Locke & Key: Volume 3: Crown of Shadows
Writer: Joe Hill, Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez, 2011
Premise: Sequel to Welcome to Lovecraft and Head Games. Dodge begins to move more directly against the Locke siblings, and he seeks out the Shadow Key to help him do so. Kinsey discovers some of the pros and cons of taking things out of one's own head, and Tyler and Bode find yet another Key, this one nearly 3 feet long. Meanwhile their mother, while oblivious to the magic going on under her nose, is not blind to the other problems in her family and her life, but is having trouble dealing with them.
Now this is more like it. There is much more supernatural stuff going on in this volume, much more action, much more plot movement. I do appreciate that the lengthy set-up does help the story feel fully realized, but it was lengthy.
The artist gets to completely go nuts in this issue, creating tons of awesome shadow creatures. One issue is almost entirely gorgeous action splash pages.
At this point I am starting to enjoy the slow burn on a lot of the plot elements: Kinsey and the Head Key, the mystery around who/what Dodge is, Tyler taking responsibility, Bode, who started out pretty excited by the magic, starting to get nervous, the history of when their father was a teen, and more. The epilogue issue in this volume is really fantastic and supremely creepy.
Really my only problem with this series is with the pace, and I wouldn't even mind that much if I could have the entire story at one gulp. Also I should add, in the interest of full disclosure, I am getting these volumes from the library, as I feel that they are a bit expensive. I might be interested in a full collection once the series is done, though. That should be at the end of the sixth arc, if all goes as planned.
So for a series which I thought started slow (and gory), it's really ramped up into the kind of paranormal horror/action that I can sink my teeth into.
4 Stars – A Very Good Book
Check out Locke & Key, Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows on Amazon.com.