Monday, 11 October 2010

Review - Locke & Key Vol.3: Crown of Shadows HC


Locke & Key is written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. As I have said in my reviews of the previous two volumes, Hill is the son of Stephen King and Rodriguez is not (as far as I am aware). I suspect that Hill is really sick of everyone mentioning that he is the son of Stephen King all the time, as he is rather talented himself, but he’s got the King family fortune to comfort himself with so I don’t feel too sorry for him.

‘Crown of Shadows’ continues from where the last book left off, with the Locke kids still unaware that they are in a certain amount of danger from someone they believe to be a friend. And, like the last book, it ends that way, too. Except it doesn’t quite, because stuff does happen, it’s just that nothing gets resolved. This is an ongoing series, after all, so mostly it’s all character development and teases of things to come. Actually, my least favourite part of this volume was all the action with the ‘shadow key’ in the middle, and my favourite part was the character stuff, particularly the character stuff in the last issue reprinted here, which focuses on the mother of the Locke family, her inability to cope since the loss of her husband and the assault she experienced, and her descent into alcoholism.

I must admit that this was probably my least favourite of the three volumes released so far but only because I wasn’t so keen on the ‘shadow key’. Don’t worry, though, because we get to see the ‘ghost key’ in action again and also get introduced to two more keys, the ‘giant key’ and the ‘mending key’. We also begin to see some consequences from the kids playing with the ‘head key’ in the previous volume, as middle Locke sibling Kinsey is now virtually fearless after (literally) tampering with the contents of her head and needlessly puts herself and several friends in danger in the second chapter reprinted here.

This is a good series. I’m looking forward to reading Volume 4 but I suspect that won’t be out for quite a while, as I believe only one of the comics to be reprinted in that volume has been released so far. I’m very tempted to buy it (as cheap as possible, of course) so that I don’t have to wait.

Cost: This has a recommended retail price of £18.99 / $24.99 and is currently selling for £13.08 on Amazon. I got mine for £5.27 (including postage) on eBay. Result!

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