This debut from David R Slayton had reader buzzing long before it came out, and long after. We came to the book late in the game, but just in time for the second book in the series. Here are Dolorianne’s thoughts on this exciting urban fantasy.
Author: David R Slayton
Series: Adam Binder Novels, #1
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Review Copy: own
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.
I expected to like it because everything I’ve seen about the book was positive. Early reviews of the book and personal recommendations flooded my social media timelines. Plus, the blurb screamed urban fantasy, which is one of my go-to genres, so the story would have to trip really hard for me to not like it.
What I Loved:
I loved that it was a never ending rollercoaster ride. There was fantasy, mystery, secrets, magic, elves and monsters and dragons, quests, a budding romance, and the gathering of the home team to stand together during the final battle. Plenty of action/adventure to go around.
What the author was able to do with the alternating POVs from each brother was brilliant. Each of them had information that the other didn’t have, making each of them an unreliable narrator of sorts. It’s only in hearing from both of them that the reader is able to get the truth. And believe me, when the massive, ancient being overtaking the town isn’t the biggest monster in the book, there is no way to predict what is going to happen next.
I also liked the push-and-pull of the storyline. Some of the events were so natural that they flew right by. Then there were things that directly challenged those events, conflicting in some ways because Adam needed to go against his own understanding of himself and experiences. I like a confident character, but having one willing to examine themselves and their motives without getting lost in themselves is always fascinating to me.
What I Didn’t Love:
Overall, I would have to give this a glowing recommendation. However, there is one scene towards the end that made me angry enough at one particular character that I will likely not forgive them. I found it both very human and yet extremely weak at the same time, and the fallout shaped the lives of the whole family.
I listened to this in audio and was very pleased. The narrator did a great job bringing this world alive. So much so that I immediately wanted to flip back to the beginning and start again. I wasn’t able to (because of time), but I do plan on re-listening before I start the sequel, Trailer Park Trickster, which was recently released.