Locke and Key vol. 1 Welcome to Lovecraft
Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all …
This is the first thing I’ve read by Joe Hill, and I have to say that I’m very impressed.
The book starts of with two teens murdering Mr. Locke and shattering the lives of his wife and their three children, Ty, Kinsey and Bode. In the aftermath of this terrible event, the four travel to the town of Lovecraft, Massachusetts, to live at Key House. This is the families ancestral home. Moving to Key House might not have been such a good idea since things start to take a turn for the weird. For example, you have lots of doors that need certain keys. Including one that makes you into a ghost, one that changes your gender and one that lets you go anywhere. There is also someone or something living in the well. To make matters even worse, it turns out that the murder of Mr. Locke was not a random act of violence, and the family will find itself beset by nightmares both human and not human while they try and grief but also try and find some semblance of a life.
The character development is outstanding. Each chapter or so focusses on another character and in this chapter you learn so much about that person. So much so that you see them as real people. Real people that develop and grow overtime. Each and every character deals with there grief in their own way. Mom is drinking too much, Ty is crushed with guilt and contemplating suicide, Kinsey is withdrawn and tormented by the bloody memories of that fateful day and Bode, at age six is still too young to understand all the implications of the events the family is going through. That’s why he, while the rest of the family is to busy with what their going through, explores the house and it’s surroundings and finds the hidden doors and special keys as well as the entity captive at the bottom of a well on the estate. Although I fell in love with each and every one of these characters, and really felt for them. I must say Bode was my favorite. His adventurous nature was what drew me into the story in the first place.
Plot-wise this book was fantastic. It dealt with so many things. It explored the searing pain of grief and the love of family. On top of that it dealt with some sinister things. Secret doors that open with special keys and make you into a ghost or changes your gender. A murderer that, for whatever reason, is still after the Locke family. A face-changing entity that might be the mastermind of evil that is attacking the Locke family indirectly and so on.
Both the writing style as the art style were in my opinion amazing. They complemented each other perfectly. Gabriel Rodriquez art style supports the story Joe Hill wants to portray. So much of this story is character driven that’s why it’s so amazing that Rodriquez can draw the characters faces so expressively. They convey loads of emotion. Not only the characters are drawn well also the backgrounds are amazing. You can see Rodriguez devotes his time and energy on making this images. Joe Hill’s great dialogue with Rodriguez’s visual storytelling makes this an incredible read.
What I didn’t like though where the shifting of timelines here. It confused me a lot. Maybe this had to do with the graphic novel format but I didn’t care for it.
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