Monday, May 23, 2011

Graphic Novel Review - The Crown of Shadows (Locke and Key, Book 3) by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (5/5 stars)

Locke & Key: Crown of ShadowsReading level: Adult
Genre: Horror/Graphic Novel
Size: 152 pages
Publisher:  Idea & Design Works Llc
Release Date: July 29, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1600106958
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd installment in the Locke and Key series
Source: Bought
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is the 3rd graphic novel in the Locke and Key series.  The 4th, Keys to the Kingdom, comes out July of 2011.  This was an excellent installment in this series; this story just keeps getting more and more interesting.  I think this was my favorite one yet, which is really saying something since I have loved them all.  I should also mention that the hardback version of this is just beautiful; even has a lovely ribbon to keep track of your place in the book.

As the Locke children's mother is incapacitated by grief and forced to deal with yet another loss, the Locke children are left to fend for themselves in a house where things are becoming increasingly strange.  Dodge continues his search for the Black Door Key and summons an army of shadows to torment the Locke children.  The Locke children are forced to fight for their lives against the shadows within.

This is just such an interesting, if profoundly creepy, series.  Every installment introduces new mystery to the storyline and every installment introduces strange new keys that do fantastical things.  I am so excited to see what each new key does, and so interested in how this battle between the living and the dead, between Dodge and the Locke children will play out.

This is definitely a novel for adults, some of the things in here are disturbing.  The mother of the Locke children continues a rapidly increasing descent into misery and spends a lot of time drinking and being generally useless and tragic.  The Locke kids struggle along as well as they can.  It is interesting to see some of the affects from Head Games and how they played out in this book.  

I was thrilled by the fact that this installment cranks up the level of fantasy quite a bit.  When Dodge uses the Key of Shadows and summons and epic army of shadows things get really awesome.

The artwork is incredibly beautiful and the shadow army lets the illustrators show off even more of their considerable talent.  The story ended well enough, but I am still desparate to see what will happen next.

Overall just an outstanding addition to this series.  These books just keep getting better and better; more and more engaging and interesting.  I can't help but feel that this is all building up to something incredibly tragic and I am desparate to know what will happen next.  This is one of the few graphic novels I will go out and buy new in hardback; they are definitely keepers.  The hardbacks are very beautiful with a lot of attention to detail to the quality of the book; making this book something that is a pleasure to hold in your hands and read.  I can absolutely not wait to read Keys to the Kingdom!

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

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