trailer park trickster audio coverStory Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars

Narrator: Michael David Axtell
Length: 8 hours, 42 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Trailer Park Trickster is the second book in David R. Slayton’s excellent Adam Binder series. It is a continuous story and this picks up just after the events of White Trash Warlock. As a result, there are spoilers here for some of the events of that book.

After learning of the death of his beloved aunt, Sue, Adam immediately heads back to Oklahoma. He takes off so fast, he doesn’t even stop to tell Vic he is leaving, but Adam is crushed by Sue’s death, not to mention he has a lot of questions about what happened to her. When he returns home, Adam finds that Sue’s daughter and granddaughter, Noreen and Jody, have taken over Sue’s trailer and they seem none too broken up about her death. Even worse, Adam realizes that the evil druid he has been seeking is now circling around Sue’s home and the Binder family. Adam knows that Bobby killed their father years ago, yet he still can’t help but fear somehow this druid is really his dad.

When Vic hears the news about Sue, he wants to head to Oklahoma to be with Adam as he grieves. Argent wants to go along as well, and the two set off together. But their trip gets derailed when they are attacked by the sea elves, who have their own agenda, one that threatens humanity. Vic and Argent get pulled into elven politics and, as things heat up, they barely escape with their lives.

Back in Oklahoma, Adam and his family are dealing with repeated attacks by the druid. He is strong, much stronger than Adam. Adam is determined to find out who he is and what he wants with the Binders. It involves digging more into the family history, where he uncovers more secrets. What he learns helps to explain what the druid might want, but Adam is no closer to figuring out how to stop him. It is going to take all Adam has, plus the help of Vic, his family, and the elves, to figure out how to stop the druid before he destroys them all.

I absolutely loved White Trash Warlock and, after that thrilling ending, I was super ready to dive into this second book. This one basically divides into two plots that run fairly independently for most of the story. The first is Adam in Oklahoma and his quest to figure out what the druid wants and how to stop him. The second focuses on Vic and Argent and their conflict with the sea elves, as well as some larger elven politics, and mostly takes place across the Veil.

Adam’s plot line picks back up on threads from the first book where he was trying to track down the warlock who was using the dark magic, and who he feared was his father. Adam has learned that Bobby killed their father when Adam was a child, but that doesn’t stop him from worrying that somehow his father is actually the one who is now attacking them. Here we see Adam reconnecting with some less than savory members of his family. Jody and Noreen are drug addicts who never cared about Sue when she was alive, and who quickly and eagerly take over her trailer as soon as they find out she is dead. I enjoyed how this plot line gives us a chance to explore more about Adam’s family and their history. He has been alone so long, estranged from his mother and brother until recently. They have come to a tentative peace with each other now and are working together as much as they can to help deal with the druid. But family (or lack thereof) has been a continuing thread for Adam and I think Slayton does a nice job bringing those issues into the bigger picture of the druid and the attacks. There are some big battles, lots of high intensity moments, and some exciting revelations here. As with the first book, it ends with a cliffhanger, but we get a lot of progress on this part of the story arc and I think it all comes together well.

The second storyline is sort of Vic and Argent’s road trip adventure. They set off together driving from Denver to Oklahoma and are attacked, bringing them into a conflict with the sea elves. This part of the story delves a lot into elven politics and gives us more of the world building with regard to what happens across the Veil. I enjoyed Argent and Vic together, as he doesn’t know quite enough to be terrified of her, and I liked their interaction and their adventure. I will say that I was hoping for more from Vic, however. I am glad we see him get his own storyline, rather than just being an Adam sidekick. But while he is on this adventure with the elves, he is generally just an observer. It mostly feels like he is there as the POV character to share with us what the elves are doing, but he has no real role of his own in this part of the plot. It is somewhat disappointing, as Vic is made into a reaper in the last book, and it only barely comes into play here. He still has no idea what it means, how to use his ability, or even what he is supposed to do. So it seems like somewhat of a missed opportunity to give Vic a real role in this part of the story, rather than just having him hang around while the elves do the heavy lifting. That said, Vic does have some key moments here, both in terms of his own family, as well as his shifting perspective on the magical world and on some of Adam’s choices, which I found really well done and some nice character development.

The downside of this two-plot storyline is that Adam and Vic are separated for virtually the entire book. I felt like the first book had them quickly becoming boyfriends with feelings for one another without a lot of development behind it, so I was hoping for something here to really show their connection, how their feelings were building, etc to shore up that bond we are told they have between them. But, in this book, they barely even see each other, have only one real conversation, and have essentially no relationship development. Even the one key realization Vic has that helps smooth over some of their personal conflict happens with Vic independently of Adam, rather than as a discussion or something they experience together. I think if the first book hadn’t set them up as partners with real romantic feelings for each other, as well as being bonded mates, the lack of relationship development and time together would have been less of a problem here. But given how things are set up there, it seemed odd to then keep the men apart essentially for this entire book.

While I had a few issues here, I still was totally engrossed in this story and couldn’t stop listening. Michael David Axtell once again does a great job with the narration. He nicely handles the character voices and balances the tone well between quiet and more suspenseful parts of the book. Vic and Adam are well differentiated and the character voices carry over well from the first book. Sometimes Argent and Silver tended to sound a lot alike in conversation, but overall, I think the side characters are handled well. The story is enjoyable in audio and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this format.

As I said, we get some big reveals here and another exciting climax to the story. The third book comes out this fall and I am eagerly awaiting a chance to continue on with Adam and Vic.