Just as the whole series of Locke & Key started out gruesome and somewhat upsetting, so does Keys to the Kingdom hit the same stride. Developments are made regarding the identity of the dark woman, and teenage hormones run wild as relationships are formed, splintered, patched, and ultimately scarred beyond ever returning to the way they were. And poor little Bode is left taking more hits than he should, as he is essentially left at the mercy of the actions of his siblings and the consequences of their decisions with the Keyhouse keys.
We begin with some seemingly normal issues for a family to have, with young Bode having difficulty making friends: the drawing style from his point of view is even more along the lines of a Calvin & Hobbes-esque story than the typical Locke & Key artwork. But things soon start getting tangled and dark, as the Locke children are attacked multiple times, in multiple forms all created by the Dark Lady. New keys keep getting found in the house, some of which are useful during these attacks, and some of which are dangerous. These include the skin-changing key, the angel key, the music box key, a key for strength, and a key that opens a door full of surprising things. More importantly, however, we begin to see how Kinsey might be regretting removing her tears (and in part, some of her emotional range), now that she likely cannot regain this aspect of herself.
As well, Tyler begins making strides in determining who the Dark Lady attacking them really is. Yet, as always, she (or, I guess, he) is always one step ahead of everyone else, leading to a bloody finale that only makes me want to know what is going to happen next.
I continue to be engaged by this series, in particular the section of this volume entitled “February” where the real chaos of the lives of the Locke family was shown, with day to day attacks and changes in their lives: it really captured how so much happens to us every day, not just physically or literally, but emotionally and internally. I don’t know when I’ll be able to read the next volume of Locke & Key, but plan on it as soon as I can.
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