The cover of How LJ & Rom Saved Heavy Metal

Join LJ and Rom in this fun heavy metal road trip in How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal by S. D. McKinley!

Thank you so much to Storytellers on Tour for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal and for sending me a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Add How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal to your Goodreads or order using the links on — it’s also available to read for free using your Kindle Unlimited subscription. Or scroll down to the bottom of this page for the chance to win one of five paperback copies (open internationally)!

The story follows LJ and Rom, two best friends who travel the US in their rally car to rescue their friend Dom, a heavy metal guitarist. Along the way, chaos follows, including zombies, magic and more!

My review

I was drawn to this book because of the fantastic cartoon-style cover — it’s incredibly eye-catching and gives a great first impression! It is a perfect fit for the humour and madness in this book. LJ and Rom is full of action as well as being lots of fun to read. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and is one wild ride from beginning to end!

S. D. McKinley is incredibly creative and has a huge imagination. I truly could not predict where the story was going to take me next, with various supernatural elements including a zombie war. It’s incredibly bizarre and lots of fun — pure chaotic energy. In this world it feels like absolutely anything is possible.

There are lots of pop culture references and mentions of heavy metal songs throughout the story, as you’d expect. I knew I was in the right place when Vic puts Vicarious by Tool on the car stereo as they start their road trip! (Official LJ and Rom Spotify playlist when?)

I really liked our main characters, LJ and Rom. The two are best friends and S. D. McKinley captured the fun banter that good friends have, which is something many authors don’t quite manage. This made the whole book so much fun to read and kept me interested. I also really liked LJ’s girlfriend, Vic, who is feisty as well as being practical (who else could fight zombies then remember to book a camping spot?).

My only criticism of the book was that there are so many things happening and things move on so quickly. This meant that at times it could be a bit hard to follow and I’d have to re-read sections to make sure I hadn’t missed something important. LJ and Rom isn’t very long (just over 150 pages), so I think there was definitely space here for further descriptions and some breathing space before the story moves on to the next element.

LJ and Rom is a fantastic, fun read that had me totally hooked. I think if I had to compare it to anything, it might be the Bill and Ted films — they are also not too serious, have heavy metal references and have supernatural elements. But this book is unlike anything I’ve read before — and I am delighted to see that S D McKinley is currently working on a second book, released as a web serial on his blog. LJ and Rom is an absolute must-read for anyone who is a fan of the unusual or listens to heavy metal — you won’t be disappointed!

The book blurb for How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal

Ride along with LJ and Rom as they travel the US to stop the death of their friend Dom, a legendary heavy metal guitarist. What unravels before their eyes is a trippy conspiracy against them and technological warfare on the dreams of not only Dom, but humankind alike. Action packed with fast cars, guns, monsters, magic and an ending like no other.

The author, S D McKinleyAbout the author, S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980’s and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

Find out more on his website,


About the blog tour, organised by Storytellers on Tour

Blog tour banner for How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal

I was sent a free copy of How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal to review by Storytellers on Tour as part of a blog tour — you can view the full tour schedule below. Check out these amazing bloggers and Instagrammers for book reviews, guest posts and extra content!

February 17th — The Welcoming:

February 18th:

February 19th:

February 20th:

February 21st:

February 22nd:

February 23rd — The encore:

The giveaway

Enter below to win yourself one of five paperback copies of How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal by S.D. McKinley!

Ends February 24th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST and open internationally. Good luck!

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