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Locke and Key Vol 4 - Keys to The Kingdom: A Fantastical Dark Fantasy That Can’t Be Missed.

Updated on March 2, 2019

Locke and Key: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill

Locke and Key: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill

So if you’ve been reading this blog, then you know I’ve been slowly working my way through this dark fantasy horror graphic novel series called Locke and Key. So far they have been imaginative and fun and even though the series seems to have its ups and downs from book to book, I wonder if it can keep up the pace of good story telling over all. So here’s is my review of Lock and Key Vol. 4 Keys to the Kingdom.

In case you have not read the previous books, the concept is a family moves into a house with magical keys hidden within it. This story is different than the previous three books. As the others focused on two or three events /story lines with a small time frame, this juggles many things over the winter season. It is everywhere. It focuses on the aftermath of killing of an English teacher. Duncan’s boyfriend comes out of a coma. Kinsey comes to the realization that because she had her sense of fear removed she is pushing everyone away from her. Tyler's relationship with his girlfriend goes south. Bode finds key lets him turn into a sparrow. The coach’s autistic son can see ghosts and is warned about the dark lady. Time and time again, the siblings are attacked by the dark lady in one way or another and the kids come out on top. Tyler is frustrated trying to keep magical keys secret as Bode and Kinsey insist on showing them off to their friends. The siblings finally have recovered from the death of their father . And most importantly Tyler learns the dark lady really is Zack and must confront him. So this book is essentially a whole bunch of things at once.

The good? First of all, I have to applaud the fact that with everything happening in these 150 pages, this is not scattered brained nonsense. It’s a culmination and consequences of the events in the previous books and it mostly handled in a masterful way. The imagination is through the roof here. It’s all so fun and sometimes creepy. One thing I did really love is when Bode uses his imagination, the art style looked more cartoony like a Charlie Brown comic. It was charming. And also I am so glad they learned Zack was the lady in the well. He has been chummy with the cast while trying to magically back stab then throughout the whole series. And then there is a real shocking cliffhanger ending too. I couldn’t believe it when I read it. So that was pretty spectacular.

The bad? Though I think this is amazing and maybe the best book in the series so far, I was quite disappointed by the scenes of the trio fighting the dark lady / Zack. There's one where he took the form of a wild dog and tried to kill the kids was detailed. But because everything else was so fast paced that the other attacks were a full page pieces of artwork that summarizes what happened on that day. For instance there’s a single illustration showing them fighting giant plants and then there is a another with them fighting these demonic toys. I just would really wish the scenes wasn’t rushed and the story slowed down to show more of what happen in those four or so life and death situations throughout the book.

Overall, despite the flaws, I really do love this story. It’s so fantastical and imaginative. I just want to know happened next. This is a fantastic well written read and I recommend it to everyone.

Overall Rating: A Fantastical Dark Fantasy That Can’t Be Missed.

4 Smoothies out of four.

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