Warlock was an old word. Normal people cast it around without understanding the ancient slur, thinking it meant male witch, when it meant traitor. It was reserved for practitioners gone bad, those who betrayed magic’s first tenet: “do no harm.”
SERIES: Adam Binder (Book #1)
LENGTH: 307 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Fiction
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Publishing
RELEASE DATE: 13 October 2020
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
The Three of Swords.
“It’s always swords with you, Adam Lee,” Sue said.
This book had me hooked from Chapter 2 or 3. I had the sample of my Kindle (along with Dark Moon, Shallow Sea – same author, new book), and I couldn’t resist reading it.
Then I went and read the rest of it. In like, two hours.
White Trash Warlock has an incredibly addictive narrative, and an easy to follow writing style. The novel is also quite fast-paced. Plus, it’s fantasy. All of this is a recipe for a book I can’t put down, so it’s understandable why I read and absorbed it so quickly.
• The prose ▼
As I mentioned above, the prose and general writing style is great and easy to follow. Don’t get me wrong, I have no trouble reading and absorbing information from a super in-depth high fantasy novel, but I do prefer simpler writing styles. Cuz they allow for me to read more/faster.
The nature of the prose also allows for a rather fast-paced adventure, and the plot usually gets to the point within a reasonable amount of time. Slayton doesn’t waste paper on meaningless filler.
• The characters ▼
Adam felt the color drain from his face.
“I’m kidding,” Argent said. “Of course I’m kidding.”
Adam glared at her. “You’re teasing me.”
“Yes,” she said.
“You’re a sword-wielding being of immense power, an immortal. And you’re teasing me.”
“Yes, I am,” she said. “What use would I have for a mortal soul?”
The characters in White Trash Warlock weren’t my favorite ones ever, but they were still pretty good. Adam Binder was our protagonist, and I liked him well enough. He went through a lot growing up, but he doesn’t let it define him, and he retains a kind heart and is willing to help out his brother’s fiance, despite a history of familial issues.
I actually found said brother, Bobby/Robert, to be a more interesting character. There’s quite an age gap between the brothers (around 10 years), so there’re a lot of communication issues and misunderstandings abound. Bobby also went through a lot growing up – dealing with the brunt of abuse from their father, and having to carry a lot of responsibility after the man disappeared. I’m looking forward to seeing where his character goes in the future.
Everyone else was pretty much a supporting character. They were all pretty interesting with their own quirks and secrets, but they didn’t feel nearly as important as the brothers. Well, except for Argent. She appeared quite often and was the book’s resident badass. I’d like to see more of her character in the future. I really liked her friendly banter with Adam – they seem like they might be solid bros in the future.
• The tarot card stuff ▼
I’ve always been intrigued by tarot cards and what they symbolize. I love seeing them used in fiction, and especially when they have bearing on the plot. I think that they can work as an excellent foreshadowing device if utilized properly (like they are here).
• The romance ▼
I felt that this was by far the weakest aspect of the novel. The love triangle (or technically, love “v”) was annoying just as it always is, and none of the love interests got much development. Annie and Vic were definitely done dirty here.
I also never felt particularly interested in any of the couples. Annie’s presence is basically non-existent, and Adam did all of his protagonist activities without Vic and then explained the plot to him after events (thank god it was off-page). Plus, Vic and Adam were far to insta-lovey for my liking, so it was hard for me to root for them.
The only relationship to really get any interesting pagetime of note was Adam and his ex-boyfriend. They were also the only relationship that I felt had any sort of chemistry, not to mention they spend the most time together out of all the couples. But I still found them to be formulaic and predictable, and it was kind of irritating.
Adam thought that maybe, just maybe, they would be all right. In time. When the grief lessened.
White Trash Warlock is a pretty good urban fantasy series, with a fast-paced narrative. The characters are also pretty multifaceted and development, and are compelling enough to follow.
I think that those who enjoy some of the magic and world building of the Dresden Files or Supernatural (or Supernatural fanfiction) might like it. People who like fantasy with LGBTQIA+ will probably enjoy it as well.
Thank you so much for reading and have a great day/night!
See ya ~Mar