Saturday 19 October 2019

#CBR11 Book 74: "Locke & Key, vol 6: Alpha & Omega" by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Page count: 192 pages
Rating: 4 stars

#CBR11 Bingo: Not My Wheelhouse (horror)

Spoiler warning! This is the sixth and final volume in the Locke and Key series. It is absolutely NOT the place to start. This review will probably contain spoilers both for earlier and this collection, so don't read it unless you're completely caught up. The first volume is Welcome to Lovecraft

In this final volume, the Locke kids have to confront the evil that has been haunting their family for over a generation. If there was any doubt that it was going to have a heavy cost, even the first few pages dispels that notion. So much death, so much horror, some truly noble sacrifices, and so many emotional scenes, really f*cking me up. I ugly cried through parts of this, because while I only read one volume a year (I don't think I can handle the intensity otherwise), Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez have really made me care about these characters.

For anyone wondering, is this a good ending to the series, the answer is a resounding yes. All the various story strands established in previous volumes are given attention and are given a conclusion, some adressing situations and characters I had almost forgotten. I started reading Locke and Key back in 2014, and I really haven't been able to read much more than a volume each year, because the horror that Joe Hill conjures up and Gabriel Rodriguez so cleverly illustrates really does freak me out so much, I can't read too much of it in one go. So this series has been part of my life for a long time. Obviously, when I started the series, I had no children of my own. I genuinely don't know if my extra strong emotional response to this final volume is because now that I have a little boy of my own, reading about children in peril (even teenage children) affects me so much more. As someone suffering from anxiety, I have to constantly force myself not to run through all the horrible things that could potentially happen, and Locke and Key presents some pretty terrifying what ifs?

I don't regret waiting this long to get to the end. This final volume has literally been waiting on my shelf for more than two years, but I really wasn't ready to read it until now. I'm glad the wait was worth it, and the ending was a worthy one, even if it made me feel all sorts of painful feels while reading it.

Judging a book by its cover: This cover is one of the simpler in the series, and pretty much black on black, with the details sort of embossed. The dark and gloomy colour scheme fits for the concluding volume of the series, when all the things come to a head and evil must be confronted.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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