Sunday 31 December 2017

#CBR9 Books 129-130: "Locke & Key, vol 4: Keys to the Kingdom and vol 5: Clockworks" by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Total page count: 320 pages
Rating: 4 stars

SPOILER WARNING! This review may contain some spoilers for the plots of the two volumes in question. 

In volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom, the three Locke siblings are still fighting against the Dark Lady, whose inhabiting the body of the person they think is their friend Zach. He's posing as Kinsey's affectionate boyfriend and Tyler's loyal friend, trying to get one of the siblings to reveal where the crucial and powerful Omega key is hidden. Over the course of this volume, the Locke children seem to be attacked more and more frequently and only towards the end of the volume do they realise where the true threat lies, but by that point, it may be too late.

In volume 5, Clockworks, we go back in time, first to 1775, when the first keys were created and get some insight into the dangers that lurk inside the portal that the Dark Lady wants opened. Kinsey and Tyler also find a way to go back and see exactly what happened to their father and his friends in 1988. Both of them are far too preoccupied to discover that Bode isn't acting entirely like his normal self.

I would have read a lot more strategically earlier in December if I'd remembered just how dense and compact the writing in each of the volumes of Locke & Key are. I certainly wouldn't have saved my final graphic novels to the same day I have review deadlines, as the books took WAY longer than I anticipated to read. I also keep forgetting just how utterly creepy these books are and how much they affect me. My plan was to read the final three, but after getting through these two, I needed to take a break before I dive into the final and concluding volume, which I'm sure is going to out-gruesome the previous five.

Over the years I have been reading this comic, I've really come to get attached to the characters in it. I really rarely read horror because I get so emotionally attached and the suspense and the gore just gets too much for me. As the stakes get higher and things get more serious, these stories within these books just get creepier and creepier. It doesn't help that Gabriel Rodriguez' art leaves so little to the imagination. I am very much enjoying them, but two volumes was all I had the stomach for this time.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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