When Metal Takes Over
We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix can be described as “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.”
I mostly enjoyed this book as a whole. Being a big fan of music and especially live music, I appreciated the characters and entire music and band centered plot a lot. Kris is extremely relatable and you root for her the entire time. Her dynamic with her bandmates and other characters is really fun as well.
There are many interesting themes and topics that are brought up with the twist of a musician’s perspective. I especially enjoyed the commentary on the fact that many people feel directionless in life and the importance of music, as well as the darker side of the industry.
Kris was my favorite part of We Sold Our Souls. As always, Grady Hendrix takes modern day, relatable, female struggles and writes it with a horror twist.
To be honest, the horror aspects of this book fell a bit flat for me. There are some very cool ideas presented, but I wish that the more conspiracy sides and ideas about the music industry flowed a little bit better.
Going to a lot of concerts and loving live music, I loved every bit about the music, being a fan of music, and being a concert goer. I also really liked the parts of further context between chapters like he had in The Final Girl Support Group. I feel that the text between chapters adds so much more context to the characters and the world building.
As much as the horror was somewhat not as upfront, I loved the world building done in this book. We meet everyone important, the lore is revealed through creative ways, and the backstories feel very fleshed out.
I liked the inclusion of Melanie’s character and I loved how she represents the modern young music fan.
The ending was a bit weak for me. One thing Grady Hendrix consistently does well is write good, string, and sensible endings. I was frustrated with this ending. I wish that we had a continuation rather than a time jump.
I felt that at times, the pacing was a bit off. The book takes its time world building which is good, however it does meander a bit. The second half is more action packed, but the action all happens and ends very fast.
I would definitely recommend this if you are specifically a heavy metal fan or have an affinity for Woodstock. There are a lot of references to metal music and culture, so you would get a lot out of it if you have a deeper knowledge.
Overall, I liked We Sold Our Souls. The story was interesting, the characters were cool and well written, and it is always fun to see any story cover music, music fans, and the spotlight on metal is unique.
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