The Devil’s Metal (Devils #1) by Karina Halle – Review

Release Date: September 29th, 2012
Summary from Goodreads:
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.

***

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.

 

Review:

After reading Halle’s Experiment in Terror Series I knew she was going to become one of my favorite authors. After reading The Devil’s Metal, I can safely say she is one of my favorite authors. I loved The Devil’s Metal. It was quite a wild, creepy, and exciting read. I feel like I’m not going to do this book justice, but I’m going to try and sum up my feelings without being spoilery.

It’s he summer of 1974 and Dawn Emerson is an aspiring music journalist. Living in a small town and taking care of her brother and father make those aspirations a little difficult until one day she receives the call of a lifetime. Big time music magazine Creem wants Dawn to write a story on the up and coming metal band, Hybrid. Touring with Hybrid and writing for Creem would give Dawn the ability to make a name for herself in the music journalist industry, especially as a woman, but things aren’t as easy as she expected. Most of the band doesn’t want her there, especially Sage, and Dawn has difficulty getting the band to think of her as a professional rather than just another fan/groupie. Besides the animosity from the band, Dawn senses that something strange is going on, something beyond the normal “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.” With increasingly unstable groupies, unexplained “accidents”, and things that go bump in the night on the tour bus, Dawn is thrust into a world she doesn’t understand and probably doesn’t want to.

The one thing I can say about Karina Halle is that she forever pushes the bar. She isn’t afraid to write outside the norm and I love her for that. The Devil’s Metal is New Adult but it is in a league all it’s own. Halle’s stories, as well as characters, are always strong and intriguing, and her ability to make her readers use their imagination is brilliant. There have been many a time I have no been able to sleep due to her stories.

The Devil’s Metal is no exception. The story starts off a little slow, building up and sense of who Dawn is and where she came from. It really picks up when she decides to go on tour with Hybrid, and then it’s no holds barred. Once Dawn realizes something otherworldly is going on things really get going. Halle does not hold back when it comes to the spine-chilling moments, they are always a rough shock to the system, and I love it. These moments aren’t always full of elaborate descriptions, and not everything is given a name or shape, but that’s what makes them stand out. There is nothing worse than one’s own imagination.

I really felt like the essence of the 1970’s was alive throughout the whole story and with references to cultural icons, it made me feel like I was truly experiencing the 1974 for myself. With all the references to the ins and outs of the music industry I can tell Halle really knows what she’s talking about and isn’t feeding her readers BS.

As for the characters, each main character had their own personality, and I didn’t feel as if they were just there to fill space. Dawn/Rusty was awesome. She was smart, ambitious, and not afraid to do what she had to do. I loved Jacob, I didn’t think I would at first, but in the end his rough and wry personality won me over. As for Sage, he was dark, mysterious, and didn’t want anything to do with Dawn, so of course I loved him. Their relationship started out with animosity and then grew into an odd sort of friendship. I kinda loved it. As for the rest of the band mates, they’re each very unique but you’ll have to read the book to find out about them.

The Devil’s Metal is full of edgy, dark, and mysterious elements but is not for anyone under 18. There are some pretty graphic scenes and lives up to pretty much everything your parents, and the world, has told you about life in the 70’s. I would recommend it to those looking for an A-typical New Adult title, but if the dark side (including drugs, sex, alcohol, etc) offends you, don’t read this book. Halle’s characters aren’t afraid of foul-language, simmering romance, or the occasional recreational substance.

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