Graphic Novel Review: Locke & Key Vol 1 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Title: Locke & Key Vol 1.
Author: Joe Hill
Art by: Gabriel Rodriguez
Published: 2013
Genre: Graphic Novel

Synopsis: Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all…

My Rating: red-starred-starred-star

Overall, this was a good graphic novel – solid story, very creepy and art that I think purposelessly makes the reader uncomfortable.
The story follows a family who has to move from the West Coast to the East Coast when home invaders brutality murder the father and I want to say they either rape or horribly attack the mother – but she lives and moves her kids to her brother-in-law’s home in New England. The POVs switch from the 3 children to the killer who lived despite being violently attacked by the eldest teenage son trying to save his mother.

There’s a lot of despair in this story, a lot of helplessness, a lot of rehashing the past after such a traumatic ordeal.

On top of all that the home in New England is haunted by this spirit that was trapped there hundreds of years ago, a demon who is determined to get revenge on the family and it uses the killer and the smallest child to get its way. There are some seriously creepy moments that were not wise to perhaps read before bed since I am 100% against being scared – period.

I did find the art off-putting, it’s really gritty and… ugly. The characters are haggard and none of them look their age. It’s art that did not appeal to me and I’m sure Rodriguez did it on purpose but it was just not to my liking. I don’t know if I’ll continue with the volumes, depends but overall this volume set up for the rest of the series. It does have a Stephen King feel to it – which doesn’t surprise me since Mr. Hill is in fact Stephen King’s son.



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