I read the 6 Locke and Key volumes over the span of 2-3 months, because I bought them one at a time.
This series is definitely amongst my favorites along with SAGA in the realm of graphic novels and Trade paperbacks. The story was complex and mysterious without being all over the place and hard to follow. Joe Hill was able to insert just enough back story to help us get the information we needed to understand the plot without … the illustrations were very consistent ( I hate when one character never looks the same depending of the angle he’s drawn in etc) and the colors very vivid. I looooved a lot of the concepts used in this series, the big manor house with secrets buried within, the secret keys related to secret powers, the magical well.. I also loved the themes of family, loss, friendship, trust and responsibility. In a sense, it was a coming of age story because you start with the 3 kids in a family, 1 young adult, 1 teenager and 1 child, dealing with various family issues at the same time than dealing with the new discovery they make, trying to do the right thing while having to satisfy their curiosity. You also get to know a bunch of side characters, all with their own agenda, and see the consequences of every action they make.
This story is part magical, part horror, part mystery. I don’t think it’s considered young adult and I sure think it could be enjoyed by any adult, but since most of the characters are still in school, it sometimes feels more targeted towards 13-25, if that age group even makes sense. Also, the physical books feel expensive, more so than regular graphic novels. They can be purchased in paperback of hardcover, and as I mentioned, the coloring and quality of the paper really makes it feel extra special. So on every account I would recommend, 4.5 stars.
Joe Hill also wrote the popular horror novels Heart-shaped Box, N0s4A2 and Horns. Did you know he’s Stephen King’s son?