Review: The Devil's Metal by Karina Halle


Title: The Devil's Metal (Devils #1)
Author: Karina Halle
Date of publication: 21 Sept 2012
Genre: NA Romance / Horror / Paranormal

Author's links:

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb

It’s the summer of 1974 and 21-year old Dawn Emerson has only three things she wants to do: compete one last time in the Ellensburg Rodeo, win back her ex-boyfriend Ryan, and become the best damn music journalist at Central Washington University. But all her plans are left in the dust when she’s contacted by Creem magazine to go on the road with one of her favorite groups, the up-and-coming metal band, Hybrid. 

At first the assignment reads like a dream come true. Not only will Dawn land some much-needed credibility as a female music journalist, but she’ll finally get to experience life from the other side of the stage, and maybe crack the drunken, enigmatic code that is guitarist Sage Knightly. Instead, Dawn finds herself on an aging tour bus filled with ego-maniacs, band politics and a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. When monsters start showing up in dressing rooms and some of Sage’s groupies become increasingly strange and dangerous, Dawn discovers the band is not only going places – they’re going straight to Hell. 

And Dawn has a backstage pass.

Author's note: The Devil's Metal is the first book in a two-part New Adult Horror/Paranormal Romance and very (very!) loosely based on the author's exploits as a music journalist. Hell comes in different forms.

My Review

I enjoyed Ms Halle's The Artists Trilogy very much, though I still have to read the final book in the series, so I decided to give The Devils books a try as well. I have a soft spot for rockstar stories and even though I am not a big fan of horror and paranormal books, I was curious about this one. Now, I am really glad I picked it up. It is rather different read for me, nevertheless I enjoyed it immensely. 

This book tells a realistic rock and roll / metal story set in 1970s coupled with strong supernatural and horror elements. I very much liked the writing style of Ms Halle in her other works, and it was just as good here. I find it to have a very strong cinematographic quality - I can see both the Artists Trilogy and this series as making great movies one day. Ms Halle's descriptions are very vivid creating a captivating images that capture your mind and soul. 

I liked the way Ms Halle has represented in great detail the atmosphere of the rock/metal music of the 1970s. The story draws you in and I found Dawn's voice (she is the one telling the story) very engaging. She is a great character - a small town girl with a big love for music, trying to find her place in life. I liked her innocence and in a sense, naivete, yet she has this youthful eagerness to learn, to experience life. Her interactions with all the other characters - her family, her best friend, the band - showed her complex personality and her development and evolution as a character. 

I absolutely enjoyed the behind-the-scene views into the life of a rock band on tour. The depictions of the rockstar lifestyle, with its perks and downfalls were spot on. The band dynamics and the different personalities of the band members were also presented in detail, giving the story a feel of realism and authenticity. No one was shown as perfect - all the characters had their good and bad qualities, their strengths and weaknesses.

Sage was a true dark and brooding rockstar - distant at first, extremely talented and focused on the music. He was the driving force behind the band, and as it turned out, behind all that happened in the story. As supernatural forces took over and we saw that there was much more to his story. 

The flow of the events was natural and smooth. The first part was more realistic, focused on the music scene but the horror was building up gradually, introducing more and more of the supernatural, coming to a powerful climax in the end. The deal-with-the-devil plot is not something new but it was well done keeping the thrill of the mystery till the very end. The suspense was palpable, making me turn pages feverishly.

It was an amazing, emotional, a little scary and a lot of supernatural story developing at the background of drugs, sex and rock&roll. There is no cliffhanger ending but it does leave you eager to read the conclusion of the series, The Devil's Reprise

PS: Sage Knightly is one hell of a name, I  love it and it suits the character so very well :) 

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