Locke and Key by author Joe Hill, Illustrations Gabriel Rodriguez
This is actually my second time reading the entire Locke and Key graphic novel series. That alone should tell you how good it is. I very rarely reread anything, I reread all three huge volumes of this one in a single weekend.
I would consider Locke and Key to be one of my all time favorite books. On the surface it is a supernatural horror tale written by the acclaimed Joe Hill. But it goes so much deeper than that.
Family and grief are at the core of the story. The Locke family has to move into the old family house called Key House after the tragic death of the father. His wife and children were all present and severely traumatized by the event that took him. Now they have to figure out how to move on.
Bode, the adorable youngest son finds a key in the house that will send the children and teens of the family on a wild adventure. Different keys have different powers. For instance, one can open a door to anywhere you can visualize while another can open up your head so you can insert or remove knowledge, and memories, at will.
But this magic is only able to be used by young people. Once you turn 18 your brain has a much harder time seeing magic. So the youngsters take full advantage of as many keys as they can find.
Meanwhile, there is a dark villainous character trying to gain access to the most powerful of the keys with nothing but ill intent. The children must stop him/her. I say him/her cause there is also a key that can change your gender, and they use it.
Bode has a childish innocence that makes my heart swell. His good friend Rufus, a mentally handicapped boy, doubles that swell by the end. I love him so much it hurts. His role in the story made me cry the first time I read it.
Every single character in Locke and Key is developed and adds depth to the story. Even side characters are more meaningful than main characters might be in a lesser book.
Grief is the dominant emotion that must be dealt with. Those who know me best know I love books that can explore this powerful emotion with ferver. A story must be unafraid to delve deep into that darkness that most people hope to never have to experience. It’s powerful and can be life changing even just to read about. Joe Hill exceeds expectations with this masterpiece.
He also utilizes fresh and creative supernatural elements instead of rehashing old or popular ones. There are no vampires or werewolves here. Much of the magic comes from within our own minds.
I strongly recommend Locke and Key to any reader. If you’ve never read a graphic novel before this is a great introduction, but it might just ruin you for all the other ones.
Since first writing this review the comic book was adapted into a series for Netflix. I am unlikely to watch it because I don’t want to ruin the magic.
5/5 keys 🗝🗝🗝🗝🗝
For more Joe Hill check out his short story collection
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Buy it here: Locke & Key Slipcase Set