Grady Hendrix’s latest extravaganza of horror is wild and fun, genuinely terrifying in places, and also somehow heartfelt. It’s like The Stand and Our Band Could Be Your Life had the best baby (Our Stand Could Be Your Life?) and somebody slapped a Viking helmet on it and taught it to shred a guitar ... Hendrix digs into the subgenre and along the way gives us bits of knowledge about a lot of different types of metal ... We Sold Our Souls is an inversion of the typical rock story ... Hendrix shows us all the compromises people made for that success. He gives us a very interesting portrait of a modern artist, and interrogates the ways our current society makes it impossible to create art. And then, in a great, horrific way, he peels back the curtain and finds that sinister forces might be working against those artists ... This is, make no mistake, a horror novel. There is a chapter that was so intense I had to put the book down for a while ... Hendrix’s descriptions are so evocative some of it showed up in my nightmares ... Under the horror and the working-class realism, the touchstone is that all the real characters in this novel, all the people you genuinely care about? Music is their heartbeat ... this book is about music and found family just as much as its about an eldritch horror lurking beneath the facade of modern American life. And it rocks.
[We Sold Our Souls is] about Black Iron Mountain and soul-sucking corpse beasties. It’s rad ... We Sold Our Souls provides a convoluted but intelligible journey through the back-and-forth of life in poor America ... As with most horror novels, the monsters and moments of fear and revulsion in We Sold Our Souls are both affective, provoking emotional responses, and also deeply allegorical.
Hendrix...brings his quirky sense of humor to an energetic Faustian tale ... This is a fast-paced ride, firmly rooted in the pulp horror tradition, but with thought-provoking social criticism and a sense of fear that rises from the terrifying implication that we are all willing to sell our souls on the cheap. Hendrix’s darkest novel yet will leave readers begging for an encore.
Drawing on the dark side of American society, laden with conspiracy theories, Satanists, pop culture, and the crushed dreams of middle age, this book takes the power of music and turns it into delightful horror ... Hendrix's...emarkable, immersive prose will have readers recognizing pieces of themselves in the characters' flawed thoughts and actions, which is by turns disturbing and captivating.
In his third novel, We Sold Our Souls, Hendrix reveals an equal passion for pulp horror’s mutant stepsibling: heavy metal ... A consistently funny, smart and affecting love letter to horror and metal fandom, We Sold Our Souls is also damn scary and tense when it needs to be.
... Hendrix smashes it out of the park ... While the novel is violent, Hendrix tones down the gratuitous splatter for something a great deal more effective and disturbing ... The horror of We Sold Our Souls isn’t so much the creatures who feast on creativity – they’re the least effective aspect of the book – but that Hendrix’s America – the despair, the anger, the acts of shocking brutality – seems all too familiar.
The horror in this book is definitely Lovecraftian...but I’m not sure I would call this a horror novel. It feels more like a thriller epic, dark and electric, with the darkness on the edges until the perfect moment. If you’re a little nervous about reading horror, please give this book a chance, it is so worth it and pretty easy on the fear factor. This has been one of my favorite books of the year, and rivals Horrorstor as one of my favorite Grady Hendrix books so far. Honestly, there’s nothing as empowering as reading a great book, and this book’s got me feeling like a mega-watt bulb. Buy it. Read it. Love it.
There are scars here, both psychic and physical, and the story wastes no time in getting going. The use of flashbacks creates a real sense of how the wheel keeps turning, and ties the whole plot into a reflection of the story told on the album which is so integral to We Sold Our Souls. There are so many things that this book gets right; in addition to titling chapters after classic metal albums, Hendrix uses real bands for inspiration and ends up crafting songs that seem like they could exist, and people whom you feel like you might’ve once met. His trademark sense of humor keeps everything from getting too dark, and the usual epistolary details (in this case, transcriptions of radio and television appearances) provide a Greek chorus for details which otherwise might’ve had to be shoe-horned in. The ending of the book left me in actual tears, and is as emotionally resonant as anything I’ve read lately, with a cinematic view that also closes in on just two people, reconnecting in a way that brings it all home.
Hendrix’s pulpy love letter to heavy metal music is a gloriously over-the-top scare fest that has hidden depths ... Hendrix...scatters plenty of barbed popular and consumer culture references throughout this harrowing tale of redemption in the face of powerful evil. Readers will root for Kris all the way to the explosive, poignant finale