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A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell. In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell. In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western - she's tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry's meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris's very soul. This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It's a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that's darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul...where only a girl with a guitar can save us all.


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A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell. In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell. In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western - she's tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry's meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris's very soul. This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It's a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that's darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul...where only a girl with a guitar can save us all.

30 review for We Sold Our Souls

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best horror 2018! what will happen? A girl with a guitar never has to apologize for anything. i’ve read all three of grady hendrix’s novels, and while none of them have scared me, they’ve all entertained me. this is the least fun of his books. there are occasional smiles, like when you notice that all the chapter titles are the names of metal albums, or when he sneaks something cheeky in, like citing nick sharman as a rock journalist from Kerrang! maga oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best horror 2018! what will happen? A girl with a guitar never has to apologize for anything. i’ve read all three of grady hendrix’s novels, and while none of them have scared me, they’ve all entertained me. this is the least fun of his books. there are occasional smiles, like when you notice that all the chapter titles are the names of metal albums, or when he sneaks something cheeky in, like citing nick sharman as a rock journalist from Kerrang! magazine when we all know that nick sharman is this guy: and this guy. it’s a loving power chord tribute to metal, full of utterly anthemic lines: Metal never dies. Metal never retreats. Metal never surrenders. and a deep appreciation for the music and culture of RAWK. actually, i take back what i said about this not being funny, because the concept is hilarious, it involves a concept album and it’s so SO inventive and clever in its use, it’s worth a giggle or two. but it’s much sadder overall; the regret of the “almost-was,” and the cost of fame and the answers to the question, “whatever happened to…” i loved the residual affection between kris and her former bandmates (two of them, anyway), all of those scenes were really moving. and AAAAHHHH, scottie rocket!!! dammit. there are also two excellent scenes of horror perfection - one in a car and one underground. the underground one taught me that under certain circumstances, i would be claustrophobic. i read and reread all of those pages because that situation was completely harrowing. dammit2. but this book is also what happens when grit lit meets horror. its focus is on the same segment of struggling, disenfranchised america; one of the characters lives in west virginia, having seen thirteen people from her graduating class die from opioid overdoses, while she waitresses at a place that encourages waitress-groping all to pay back her student loans and maybe someday get out of her dead end life. this sounds pulled right up out of any of my beloved grit lit novels: Every song was the same song. These were songs for people who were scared to open their mailboxes, whose phone call never brought good news. These were songs for people standing at the crossroads waiting for the bus. People who bounced between debt collectors and dollar stores, collection agencies and housing offices, family court and emergency rooms waiting for a check that never came, waiting for a court date, waiting for a call back, waiting for a break, crushed beneath the wheel. but this one’s also got monsters, so WIN. keep up the great work, grady hendrix! ROCKTOBER IS SPOOKY!! come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix is a 2018 Quirk Books publication. It’s the 90s and heavy metal rules the rock and roll music machine. Dürt Würk is right on the cusp of fame when suddenly their singer, Terry Hunt, pulls out, goes solo, changes his name and becomes a mega-superstar. He leaves his former bandmates in the dust, taking everything with him, including the rights to their music. Decades pass, and Dürt Würk’s guitarist, Kris Pulaski, is barely scraping by, working as the night manage We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix is a 2018 Quirk Books publication. It’s the 90s and heavy metal rules the rock and roll music machine. Dürt Würk is right on the cusp of fame when suddenly their singer, Terry Hunt, pulls out, goes solo, changes his name and becomes a mega-superstar. He leaves his former bandmates in the dust, taking everything with him, including the rights to their music. Decades pass, and Dürt Würk’s guitarist, Kris Pulaski, is barely scraping by, working as the night manager at a Best Western motel. Her dreary, miserable days suddenly explode into a fight for her very soul when she makes a shocking discovery about Terry’s meteoric rise to fame. It is imperative she reconnect with her former bandmates and get the band back together. Meanwhile, Terry, aka, ‘Koffin’, is headlining a massive rock show in Las Vegas with record breaking crowds expected to attend. If Kris doesn’t get there in time, many more souls may be lost. Full disclosure- I read Grady Hendrix’s ‘Paperbacks from Hell’ and loved it. The book highlighted pulp horror novels from an era I was familiar with, and it was done with humor, and intelligence. So, when I saw this book by Hendrix, I couldn’t resist. The thing is I don’t read horror novels a lot, except around Halloween, and I was never into the type of metal featured in this story, but… I have a son who was just at the right age to appreciate pure metal and I heard my fair share of it bleeding through his bedroom walls. The 'nu-metal' was also in the house, which is, evidently, according to this novel- frowned upon by purists. Anyway, my point is, I am familiar enough with the culture to recognize the bands and understood most of the references. At the end of the day, the story is one that has endured for ages- the classic myth of selling one’s soul for fame and fortune, with the devil getting the last laugh. Except in this case, souls were sold without their knowledge, and they are desperate to free themselves from the contract which has sealed their fate. This is a nice twist, and I loved that Kris is a kick-butt female guitarist in an overwhelmingly male dominated environment. Of course, this is a cautionary tale and there is a moral to the story. I love that about this book. It’s a gory, supernatural, futuristic horror story, featuring hardcore metal music, but there is still message and a lesson to be learned from it. While the legend of ‘selling one’s soul’ conjures up woo-doo, a thing about chickens, and visions of crossroads, and is often taken in the literal sense, I think it’s allegorical and yes, many a musician has fallen into the trap. There are other points the author zooms in on, that while not entirely original, will still make you think. The one downside was the ending. I was expecting a huge, epic showdown, but it ended up being a whimper instead of a roar. Other than that, this story is an homage to heavy metal, to rock and roll, and horror novels. It’s a little tense, has some gross out gore, but also a healthy dose of humor and satire. It will also give you nightmares about UPS trucks, but overall, this is rip-roaring, spine-tingling tale of horror, but was also a whole lot of fun to read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Loved the black stained edges and what looks like Viking runes on the front cover. What do I know! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  4. 4 out of 5

    Char

    " Hard rock, heavy metal, stoner rock, doom metal-it all dragged itself up out of the swamp called the blues. " As a major fan of the blues, how could I not be aware of Robert Johnson's story? Legend says he sold his soul at the crossroads to play the guitar like that. Maybe he wasn't the only one doing the selling? WE SOLD OUR SOULS is the story of a band in turmoil, maybe not a great band, but one that affected people. One that got people through the hard times...one that helped them celebrate " Hard rock, heavy metal, stoner rock, doom metal-it all dragged itself up out of the swamp called the blues. " As a major fan of the blues, how could I not be aware of Robert Johnson's story? Legend says he sold his soul at the crossroads to play the guitar like that. Maybe he wasn't the only one doing the selling? WE SOLD OUR SOULS is the story of a band in turmoil, maybe not a great band, but one that affected people. One that got people through the hard times...one that helped them celebrate the good. But when the lead singer decides that this isn't enough for him, he investigates...other avenues. Will the band survive his efforts and appeals to be something greater? Will they survive at all? You'll have to read this to find out! I loved how the background of each band member was related, but I especially liked the lead character Kris, because she wasn't the stereotypical female protagonist that we so often see. (Well, let's face it-we don't see that many female leads of rock bands, in real life or especially as believable characters in books.) She was bad-ass but she didn't think so-maybe she didn't even realize it. But she was resilient and she kept on keeping on even when there was no chance of success. I think I have my first fictional girl crush. As the tale progresses, several twists occurred that I didn't foresee at all. I will never look at a UPS truck in the same way again, (and I bet you won't either). I'm sure my mouth dropped a couple of times and it probably wasn't pretty, but hell, I don't care. (I won't even speak about how late last night my Kindle hit me in my face because I was so intent on finishing this story but I just couldn't say awake any longer.) The bruise was worth it! At the end of each chapter you'll find little tidbits from radio or news broadcasts and some of them won't make sense until later on. I really liked them and they provided background at times, and foreshadowing at others. Grady Hendrix blipped my radar with his beautiful book PAPERBACKS FROM HELL and since then I've been a big fan. This book, however, this one is truly something special. I rank it right up there with a few other books about bands that I've greatly enjoyed like Robert McCammon's THE FIVE. At this point, if I haven't won you over I'm probably not going to. However, I will say, if you're a fan of well written, fast paced, dark fiction, and you love Rock & Roll, you will miss the boat by a wide, wide margin if you don't read this book. My highest recommendation! Available everywhere on Tuesday, September 18th, but you can pre-order here: https://amzn.to/2xdfoR5 *Thanks to Quirk Books via NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    I’d been meaning to read something by Grady Hendrix for ages, so I jumped at the chance to review We Sold Our Souls. I’d heard so many of my friends rave about his writing in general, but as a metalhead, I was especially sold on the idea of an entire horror story revolving around this washed-up former metal star and her old bandmate’s essential deal with the devil to gain his fame. She had nothing. Except her music. First, let’s talk about Kris Pulaski, our former guitarist protagonist who’s I’d been meaning to read something by Grady Hendrix for ages, so I jumped at the chance to review We Sold Our Souls. I’d heard so many of my friends rave about his writing in general, but as a metalhead, I was especially sold on the idea of an entire horror story revolving around this washed-up former metal star and her old bandmate’s essential deal with the devil to gain his fame. She had nothing. Except her music. First, let’s talk about Kris Pulaski, our former guitarist protagonist who’s in her forties now, working the night shift at a hotel, miserable, empty, and alone. And let’s talk about how much I freaking love her. Kris is an absolute badass, full of flames and rage and a need for vengeance and justice; she’s tough, a total fighter, and frankly, she’s sick and tired of being held down by the men in her life. She’s incredibly aware of how warped the metal community’s treatment of women can be, much less how society at large treats powerful and self-confident women, but she refuses to let anyone get in her way for even a second. She’s constantly plotting her next move, and she’s just brilliant. If Kris Pulaski were a real person, I’d want to be her best friend. Kris had been alive long enough to know it was dangerous when men accused you of being better than them. Kris isn’t the only enjoyable character, though—even some of the bad guys are pretty likable in their own way, and everyone, good or bad, feels flawed and authentic. I loved cycling through Kris’ former bandmates as she met up with each one, and learning about her memories of them, especially when she would couple in band-specific relations (things like, “like every guitar duo in metal, they were a little bit in love and a little bit in hate all at the same time”). It’s also incredibly fascinating to watch Kris piece together her broken memories as the story slowly reveals what drove apart the members of Dürt Würk, and why Kris has been an outsider ever since. She played for the losers. While We Sold Our Souls absolutely has horror elements and a wonderful plot that kept me engaged from start to finish, what I loved most about it was the fact that, at its core, it reads like a love song to metalheads and music lovers everywhere. So much of what happens revolves around the music scene, the power of metal (and the darker sides of the community, too), and the ways that music can teach us and guide us to the light. There are loads of pop culture references (don’t be offended if a few of your faves get insulted—it happened to me twice, and all I could do was laugh), feminist undertones for days, and a few incredibly creepy (and/or disgusting) mental images that have followed me in the days since finishing this story. Altogether, I adored every single page of this book, and see it as the kind of story I would happily read over and over again in the future. If you enjoy horror with a touch of weirdness to it, and especially if you’re a fellow metalhead, I can’t urge you strongly enough to pick up a copy of We Sold Our Souls right away. There’s not a single negative thing I have to say about it, and I can’t wait to read everything else Grady Hendrix has to offer. Thank you so much to Quirk Books for providing me with a stunning finished copy in exchange for an honest review!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bark

    Everybody has been raving about this book. I haven’t read one negative thing and that’s rare in blogland. We like to complain and pick things apart. Or at least I know I do. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone else. But I think that’s what makes us (or me) so fantastic, haha. Now that I’ve finally read it, (sorry Netgalley, I am late again but you really should know this about me by now) I totally understand why this book is being treated like horror gold. Author Grady Hendrix knows the horr Everybody has been raving about this book. I haven’t read one negative thing and that’s rare in blogland. We like to complain and pick things apart. Or at least I know I do. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone else. But I think that’s what makes us (or me) so fantastic, haha. Now that I’ve finally read it, (sorry Netgalley, I am late again but you really should know this about me by now) I totally understand why this book is being treated like horror gold. Author Grady Hendrix knows the horror scene and he’s created a modern day classic that gives the old “sold our soul to the devil” trope a fresh new spin. It’s firmly earned its place in a future Paperbacks From Hell volume. This story is a lovingly written present to all heavy metal loving horror fans. If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s listening to that stuff you need to buy yourself the beautiful physical copy of this book with the black binding. I’m going to do so as soon as I can. It’s seriously that good. Kris is having a “what the hell happened to my life” moment. She’s 47 and works the front desk at a Best Western when a customer decides to piss all over the front desk. She was once a guitarist in an almost famous metal band when it all when to shit and she was forced into abandoning her dreams. When she sees a billboard with her nemesis’s face on it that declares he’s going back on tour, she decides to track down her old bandmates in order to stop the man who ruined them all. Nothing goes as planned. And that’s what I enjoyed so much about this book. It takes turns and twists and I predicted none of them. Not a single one. It is filled with dark and disturbing surprises. I loved that the lead guitarist and main character is a strong, kick-butt kind of woman. I adored this character. “Kris wasn’t a hugger. She had a body like a bag of knives.” She’s also very sympathetic and determined. “Kris wanted to press her fist to the planet and leave a mark.” And she thinks some very funny thoughts: “Men never know when to shut up.” Sorry, guys, but sometimes it’s true (though the same can be said about me, I suppose!). Music plays an enormous part in the story. It’s not a little set piece or an afterthought. This book would not exist without the music and the end is simply magical. I don’t know what else to say without giving too much away. I’m no good at writing 5 star reviews. I guess I’ll leave you with a drop everything and READ THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS MINUTE! If you hate it, you can always send your copy to me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    4.5* WE SOLD OUR SOULS, by Grady Hendrix, is a psychologically intense novel involving a one-time metal band and the power inherent in their music and lyrics. Years ago, five people formed a band called "Durt Wurk"--a band that was good, and had the potential to be great. Then came the day that their lead singer, Terry Hunt, decided he wanted more . . . Kris Pulaski--now nothing more than a motel clerk--clearly remembers her triumphant struggle to where she knew they had something special. Her me 4.5* WE SOLD OUR SOULS, by Grady Hendrix, is a psychologically intense novel involving a one-time metal band and the power inherent in their music and lyrics. Years ago, five people formed a band called "Durt Wurk"--a band that was good, and had the potential to be great. Then came the day that their lead singer, Terry Hunt, decided he wanted more . . . Kris Pulaski--now nothing more than a motel clerk--clearly remembers her triumphant struggle to where she knew they had something special. Her memories of after Terry are more fuzzy. ". . . Once upon a time, Kris Pulaski had beaten entire rooms into submission . . ." Her meaningful guitar riffs had a power she worked years to cultivate into that perfection. They were not entirely forgotten, but clearly pushed aside for a mundane job she had no passion for. ". . . the riff that said they all underestimated her, they didn't know what she had inside, they didn't know that she could destroy them all." After a particularly depressing work night, Kris notices a billboard on her way home, proclaiming the farewell tour of Koffin--The Blind King. The band Terry Hunt left them to start up on his own. Suddenly, half-remembered images of their final night together start coming back to her. Although missing some crucial elements, Kris has an inexplicable feeling that something larger than all of them--and much worse--was about to happen. ". . . I don't believe in coincidence. The universe always has a plan. It's our job to perceive it . . . " Grady Hendrix weaves this tale of a heavy metal group--before and after its heyday--with such accurate descriptions that you'll feel you were with them all along. His characters are real, complex individuals that make the story come alive. The urgency and pacing increase perfectly as the novel keeps going, bringing crucial revelations and scenes from the past to complete the picture in our minds. ". . . Nothing is ever really good or bad, it's all about your perspective." As Kris rallies herself and sets off on a journey she never anticipated, the gaps in her memory take form as much for the reader as for her mission. Although completely from Hendrix's imagination, I couldn't help but get a "Lovecraftian" vibe from this novel--I mean that as the highest compliment. ". . . you fought with the weapons you had, not with the ones you wished for . . . " The music--both tone and lyrics--play an integral role here. Anyone who's ever felt the "power" or "emotion" of a song can relate to this. The dynamics of the band, their roles and talents, made them seem more like a family in their early days. "A girl with a guitar never has to apologize for anything." This story worked so well on an emotional level, as well as the terror, fear, psychological, and physical horrors that are portrayed. The feelings evoked become real to us, and I think that many will be able to identify with some of the more "universal" themes brought up here. ". . . She'd found her best friend, and he was broken." As the novel progressed further into "unknown territory", I still felt as though it was the "natural" way this story had to unfold. ". . . it is possible to be crazy and paranoid and totally insane and still be right . . . " Overall, I loved Hendrix's style and the way he incorporated the band's beginning, end, and things that occurred in between, in such a manner that it all felt right--that this was the only way it could have happened. There was never a point where I felt that too much information was being thrown at me just to get it out there. Rather, the pacing was set so well that we are able to glean just as much information as we need, when we need it. ". . . Metal never dies. Metal never retreats. Metal never surrenders . . . " Personally, I'd love to visit this world of Hendrix's again in the future. Highly recommended!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eilonwy

    4-1/2 stars Twenty years ago, Kris was the lead guitarist and songwriter for a semi-successful metal band called Dürt Würk. But when the lead singer left, the band broke up. Some members have done well for themselves, but not Kris. She’s barely scraping by, working the night shift at a Best Western run by her brother. But when Terry/the Blind King starts posting billboards everywhere to advertise his farewell tour, Kris realizes it’s time to figure out what really happened to Dürt Würk the night 4-1/2 stars Twenty years ago, Kris was the lead guitarist and songwriter for a semi-successful metal band called Dürt Würk. But when the lead singer left, the band broke up. Some members have done well for themselves, but not Kris. She’s barely scraping by, working the night shift at a Best Western run by her brother. But when Terry/the Blind King starts posting billboards everywhere to advertise his farewell tour, Kris realizes it’s time to figure out what really happened to Dürt Würk the night they were supposed to sign contracts with a major label, and heads out on a road trip from Western Pennsylvania to Las Vegas, via some terrifying detours. I had no idea what to expect from this book. The cover caught my eye and hooked me. The title seemed to promise supernatural horror, but when I read the jacket flap (not what I wrote above), it sounded more like Hillbilly Elegy: The Novel than like a genre novel. I had to check GR to determine that there is indeed a supernatural element. And when I saw the mostly very positive reviews, I knew I had to read it. This is the book I was hoping for with Meddling Kids: Straightforward, breathless action with decent emotional depth, and without all the irritating screenplay formatting and distracting wordplay. I zoomed through this book in about two days, because it’s fast-paced and exciting. Once Kris set out on her journey, I needed answers to her existing, and newly developing, questions just as badly as she did. The twists are shocking, and the surprises are numerous. This is a clever, very darkly humorous, plot which maybe doesn’t entirely hold together, but is so enjoyable I didn’t care. It made enough sense as the story progressed, and I really loved and was completely impressed by how Dürt Würk’s final album tied into the present action, so I’m disinclined to nitpick anything. I also loved that the characters are mostly pushing 50, which seems like a bit of an unusual age group for this kind of story. There’s a subplot featuring a 20-something named Melanie, but she only gets a few chapters. While the chapter names are all titles of heavy metal albums, mostly by bands I never heard of (I recognized exactly four chapter titles), and I suspect there are some metal references in the story that I didn’t get at all, not being a fan of or intimately familiar with heavy metal music does not detract from enjoying or appreciating this book. Since this is a horror novel, there are several disturbing scenes, although fewer than I was afraid there would be. Warning: One is extremely gruesome and I tried very hard not to imagine it too clearly, but it’s still haunting me. (view spoiler)[The scene with JD getting pulled out of the truck and mutilated, for anyone else who’s read this book. (hide spoiler)] Weirdly, in addition to Meddling Kids, this book made me think of Stranger in a Strange Land, which had, to me, a deeply flawed and failing social parody element. We Sold Our Souls felt like a modern, actually enjoyable answer to SiaSL (which I hated with a passion). I was really positively surprised by this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ivy H

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. For eleven years Kris and Dürt Würk had fought the world, and she’d fought the world alone for another ten years after that. They’d survived the death of metal, and made it through the grunge years without ever once covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and it felt like they were going somewhere. But now the music was over, the money was gone, and in six weeks she would be losing her house. Grady Hendrix. We Sold Our Souls (Kindle Locations 217-220). Quirk Books. Kindle Edition. Well, I've kinda For eleven years Kris and Dürt Würk had fought the world, and she’d fought the world alone for another ten years after that. They’d survived the death of metal, and made it through the grunge years without ever once covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and it felt like they were going somewhere. But now the music was over, the money was gone, and in six weeks she would be losing her house. Grady Hendrix. We Sold Our Souls (Kindle Locations 217-220). Quirk Books. Kindle Edition. Well, I've kinda developed a minor addiction to horror novels once again ! Lol. But this wasn't really scary, even though there were a couple of horrific scenes. Each chapter is also titled after selected heavy metal songs. This novel was full of batshit craziness, but still managed to tell a meaningful story that even incorporated an important existentialist message, with a tinge of absurdism thrown in for good measure. This novel’s main message is that individualism ought to be celebrated and that we must fight to escape the encroaching bonds of dominant forces that seek to turn us into sheep who follow blindly where others lead. Grady Hendrix does this by using his storyline about a washed up heavy metal guitarist who is fighting against the forces that destroyed her 11 years ago. This story becomes an allegory of one's woman's lifelong journey to find her identity in an indifferent world. Kris Pulaski is the female protagonist of this tale. She's a 47 year old musician who now works as the receptionist at a motel. As a teen in the '80's, all she'd ever wanted to do was to rock and roll; heavy metal music had been her escape from a dreary world of impoverishment and her Gibson guitar was her muse. Kris had dropped out of High School to form an Indie heavy metal band, with 3 guys, called Durt Wurk. Her band had never managed to make it to the big time but she'd been happy because she was a heavy metal purist who would never dilute her music by bending to the demands of a commercial record label. Unfortunately, Terry Hunt, the lead singer of Durt Wurk didn't share her ideals. Terry was willing to do anything to make it big – even selling the souls of his bandmates to Black Iron Mountain aka the forces of evil ! Terry went on to achieve mega stardom after he ditched Kris and his other bandmates from Durt Wurk. He's created a new larger than life image for himself as the elusive Blind King, the leader of a new band called Koffin. In this new band, though, Terry ensures that the other members are only there as tools to help highlight his own greatness. It's all about him, his millions and his merchandise. He even goes so far as to costume himself with a crown that bleeds onto his face. Terry has become a bullying megalomaniac with paid assassins ( camouflaged as UPS delivery guys ) at his beck and call. He's like an evil Messiah with his bands of clueless followers. Everyone who gets on his bad side is killed; early on in the novel, Terry orchestrates the suicide/murders of a former bandmate and his entire family. He did this simply because the guy had started to become suspicious of the eerie incidents that had occurred 11 years ago when Terry dumped them all to form a new band. Kris Pulasky becomes the only person who's aware of what Terry's doing and she sets out on a one woman quest to find him and destroy everything that he and Black Iron Mountain have been working to build. Black Iron Mountain is described as the hidden evil core of nothingness that exists within the centre of the world: ...The whole world has a hole in it, and eventually you learn to love it.” “And inside that hole,” Kris said, “is Black Iron Mountain.” Grady Hendrix. We Sold Our Souls (Kindle Locations 1553-1554). Quirk Books. Kindle Edition. The evil creatures that dwell within Black Iron Mountain want as many souls as they can get from hapless human beings. These grisly wraiths only come to the surface to suck the souls of humans after the deal has been made. When Terry made the deal with Black Iron Mountain, he'd been smart enough not to barter his own soul because he wanted to keep his muse and hold on to his creativity. He'd sold his bandmates' souls, without their knowledge, and doomed them to a life of dreary routine and insignificance. Kris is soon captured and imprisoned at a "wellness" centre called Well in the Woods where she's drugged continually with mood enhancers and other psychiatric pills in an intensive de-programming scheme. Her music saves her. This might sound cheesy but it's actually quite profound and the author's treatment of this part of the story was very interesting. It turned out that many years ago, Kris had composed an album called Troglodyte and all of the songs had been one continuing epic tale about the existence of the evil that is Black Iron Mountain. The evil forces of Black Iron Mountain wanted to keep this album out of the public hearing, because everyone knows that evil thrives best when it is hidden from the unsuspecting world; evil forces can do more harm when humans are unaware of its existence. Terry Hunt agreed to destroy Troglodyte and keep all of Kris' songs hidden from the public. When Kris is imprisoned in Well in the Woods, she remembers all her music from that album and uses it to fight against the forces of evil: Inside Kris’s head, all day, every day, she played the album that Terry had never wanted released, the one that scared him so bad he’d buried it down deep. Song by song, chord by chord, note by note, Kris silently reconstructed Troglodyte inside her mind. The first track on Troglodyte was not actually a song, because no self-respecting metal album ever begins with a song. They all begin with an intro. Grady Hendrix. We Sold Our Souls (Kindle Locations 1698-1701). Quirk Books. Kindle Edition. Kris undergoes a cathartic experience and finally gets the willpower to escape from the "wellness" centre. The most interesting part, for me, was this section because the author actually wrote out the lyrics from selected songs in the album and it was quite poetic. She's at her lowest point when she escaped, because she has no money and is covered in cuts and bruises. However, she rallies by walking, hitchhiking, eating from garbage bins etc. Her main aim is to get to Terry's big concert, Hellstock, on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Suffice it to say that Kris does succeed in getting to Hellstock, with the aid of an old bandmate called JD ( who dies gruesomely ! ) and she gets her revenge by forcing Terry to sing the entire Troglodyte album for the half a million live fans and the millions of televised viewers. Terry gets his comeuppance and loses his creativity; in fact he becomes a mere shell of himself after he's punished severely, by Black Iron Moutain, for singing the songs they hate from that dangerous album Troglodyte. Kris' fate wasn't so clear though. She never got back her soul and it's implied that she got away from the evil forces of Black Iron Mountain but the author never states so definitely. I guess that's to be expected in a horror novel ! What I did enjoy was the fact that, in the end, Kris ended up becoming a legend after her epic performance at the Hellstock concert. And that's a nice enough ending for a gifted musician, whose only true love had been music for the sake of the music...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    I needed something undemanding to read over a couple of train journeys, and We Sold Our Souls fitted the bill. I haven't got on with Grady Hendrix's work previously (had to give up on Horrorstör because it was too gory; just couldn't get into My Best Friend's Exorcism) so I wasn't necessarily expecting much here, but for whatever reason it worked brilliantly. The story's about Kris, who used to be the guitarist in a metal band called Dürt Würk. In the 90s, just as they were about to get big, le I needed something undemanding to read over a couple of train journeys, and We Sold Our Souls fitted the bill. I haven't got on with Grady Hendrix's work previously (had to give up on Horrorstör because it was too gory; just couldn't get into My Best Friend's Exorcism) so I wasn't necessarily expecting much here, but for whatever reason it worked brilliantly. The story's about Kris, who used to be the guitarist in a metal band called Dürt Würk. In the 90s, just as they were about to get big, lead singer Terry Hunt ditched the band (stealing some of Kris's best material in the process) and achieved global stardom with his nu-metal outfit Koffin. Kris is now a hotel receptionist with next to no money, and hasn't played in years. When a Koffin 'farewell' tour is announced, it serves as the catalyst for her to track down her former bandmates and ultimately confront Terry. Along the way, things start getting seriously strange, and Kris begins to suspect that Terry's fame may have come at the cost of... well, the clue's in the title. We Sold Our Souls is a confidently written and always-enjoyable ride in which our heroine and the supporting characters are incredibly likeable, and the villains are, in more than one way, the stuff of nightmares. It's also a love letter to heavy metal, and Hendrix's appreciation of the genre is obvious in everything he writes about Dürt Würk, Koffin, and Kris's own passion for playing music. My one complaint is that Melanie should be in it more – she appears so seldom that I forgot about her for at least 100 pages. She appears to Kris as a saviour ex machina, and feels too much like her whole persona has been reverse-engineered to fit the scene in which they meet. This is definitely in the Stephen King tradition of horror, which is not always to my taste, but it's a great example of the type. Dark, gruesome, fast-paced fun. I received an advance review copy of We Sold Our Souls from the publisher through NetGalley. TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    In the 1990s, Kris Pulaski was the guitar player in a metal band called Dürt Würk. Now, she's broke and working the desk at Best Western. When one of her old bandmates announces the farewell tour of Koffin, his new band, Kris goes looking for some payback... I'm a huge fan of Paperbacks from Hell and I liked My Best Friend's Exorcism so my interest was picqued. Fortunately, I won a Goodreads giveaway for this book a few weeks ago. We Sold Our Souls is told in two parallel tracks: the wreckage of In the 1990s, Kris Pulaski was the guitar player in a metal band called Dürt Würk. Now, she's broke and working the desk at Best Western. When one of her old bandmates announces the farewell tour of Koffin, his new band, Kris goes looking for some payback... I'm a huge fan of Paperbacks from Hell and I liked My Best Friend's Exorcism so my interest was picqued. Fortunately, I won a Goodreads giveaway for this book a few weeks ago. We Sold Our Souls is told in two parallel tracks: the wreckage of Kris' life and her days as a rocker. There's also the side story of Melanie Guttierez, a girl who wants to get to Vegas to see Koffin at any cost, but Kris is the star of the show. Anyway, as Kris tracks down her old bandmates, she's forced to explore that fateful night, decades before, when Terry Hunt and his creepy new manager put some sinister contracts in front of the members of Dürt Würk. We Sold Our Souls is part metal, part road book, and part horror. There were some frantic moments and one of the most claustrophobic scenes I've read. I had to stop for a few minutes and burden my wife with it. Lots of crazy, gruesome, unsettling shit happens. For most of the book, I was planning on giving this five stars but I thought there were a few too many unanswered questions at the end. The ending was satisfying but felt like it was missing something just the same, like when you don't have any bay leaves and decide to make the soup anyway. Not to hijack the review but I found myself comparing We Sold Our Souls to Todd Keisling's The Final Reconciliation quite a bit. For my money, The Final Reconciliation was the better music-themed horror novel. At the end of the day, We Sold Our Souls was one hell of a great read. Four out of five stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    I have no words that can accurately describe how freaking AMAZING and out of this world this book was but I’m going to give it a try. I knew it would be good because it’s basically my two favourite things smashed into one, horror and metal. But I had no idea just how good it would be and it absolutely blew my mind! This isn’t just one the best horror books I’ve read this year but one of the best horror books I’ve EVER read. It was dark and gritty and by the end of it I felt like I’d sell my soul I have no words that can accurately describe how freaking AMAZING and out of this world this book was but I’m going to give it a try. I knew it would be good because it’s basically my two favourite things smashed into one, horror and metal. But I had no idea just how good it would be and it absolutely blew my mind! This isn’t just one the best horror books I’ve read this year but one of the best horror books I’ve EVER read. It was dark and gritty and by the end of it I felt like I’d sell my soul to get more of this deliciously scary story!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Every song was the same song. These were songs for people who were scared to open their mailboxes, whose phone call never brought good news. These were songs for people standing at the crossroads waiting for the bus. People who bounced between debt collectors and dollar stores, collection agencies and housing offices, family court and emergency rooms waiting for a check that never came, waiting for a court date, waiting for a call back, waiting for a break, crushed beneath the wheel. Grady Hendri Every song was the same song. These were songs for people who were scared to open their mailboxes, whose phone call never brought good news. These were songs for people standing at the crossroads waiting for the bus. People who bounced between debt collectors and dollar stores, collection agencies and housing offices, family court and emergency rooms waiting for a check that never came, waiting for a court date, waiting for a call back, waiting for a break, crushed beneath the wheel. Grady Hendrix is quickly making his name, not just as a connoisseur of horror but as one of it's leading architects. He's not just producing great books, he's shaping horror and it's future - We Sold Our Souls is an achievement and a shout into the future. Kris Pulaski works a dead end job in a dead end motel, in a dead end town. Her days are filled with biting down fear, anger, and the resentful knowledge that a better life is out there and should have been hers. She's lost control of her life, and now just moves from day to day, her problems sleeping in the back of her mind until one day she sees a billboard and is shocked back into life. The Blind King is back, and it's not long before every safe wall she's built between herself and life is forcibly torn away. We Sold Our Souls is at times brutal, terrifying, funny, and exhilarating. Grady Hendrix always knows what he's talking about, and with this music it's no different - he points out the roots of metal in both classical and blues, and righteously calls out the more commercial nu-metal. The attitude is all there, brought to life in Kris Pulaski, a woman larger than her physical self once she gets a guitar in her hands. The horror ebbs and flows but never entirely leaves - there's one sequence in a cave that actually had me holding my breath. I'm still not ok, that one is going to live on in my head for a long, long time. (view spoiler)[The big bad is excellently done. The Blind King himself is so sad and small and petty, and ultimately chasing everything he threw away himself. The bigger bad, if you like, is terrifyingly plausible, and I'm not entirely convinced that Grady Hendrix hasn't been on some caving expeditions himself, perhaps stumbling on forbidden knowledge along the way... (hide spoiler)] This book is excellent. Grady Hendrix deserves every bit of praise he's getting and more; his trajectory is positively exponential at this point, and I will be eagerly awaiting whatever he sets his pen to next.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    We Sold Our Souls is such a fun read. It's an addicting story, and I think I tore through it within 24 hours. I want to say up front that I am not a metal fan, and this is the second metal horror book I've read this year. I ended up loving both. So if you are not a metal fan, either, and are avoiding this one, please go for it. This is a story you don't want to miss. I feel like this book loses some steam at the end. It seemed like it was ramping up to something more sinister, and I guess it was We Sold Our Souls is such a fun read. It's an addicting story, and I think I tore through it within 24 hours. I want to say up front that I am not a metal fan, and this is the second metal horror book I've read this year. I ended up loving both. So if you are not a metal fan, either, and are avoiding this one, please go for it. This is a story you don't want to miss. I feel like this book loses some steam at the end. It seemed like it was ramping up to something more sinister, and I guess it was a bit anti-climactic. I still enjoyed it very much as a whole, though. I don't think that this book is necessarily scary, but it deals with a lot of horror elements. I think it hits closer to horror comedy at some points like My Best Friend's Exorcism. I liked the characters in this book. Quite a few of them are fleshed out pretty well, and I really enjoyed hearing their stories. We Sold Our Souls has a good feminist message, and some things that came up in the book hit a little close to home. This book went deeper than I expected it to, and it has a lot of heart.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.5 Stars Once again, Grady Hendrix is back with another fantastic, self-aware horror novel. Playing with the classics tropes of the genre, this novel was smart and well written. The narrative was very fast paced and action packed, bringing along the reader for an entertaining adventure. This novel will particularly appeal to readers with a background in music, specifically heavy metal. This is book was still accessible to less musically-inclined people, like myself, but I know I was the perfect 3.5 Stars Once again, Grady Hendrix is back with another fantastic, self-aware horror novel. Playing with the classics tropes of the genre, this novel was smart and well written. The narrative was very fast paced and action packed, bringing along the reader for an entertaining adventure. This novel will particularly appeal to readers with a background in music, specifically heavy metal. This is book was still accessible to less musically-inclined people, like myself, but I know I was the perfect target audience for the book. If you enjoy Grady Hendrix's novels, heavy metal or deals with the devil, I definitely recommend checking out this one! I received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mindi

    This book was sent to the Night Worms review group by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I have been a fan of Hendrix ever since I discovered Horrorstör when it was released. When this book showed up at my house I just stared at it and pawed it for a while. It's so gorgeous and metal AF. Needless to say I couldn't wait to read this one. The first night I picked it up I made it to the 38% point. Last night I finished it. That's how much I was caught up in this story. Hendrix turns thi This book was sent to the Night Worms review group by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I have been a fan of Hendrix ever since I discovered Horrorstör when it was released. When this book showed up at my house I just stared at it and pawed it for a while. It's so gorgeous and metal AF. Needless to say I couldn't wait to read this one. The first night I picked it up I made it to the 38% point. Last night I finished it. That's how much I was caught up in this story. Hendrix turns this one up to 11 and then breaks the knob off. Indie rock has always sort of been my thing, but I went to my share of metal concerts, and I can honestly say that metal fans are some of the nicest people. You may get knocked over in the pit, but every single time some big dude with a beard and face tattoos would help me up and make sure I was OK. Metal fans are diehard and loyal, so I could relate to a lot of this book, especially the festival ending. And I got a kick out of Hendrix putting GWAR on the lineup. I saw them twice in college, and both times it was an absolute blast. Kris Pulaski is a fantastic protagonist. She's a badass who loves metal and refuses to let the shady frontman for their band Dürt Würk get away with selling them out. Years ago Terry Hunt caused a falling out between the band members, and now he's rich and successful with his new band Koffin because of the deal he made. Kris is barely making ends meet, and when she finds out that Terry is having a farewell tour, she knows she needs to get the band back together to confront him once and for all about that night when Terry left Dürt Würk. None of the other band members remember that night clearly, and that bothers Kris. She knows something shady went down, but she just can't remember it all. She also doesn't yet realize that Terry has a power over the old band that will force him to do anything necessary to keep them from ruining his tour. I had so much fun with this novel. Music is universal, no matter what genre you listen to. There's a part in this book where two people bond over Dolly Parton, and I loved that so much! Everyone loves music, and a story about an aging female rocker who has to save the world with music speaks directly to my soul. This is a story about a girl with a guitar who rises to her potential and rocks out while capturing the reader's heart. I absolutely loved it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Chaney

    You can see my full video review HERE... Kris's days of underground metal fame are over. She is now in her late forties and dealing with creeps from the front desk of a hotel, barely getting by as she reminisces about the days before she and her band split. Before her fellow band-member Terry Hunt rocketed to stardom and left the others in the dust. Soon, Kris becomes convinced that Terry sold all their souls in exchange for fame. And so begins a road trip to track Terry down and confront him. We You can see my full video review HERE... Kris's days of underground metal fame are over. She is now in her late forties and dealing with creeps from the front desk of a hotel, barely getting by as she reminisces about the days before she and her band split. Before her fellow band-member Terry Hunt rocketed to stardom and left the others in the dust. Soon, Kris becomes convinced that Terry sold all their souls in exchange for fame. And so begins a road trip to track Terry down and confront him. We Sold Our Souls is the latest horror novel from Grady Hendrix, author of the award-winning Paperbacks from Hell which came out Fall of last year. While his previous book was nonfiction, We Sold Our Souls is actually very similar in that it is aware of itself and knows what it is saying. This novel is heavily steeped in rock/metal culture and references it frequently. Therefore, it might be a little hard to follow if the reader is not up to speed on all things rock-and-roll. Yours truly has never been into the rock-music scene since the lifestyle is somewhat lost on me, but it is a lifestyle that exists and this little tome strives to represent what it stands for. I feel We Sold Our Souls represents it well, and metal fans should appreciate that. Aside from that though, We Sold Our Souls is a fast-paced story that wants nothing more than to entertain its audience, metal-fan or not. It is funny, heartfelt, and gives horror fans a splash of gore when necessary. Also, Kris is a tough but vulnerable character that anyone can stand behind. She feels real, which is all you can really ask for in a character. While I couldn't get into the metal-aspects of this book (which is the main focus), there was enough adventure to keep me reading. We Sold Our Souls isn't a perfect book and isn't my favorite by Mr. Hendrix, but I liked it enough and I think you will too. Unless you are a metal fan, in which case you might have a new favorite book in your hands. OVERALL, 3.5 STARS.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ☼

    First of all, I love horror books centered around music. Books like Robert McCammon's The Five and Todd Keisling's The Final Reconciliation are among my favorite books. I could not have been more excited when I heard Grady Hendrix had written a metal horror book. I'm such a fan of Grady Hendrix. Paperbacks from Hell was a stunning book, but My Best Friend's Exorcism is what placed him on my must read author list. It was a very unexpected read (in a great way). We Sold Our Souls was an unexpected First of all, I love horror books centered around music. Books like Robert McCammon's The Five and Todd Keisling's The Final Reconciliation are among my favorite books. I could not have been more excited when I heard Grady Hendrix had written a metal horror book. I'm such a fan of Grady Hendrix. Paperbacks from Hell was a stunning book, but My Best Friend's Exorcism is what placed him on my must read author list. It was a very unexpected read (in a great way). We Sold Our Souls was an unexpected read as well, but for more traditional reasons. A lot of scenes in We Sold Our Souls took me by surprise. Some were unpredictable and some were just downright brutal. (Barb, I'm pretty sure no dogs were harmed in the making of this one!) Grady Hendrix's writing is so much fun. It immediately puts me in a great place as a reader. The music references and Hendrix's personal interjections in We Sold Our Souls were a big bonus, too. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Gaarder

    Read my reviews on http://www.jenchaosreviews.com We Sold Our Souls: A NovelBy Grady Hendrix(Amazon Buy) Quirk Books, September 18, 2018 335 Pages, Hardcover Edition "In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western - she's tired, b Read my reviews on http://www.jenchaosreviews.com We Sold Our Souls: A NovelBy Grady Hendrix(Amazon Buy) Quirk Books, September 18, 2018 335 Pages, Hardcover Edition "In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western - she's tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry's meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris's very soul. This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It's a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that's darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds. We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul...where only a girl with a guitar can save us all." Goodreads Rating: 4.09/My Rating: 5.0 Review: "Metal Never Retreats, Metal Never Surrenders, Metal Never Dies!" YES! Finally! A book about the music that I love. Heavy metal music. Beyond that, this is a book about a female guitarist that is not only down on her luck but a strong female character at that. Kris Pulaski started playing guitar young, in her basement struggling to play Iron Man by Black Sabbath when Terry Hunt showed interest in her. They became fast friends and decided at one point to start a band. Collecting bandmates wasn't a problem. Tuck, J.D., Scottie, they were a great band that became Durt Wurk. J.D. the drummer was volatile and was replaced by Bill so on they went. They never did make it big, but Kris didn't care enough because she felt they were doing well. She was having a good time as were the rest of the band. However, little did she realize that one of the bandmates would pull the rug out from under their feet. Signing the contracts should have been the most natural thing in the world. Fame, fortune, comfortable life and no more sleeping in vans and cars. However, the music would change, they would be owned.  Refusing, Kris left the contracts to the rest of the bandmates without realizing the repercussions of her decisions. 34 years later, she is a washed up guitarist. She hasn't written a song since the day she left the band. Since contract night. The night she cannot remember. The bandmate that betrayed her is doing a farewell tour and has made it so big that he is sweating money. She doesn't know what to do other than find out what happened on contract night. Visiting old band members, she starts seeing a conspiracy unfold. Tragedies and confinement lead her to paranoia and to the home of someone she never thought she would ever want to see again. Crossing the country to see the betrayer should have been easy, but obstacles keep getting in her way. What should she do when or if she gets there? Will she even make it? Why is UPS also involved? This book was so unreal. I loved the music references. Either the author is a true metalhead, or he did severe research because he knew some old metal songs and bands that I have not thought about since 1992. ( I was much pleased that he referenced some of the newer groups as nu-metal and not true-metal because there is a difference. That is neither here or there. ) The conspiracy was a little predictable. I have to say, by the 75% mark, I was pretty sure I knew where the story would go. The alternating storylines between Kris and someone else made me pretty aware of the fact that Kris would do something and this other person would do something about that. This propelled the plot as I saw it. However, though I did know how she would get to her destination, I did not know the journey. This is why this is a good book. It was unpredictable in that respect. The villain was a jerk. That was on purpose of course. There were two villains. The first one was the betrayer, the ex-bandmate. The pretend-to-be-your-friend-because-I-need-you-for-something kind of a friend. That was the gist I got. The second villain was the contract guy. The businessman. He was always smiling always fast-talking because he was still trying to get people to sell their most precious commodity. If he were the devil, I didn't know. He may have been a minion, who knows, the book did not indicate. Writing: The writing was excellent. Casual enough for anyone to read, but literary sufficient to call it an exceptional novel. The flow was consistent and accessible to get along with. The story was woven so well I was able to read it in a day and a half. This was not written with much symbolism, however. There was symbolism, but the characters explained it. I was delighted or else I would have been confused. Plot: The plot was solid and sturdy and I was able to ascertain the ending; however by the three-quarter mark which was a little disappointing. Although, I did not know how it would get to that point. Some subplots needed some resolve to get there, and I needed to find out what would happen to those. Everything seemed to tie in together towards the end about 95% in and by the epilogue they were all tied in together nicely. This was a well-constructed book. What I liked: I loved the music of course, aside from that I really enjoyed seeing a strong female lead. Not only that, I saw a strong female lead guitarist. To me, that is a classic Lita Ford icon in my mind. She was unstoppable. It was almost like reading Koontz's Jane Hawk books. I was very happy with the way it went. No matter what happened, no matter how bad it got, she never gave up. She wasn't a classic damsel in distress, she was a warrior and I loved it. What I Didn't Like: I didn't like that I was able to discern the ending so easily. Hendrix made the book a little too predictable. though the journey was not as predictable as the ending, I would have liked a little more of a surprise. Overall Impression: This is a great book, especially for readers who love metal! Especially metal from the old days (70's, 80's and 90's). I'm not saying that Nu-metal is bad, because I like that too, admittedly. I do like Korn and Slipknot, but my heart rests with the old guys really. But back to the book. The book is really just a great read. It has all the elements of action, suspense, twists, and conspiracy. It will keep you guessing (as long as you don't figure out the ending as I did).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    As a fan of Grady, heavy metal and horror I was really looking forward to this book and I’m glad to say that is was absolutely fantastic. We Sold Our Souls takes you on a thrilling adventure that follows Kris Pulaski, the former guitarist of Dürt Würk - a band that was never huge but loved by those fortunate enough to hear them. The reasons for the dissolution of her band are not what she believes them to be and the evils she wrote about are far more real than she realises. Kris is a great protag As a fan of Grady, heavy metal and horror I was really looking forward to this book and I’m glad to say that is was absolutely fantastic. We Sold Our Souls takes you on a thrilling adventure that follows Kris Pulaski, the former guitarist of Dürt Würk - a band that was never huge but loved by those fortunate enough to hear them. The reasons for the dissolution of her band are not what she believes them to be and the evils she wrote about are far more real than she realises. Kris is a great protagonist who pulls you in to the story with ease; she’s likeable, badass and tenacious. The story is fast, fun and ridiculously addictive, I got through this book in a couple of days… and after sacrificing some sleep! I was also impressed by the heavy metal knowledge displayed throughout and the care put in to the story as heavy metal if often misunderstood. I’m giving this my highest recommendation!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I have also included a few quotes from the eARC- I couldn’t help myself- so, please note, the quotes are subject to change in the published version We Sold Our Souls in a word? Epic! In three words? Epic, epic, epic! I mean- it’s about heavy metal- how can it not be epic, right? Am I saying ‘epic’ too much? 😀 Anywhoo, what a satanic ride this one was… I mean, not only was the plot utterly devilish and filled with dark, sinister agendas and death and gore and other horror-y stuff, I also- seriously I have also included a few quotes from the eARC- I couldn’t help myself- so, please note, the quotes are subject to change in the published version We Sold Our Souls in a word? Epic! In three words? Epic, epic, epic! I mean- it’s about heavy metal- how can it not be epic, right? Am I saying ‘epic’ too much? 😀 Anywhoo, what a satanic ride this one was… I mean, not only was the plot utterly devilish and filled with dark, sinister agendas and death and gore and other horror-y stuff, I also- seriously- laughed at some scenes… Like the piss-scene in a Best Western lobby. It was disgusting and horrible but I laughed. So hard. Sue me. The book starts off by filling the reader the detail of the background, of the beginning of it all slowly, but surely… and epically, naturlich! We get to know the beginnings of Dürt Würk and the members of the band. Ambitious group of young ones with individuality in spades, wanting to take over the world with heavy metal one location, one club at a time. They didn’t agree on anything except the most important thing: heavy metal was their religion. It tore the happy face off the world. It told the truth. It kicked down doors. But it’s tough going for them… and just as Dürt Würk are certain they’re going to have a breakthrough, everything flops, like a limp, wet sock. Not only did Terry break up the band but he went and started his own- Koffin- and it’s freaking nu metal! Sacrilege of the highest order! Now, 20 years later, most Dürt Würk members have settled in to their lovely suburban mansions with a partner and kids. But not Kris. She’s just a Best Western worker and, rightly so, bitter. The light of her life- music- has been taken from her. Nothing stays hidden behind closed doors, though, especially in a horror novel. Behind the doors- this is where the monster is! Or escape… You know how it goes- they always open the door and go looking for trouble! Kris can no longer sit back and as Terry, who left all of the Dürt Würk members coughing up the dust as he took off towards his stardom, makes his comeback on stage, Kris knows that it’s time to dig up the bones of the past. Thus begins the incredible unravelling of the plot as Kris insists on going head first into that one night 20 years ago that changed everything. What ensues is truly quite difficult to describe. It’s fast-paced, hard-core and totally gripping. But it’s also covered in conspiracy, madness and death. And betrayal and escapes. But, tap into metal, and you can do anything… Metal never dies. Metal never retreats. Metal never surrenders. And then… We Sold Our Souls is about more than just revenge by ex-band mates. It’s an example of a heavy metal way of life, it’s a case study of the value of music and a piss-take on the mainstream auto-tuned radio waves. It’s a shout out to calloused fingers and aching necks and certain kind of passion… No excuses made for what matters most in this book… Have you noticed how soulless this world has become? How empty and prefabricated? Soulless lives are hollow. We fill the earth with soulless cities, pollute ourselves with soulless albums. … and it’s made good with that added bit of craziness… Kris is a helluva woman. She’s heavy metal down to her very core and her stamina and willpower alone are the driving force of this novel. She finds herself in situations that would break a person mentally in half, but Kris? She’s no quitter and she will see things through to the very bitter end against the most powerful evil. To the bitter end, I said… well, that is actually open for debate… 😉 We Sold Our Souls is a novel of strong beginnings, unbelievable realities, claustrophobic crescendos, gruesome deaths and unimaginable prophecies looking for heroes… Oh! And the chapters are named after the best albums- Bathory, Manowar, Mötley Crüe, Megadeth and so on… ! Thoroughly enjoyable, much recommended!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Moore

    We Sold Our Souls is one HELL of a ride. Grady Hendrix, King of horror at Quirk Books, has written a heavy metal masterpiece with a female lead guitarist, Kris Pulaski, as its star. Less classic horror this time (his previous books are Horrorstör and ‘My Best Friend's Exorcism, Hendrix has laden ‘Souls’ with conspiracy theory and real life horrors. Kris Pulaski was in a heavy metal band called Dürt Würk two decades ago and they were on the brink of success when the lead singer Terry Hunt ripped t We Sold Our Souls is one HELL of a ride. Grady Hendrix, King of horror at Quirk Books, has written a heavy metal masterpiece with a female lead guitarist, Kris Pulaski, as its star. Less classic horror this time (his previous books are Horrorstör and ‘My Best Friend's Exorcism, Hendrix has laden ‘Souls’ with conspiracy theory and real life horrors. Kris Pulaski was in a heavy metal band called Dürt Würk two decades ago and they were on the brink of success when the lead singer Terry Hunt ripped the band apart and left to start his solo career. And it seems Terry’s rise to success was at the cost of selling the band’s souls. That’s right, he sold their souls for rock’n’roll…or in this case, heavy metal. Kris’ pitiful present day existence is working at the reception of a Best Western, and if you can stomach the ‘Welcome To Hell’ chapter (good horror always comes at the cost of reading things that make your stomach turn), then you can follow Kris on her journey as she gets whisked from Pennsylvania to a Satanic rehab center, and then across the country again to grimy Las Vegas. Years of grueling, crazy, exciting, challenging (to say the least), and often nasty experiences on the road with the band, were nothing compared to this trip, and it seems like all Kris’ heavy metal years were preparation and toughened her up. The journey to Las Vegas is overwhelming, but Kris has a mission she can’t ignore. There’s also a whole host of colorful characters along the way, but I do have to wonder if Hendrix has a thing against UPS (you will see what I mean when you read the book). The greatest thing about this book is that Hendrix has chosen to write ‘Souls’ with a female protagonist. Not just that: a kickass, middle-aged (even though I hate that word, because that’s what I am now, I suppose), female as its lead. And she plays the guitar like a certain other Hendrix. She doesn’t take any bull from anyone and doesn’t stop fighting back once she starts on her new road trip. While it seems as though she has given up with her hotel job, the revelation that she must stop her old bandmate Terry Hunt, lights a fire in Kris, and the book has that vibe of ‘don’t give up, don’t let the system win, don’t let the bullies push you’. That’s highly clear in the messages of conspiracy theory, our paranoia-laden country, and how culture is selling itself (its soul) particularly out to cell phones and shallow marketing. Reading the book will give you a greater sense of the way the conspiracy theory works in ‘Souls’ - I’m kind of at a loss as how to explain the genius behind how it’s woven in - but Hendrix has cleverly used snippets of radio and newspaper to show how ‘news’ travels and information spreads. This has always been the way conspiracy theories spread and this underbelly of the book is fascinating. If you don’t know all the music in the book, this may be a little daunting, as there are a lot of heavy metal and music references, but I think if you have even the remote interest in or knowledge of decades old music such as Black Sabbath and Slayer, and remember the days when everyone thought that heavy metal listeners were devil worshipers, you will appreciate what Hendrix is doing here (and no you don’t have to actually like the music). Trigger warnings for sexual assault and creepy crawlies; this is definitely rated R. Hendrix is an undeniable force in pop culture literature and has written an unforgettable book, one that’s not for everyone, but will be a cult classic, but not like any of the schlock he writes about in his awesome ‘Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction’. No one writes like this guy; ‘We Sold Our Souls’ is funny, gross, complex, and a wonderful blend of horror, pop culture, conspiracy theory, and is infused with a heavy dose of music history. Only Grady Hendrix could have done that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was nearly a breakout success, but the lead singer Terry went solo and became a superstar as Koffin, leaving the rest of the band in the dust. Now, former guitarist Kris is miserable as a night manager at Best Western. Then one day she learns a horrific secret about Terry's meteoric success -it may have come at the price of Kris's soul. With this information, Kris plans to confront the man I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was nearly a breakout success, but the lead singer Terry went solo and became a superstar as Koffin, leaving the rest of the band in the dust. Now, former guitarist Kris is miserable as a night manager at Best Western. Then one day she learns a horrific secret about Terry's meteoric success -it may have come at the price of Kris's soul. With this information, Kris plans to confront the man who ruined her life, but first she's going have to get the rest of Dürt Würk back together again and travel across the country to a monster of a music festival where Koffin is playing his final show. I was so excited when I realized I had been approved for this ARC via NetGalley because Grady Hendrix has quickly become one of my favorite new horror writers. His brand of horror is right up my alley - I loved Horrorstor and My Best Friend's Excorcism was pretty fantastic. Needless to say, I had really high hopes and was expecting to be thoroughly creeped out by his newest novel. Luckily for me, We Sold Our Souls totally delivers in all the ways that matter. I'm not a guitarist and heavy metal isn't one of my favorite genres, but as a musician I forgot how much I like reading about fellow musicians. I especially like seeing it in genre fiction which doesn't happen often enough, and I love how key Kris's music (and love of music) plays such a central role in this horror story. Kris herself is a fascinating lead character. Even though she's quite flawed, a bit rough around the edges, and doesn't always make the best decisions, I couldn't help but root for her throughout. In fact, all of the characters in this novel are complex and well-drawn. Finally, I just need to mention just how well this novel works as a psychological horror story. I was on the edge of my seat and there are plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Plus, if you're into conspiracy theories this will probably get you going as well. Overall, We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix is a thrilling new Lovecraft-esque horror novel that focuses on music and its cast. If you've enjoyed this author's previous works, I have a feeling that you'll love this too. I can't wait to see what he's going to do next. One thing's for sure, though, I will never look at UPS in the same way! Thanks again, NetGalley!

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).

    As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress... We Sold Our Souls is a most excellent read and with my devil horns raised Grady Hendrix, I salute you!🤘 Kris Pulaski was the lead guitarist in the heavy metal band Dürt Würk but music and happiness are in her past. It has been years since she picked up her guitar, shredded her axe and made her six-string sing. These days Kris is back in her hometown living paycheck to paycheck and st As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress... We Sold Our Souls is a most excellent read and with my devil horns raised Grady Hendrix, I salute you!🤘 Kris Pulaski was the lead guitarist in the heavy metal band Dürt Würk but music and happiness are in her past. It has been years since she picked up her guitar, shredded her axe and made her six-string sing. These days Kris is back in her hometown living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to get by dealing with boredom, monotony and unruly arseholes/customers working as the Night Manager at a Best Western hotel. When she was a kid all Kris had was music. An outcast, she learnt to play the guitar by playing until her fingers bled and then she played some more finding solace in the riffs and the music. Teaching herself in the basement of her family home repeating the riff to Iron Man by Black Sabbath until it was second nature. Then, one day, there was a tapping on the basement window and Kris was asked if she was playing Sabbath. The kid that tapped on the window, Terry Hunt. The pair bonded over music and formed a friendship over their mutual love of heavy metal. Due to this, they decided to start a band, add in some other misfits who become their bandmates and Dürt Würk (which is a cool name for a band) was born. After ten years of playing to mid-sized audiences and paying their dues but failing to achieve any real success, with two albums released, a new album (Troglodyte) already written in the hopes of a scoring big contract and thanks to their new manager Rob Anthony Dürt Würk got their big break as the opening act for the metal titan’s Slayer. Unfortunately, things went wrong, Terry bad-mouthed Slayer, got the band kicked off the tour, trashed his hotel room and then disappeared leaving the rest of the band to be told that they’d been sacked from the tour before a show. Due to his behaviour and fucking up their shot at the big time the rest of the band decided that they would fire him. They drove back to the Witch House (the place where they wrote and practised their songs and recorded their albums) only to find Terry waiting for them with Rob and a cooler full of champagne. Along with Terry, Rob and the champagne there were contracts laid out on a table and waiting for the rest of the band to sign. A multi-album, multi-year record deal but it’s not for Dürt Würk. Dürt Würk are dead and Terry has masterminded a new creation, going forward he will be known as The Blind King and they will now be known as Koffin. That’s not all though, their album Troglodyte will be discarded without ever being officially released. Terry will have sole ownership and rights to the lyrics, music, songs and publishing and the rest of the band will just be session musicians who play with him. But, perhaps the worst thing for the true metalhead members of the band, the genre and style of the band would change. Under the Koffin name they will no longer be a heavy metal band but a nu metal band, the sacrilege and the horror! This, of course, doesn’t go down well with the other band members who don’t really want to rap, sell out and play like Korn, Limp Bizket or Slipknot! – they sure don’t like Slipknot so remember maggots it’s just a book!👍 Enraged by Terry and the contract offer Kris goes off into the woods to blow off some steam and calm down. On that fateful night, however, there is an unaccounted for gap, a span of missing hours and a hole in Kris’s memory. It is also the night when tragedy strikes and the band split up. That was twenty years ago and in the intervening years, Terry has become a multi-millionaire metal megastar and Koffin a hugely successful brand with legions of adoring fans and millions upon millions in the bank. Now, after a period of inactivity and years since their last album release Koffin and Terry return to play a farewell tour. Named ‘Farewell to the King‘ the tour will be the final five shows by Koffin. However, at the last concert and due to the popularity of the tour Terry announces that he is holding a huge music festival in the Las Vegas desert called Hellstock ’19. Taking place over three days and featuring fifty bands over three stages Hellstock will now be Koffin’s swan song and final ever show. Dürt Würk was Kris’s life, the band and the music meant everything to her and it was all taken away from her by Terry and Koffin. Fuelled by years of anger, frustration, hurt and rage Kris wants answers from Terry, to right the wrongs of her past, redemption for herself and decides that it is finally time to uncover the truth behind what really happened on contract night all those years ago. Setting out on an epic cross-country journey that will bring her into contact with her former bandmates, hellish creatures and murderous UPS delivery drivers (yes, really) there is only one way it will all end, with her confronting Terry. Kris is one woman with a guitar against many and the only help she has on the way to her confrontation with the Blind King is the unreleased Dürt Würk album, her masterpiece Troglodyte and its created mythology. In Troglodyte Kris must believe, placing her trust in the songs and the lyrics that she once wrote and allowing the album to guide her. Troglodyte tells a story that forms the backdrop of her journey helping her endure the shit that she has to face and keeping her moving forward. Interspersed with Kris’s story are the occasional chapters focusing on Melanie, a die-hard Koffin fan with a dead-end job who wants more from her life. Melanie sees Hellstock as the ideal opportunity for a fresh start, to move away to a new state, start over and to see Terry and his band who have given her so much and whose music saved her life (many of us have bands/songs/lyrics that we find meaning in, can relate too and have found comfort in during hard times and that is what Koffin and their songs mean to Melanie) one last time. I really liked the Melanie chapters, she’s slightly naive but an all-around good sort and a likeable character. Each chapter is titled after a classic music album, Appetite for Destruction, Diary of a Madman, Master of Puppets, etc and whilst only a small thing, it’s a really nice touch and shows thought on the part of the author. At the start of each chapter, there are snippets from magazine articles, interviews and radio shows. Some old and some new mentioning Dürt Würk, the state of the world, conspiracy theories, Koffin’s farewell tour and the Hellstock festival. Again, like with the naming of the chapter titles, it’s only a small thing but the snippets are another nice touch and are used to add additional insight and depth to the story. Dürt Würk feels like a real band that derailed, imploded and split-up, not just a group of people written on pages in a book but band-mates from a real band with a real history. The backstory of the band, the individual band-mates and the relationships between them all throughout the course of We Sold Our Souls from their bygone days as a band to the present day and the animosity that the others feel towards Kris, the admittance of fault, the attempting building of bridges, the betrayals and, of course, the loathing that Kris feels towards Terry, it is all exceptional and makes for a compelling narrative. All of the characters featured are different with their own personalities and none more so than Kris who is a terrific main character. Kris is beaten, damaged, frayed and tough with no quit in her. She is ‘metal4life‘ and raises a middle finger to conformity. She is someone to root for, to get behind, to cheer on in her quest, she is heavy metal through and through, music runs in her veins and she is badass. We Sold Our Souls is a crazy train of a book that is loaded with soaring cleans, guttural growls, harsh screaming, breakdowns, acoustic interludes, duelling guitar solos and excess riffage. C’mon, you knew I’d get some musical references into the review so I might as well have stuck them all together!😂 But, if you prefer the non-musical version. We Sold Our Souls is a hellish thrill ride of a book that is loaded with emotion, humour, redemption, craziness, action and heart. Part horror, part homage to heavy metal, part road trip and all awesome We Sold Our Souls is pure unadulterated fun and a metal lover’s paradise. It is a totally bodacious book, it is going on my books of the year list and I fucking loved it!🤘

  25. 5 out of 5

    James Oxyer

    I love the heart that went into this. But the whole thing feels so...half-baked? First drafty? Love the first half, all the way until after an "escape" scene. After that, it lost me. The plot is too allegorical for its own good. The climax is way too feel-good and family-friendly considering the dark horror elements that were in play the rest of the novel. The universe and its mythology are frustratingly underdeveloped. The social commentary jumbled into it never comes together. It never locks d I love the heart that went into this. But the whole thing feels so...half-baked? First drafty? Love the first half, all the way until after an "escape" scene. After that, it lost me. The plot is too allegorical for its own good. The climax is way too feel-good and family-friendly considering the dark horror elements that were in play the rest of the novel. The universe and its mythology are frustratingly underdeveloped. The social commentary jumbled into it never comes together. It never locks down a clear tone, featuring genuinely disturbing moments of horror mixed with goofy humor and schmaltzy sentimentality. And at its worst, its message of following your dreams and "fighting the man" comes off as downright preachy. I feel awful for ragging on it though. This is a love letter to rock 'n' roll through and through, and if anything translates crystal clear, it's that. Like I said, I adore the first half, and the second half does have some awesome moments of catharsis (I loved Kris's character and it was great seeing where she wound up). Maybe I'm just battle-hardened after the pitch-perfect metal storytelling in Mandy, but this didn't resonate with me on any really deep level. Love the ingredients, not so much the final dish.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cody | codysbookshelf

    Thanks to Quirk Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is it. What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said by all my book blogger friends? We Sold Our Souls is a rocking good time filled with well-developed characters and shocking twists, all told in Grady Hendrix’s assured, witty voice. Hendrix is quickly becoming a superstar in the dark fiction field, and rightfully so. What is most impressive about this book, to me, is the cha Thanks to Quirk Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is it. What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said by all my book blogger friends? We Sold Our Souls is a rocking good time filled with well-developed characters and shocking twists, all told in Grady Hendrix’s assured, witty voice. Hendrix is quickly becoming a superstar in the dark fiction field, and rightfully so. What is most impressive about this book, to me, is the character. As seen in 2016’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Hendrix is one of the best at character development, and this story’s main protagonist, Kris — former lead guitarist for Dürt Würk and all-around badass — has one of the most satisfying arcs I’ve read in some time. She’s an important character for the times in which we live, and she is sure to leave any reader feeling empowered. Once begun this novel is hard to stop, with thrilling scenes of action and many moments of societal reflection. Highly recommended for all you rock ‘n’ rollers (and the pop kids).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/11/12/... One thing I’ll say about Grady Hendrix: he really knows how to tell stories about the things he’s passionate about. His newest book We Sold Our Souls is described as a version of the famous Faust legend but with a heavy metal twist, and the entire thing reads very much like a love letter to the music genre. Still, whether or not you consider yourself a metal head, I predict anyone with an appreciate for horror and dark fic 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/11/12/... One thing I’ll say about Grady Hendrix: he really knows how to tell stories about the things he’s passionate about. His newest book We Sold Our Souls is described as a version of the famous Faust legend but with a heavy metal twist, and the entire thing reads very much like a love letter to the music genre. Still, whether or not you consider yourself a metal head, I predict anyone with an appreciate for horror and dark fiction will be able to rock out to the beat of this zany in-your-face novel of fun and frights. Opening in the 90’s, the story introduces readers to protagonist Kris Pulaski, just another awkward teenager hiding out in her basement, strumming out a few tentative chords on her new guitar. Fast forward about three decades later, she is now a middle-aged woman, barely making ends meet as she works night shifts at her local Best Western. Looking at her, few would suspect she was once a rising star in the rock music scene, playing lead guitar for Dürt Würk, a band that was on the verge of making the big time. However, that was before their front man, Terry Hunt, decided to sell out his bandmates on what has become known as “contract night”—for that was the night Terry made them all sign their names to a deal which would eventually lead to his own stardom, while the rest of them were left behind and forgotten. Now in the present day, the former members of Dürt Würk are all barely scraping by, save of course for Terry, who has raked in millions and is making headlines again with the recent announcement about a farewell tour for his solo act, Koffin. Though she cannot recall exactly what happened, Kris does find it very strange how nothing in her life has gone her way ever since contract night, and as it turns out, Terry’s success might not have been his own doing after all, but rather bought in exchange for his bandmates’ souls all those years ago. Furious when she discovers what has been done to her, Kris decides it’s high time to get the band back together again. After making plans to track down her old pals Scottie the guitarist, Tuck the bassist, and Bill the drummer to tell them the truth of what Terry did, our protagonist embarks upon a cross-country journey to finally confront the man who ruined all their lives. Of the three novels I’ve read by the author so far, We Sold Our Souls may be the darkest and most complex of them all. Taking readers forwards and backwards in time, Hendrix gives us a rather bleak glimpse into the lives of a group of aging rockers, which is a dreary enough subject all by itself even without the evil supernatural shenanigans. If there is an analogous term for a “coming of age” type of story that explores on the growth of a protagonist into middle age and beyond, it would suit this book well. Filled not with the themes of hope, ambition, and dreams for the future but instead focusing on the failures, regrets, and what-could-have-beens of the past, the novel follows a flat broke and worn-down Kris who once did what she loved but has now hit rock bottom. But even so, her love for the music never died, and I believe this, in the end, is what made the story’s conclusion so triumphant and satisfying. Also, when it comes to Hendrix’s work, nothing is ever straightforward and simple—and I mean that in a good way. Often his books are associated with plenty of humor as well as some kind of “hook” (like Horrorstör, a novel about a haunted IKEA-like furniture big box crafted to look like a catalog). Heavy metal is obviously the main selling point here, though as usual, Hendrix’s way of handling the topic, as well as his clear love for the music and understanding of the culture kept this from becoming a mere gimmick. It’s also fascinating how he’s incorporated the idea of “selling out” with the concept of making a deal with the devil—not a new idea, obviously, but I did like how he’s managed to tie in all the references to rock musical culture, fandom, and history to create something that will resonate to the readers who knew the 80’s and 90’s metal scene well. And then, of course, there is the horror, which is as always the author’s forte. While We Sold Our Souls is in no way a typical horror novel, I still think it would appeal to most horror fans, simply because of the way it employs certain classic themes of the genre. Even though no part of the story was particularly scary to me, there were plenty of bits I found creepy or psychologically uncomfortable, like the kind of dread you feel as you read about or anticipate bad stuff happening to good characters. In any case, it’s easy to immerse yourself in Hendrix’s stories, because he’s so good at creating atmosphere. As I alluded to earlier though, it was the climax and conclusion that really killed it. This was the sort of ending that would leave your heart racing hours after you finish the book. It was just that epic. All told, I thought We Sold Our Souls was Grady Hendrix best book to date, and it also shows how far he’s come as a writer. With each novel, he seems to be coming up with even bigger and better ideas, and if he keeps it up, he could become a new favorite horror author. I’m looking forward to what he comes up with next.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gregor

    If you’ve been looking for a blood-soaked story about middle-aged redemption set to a hard core metal soundtrack, all written in a darkly comic style, and haven’t we all, then Grady Hendrix has written a novel for you. This is my first Hendrix novel and I get what all the fuss is about. Hugely entertaining, with lots of pop culture references and sharp observations. His strength is his unique writing style. The story itself was classic Satanic fare, but the healthy doses of satire and sympathetic If you’ve been looking for a blood-soaked story about middle-aged redemption set to a hard core metal soundtrack, all written in a darkly comic style, and haven’t we all, then Grady Hendrix has written a novel for you. This is my first Hendrix novel and I get what all the fuss is about. Hugely entertaining, with lots of pop culture references and sharp observations. His strength is his unique writing style. The story itself was classic Satanic fare, but the healthy doses of satire and sympathetic characters elevated it above other genre works. And of course there were some bruising moments to remind you that this is a horror novel. Having said that, I enjoyed We Sold Our Souls as a satirical novel with horror themes/references rather than a nerve-tingling horror in itself (if that makes sense). It wasn’t particularly scary, with the exception of the scenes involving killer UPS men. To put it in movie terms, it was more like Scream than Halloween. I enjoyed both, but I prefer Halloween.

  29. 4 out of 5

    La La

    4.5 on the blog. "A girl with a guitar never has to apologize for anything." If you want to read a book that will give you an authentic feel for the Metal music scene, and really the music business as a whole, wrapped up in an excellent Horror/Psychological Thriller story, grab this book as quick as you can. Oh, and the MC is a woman... a woman Metal guitarist! The story brought up so many points about the current state of affairs in the music industry that I almost put on pants (trousers for you f 4.5 on the blog. "A girl with a guitar never has to apologize for anything." If you want to read a book that will give you an authentic feel for the Metal music scene, and really the music business as a whole, wrapped up in an excellent Horror/Psychological Thriller story, grab this book as quick as you can. Oh, and the MC is a woman... a woman Metal guitarist! The story brought up so many points about the current state of affairs in the music industry that I almost put on pants (trousers for you folks in the UK) at this late hour to hop over to my friend's recording studio for some rousing conversation with whomever happened to be hanging out. In person discussion... there's nothing better. The .5 star deduction came from a few cliche stereotypes which I'm not completely sure weren't thrown in the mix for good reason, but come on, a fat lesbian sound tech? I'd love to interview and pick the brain of this author. It is a book I will read again and take notes on to do a proper full blog review. I'm going to also promo and mini review it in a Facebook women's gear group of which I am a member. I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie (That's What She Read)

    4.0 Stars Kris was in a heavy metal band called Durt Wurk, but right before they were about to hit it big, the band fell apart. Twenty years later, she's the night manager at a Best Western and her life has been miserable since the split. Her former bandmate has skyrocketed to Stardom as Koffin. Kris learns that her and her bandmates souls may have been the price for Koffin's success. She embarks on a journey and will stop at NOTHING until she confronts him. This was a fun, fast-paced story. I pe 4.0 Stars Kris was in a heavy metal band called Durt Wurk, but right before they were about to hit it big, the band fell apart. Twenty years later, she's the night manager at a Best Western and her life has been miserable since the split. Her former bandmate has skyrocketed to Stardom as Koffin. Kris learns that her and her bandmates souls may have been the price for Koffin's success. She embarks on a journey and will stop at NOTHING until she confronts him. This was a fun, fast-paced story. I personally, don't have a relationship with heavy metal specifcally, but that did not keep me from connecting with the story. There were some great brutal scenes in there that really made the story. Grady Hendrix also took the Faustian bargain device and wrote a story for modern audiences. It left me thinking about the state of our "soul".

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