We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix, although published in 2018, feels fitting for the dumpster fire of 2020. After all, based on the title alone, it is not difficult to imagine an entire cadre of government officials who sold their souls a long time ago. And I’m sure we can all call up the names of so-called celebrities who have done nothing to deserve their fame and fortune.
In true Hendrix fashion though, We Sold Our Souls puts a unique twist on the whole selling your soul gig. In his world, you can sell the souls of others to obtain your desires, which, when you wrap your head around it, leads to all sorts of ramifications. Does it seem like you can never catch a break? Blame someone else for selling your soul.
To make things more interesting, selling your soul does not actually mean communing with the devil and signing your name in blood. In the Hendrix world, all it takes is something as simple as signing up for a new phone plan that comes with the best and latest phone. When you wish for something material and end up obtaining that object, chances are you sold your soul to get it. It is a fascinating approach to Faustian deals.
This is all information she discovers as she tries to reconcile her lack of success in anything versus that of her former bandmate. But the horror doesn’t stop there. In fact, Kris uncovers an entire demonic dimension in which we are just the cogs in a wheel. As she takes steps to bring that wheel to a halt, she discovers that is easier said than done. What follows is a brutal, gory, and a bit too on-the-nose race to stop certain powers from taking over the world.
We Sold Our Souls is exactly what you hope a Grady Hendrix novel will be. Not only is it intense and gory, befitting a good horror story, but it also shifts your perception of the world just enough so that his explanations of what is wrong with it seem plausible. I wouldn’t rank We Sold Our Souls as among his best, but it certainly fits the mood of 2020, with just enough hope at the end to lead us into 2021.