David R. Slayton

Books: Fantasy | Queer

Adam Binder: White Trash Warlock (2020), Trailer Park Trickster (2021), Deadbeat Druid (2022)

Adam Binder

White Trash Warlock (2020)

White Trash WarlockThis… did not end as cleanly as I was hoping it would.

Adam Binder has the sight. It hasn't done him much good in his life, what with his brother helping to put him in an institution when he was a teen, and it not being very helpful for bringing in a paycheck. But he does try to do some good with his life now.

Adam had grown up talking to invisible people. It had been so easy to convince their mother to sign the papers, to commit Adam to Liberty House, to walk away and start over.

Robert / Bobby, the brother who talked their mother into having Adam put into Liberty House, got out of Guthrie as fast as he could, going to medical school, and trying to build himself a life nothing like the one in which he grew up.

Aside from not ending as cleanly as I would have liked, this was a surprisingly good story, which took multiple twists and turns. And there were lots of little bits I very much enjoyed.

The parking meters had mouths where their coin slots should be. They undulated like hungry snakes, begging for coins. … He fed the meter a few quarters. Contented, it tried to lick his face before closing its eyes and drifting to sleep like a cat in the sun.

I very much enjoyed the story, really liked the twists and turns, and definitely want to read the next book–whenever it is that it comes out.

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

February 2021 | Rating: 8/10

Trailer Park Trickster (2021)

Trailer Park TricksterDo you know what I hate?


Do you know what this book had?

Yup. A cliffhanger.

Adam and Vic have had no chance to work things out, because Adam took off for Oklahoma in an attempt to save his aunt.

He didn't save his aunt.

Instead, the warlock he has been chasing for years appears to have killed Sue, and the Other Side is in turmoil after the destruction of the tower.

Did I mention how much I hate cliffhangers?

I really can't decide how angry I am at this story. Because I did enjoy it.

Until the cliffhanger.

There were even some fun bits!

"A teenaged elf, in your years, is an infant," she said. "We are considered mature around one hundred and an adult at two."

Vic whistled.

"What?" she demanded.

"That's a lot of puberty," he said. "I pity your parents."

But… cliffhanger! I started reading this book on the same it came out, and I got a cliffhanger.

I mean, I like how complicated the family relationships were, I liked the actual realistic look at how poverty actually works.

They stayed behind their curtains, peeking or glaring, at least where their windows weren't broken. The explosion had left more than one replaced with cardboard and duct tape.

And I really like Vic.

But: cliffhanger.

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

October 2021 | NR

Deadbeat Druid (2022)

Deadbeat DruidThis is the third book in the Adam Binder series, and unlike book two, does not end on a cliff-hanger.

I'll be honest, I was reading with a eye on the percent done, worried I'd get another cliffhanger. Luckily, it ended cleanly.

This might be the final book in the series–everything was wrapped up–and I'd be okay with that. I really enjoyed the world and the characters, but if there isn't another book, I won't feel like something is terribly missing.

At the end of the previous book Vic disappeared, and now Adam is setting out to find him.

"What's in the bags?" he asked Bobby.

"Everything else I could think of," Bobby said, hefting up the duffels. "First aid kit. Road flares. Guns. Bullets. Knives. Socks."

Whether he wants him or not, his brother is coming.

So Adam, his brother, and a third all head off.

It wasn't like the road curved downward, an endless off-ramp with convenient flashing arrows that read this way to hell!

We also get to see Hell from Vic's point of view, and watch as their paths slowly lead towards one another.

"It's more like webbing," he said.

"Spiders?" Adam asked. He'd read enough fantasy novels that he did not want to confront anything that could throw webs across an entire landscape. The only question was if millions of little ones would be worse than several giant ones.

With, of course, plenty of bad stuff happening, since it is hell.

He wasn't dead or numb, but how much of himself was tied into what he'd felt, how much of who he'd become? Without those pains, those feelings or experiences, would he be the same man?

This book goes surprisingly deep into ethical and moral decisions, from the morality of taking another life to the incredibly difficulty of forgiveness.

Adam couldn't forgive (person). He couldn't forget, but given time, he could let go.

One thing I especially liked was their meeting someone who has been out of time for 100 years.

"Well we still have all that," Vic said. "And some new stuff. Some of it's awesome, like the Internet. Some things are kind of awful too though."

"Like what?"

"Like the Internet," he said.

Parts (like that) are amusing, but it's also a reminder of just how much the world has changed in the last century, and how alien everything would be to someone from that time.

I enjoyed this book, like how it wrapped up the story arc, and if we get another book, I'll be pleased, but if we don't get another book, I hope he gives us another story set in this world

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

October 2022 | Rating: 8/10