Book Review: Locke & Key by Joe Hill

Locke & Key is an awesome amalgamation of horrifying fantasy and mysterious Young Adult fiction that will grip you, thrill you and throw you spinning headfirst into the terrifying imagination of Joe Hill.

Let me begin with specifying that this review is based on the Audible Original audiodrama Locke & Key, written by Joe Hill. I realize, in hindsight, that though I had heard of Locke & Key before (and obviously became interested enough to grab a copy of this when I saw it on Audible), I was not aware that it was a series of graphic novels, and not a standalone book. And this work, which I ended up with, is a completely separate work again, featuring a full cast of voice actors and entirely unique plot.

The premise of Locke & Key (any installment or version as far as I’m aware) is incredibly exciting. It’s about the Locke family and their ancestral home, Key House, where they through generations have been living as guardians over the doors and the keys.

You see, keys can do magical and terrifying things in Key House. Depending on which one you have hold of, you can change how you look, gaze into your own mind, or open portals to demonic dimensions. Among many other things…

Such powers rarely come without consequence.

In this Locke & Key installement we follow Tyler, Kinsey, and Body, siblings whose father has just been murdered, as they move back to their ancestral home of Key House to live with their uncle. Full of grief and sorrow, they learn what it truly means to be a Locke – the exciting magical part of it alongside all the horrors.

Honestly – even though I didn’t really know what format this was – Locke & Key was just as good as I had hoped. The premise is really cool and opens up for some very exciting storytelling, with the siblings findings key that are able to take them in a myriad of different directions. I definitely want to pick up the graphic novels and experience this in the intended format.

Audiodramas can be very hit and miss for me, and though this was great, I notice that I sometimes miss the exposition you get from a proper reading of an audiobook. It’s difficult to keep track of where we are, beyond the occasional announcements, like: “Later that evening, in Body’s room.” Also, even though it should be easier to separate characters when everyone is done by a separate voice actors, I often find it more difficult. Sure, I can hear that there are two people talking, but a few chapters later I might not remember who’s who and if that character who suddenly came in from the sideline had been there before.

Anyway – terrific Young Adult horror story based on a very exciting premise. I definitely need to catch those graphic novels – oh! – and there’s a show as well? If it’s as good as this, it’s going to be awesome, I’m sure.

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