Book Review: The Devil’s Metal by Karina Halle

  • Review: The Devil’s Metal
  • Series: Devil’s Metal #1
  • Author: Karina Halle
  • No of Pages:
  • Release Date: September 21st 2012 by Metal Blonde Books


“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.”

My thoughts:

Great book to read for October and the playlist which I think fits perfectly for this time period is below. Thanks to my parents, I grew up listening to all of the music in this book.

This is 1974 and it took me a little while to remember that. The drug thing threw me off totally at first but quickly I remembered the day and age. People were a lot looser in what they did and who they trusted. It was the age of bra burning, free living, sex, drugs and of course rock n roll.

That being said, this was a really interesting twist of a story. The basic plot is great, Dawn, who is called Rusty through most of the book because of her red hair, is hanging out with a popular band while doing articles for Creem. That’s where it starts but boy does it get weird fast! Dawn starts to see stuff and you’re left wondering if it’s just the drug induced atmosphere that is getting to her but I can tell you Dawn doesn’t do the hard stuff so you’re left trying to put together what she’s seeing with what she’s being told. Which of course is basically nothing!

Dawn’s a strong, smart girl, a bit stubborn but I love that about her. She doesn’t let things get to her even when there is absolutely no explanation for what is going on. She feels like she can’t turn to anyone to find out what is really going on because who would believe what she’s been seeing? Vampires? Demons? They’d think she was mental right? So she’s left to deal with quite a bit of weird stuff on her own as well as her own personal issues. Not something that most could do easily. Dawn’s best friend  Mel, who kind of reminds me of Mel B from the Spice Girls, quirky, fun, a little on the loose side, is crazy but super fun. She reminds Dawn that life is fun not all serious, keep your feet on the ground stuff. I absolutely love her!

The band is crazy. Seriously. I guess they’re your normal hard rock band from the 70’s. Trying to push the limits but being pushed by themselves, the fan, peer pressure, pressure in general. Plus the stigma of dying before you turn 28 is a huge fear. All the greats died right before their 28th birthday and the lead guitarist’s birthday is looming. This just adds into the freaky atmosphere. Plus the fact that Dawn walks in on some pretty interesting situations…

It gets really weird before the end and I absolutely loved it. I read straight through not wanting to put the book down, plus as things get worse and worse you’re left trying to add things up that just don’t seem possible. In the end it’s left on a cliff hanger but I didn’t think it really all came together. I’m left asking questions for Dawn but I’m really curious for book two in the series, The Devil’s Reprise which will hopefully answer those questions!

Definitely NOT a teen book. Sex, drugs and rock n roll for adults. But it was a fun, easy read, albeit freaky enough for October!

The Devil’s Metal Playlist

When you’re writing a book about a music journalist on-tour with a fictional metal band (Hybrid) in the 19070’s, naturally music is going to play a huge part in your writing. Now, as a writer I am always writing with a playlist or certain albums on repeat. Picking my playlist is part of the fun and the music can really transport you there and into the emotional mindset of the characters. So, obviously writing The Devil’s Metal was a full-on immersion in music from around 1973/1974. Luckily I am a huge classic rock fan, so I already had many bands on rotation and this book gave me an excuse to listen to some bands I might have overlooked.

I have to say wow, I made some awesome discoveries. My love for Black Sabbath grew exponentially (especially as I can hear their influence in so many of my modern favorites such as Kyuss – what I imagined Hybrid to sound like – and Soundgarden), I found out that Alice Cooper is so much more than “Actually Pete, Milwaukee is Algonquin for The Good Land” and Bad Company blows my mind.

While I had about 300 classic rock songs from 73/74 shuffling on my iPod, there is actually a selected soundtrack for this book. It even has an album cover (courtesy of Hybrid) and will be available as part of giveaways.

This is the official track listing for The Devil’s Metal soundtrack (all songs were featured in the book at some point):

  • “Hello Hooray”—Alice Cooper
  • “Rock Steady”—Bad Company
  • “Width of a Circle”—David Bowie
  • “Motor City is Burning” – MC5/Johnny Lee Hooker
  •  “Children of the Grave’— Black Sabbath
  •  ‘Purple Haze’—Jimi Hendrix
  •  “Old Shoes (and Picture Postcards)” –Tom Waits
  • “Turn the Page”—Bob Seger
  • “No Time”—The Guess Who
  • “Going to California”—Led Zeppelin
  • “Midnight Rider”—The Allman Brothers Band
  • “Schools’ Out”—Alice Cooper

About the author:

Karina Halle is a music journalist and all around wino who resides in beautiful British Columbia. When she’s not rocking out or taking a nap, she can be found writing her ghost-hunting Experiment in Terror Series.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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  1. It sounds really good, but I don’t do cliffhangers. There are just too many of them out there–disappointing.

    1. Most of it came together if the rest of the story intrigued you. It really was interesting 😀

  2. This book is THE best frickin book I have ever read and I have read ALOT of books. I have read the entire EIT series by Karina. She is by far my favorite author. She gets me 😉

    1. I’m definitely going to have to read more from her as well.

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