Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Volumes One, Two and Three, June 20, 2011
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This review is from: Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (Hardcover)
I will review all three volumes as a group here, as I would guess most people who may consider this series would go to Volume One first. I will avoid Spoilers.

The hardcovers and beautiful, with glossy graphics on a matt background. Volume 3 had a ribbon. (some people say their 1 and 2 did as well). Upon opening the first volume, I paused to examine the beautiful illustrations inside the covers and on the pages leading into the story. The author dedicates the book to his mother. I had never heard of Joe Hill before, but I did know of only one person named Tabitha King, so guessed who he was, 'Hill' or no 'Hill'. No matter, I can understand why he started out with a nom de plume.

BTW, some character names interest me in this book. The coach (vol 2) is Elsie Whedon. One of Rendell's old schoolmates (vol 2) was Lucas Caravaggio, and the admissions director (vol 3) is Calliope Ridgeway. Some of these may have meaning to the story, maybe some just to the author. For instance, I could see how Calliope could be seen as a muse to her drama teacher husband.

Hill excells in many areas. His characters are real, well rounded, and sympathetic. The story line is suspenseful, and as certain mysteries get cleared up, new information creates new questions for the reader (and the characters) to ponder. This series is just plain creepy - in a good way. He also drops in ...idk...language hints? to the text, relating to the key/theme at hand. Word jokes, puns. The Joe Ridgeway story, which opens vol. 2, bounces back and forth in time. The opening and the ending `bookend' the story nicely, and Hill manages to put a spin on the end which lightens some of the sadness therein.

Gabriel Rodriguez contributes wonderful artwork. I admit that I can have a hard time enjoying even a well written series if I hate the artwork (some arcs of Sandman come to mind). This series has the best of both worlds! The lines are clean, the facial expressions clear, and the colors are appealing yet somber in tone, as suits the series. Violence is not portrayed in too graphic a manner. Some is not shown at all. Rodriguez also uses a technique for which I do not know the name, where he repeats a setting several times with just necessary changes. Look at the preview pages for Vol. 3, Crown of Shadows, to see this technique. I feel as though this grounds parts of the story better than if he kept changing perspective. It is also almost cinematic. Hill also injects a good does of humor into the story (which is necessary, I think, to keep it from becoming oppressive), which Rodriguez translates nicely. I really liked the bit in vol. 3 where Bode tells his mother how to cook the alfredo sauce. The `nameless technique' works nicely there.

Volume 1 is taken up with the Locke family tragedy and their subsequent move to the family home in Lovecraft. Volumes 2 and 3 move briskly along, introducing many new and interesting characters and situations, which keeps the story fresh. After reading Vol. 1, I took out Heart Shaped Box, Hill's first novel, from the library and read it in two nights. (I could not wait for an Amazon delivery!) Hill's work is gripping and intense and I plan to read more of it!

Highly recommended series!
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