Saturday 10 May 2014

#CBR6 Book 46: "Locke and Key, vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft" by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Page count: 168 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Tyler, Kinsey and Bode Locke move with their mother to Keyhouse, their uncle's mansion in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, after their father, a school guidance councillor, is brutally murdered by a couple of Tyler's classmates. The entire Locke family are naturally extremely affected by the event, especially the eldest brother Tyler, who feels responsible for the event, and for not managing to rescue both his parents. Kinsey, his sister,  was hiding and keeping their youngest brother Bode safe, but she's suffering with survivor's guilt and dealing with a sense of helplessness because she was unable to do anything but hide as the terrible events took place. She completely changes her looks and tries to stay as unnoticed as possible, refusing to make friends or connect with anyone.

Keyhouse is not your normal large New England mansion. No one really believes Bode, the youngest brother, when he says there's a door you can go through that turns you into a ghost, or that there is a woman down the well in the well house, who speaks to him and wants to be his friend. They all think he's just making things up. Of course, none of them know that the creature down the well also talked to and still communicates with Sam Lesser, the mentally disturbed young man who attacked the Locke family in the first place. They think they're safe, because he's in prison. But Sam needs to get to the Keyhouse, and he needs to find the Anywhere key.

I don't read a lot of horror, but had Locke and Key recommended to me by several friends when I was in the US last summer. I bought the first volume, but didn't get round to reading it, and it stayed on my shelf until the April Read-a-thon came around. Comic books and graphic novels are always very thankful reads, because they give you a very rewarding story, but don't take as long to read as a full novel. Even though I was thoroughly unnerved and shaken by the story, I was also completely engrossed by the story of Welcome to Lovecraft and kept turning the pages while desperately hoping that things wouldn't turn out even worse for the Locke family than they already had. The entire cast of characters is great, and there are clearly lots of mysteries surrounding the Keyhouse left to explore. I'm always more likely to stick with a series if I like the art, and Gabriel Rodriguez is a very skilled artist, so that's not going to be a problem. I've already ordered the second and third volume, pretty safely assuming that this is a story I'm going to want to follow till the end, even if it scares me silly.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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