Another amazing novel from Karina Halle - every bit as addictive as her Experiment In Terror series. The Devil's Metal follows 21 year-old music lover Dawn Emerson. Dawn has aspirations of becoming a serious music journalist and her big break comes in the form of a job she never expected in her wildest dreams: the chance to go on the road with one of her favourite bands, Hybrid, courtesy of Creem magazine.
Dawn jumps at the chance but soon finds herself in over her head when confronted with the reality of travelling with a touring band: the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle is somewhat overwhelming for her. Not to mention the fact that something even more sinister seems to be going on. The creepy drummer who seems to have it in for her and the crazy groupies definitely give her pause. Dawn thinks herself up to the challenge though and is determined to get to the heart of what is going on, especially when she grows closer to the lead guitarist and band leader - the enigmatic Sage Knightly. Things soon take a turn for the worse and Dawn realizes that there are strange and monstrous forces behind the band's success - and they are coming after Sage...
This book quite literally had me on the edge of my seat. Having recently devoured Karina Halle's Experiment In Terror series, I had a good idea what I was in for with this novel (and if I am not mistaken the events in this book were even referenced in Lying Season - the book that Dex hid his meds in seemed to have been about Dawn's experiences in this book - gotta love an Easter Egg!!). It certainly did not disappoint. I was absolutely riveted throughout. Dawn was a great protagonist, smart and level-headed, but not without her share of flaws. She could be a little bit condescending and had a bit of an attitude towards the bands groupies. It wasn't until she got to know one of them that she realizes how judgemental she was being (but hey at least she did realize!). Sage was a bit more difficult to get a handle on, especially at first because he is so quiet, but by the end I had really warmed up to him.
I also loved all the music references and allusions. It really felt like I was there, seeing these bands through Dawn's eyes, seeing both the glamour and energy that these bands projected, and the darker, seedier underbelly (and was that Ted Bundy that Dawn bumped into after leaving the gig at the beginning of the book?? Mind blown!!). Overall another thoroughly engrossing read courtesy of Karina Halle, who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Cannot wait to see what The Devil's Reprise has in store!!