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Review: White Trash Warlock – David R. Slayton

White Trash Warlock - David R. Slayton

Genre: White Trash Warlock

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Dan

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About The Book

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 Review

I enjoyed White Trash Warlock quite a lot, everything from the title and cover to the characters to the Eldritch horror antagonist. I bought the sequel immediately upon completing it. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

White Trash Warlock managed to pin down a perfect urban fantasy setup and execute it nigh flawlessly. A few things were slightly predictable, but maybe they were just subtly foreshadowed enough to make the reader feel ahead of the game. 

Adam, our main character, is well-written: down to earth and flawed with just enough charisma and scrappiness to pull through the rather harrowing plot by the skin of his teeth. This book gives a fond but stinging look into the life of “white trash”, or at least, those who seem white trash to eyes that don’t know enough to tell the difference between true down and out poverty visited upon people doing their best and the archetypical ‘trashy’ people that haunt most depictions of struggling small towns (imagine the skids from Letterkenny). The author does make a point to say, through the voice of one character, Adam isn’t white trash, he’s just poor.

And it’s true. He’s not what you imagine when you think of a chronically underemployed man living in someone else’s trailer in Oklahoma. The other character’s are complex in the same vein – a brother who escaped it all by trading in who he was, a single mother who doesn’t understand but wants the best for her boys, a dying old woman with the gleam of magic, a cop with a grim (*wink*) fate, and that’s not to mention the Fair Folk that show their face.

The author presents us with an effortless complex and intriguing world with just enough explanation to clarify but not reveal their hand.

My largest disappointment is the character of Annie – Bobby’s wife, Adam’s sister-in-law. She gets a bit of the ‘woman in the refrigerator’ treatment, but I understand why the author proceeded how they did in terms of her fate. Anything else might have been a little too happily-ever-after. I will without a doubt be tuning in for the rest of the series.

The Reviewer

Dan Ackerman is a writer and educator who has lived in Connecticut for their entire life. They received their BSED from CCSU in 2013 and wrote their Master’s thesis on representations of women in same-sex relationships in contemporary Spanish literature and cinema. Currently, Dan is studying for a second MA in ABA and works in a center school for students with a variety of intellectual, developmental, or multiple disabilities. In their spare time, Dan continues to read and write, supplemented with a healthy amount of movie marathons and gaming. 

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