** I received an ARC for an honest review **
When lead vocalist of Polyphemus Stephen Oaks’s near-fatal on-stage overdose leaves them under pressure from their label, the band’s remaining members must find a new vocalist, pick up the pieces and forge on without him.
Unfortunately, he’s fresh from rehab and desperate to reunite with his old band, In fact, he’s so desperate that he’ll bargain with dark forces and sacrifice everything – and anyone!
After the final encore is played and the house lights come down, there is no telling who will remain or who they’ll be in allegiance to. For Polyphemus, obsession costs far more than mere murder.
The protagonist is Stephen Oaks – a recovering junkie and former lead vocalist to the death metal band Polyphemus. After his addiction causes him to abandon the band when they most needed him – his return from rehab comes at a cost to his pride and desire to reunite the band and repay the debt he owes them.
Unfortunately, Stephen Oaks fresh from rehab is willing to do anything to recover his position in then and band their trust. He must be more than he was before. So he bargains unknowingly with a dark, demonic force that will grant him his greatest desires of fame – at the cost of his humanity and that of his band. For Stephen Oaks, the question becomes: how much will he and his band sacrifice for fame?
A well-written and crafted dark tale of Faustian deal with a demonic force for the price of fame. The balance of fame versus humanity isn’t a new concept, but Ashford does a nice reinvention of demonic forces feeding off the energy a band generates – their audience. The cost of fame is high and the loss of humanity is brutal and raw. A dark fiction tour de force.
Perfect for fans of Faustian deals, death metal, raw and brutal horror but also dark fiction that reveals the cost of fame and humanity. A recommended read!
** This is my personal opinion and does not reflect any judging decisions **