So in Vol. 1 we were introduced to the Locke family, who have just lost their patriarch due to a violent murder, and have moved to their family home, a house that is so stately it actually has a name: Keyhouse. We were also introduced to the idea that something is off at Keyhouse, and only kids can sense it. Bode, Kinsey and the troubled Tyler (who took the death of his father very hard, and had a troubled relationship with him even before he was murdered) are trying to move on from the tragedy and horror of the past year.
Soon Bode, who is the youngest, discovers some of Keyhouse’s secrets: a range of magical keys (and locks) that can do things like separate your soul from your body, transport you through space or time, genderswap you, and as we see in this volume, open up your head so people can look inside. Kinsey and Tyler only believe what’s going on when they’re faced with the undeniable proof of seeing Bode with the top of his head off. It was here that the story embedded its hooks in me permanently. And all the while, we’ve got the lady from the well, who is now the man from the well after using the gender key, who also turns out to have been a huge part of Tyler’s father’s past as well. Who is he/she? What’s their endgame?
I liked Vol. 1 well enough, but the concept of the Head Key and the way the story uses it was just so scary and clever, I couldn’t help but instantly be way into it. All the keys floating around were starting to be a bit confusing, but there’s a helpful glossary at the end that clarified things, and now I can’t wait to see how many more keys there are and what they can do.
So far for me, this series is striking the perfect balance between being mysterious and scary enough to interest me, and giving just enough answers to satisfy.