officer he meets at his brother's hospital. He had a very emotional relationship with an Elf in the past that he discovers may have been much more than he knew at the time. His mother and his brother are distant from Adam with reasons of their own. No spoilers here but ... this family has been through a lot and will continue down the same path for a while to come.

For those of you interested in reading books with queer content then this one is a treat. The fact that Adam is gay isn't the entire plot of the novel. This is one of those wonderful books in which the characters just are what they are and that's not the plot. Bravo!

The novel is well-paced and has some quirky dialogue that I enjoyed. I always give extra points for any author who can work in a reference to the movie, "Se7en" as well! "What's in the box??"

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Adam hasn't spoken to his brother in years, not since his brother, Bobby, had him locked up in a psych ward. When Bobby calls because his wife is acting strange and he starts to notice strange things. Bobby reaches out to Adam for help. When Adam arrives to help Bobby, he finds a problem bigger than he thought possible, all the magic users of Denver are dead. Adam will have to reach out a higher power that he would rather not deal with, but he will make a deal with them since he needs their help.

Adam is a bit strange to big with, but once you understand him and why he resents his mother and brother, if makes more sense the anger he holds on too. When he chooses to save Vic, you start to understand Adam is a good guy who had a pretty horrible life and is doing the best he can with what he was dealt. Vic is almost the complete opposite of Adam, he has a much more open personality and is willing to believe whatever Adam throws at him.

While the characters are great and the story is interesting, the way the author draws the mystery out and throws plot twist at the reader makes this book an amazing read. I will be interested to see how any following books, continue the stories of Adam and Vic.

I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviews.

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White Trash Warlock is a very engaging first effort, with a well developed world that readers will be interested in exploring. The book gets rushed at the end and could use a little more time addressing the fallout from the climax, but I'd be happy enough to read a sequel to see more.

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"Not all magicians go to schools of magic.

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."

My bookseller friend Johnnie Cakes says read this. So do what I do and listen to him and read this.

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I think what really sold White Trash Warlock to me was the characterization. The magic and setting didn't stand out, but I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator. Getting two perspectives who are experiencing the same events was a real treat! The family dynamics between Adam, Robert, Tilly Mae, and Aunt Sue were A+, and the tension left over from their past was palpable. Adam has been dealing with a double whammy of disapproval from the family; not only gay but magical (crazy) too. The family response was believable and heartbreaking, but I was rooting for Adam from the get-go. Vic is easily my favorite in this book. He was refreshingly honest and accepting, and I appreciated his moral fiber in all the chaos. If this becomes a series, I will happily read a sequel!

Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and Netgalley for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an unbiased review!

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