We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

Only a girl with a guitar can save us all.

Every morning, Kris Pulaski wakes up in hell. In the 1990s she was lead guitarist of Dürt Würk, a heavy-metal band on the brink of breakout success until lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom, leaving his bandmates to rot in obscurity.

Now Kris works as night manager of a Best Western; she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Then one day everything changes—a shocking act of violence turns her life upside down, and she begins to suspect that Terry sabotaged more than just the band. Kris hits the road, hoping to reunite with Dürt Würk and confront the man who ruined her life. Her journey will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a celebrity rehab center to a satanic music festival. 

A spine-tingling horror novel, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, pill-popping, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul. (taken from Amazon)

Metal will steal your soul. Or save it. It’s kind of a toss-up for Kris, ex-lead guitarist of Dürt Würk (the name made me laugh). Years after the band broke up dramatically, Kris is working at a hotel and wondering what to do with her life. A billboard announcing the final tour of The Blind King, the man who ruined everything, galvanizes her and starts a mission to confront the evil at the heart of every broken dream. Or something.

This is my second Hendrix book, the first being My Best Friend’s Exorcism. As with My Best Friend’s Exorcism, there was a lot I enjoyed and a few things that just didn’t work for me. The good far outweighed the bad, making this a fun spooky read.

Kris was an awesome main character. She vacillated between feeling sorry for herself and just taking the crap hand life dealt her and doing what she could with it. She was extremely relatable and also made a good window into the bizarre goings-on of the book. And We Sold Our Souls was chock-full of bizarre.

The other characters dipped in and out of the book. As is the nature of horror, not many of them lasted long. There were a few that I wish had bigger roles, just because they were so much fun. My favorite was JD, drummer and conspiracy theorist. He cracked me up. He also helped get the book back on track after it seemed to veer off course a little bit.

The unexpected doses of humor made We Sold Our Souls as much fun as spooky. In fact, despite being a horror, it never really veered into scary territory. It reminded me more of movies like Scream and Halloween. It was over-the-top, nutty, gory fun, with a smattering of humor and social commentary mixed in for good measure.

There were lyrics “from” Dürt Würk scattered throughout the book, which helped illustrate whatever was happening at the time. This was a clever way to help set the tone. I also couldn’t help picturing the lyrics being screamed at a crowd of metal fans, so kudos to Hendrix for adding that extra layer to the picture he painted.

The story meandered a bit about 3/4 of the way through but right when I started to lose interest, it came roaring back to end things with a crescendo. The ending made sense in relation to the rest of the book, and the folktale status one of the characters achieved at the end was a fantastic end to their story arc.

The book wasn’t perfect. Some parts were stretched out for much longer than they needed to be, while other things felt rushed. The social commentary, while right on the money (in my opinion), got a little heavy-handed at times. There were a few things that were never really explained-but so what? We Sold Our Souls was devilishly entertaining, and at the end of the day, that’s what I was hoping for.

Rock on.

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12 thoughts on “We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

  1. I liked this book overall, but yes, not too “horror”. I also liked Southern Book Club…Vampires. But some of his others are not so good. He’sl like Andy Weir and probably shouldn’t write from a woman’s POV.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. There’s a good creepy scene. I think he tends to drag things out.
        Best Friend’s Exorcism kind of annoyed me and I DNF Final Girl. Couldn’t deal with the references to movies (it was annoying).

        Liked by 1 person

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