Review of Locke & Key, Vol. 3 by Joe Hill

7202841Title: Locke & Key, Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows

Author: Joe Hill

Illustrators: Gabriel Rodriguez

Rating: 5 star

Publisher: IDW Publishing


There is no better way of telling Locke & Key than in graphic form. From the continual unveiling of magical keys to the persistent growth in the characters, this series is addictive to say the least.

In the third volume, Ty’s mother has digressed into a dysfunctional, alcoholic mother. But the kids manage and they stick together against her verbal abuse and against Zach, who seeks to gain the power of the keys and kill the Locke family in the process.

When Zach gets his hands on the shadow key, he sends a collection of shadow monsters after Ty, Kinsey, and Bode. They discover that light can help keep them at bay, but the only way to defeat them is with the power of another key, which Zach finds embedded in the floor boards.

After staving off Zach’s assault, things return to normal for the Locke family (relatively speaking). Kinsey, who has somewhat of a crush on Zach, is approached by a trying-to-be-smooth character named Scot Kavanaugh. He tells her of a secret he’s discovered in a cave bearing the mark of her deceased father.

Meanwhile, Bode finds another key that comes in useful to deal with his mother’s destructive outbursts. She learns of the power of the key and attempts to use it for a much darker and powerful purpose.

Reading the Locke & Key series is truly an enjoyment. On one level it is fun escapism, but on another level, the dark forces that the kids face run in parallel with the psychological trauma they suffer from their past and now in the present with their mother. This difficult subject matter is handled effectively and there are real emotions conveyed in the various relationships Ty, Bode, and Kinsey encounter.

The artwork, as always, is superb and the storytelling is equally stellar. I look forward to continuing the series.

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