I’m not much of a listener of metal genres, but We Sold Our Souls seems almost like a novelization of a heavy metal song, one of the ones with a Satanic tinge. Basically, Kris is a middle aged wash-out who in the past had been the lead guitarist of a metal band on the cusp of fame, only to be thwarted by the ambitions of her bandmate Terrence. Years after a disastrous night during which the band breaks up, the details of which are fuzzy, Kris is compelled to seek out her former band-mates to figure out what happened that night, why Terrence betrayed them, and hopefully regain her lost glory/life she should have had. As she reconnects with each band mate in turn, Kris begins to realize that there are evil supernatural things afoot which she alone must defeat. Along the way to Hellstock 2019 (Terrence’s big comeback festival), she has a series of disturbing adventures (Beware UPS!), finds some allies (some of whom will die horribly- this is something of a horror novel after all), and discovers that the final album she and her (former) band Dürt Würk made but never released might actually be the key to saving the world.
This is mostly a suspense story, which I liked, but there was one scene that was too splattery and graphic for me to enjoy. It didn’t help that I kind of liked the character who is affected. That aside, Kris is definitely an interesting character as are many of the people she meets who aren’t trying to destroy her. Scottie and DJ are former band mates who try to help her, even as their own attempts to resist the forces of “Black Iron Mountain” (I really wish this threat were less ambiguous in nature) lead to their deterioration, and Melanie who goes to Hellstock 2019 looking for a reset in her life are all interesting screwed up individuals.
Besides the one ick scene that I really couldn’t read closely, the only other complaint I have is that the villains (Terrence, Rob, and Black Iron Mountain) are ambiguous and under-developed. For most of the story it works since even Kris doesn’t quite realize what the real threat is until very near the end, but even once she does, Rob and the soul-sucking denizens of Black Iron Mountain are so undefined it’s not as scary as it could have been.
The ending was just right, a combination of questions still remaining as to what happened, and seeing where most everyone ends up.