It’s not often that I find a book that keeps me up until 3 in the morning anymore, mostly because as a person in my late 20s with a full-time job, I keep old lady hours. However, I found myself buried deep in a book at 3:48am on a weeknight, staring down the time and thinking, “Just one more chapter. Just one more.” That book is We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix.
We Sold Our Souls follows Kris, a former heavy metal guitarist who is working in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, her glory days in Dürt Würk behind her. However, she gets it into her head to confront former bandmate, Terry, who moved on to a new band called Koffin. However, as she tries to contact her bandmates, she finds that it’s not just her life that’s gone off the rails. Her fellow guitarist Scottie seems to have fallen off the deep end, spouting nonsense from their unpublished third album…until it suddenly doesn’t seem so crazy. And then UPS arrives.
Kris will go on a journey like no other, guided by an album she wrote decades ago, dodging obstacles, facing extreme danger and getting a peek at the dark truth of what happened to her and other bandmates all those years ago.
Confession: I don’t like heavy metal. I don’t dislike it either, but I certainly don’t follow it or even listen to anything beyond Baby Metal. But I’ve got to admit, the book has me intrigued. Kris’s passion for music is infectious, and the deep ways that metal music ties into the plot makes it feel almost like an album is tied right in. And like a good album, you don’t want to stop in the middle, grooving on the perfectly composed songs, going on the musical journey that is crafted to carry the listener, or in this case the reader, away.
This book also happened to catch me at just the right moment in life. Even though I am of the age Kris was in her hey-day, I feel like her when she starts the novel, spinning my wheels and not connecting creatively with my projects. Kris’s journey, and also Melanie’s in part, became mine, which may be why I was so enthralled with it. It speaks to me about struggle and artistry, but most of all, believing in yourself and your hard-work, even when it seems like you’re stuck.
The horror in this book is definitely Lovecraftian with some “humans are capable of some truly horrible shit” stuff, but I’m not sure I would call this a horror novel. It feels more like a thriller epic, dark and electric, with the darkness on the edges until the perfect moment. If you’re a little nervous about reading horror, please give this book a chance, it is so worth it and pretty easy on the fear factor.
This has been one of my favorite books of the year, and rivals Horrorstor as one of my favorite Grady Hendrix books so far. Honestly, there’s nothing as empowering as reading a great book, and this book’s got me feeling like a mega-watt bulb. Buy it. Read it. Love it.
We Sold Our Souls is available for pre-order online and will be in bookstores on September 18, 2018.
We Sold Our Souls was provided to us by Quirk Books. For more information on how we review books and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy.
Book Title: We Sold Our Souls
Book Author: Grady Hendrix
Book Edition: 1st
Book Format: EBook
Date published: 2018-09-18
Like the perfect set, a knock-out roiling good time from start to finish
We Sold Our Souls is a book that grabs you by the spine and demands your full, rapt attention for an epic saga of heavy metal, friendship, and revenge. A must read for fans of music, and Lovecraftians looking for new and interesting cosmic horror.