I keep hearing good things about Grady Hendrix, whose novel The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires was a best-seller and whose guide to ‘70s and ‘80s horror fiction, called Paperbacks from Hell is still a favorite at DreamHaven.
We Sold Our Souls is about a washed-up heavy-metal guitarist named Kris, who has never come to terms with the break-up of her band decades ago. Her lead singer, Terry, who became enormously rich after leaving the rest of the band behind, is about to embark on his final tour. Kris sees a disaster in the making, and sets out to stop him, following the instructions in the lyrics of the group’s final, unreleased album.
I am not a fan of horror or music-as-magic fantasies, but this book is one of the best I have read recently. The writing is gripping from the first page, Hendrix’s descriptions are as electric as the music he describes. Kris is an incredible female protagonist, broken and hurting, but far from defeated. Though she’s lost everything else, she’s damn well not going to lose herself.
Kris may not be able to save the world. She may not even need to. But she offers a way through soulless times to anyone willing to pay attention.