Review: White Trash Warlock
Friday, June 23, 2023

White Trash Warlock (Adam Binder, #1)White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This was a deep-dive, character-driven story set in a well-realized world of magic laid masterfully over contemporary reality in true urban fantasy style.

The main character, Adam, is a young man from Oklahoma who travels to Denver, Colorado at the behest of his estranged brother, Bobby. Slayton does a wonderful job creating a tension-filled relationship between the brothers, full of memories of love overlaid with guilt and betrayal. Adam and Bobby/Robert were both well developed, nuanced, and easy to connect with. I particularly liked the way the brothers each made realizations and assumptions about the other as they viewed shared experiences through very different filters. Secondary characters were equally well-written, each with unique personalities and functional roles.

The world building was convincing and compelling. While anchored in real places (easily recognizable if you know the area), the way Slater portrayed the twisted, fun house mirror aspect of the spirit world was masterfully done. There were hints of a deep, rich history that I hope gets thoroughly explored in later books. The magic system was familiar, yet carried its own flavor, making it at once comfortable and intriguing for longtime readers of the genre. I loved that Adam was not a badass, he survives by trying to avoid conflict and stay off the radar of bigger, badder magical beings that could swat him like a bug.

The one hiccup I had was that the book could have used a little more editing. All books have some typos and such, but this had more than I could easily ignore. Still, the story and characters carried me through to a satisfying ending. I'll definitely be continuing this series.

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