We Sold Our Souls
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.

We Sold Our Souls Details

TitleWe Sold Our Souls
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 18th, 2018
PublisherQuirk Books
Rating
GenreHorror, Fiction, Music, Fantasy

We Sold Our Souls Review

  • Char
    January 1, 1970
    " 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.*
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  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    That was an absolutely fantastic introduction to Grady’s writing. Review coming soon!
  • Bark
    January 1, 1970
    I got it!!! Thank you Netgalley & Quirk books :)
  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsOnce 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 StarsOnce 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.
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  • Blair
    January 1, 1970
    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
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  • Stephanie (That's What She Read)
    January 1, 1970
    4.0 StarsKris 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 StarsKris 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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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    While missing some of the sly humor of his previous books, We Sold Our Souls is a hard and fast rager of a horror novel.Mixing light gore, hard living characters, and scenes so vibrant you can hear the scream of the music and feel the bleeding fingertips of our guitarist, Hendrix gives us a truly epic horror journey!This is the kind of book you'll read at a fever's pace and, at the end, no matter the terror and heartbreak of our characters, you'll want to be legendary yourself. After all...it on While missing some of the sly humor of his previous books, We Sold Our Souls is a hard and fast rager of a horror novel.Mixing light gore, hard living characters, and scenes so vibrant you can hear the scream of the music and feel the bleeding fingertips of our guitarist, Hendrix gives us a truly epic horror journey!This is the kind of book you'll read at a fever's pace and, at the end, no matter the terror and heartbreak of our characters, you'll want to be legendary yourself. After all...it only costs a soul or two (or thousands and thousands).Dark, twisted, and kind of made me want to take up guitar (maybe without destroying my soul, though).
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  • Lauren Stoolfire
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    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 versionWe 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 versionWe 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!
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  • Ley
    January 1, 1970
    I think Grady Hendrix has quickly climbed up the list of favorite authors. If you haven't read my review of My Best Friend's Exorcism, pause right now and go read that to give you an idea of what you're about to dive into here.What I absolutely love about Hendrix is that he writes such believable women. Like, women and teen girls who have been through the ringer and still come out strong. Kris is no different.The opening of the book made my heart absolutely ache for my own reasons, but that coul I think Grady Hendrix has quickly climbed up the list of favorite authors. If you haven't read my review of My Best Friend's Exorcism, pause right now and go read that to give you an idea of what you're about to dive into here.What I absolutely love about Hendrix is that he writes such believable women. Like, women and teen girls who have been through the ringer and still come out strong. Kris is no different.The opening of the book made my heart absolutely ache for my own reasons, but that could be just me. Teenage Kris trying so hard to teach herself Black Sabbath songs in a freezing basement is a familiar image to me. True, I grew up when metal was dying out and nü-metal was on its way in, but god only knows how many times I've wanted to live the life Kris had.It's not a Grady Hendrix book without some MAJORLY FUCKED UP STUFF. In this case, it's the storyline of the Troglodyte album, the Dürt Würk album that lead to the band falling apart and Terry rocketing to the top with Koffin. The reason he rose to fame while the others had to rejoin the real world? Well. It's in the title.There's some brutal body horror in this one, much like in MBFE. But it does serve a point. I won't spoil it, but just know, you will regret eating your dinner while reading! There are also some MAJORLY creepy creatures, too!As another warning, there is a small scene of sexual assault. Not a rape, but some major unwanted groping.Perfectly creepy and in a way touching, Grady Hendrix's We Sold Our Souls is the perfect read to prepare you for spookyseason. I give it 5 out of 5 sparrows. (But don't let Black Iron Mountain know.)
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  • Brandy Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.Have you ever had so many thoughts about something that you couldn't pick through them to properly articulate them all? This is exactly how I've been feeling about We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix. What I feel is this was a total love letter to metal music and the fans who love it; We Sold Our Souls roped me in and took me on an unexpected journey that reminded me of some sort of epic Lord of the Rings / 80's met Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.Have you ever had so many thoughts about something that you couldn't pick through them to properly articulate them all? This is exactly how I've been feeling about We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix. What I feel is this was a total love letter to metal music and the fans who love it; We Sold Our Souls roped me in and took me on an unexpected journey that reminded me of some sort of epic Lord of the Rings / 80's metal mashup full of references to music I grew up with, as well as the ever so popular nu metal (you love it or you hate it, and it was made perfectly clear how our characters felt about this particular genre of music throughout the book)We follow the journey of Kris Pulaski, once so close to fame and fortune with her band Dürt Würk she could almost touch it, who now-- decades later-- works in a motel lobby cleaning up the occasional puddle of urine from an unruly guest or two after being sold out years prior by the bands lead singer. This all changes when she's driving home from a particularly nasty days worth of work and spots a billboard with said lead singer on it, advertising his farewell tour. Memories start flooding in, but it's the things she CAN'T remember that lead her on a journey to figure out what happened on the night when all hopes of success were destroyed. This is my first experience reading anything by Grady Hendrix. I'd say my favorite thing about this book was his ability to so accurately depict the struggles of a woman with all odds against her. I also love the way of which he handled a certain younger female characters storyline. He didn't make her out to be some completely airheaded, helpless damsel in distress and I really enjoyed and appreciated that.If I'm being perfectly honest, I felt like this was the perfect book for me. Like all my previously useless knowledge of rock and metal finally paid off in a story where I actually understood all the references.I would absolutely recommend it to fans of the genre, and also anyone who enjoys quality strong female characters in literature. Words can't describe how amazing and in a way even empowering it was to get to follow Kris on her journey, and to watch her overcome some truly horrific people and events, yet nothing was going to stop her from doing what she felt was right. Not without a fight, anyway. I look forward to reading more from the author, both his upcoming and previous works.
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  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    Twenty years ago, Kris Pulaski was a guitarist for the heavy metal band Dürt Würk, back when they were rising stars. Back before the night her bandmate, Terry Hunt, convinced the rest of them to sign away the rights to their original songs. Back before the car crash that left the rest of the band hating her, too. Back before Terry became the lead singer of Koffin, a wildly successful nu-metal band that is much more palatable to mainstream audiences. Now, on the verge of losing both her house and Twenty years ago, Kris Pulaski was a guitarist for the heavy metal band Dürt Würk, back when they were rising stars. Back before the night her bandmate, Terry Hunt, convinced the rest of them to sign away the rights to their original songs. Back before the car crash that left the rest of the band hating her, too. Back before Terry became the lead singer of Koffin, a wildly successful nu-metal band that is much more palatable to mainstream audiences. Now, on the verge of losing both her house and her unglamorous gig as the night manager of a Best Western, Kris sees that Terry is planning a reunion tour. Finally, she decides that it’s time to try and right the wrongs of the past, contacting her former bandmates to get to the truth of what happened back on the night of the contract signing and the car crash. From Kris’s very first stop on her apology tour, the journey proves fraught with violence, deceit, blood, and the slow revelation of a reality even darker than she suspected. Though this isn’t quite as unsettling as Hendrix’s Horrorstor, it is still pretty creepy. It’s also a pretty compelling page-turner, and a lot of fun, especially if you have ever been particularly passionate about a niche genre of music. If I had read this book at age eighteen, it probably would have been my all-time favorite: using music to defeat evil? Perfect. As an adult, it’s still a lot of fun - and provided some good flashbacks to my teenage punk rock years. Now I just have to cross my fingers that Hendrix is almost finished with his next manuscript. :XI received access to this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Abigail
    January 1, 1970
    For a full review please feel free to check out my blog at:https://abmostfiction.wordpress.com/2...TL;DR: Grady Hendrix’s new novel We Sold Our Souls is a fast paced love letter to heavy metal music and fans while wrapped in a satanic mystery. It’s non-stop fun with splashes of gore and a touch of Lovecraftian horror, although at times it could stand to take a breath. 3.5*** (out of 5*****)
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  • Lauren Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    This book revived my soul and left my mind buzzing.I am beyond thankful for receiving We Sold Our Souls as an advance reading copy as well as given this opportunity to review it before it’s release date. Hendrix has been such an important author to me within the past year or so. His book, My Best Friend’s Exorcism turned me into the horror guru I am today (as well as horror movie director James Wan. Wan + Hendrix are the high quality creators that I dream to be.).I had very little idea of what t This book revived my soul and left my mind buzzing.I am beyond thankful for receiving We Sold Our Souls as an advance reading copy as well as given this opportunity to review it before it’s release date. Hendrix has been such an important author to me within the past year or so. His book, My Best Friend’s Exorcism turned me into the horror guru I am today (as well as horror movie director James Wan. Wan + Hendrix are the high quality creators that I dream to be.).I had very little idea of what to expect from We Sold Our Souls and as the blurb didn’t give much information, I went into this book blind.We Sold Our Souls follows Kris Pulaski, former guitarist of the heavy metal band Dürt Würk. The breakup of the band is still fresh in her mind two decades later as she is struggling with her mental health, with finances as she goes into debt, and acceptance of the past. She blames her misfortune on former band member, Terry Hunt, as he was the one to rise to fame as ‘The Blind King”, leader singer of Koffin. Kris knows that something went down that night of the Dürt Würk breakup, yet it is completely missing from her mind. She remembers the contracts to join Koffin, the violent breakup, and the car crash, yet it doesn’t add up. It isn’t until Kris reunites with her other bandmates two decades later that she realizes that Terry Hunt didn’t get his success with luck, but possibly something much darker. Something satanic went down that night of the contacts. Now, a road trip to remember as Kris puts that last of her energy into seeking out Terry Hunt as he does everything he can to stop Kris from getting her revenge.Author Grady Hendrix went all out with this book. How heavy metal music, satanic cults, conspiracy theories, and pop culture references tie into We Sold Our Souls so smoothly. Hendrix has a way with writing and creating these thoughts provoking situations that are unlike any other authors’ work. I can’t simply state this without providing evidence, such as when Kris completely destroys a demon by beating it with her guitar. When she gets physically stuck in a metal pipe far underground (so many details of this scene that I am dying to mention, but I will not spoil it). The satanic musical festival and everything that goes down. These situations are signature Grady Hendrix moves. His way of writing has a build to it that leads up to such heartstopping moments that have me completely captivated.Along with his epic pop culture references, Grady Hendrix delves deep when he correlates current day society and how technology plays a role in our lives into his book. He brought up many important topics in We Sold Our Souls as he relates these to his overall message on music and our souls. The open-ended ending of the book left my mind buzzing.It is so easy for me to say that We Sold Our Souls is one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2018. I give it a rating of five out of five. I have to say it one last time- This book revived my soul. Publication date of We Sold Our Souls: September 18, 2018
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  • Shane Douglas Keene
    January 1, 1970
    Easy five star read for me. This brilliantly brutal cosmic horror novel from one of our best authors is a must read for all fans of the macabre. Full review coming soon.
  • Aryn
    January 1, 1970
    A concept album of a novel. The music leads the story - it feels wrong to read without a good thumping bass and screaming musician. (May I recommend In This Moment?)That was surprisingly satisfying. Remember those terrible punk romance YA novels that you read in high school? No, that's just me? Well, this felt like those novels all grown up, nix the romance, and a little supernatural horror thrown in. It channeled the punky, anti-establishment, feeling without trying that those YA novels went fo A concept album of a novel. The music leads the story - it feels wrong to read without a good thumping bass and screaming musician. (May I recommend In This Moment?)That was surprisingly satisfying. Remember those terrible punk romance YA novels that you read in high school? No, that's just me? Well, this felt like those novels all grown up, nix the romance, and a little supernatural horror thrown in. It channeled the punky, anti-establishment, feeling without trying that those YA novels went for and they always fell short.As a side note, this author was one of my most enjoyable signings of Bookcon 2018 - he was just so genuinely pleasant. Talked about music with each and every person in line.
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  • Jennifer ☼
    January 1, 1970
    Initial thoughts: 3.5
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to get a digital ARC in my hot little hands! Thanks Netgalley!I've been holding off on writing the review in the hopes that I would be able to do justice to this book, but I just don't think that I can. So I'm just going to say some stuff now.Grady Hendrix has once again taken a classic trope of horror fiction and, um, pressure-washed the cheese off and made something new from it. This book will appeal to readers who are: music nerds (particularly those partial to metal); fans o I was so excited to get a digital ARC in my hot little hands! Thanks Netgalley!I've been holding off on writing the review in the hopes that I would be able to do justice to this book, but I just don't think that I can. So I'm just going to say some stuff now.Grady Hendrix has once again taken a classic trope of horror fiction and, um, pressure-washed the cheese off and made something new from it. This book will appeal to readers who are: music nerds (particularly those partial to metal); fans of evil conspiracies; rooters for underdogs; feminists and other appreciators of strong female characters (though why you shouldn't be both is beyond me); and generally fans of horror. I loved this book. I want everyone to read it. Thanks to Netgalley for providing free digital access to this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    HERE FOR THE SELL YOUR SOULS FOR FAME AND FORTUNE À LA ILLUMINATI VIBES
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I'm a metalhead. As far as I'm concerned, this book was written for me. Your mileage may vary.This is a fantastic, frantic novel about so many things: what happens when you miss your shot in life and are condemned to be ground down in poverty, the searing bonds that go beyond friendship with some people in life, how music can transform a life of drudgery into hope, believing in something bigger and scarier than yourself, and of course, metal. There are only a few scenes of direct hor Disclaimer: I'm a metalhead. As far as I'm concerned, this book was written for me. Your mileage may vary.This is a fantastic, frantic novel about so many things: what happens when you miss your shot in life and are condemned to be ground down in poverty, the searing bonds that go beyond friendship with some people in life, how music can transform a life of drudgery into hope, believing in something bigger and scarier than yourself, and of course, metal. There are only a few scenes of direct horror (the most terrifying bit to me was a claustrophobic underground crawl), but the slow-burn reveal of what's been happening behind the scenes works far better. Several levels of mythology (the lost tracks of a decades-gone metal band, the story they created for themselves) layer with a stark and ugly reality that showcases poverty, violence (especially against women), and late-stage capitalism as monsters to be escaped. And of course, the music. You don't have to be a metalhead to enjoy this book, but you will get a lot more out of it if you're humming the songs each chapter is named for and hearing exactly in your head what a character sounds like when their singing is described as a "cookie monster growl". This is probably the best fiction I've read this year.
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  • Sean Grigsby
    January 1, 1970
    A girl with a guitar doesn't have to apologize for anything.A fantastic book that hits the right notes every step of the way. Part heavy metal horror fantasy, part road book. This is yet another reason Grady Hendrix is one of my favorite authors.
  • Cassy | The Book is Red
    January 1, 1970
    2/5This felt like a story that could have worked with a different tone. It felt like it took itself too seriously for the type of story it was. If it had been written in a similar style as John Dies at the End I think I would have loved it. But as it was, I just couldn't get into it and it felt ridiculous. The first thing that put me off this story was the incessant references to bands in the beginning. Now, I love all those bands, but it felt really unnecessary and took me out of the story. Nos 2/5This felt like a story that could have worked with a different tone. It felt like it took itself too seriously for the type of story it was. If it had been written in a similar style as John Dies at the End I think I would have loved it. But as it was, I just couldn't get into it and it felt ridiculous. The first thing that put me off this story was the incessant references to bands in the beginning. Now, I love all those bands, but it felt really unnecessary and took me out of the story. Nostalgia and pop culture references can work really well (e.g. Ready Player One) but they have to feel like they are part of the narrative and not just added for the sake of having them there. For me, nothing I have read before has truly epitomised the meaning of 'Member berries' quite like this book. Member Judas Priest? Yeah, I member! Nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia. It got better as the story went on, or at least it felt less heavy handed, but I really wish it had been dialled back in the beginning.I will give this story credit for having the most claustrophobic scene I have ever read. Well done. It didn't feel particularly realistic how the protagonist got to that moment, but it genuinely had my heart racing during those pages.Overall it was hard work finishing this book and the ending felt underwhelming.Thank you to Quirk Books and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this title to review!
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  • Becky Spratford
    January 1, 1970
    Review on blog and in June 2018 issue of Booklist Magazine: http://raforall.blogspot.com/2018/06/...
  • Abigail
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgallery and Quirk Books for the ARC of We Sold Our Souls in exchange for an honest review. For more reviews, please feel free to visit my blog: https://abmostfiction.wordpress.com/When I heard about this upcoming novel I was instantly interested; I had discovered Grady Hendrix’s novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism while browsing in a bookshop and was immediately attracted to its VHS-like design that promised B-movie horror. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but Thank you to Netgallery and Quirk Books for the ARC of We Sold Our Souls in exchange for an honest review. For more reviews, please feel free to visit my blog: https://abmostfiction.wordpress.com/When I heard about this upcoming novel I was instantly interested; I had discovered Grady Hendrix’s novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism while browsing in a bookshop and was immediately attracted to its VHS-like design that promised B-movie horror. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but that time I was glad I did."Heavy metal band Durt Wurk were big in the 1990s but then their lead singer Terry went solo. Now, 20 years later, all the other band members are struggling to scrape by in lousy jobs. The heroine Kris soon discovers that this is because lead singer Terry somehow sold their souls in exchange for his fame and fortune.This discovery sends Kris on a cross-country journey to rage against the machine of our bleak society and ultimately reclaim her soul."This was a frantic and fun story centred around a has-been band who had been destined for greatness until something went wrong. It sets up Kris’ character and her life well; I felt I could relate to her both during her younger years when she is trying to discover who she is and then later when she is frustrated with how her life has turned out.Hendrix is able to touch upon a few themes over the course of this novel, from Kris' experiences as a female on the rock scene, to consumerism, to violent fans. This adds a darker layer to the rock and roll road-trip novel but it doesn't detract from the overall plot.I found there were some issues with pacing; of course a fast paced story can be exciting, but there were times I felt a pause would have helped drive home some of the shocking elements of the story and highlight the horror more effectively. I didn't feel as afraid or as tense as I felt I should have been considering the potentially epic threat of losing your soul and I felt the Lovecraftian touch didn't hit as hard as it could have.The horror is there; juicy and detailed descriptions of gore are nicely spaced out and don't feel too heavy (just enough to satisfy the blood-hounds). There was also one stand-out scene that made me feel claustrophobic and on edge while reading (which, as a horror fan, I really enjoyed).Despite this, I wouldn’t say this was just for horror fans. Just as My Best Friend’s Exorcism could be seen as a horror-themed parody of YA books that focus on teenage female relationships, this book could be enjoyed by those who enjoy that type of music. Even when it seemed like elements of the story was criticising aspects of the scene, it's easy to see that Hendrix is a fan. I felt I could relate to the theme of the novel as a fan myself and although I didn't grow up with 80s metal it was something I sought out in my teens (I can even forgive the shots taken at nu-metal even though that was my generation's rock music and I loved it - judge all you want)Part parody and part love-letter to heavy metal, this book would appeal to fans of this music, especially those who remember the stories and rumours of hidden subliminal messages found only when the record was played backwards. For you fans that were warned that your taste in music put you at risk of being recruited into a Satanic cult and you maybe quite excited at the prospect... this book is for you.TL;DR: Grady Hendrix's new novel We Sold Our Souls is a fast paced love letter to heavy metal music and fans while wrapped in a satanic mystery. It's non-stop fun with splashes of gore and a touch of Lovecraftian horror, although at times it could stand to take a breath. 3.5*** (out of 5*****)
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  • ElphaReads
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley to sending me an ARC of this novel!Given how much I really liked MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM, I was really excited to see that Grady Hendrix had a new novel coming out. And then when I found out that WE SOLD OUR SOULS was about a former metal musician on the quest to confront her former bandmate and find out why her life went to trash, I was doubly excited. Hendrix is such a pop culture connoisseur, with a lighter touch than some others may have, I just knew that this was going Thanks to NetGalley to sending me an ARC of this novel!Given how much I really liked MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM, I was really excited to see that Grady Hendrix had a new novel coming out. And then when I found out that WE SOLD OUR SOULS was about a former metal musician on the quest to confront her former bandmate and find out why her life went to trash, I was doubly excited. Hendrix is such a pop culture connoisseur, with a lighter touch than some others may have, I just knew that this was going to do for metal what MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM did for the 1980s. Kris used to be in a heavy metal band called Durt Wurk, but on the brink of success one night changed everything. Then her former bandmate/friend Terry Hunt went off on his own, and created a wildly successful Nu Metal band called Koffin, while Kris and their former bandmates faded into obscurity. When Koffin announces a farewell tour and festival, Kris decides that this may be her last chance to confront Terry about how Durt Wurk ended. But what she doesn't know is that Terry may have had a little more help than talent and luck; after all, Terry made a deal with a dark force, and the payment was the souls of his bandmates. Now Kris is racing against time to perhaps salvage her life, and also save humanity from a dark fate. This books' greatest strength is in its main character, Kris. Hendrix has always been so good at writing flawed and well rounded protagonists, and I think that Kris is his strongest yet. While she is rash and makes some questionable decisions throughout the book, you completely understand why she does what she does. She lives, breathes, loves metal, and having that taken away from her has driven her to the point of desperation. I loved following her as she goes to confront her former friend Terry, and loved that we get information and a background of not only her band, but many aspects of metal as a whole as she makes her journey. The references to metal always felt organic and well placed, and it gave a wider scope to the narrative. That said, once again Hendrix gets a little bogged down in the 'horror' aspects of this book, and I felt like he relied on cliches within the genre in spite of the fact he made a valiant effort at avoiding them. I was more freaked out by real world horrors within the story than by the demonic aspects, and sometimes it led to moments that felt rushed and haphazard for the sake of a 'scary' moment. With all that in mind, I did enjoy reading "We Sold Our Souls", and I think that people who like Hendrix will find a lot of like within its pages.
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  • liz williams
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure, I am a huge Grady Hendrix fan. His novel Horrorstor is one of may favorites and I had the pleasure of attending his two presentations at the 2018 Overlook Film Festival…I am also a metalhead. It’s like this book was written for me and it did not disappoint. We Sold Our Souls opens on young Kris Pulaski learning to play Black Sabbath’s metal classic Iron Man. A few years later as she’s playing those opening riffs for the thousandth time, she hears a knock at her window and a voic Full disclosure, I am a huge Grady Hendrix fan. His novel Horrorstor is one of may favorites and I had the pleasure of attending his two presentations at the 2018 Overlook Film Festival…I am also a metalhead. It’s like this book was written for me and it did not disappoint. We Sold Our Souls opens on young Kris Pulaski learning to play Black Sabbath’s metal classic Iron Man. A few years later as she’s playing those opening riffs for the thousandth time, she hears a knock at her window and a voice ask “is that Sabbath?”, beginning her friendship with Terry Hunt. Kris and Terry start the heavy metal band Dürt Würk, that along with bandmates Scottie Rocket, Tuck and Bill (who replaced the original drummer, JD), enjoyed success playing bars then moving up to larger clubs, the pinnacle of their career being opening for Heavy Metal legends, Slayer, until Terry got them booted off the tour.Terry decides that in order to make it big he needs to leave the band and go solo. He starts the Nu Metal band Koffin, dubs himself The Blind King and has his bandmates sign contracts that they will never play any Durt Wurk again- including the un-released album “Troglodyte” that Kris thought would have been their ticket to stardom. Years later Terry is a rock god about to embark on his final tour, while Kris is working at a Best Western, living at her mom’s house and no longer making music. After a tragedy strikes one of her former bandmates, Kris sets out across country, facing horrific obstacles along the way, to confront the person who stole her dreams of a life of playing music, and to find out what really happened the night the members of Dürt Würk signed those contracts.Hendrix punctuates his novel with pop culture reference, drives the story forward with interviews, news pieces and uses classic metal albums to title each chapter. We Soul Our Souls is Darker than Hendrix’s previous novels, touching on subjects like rampant consumerism and how women are represented in the heavy metal community, but it remains a rocking good time of a book that promises you will never look at the UPS man the same way again. I wish this book came with a soundtrack because you are going to be ready to rock by the time it reaches its last epic notes.Read this in your basement after you’ve learned the opening riffs to Iron Man.
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    **I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. This did not affect my review.**what i love about the grady hendrix books i've read is that though the books don't take themselves too seriously, it's pretty obvious the respect hendrix has for the subject. we sold our souls is no exception. though i'm not a heavy metal fan by any means, i appreciate the love letter to music this book essentially is (with a loving mention of my girl dolly too!)it's not a perfect book; some of the characterization **I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. This did not affect my review.**what i love about the grady hendrix books i've read is that though the books don't take themselves too seriously, it's pretty obvious the respect hendrix has for the subject. we sold our souls is no exception. though i'm not a heavy metal fan by any means, i appreciate the love letter to music this book essentially is (with a loving mention of my girl dolly too!)it's not a perfect book; some of the characterization is inconsistent, (sometimes kris is ok with killing, sometimes she's not. why is terry fairly chill about allowing her to play with him on stage after all they've been through?) and the ending left me feeling lukewarm. but it is a really, really fun book to read. i loved that the main character was a middle aged rocker chick who bonds with a latina metal fan named melanie part way through the novel. melanie is a small but important character, and i love seeing women having each other's backs.also, just want to give a brief content warning for sexual assault. if you know anything about the disaster that was woodstock '99 then that'll give you an idea of what i mean.so to sum it up: not my favorite hendrix novel (hello, my best friend's exorcism, will anything top you ever?) but lots of fun and some truly creepy imagery. now i'm off to listen to dolly!also just wanted to add real quick (view spoiler)[love the mention of dolly's "little sparrow" and then later a bad guy says something like "sparrows can't move mountains". ha! bitch you thought!! (hide spoiler)]
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  • Gianna
    January 1, 1970
    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.20 years ago, heavy metal band Durt Wurk was on its way to becoming a big brand name. But right before their big chance, a strange night of which no member has a clear recollection causes them to fall apart. As lead singer Terry goes solo and becomes a worldwide famous star, the rest of the band members fall into mundane routines and simpler lives. But there is one person that refuses to accept th I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.20 years ago, heavy metal band Durt Wurk was on its way to becoming a big brand name. But right before their big chance, a strange night of which no member has a clear recollection causes them to fall apart. As lead singer Terry goes solo and becomes a worldwide famous star, the rest of the band members fall into mundane routines and simpler lives. But there is one person that refuses to accept that fate: twenty years later, Kris discovers that Terry has sold the band's souls in order to make it big - and that is just something she won't let go. Kris embarks on a journey across the country in order to reclaim what she's lost, all the while being chased by demons, possessed people and dire circumstances. The clock is ticking- will she be able to make it?We Sold Our Souls is a Faust-inspired plot that successfully combines music culture with good, old-fashioned horror elements. The story builds up slowly to a very unique crescendo, that will definitely satisfy all lovers of the horror genre. There is a heavy, bleak atmosphere across the story, which, combined with a plethora of unexpected events, makes this a very unique horror read. Definitely a good fit for heavy metal fans, We Sold Our Souls is filled with a sense of nostalgia for metal music's past, and the music references are abundant. This was quite the unique story, which I believe the reader will either come to love or ultimately hate. I would probably have liked shorter descriptive parts in the plot, but it was otherwise very well constructed and displayed for the reader.
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  • Darcia Helle
    January 1, 1970
    I love music and I love to read, so I went into this story with every expectation of loving it. Unfortunately, I can't even say that I liked it. I'll do my best to explain why.First, for those of you who sample books before purchasing, be aware that the first chapter might give you the wrong impression. We start by meeting Kris as a teenager. It's a short chapter, with a strong young adult feel, and ultimately unnecessary. The second chapter advances thirty-three years, and that's where the time I love music and I love to read, so I went into this story with every expectation of loving it. Unfortunately, I can't even say that I liked it. I'll do my best to explain why.First, for those of you who sample books before purchasing, be aware that the first chapter might give you the wrong impression. We start by meeting Kris as a teenager. It's a short chapter, with a strong young adult feel, and ultimately unnecessary. The second chapter advances thirty-three years, and that's where the timeline remains.The pace starts quite slow. We have bursts of action, then more slow spots, going on this way through much of the book.The content tries hard, perhaps too hard, to send a message about how we've become complacent sheep being led by our masters. While there are some thoughtful nuggets, as a whole it's way too clear that this is the intent, and so it feels a little preachy.My biggest problem is that the characters and the plot take themselves too seriously for the way its written. Some scenes have a lot of violence and gore, and there are other scenes that are intense, but rather than feeling on edge I really just wanted to laugh. I couldn't buy into any of it because it was too ridiculous. And, finally, the entire story pushes us toward a confrontation between Kris and Terry. We have bloodshed and rage leading us to what should have been an explosive ending. Instead, it's like they both just shrug their shoulders and walk away. A word of caution: If you're a fan of "nu-metal" and bands such as Korn and Slipnot, you probably don't want to read this book. These bands are insulted and ridiculed throughout the story.*I received an advance copy from Amazon Vine in exchange for my honest review.*
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