We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
|We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A hard-rocking horror thriller, hell comes to earth in this wonderfully nostalgic road-trip across America with the guitarist of a 90s heavy metal band seeking to uncover secrets hidden in her past, but finding herself in darker circumstances the further she seeks…|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: September 2018|
|Publisher: Quirk Books|
|External links: Author's website|
The night manager of a Best Western, Kris Pulaski is washed up and unhappy. Few know of her past as guitarist of 90's Heavy Metal band Dürt Würk – a band once tipped for greatness, but destined to obscurity after lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career, rocketing to stardom as Koffin. When a shocking act of violence turns Kris's life upside down – she is forced to look back to a past she has tried to forget – and to a deal Hunt made that may have sabotaged more than just the band. In a journey that will take Kris from a dusty hotel to a hellish music festival, she's determined to face the man who ruined her life. But with dark forces rising and threatening everything Kris holds dear, will Kris be able to defeat the odds? Or will Hell truly be unleashed on the Earth…?
Grady Hendrix is a novelist and screenwriter based in New York City. Past books include Horrorstör ( a terrific book about a haunted ikea-type store), My Best Friend's Exorcism (a dark, funny and nostalgic look at 80s horror), and recently wrote Paperbacks from Hell – a non-fiction guide to the horror paperback novels of the 70s and 80s.
I'm a big fan of Grady Hendrix – which is surprising given that I'm not the worlds biggest horror fan! However, he always manages to blend horror with nostalgia in his reads, ensuring that the reader feels a certain sense of familiarity and comfort before having the rug well and truly pulled from underneath them. We Sold Our Souls is no exception – it manages to be a read packed full of 90s nostalgia, real and warm characters, and moments of true horror.
Kris Pulaski is exactly the sort of horror hero you want to get behind – Ash Williams meets Helen Lyle if you like. World weary and tired, yet determined to uncover the truth behind her past no matter what she finds, it's impossible for the reader not to root for Kris – which is important given the precarious situations she finds herself in. Anything in the horror genre has to have heart for it to work well, and Kris is the heart in We Sold Our Souls – and the beating, pulsing spirit that moves the plot forward. Of course, this is a horror novel – so there is gore, and there is violence – both well described in a lot of detail that may well put some readers off, but regardless of the content, the writing itself is of a consistently high quality throughout.
I won't go too much into the horror elements here for fear of spoiling things, but needless to say that things escalate, and quickly. Hendrix builds his plot with great skill – ratcheting things up notch by notch to ensure that the reader is fully engaged yet tense throughout – desperate to read what will happen next.
Things reach a remarkably tense climax – but it's one that is just as poignant as it is exciting, and, I hope, could lay some seeds for a potential sequel… Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I recommend My Best Friend's Exorcism, also by Grady Hendrix – for another hugely satisfying mix of horror and nostalgia.
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You can read more book reviews or buy We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix at Amazon.com.
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