Monday, August 12, 2013

Book Review: Locke and Key Vol. 2: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke and Key Vol. 2: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

After the harrowing events of the previous volume (see my review here) the Locke family is settling in to the Massachusetts town of Lovecraft. Unfortunately, they've inadvertently released an old foe of their dad from the creepy well on their family property Keyhouse. Lucas Caravaggio was a fellow student with Mr. Locke and in this issue we find out a bit (but not a lot) of his back story. Lucas is still young, the same age as the eldest Locke kid. He befriends them through their high school. Lucas goes by the name Dodge, though not everyone is fooled by this. Dodge is after more secrets from the house, especially the keys he was looking for in the last volume. The revelations are interesting and they start to build tension.

What builds even more tension is the discovery of another key. The Head Key enables a person to literally unlock someone's head (their own or someone else's). Looking inside shows all sorts of memories and imagination filtered memories. Things can be put in, like when older son Tyler literally crams a school book in his own head and then doesn't have to read it. Or things can be taken out, like memories and inhibitions. When Dodge gets a hold of the key, how much damage will he do?

The book provides a good mixture of mystery and horror. The mystery is a bit like the TV series Lost--while some questions are answered, others are asked, often deepening the reader's understanding of the history and mythology of the story. And leaving them wanting more.

This book is definitely for mature readers--in addition to the violence and the swearing, there's a little bit of sexual suggestion. One of the characters is gay and he is stalked by some redneck anti-gay ladies who are very one-dimensional and seem to serve only one purpose in the plot, aside from giving the book some "politically correct" credentials. Every time they popped up, I was hoping something more interesting would happen with them. Too bad it never did because it is the one flaw in an otherwise great read.

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