John Tsiboukas has always dreamed of making the "big time". With a passion he gathers those around him who have the right look and the sound for his band, "Ragman". The only problem is that John really is not that great of a vocalist.
Danny is John's brother and the drummer of the band. He has been practicing his whole life for the moment he would make his dreams come true.
Quentin is the band's bass player and has been friends with John for over a year but he soon comes to feel like there is something else going on with the band, something that feels evil and Quentin is not sure if success is worth it.
Stephanie Case is the lead guitarist, hired after John hears her play at a local bar during open mic night. Case, as she is known, thinks that John really sucks but the pay sounds great and Case becomes a member of "Ragman".
The four of them practice daily and Case brings to the music, elements that had been lacking in their previous four chord songs. After playing at an area college, John is approached by a foul smelling old man, Douglas, who vows to change John's life forever if he would only travel with him to the crossroads.
John, who is jealous of Case's success on stage and her and Danny's apparent on-stage love affair, decides to follow Douglas into the unknown and see what he has to offer. He is given a choice and decides to pay the piper in order to become a person that will be a household name, a voice that people will remember long after John has passed from this world. He will be immortal, a price he would pay anything for.
At first, the rest of the band is bewildered by John's new sound and John brushes it off as his voice lessons finally paying off. However, weird things begin to happen every time John sings, fights break out amongst the patrons, fires start and Douglas always seems to be there, in the crowd, whispering in people's ears.
When Danny comes up with John's on-stage alter ego, in order to combat John's stage fright, Johnny Tango is born with his bad ass attitude and no nonsense appeal. Slowly John is allowing his alter ego to take over and the bad is beginning to feel uneasy with the changes taking place. Evil seems to permeate every show and the freaky "Johnny Fan Club" members are unnerving to those who seem them smiling maniacally and hanging onto Johnny's every word!
When things begin to go really bad, it is time for the members of Ragman to decide if fame and fortune is really worth the price you have to pay to achieve it!
This was a fairly decent novel to have read! The characters are all remarkably written and believable in each of the roles set before them. The plot is a bit tired, the whole cross roads and sell your soul to the devil for your music has been done to death, but author, Joseph Garraty still manages to write decently despite the plot cliche.
Stephanie Case is a great character and you watch her character unfold from a uncaring and rude woman into a caring and kind lady who can really belt out a tune! She is depicted as being gorgeous and talented and yet shies away from the attention that the two things entail. She is always fighting her demons about her self worth!
I wasn't as interested in John as I wished I could have been. I found that his transition from John to Johnny wasn't well placed. It felt rushed to me and some of the descriptive that could have been used to bring him to his horrible choice would have been better if it was paced instead of the rush job I felt happened.
The back story characters were great, Erin as the band's PR agent was a refreshing blend to the encroaching evil that you could feel building within the pages. Danny came across as both weasley and a good-natured, caring guy, which works with the premise of the story. You can see Danny really wants the success while pretending it doesn't matter and his inner self would do anything to achieve it!
This was an easy read with a decent flow in the narrative that you can easily continue to read without realizing how much time has gone by! There a few minor graphic scenes and mild to moderate expletives.
** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **