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Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games (Locke & Key #2)

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  13,758 ratings  ·  771 reviews
Following a shocking death that dredges up memories of their father's murder, Kinsey and Tyler Locke are thrown into choppy emotional waters, and turn to their new friend, Zack Wells, for support, little suspecting Zack's dark secret. Meanwhile, six-year-old Bode Locke tries to puzzle out the secret of the head key, and Uncle Duncan is jarred into the past by a disturbingl ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by IDW Publishing (first published 2009)
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Their father was murdered.
They don’t know one of their closest friends is really their enemy...
And he’ll stop at nothing to get the key to the black door.
The other keys have the power to save them.
This is where they’ll make their stand.


“They” are the Locke kids from the title of the series: Tyler, Kinsey and Bode. In the first volume, they must overcome personal tragedy and survive the terror of being hunted by a psychopat. Now they find out that there is more to discover behind the murder of
mark monday
oooooo..... more eerie adventures on that strange island in that creepy Key House with that poor, haunted family. wonderful! this volume is as strong as the first. while the first book was focused on slowly bringing the family and the reader into this fascinating world - introducing a handful of magical keys, throwing out a few hints of the incredible backstory, setting up a confrontation between the family and both a dreadful psycho & a creepy spirit villain - the second book zooms in one p ...more
Wil Wheaton
Just like the great second chapters in epic series (like Empire Strikes Back or The Two Towers) this ends on a very dark, down, disturbing note. Things just keep getting worse for the Locke family, and I'm really glad that I'm so late to the party on Locke & Key, because I can go right into Volume 3 without letting the despair of Volume 2 linger too long.
David Sven
The story from the first graphic novel “Welcome to Lovecraft” continues right where we left of in “Head Games.” Right from the get go I should say that you can remove from your mind any notion that this will have the same gore-fest we got in book 1. And that I think is a good thing because the story, even in book 1 was never about the violence. It was always about the keys. Having said that, I think this book actually maintains the dark and sinister (even more sinister) undertones we began with. ...more
The second chapter in Joe Hill's brilliant dark magical mystery. The Locke kids have survived the traumas of book one but in this one the threat is far more insidious. They have a viper in their midst disguised as Tyler Locke's new best school friend Zack Wells. Zack is the mysterious creature Bode met trapped in the well house in book one. He's a nasty piece of work too, ruthlessly murdering or manipulating anyone who can unmask him. Hill creates great characters with complex history and psycho ...more
Brendon Schrodinger
I'm going to attempt to review the second part of a serial story without any spoilers. It's going to be short.

Head Games follows on from the first volume with a more insular look into memory and emotions, therefore the Head Games title. With the previous traumas that the Locke family had suffered, what happens when they have the chance to forget things or remove emotions? It is a very tempting situation. This theme is then woven into the ongoing story line and instigates events.

While Volume two
As I figured in my review of Vol 1 of Locke & Key, the series is getting cooler as we go along. I love watching things slooooowly unfold.

I felt parts of this story (or the illustrations matching with the story? Meh.) were a tad disjointed, but the main premise behind this installment is wicked cool. I have always been fascinated with the idea of removing memories (or just random stupid shit that's clogging up the works, like high school Chemistry or sumthin), or just how memories work (can't
I feel almost a little bad giving this volume only 4 stars, because it was another great volume in what's sure to be a fantastic series. I just came into this one expecting the same kind of raw emotional power that the first volume had, and unfortunately it was missing.

That's not to say that this volume wasn't as good, it was just good in a slightly different way. We get to learn more about the characters, and see more of their history, and their innermost thoughts and fears, which I loved. We'
Jun 17, 2012 Ronyell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of the Locke and Key series!
After reading the first volume of Joe Hill’s fantastic “Locke and Key” series, “Welcome to Lovecraft,” I wanted to see more adventures from the Locke siblings, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode! But after reading the second volume of the “Locke and Key” series, “Head Games,” I got even more than I bargained for as I not only saw more adventures starring the Locke kids, but we also got more background information on the mysterious “lady in the well” or is known as Zack in this volume! “Locke and Key: Head G ...more
Wow. This is a series I would recommend even if you're not traditionally a fan of horror or the graphic medium. Really. It's just storytelling at it's best.

Volume 2 is about the Head Key. As far as the Key goes, I thought it was less scary and more sci-fi. I'm sure a lot of you would disagree with me, but it just didn't seem creepy to unlock your head. Weird, strange, and slightly unsettling, but not horrific.
No, all the horror in this one came from seeing Zack slowly insinuating himself into t
Well, I was hoping that if I kept on with the series, I'd get used to the art, but unfortunately not. Giant chins and tiny, lipless mouths everywhere. And everyone looks like a pallid corpse thanks to the questionable choice of shading all fleshtones with an unsaturated grey. It's just not pretty.

And I don't think it's some deliberate attempt at disquieting horror art, either, because low-saturation isn't the way to make unsettlingly corpselike characters. There's a whole palette of greens, blu
This volume is even better than the first! Unfortunately, I can't give it anything higher than 5 stars. If there was an option, I'd do that. I have a feeling this entire series is going to end up on my favorites list - well, barring some unforeseen decline in quality.

I tore through this in one sitting, not that there was a lot of material here. Coming in at 160 pages, this book is so tightly edited that it barely gives the reader any time to breathe. That's not to say that it suffers from any pa
If you've yet to begin on the wondrous and amazing journey that is Joe Hill's Locke and Key series, what are you waiting for? An engraved invitation? Life is short and our TBR piles huge, but this one? This one you absolutely, unequivocally do not want to miss.

It's so charming and whimsical, a touch of fairy tale mixed in to a raw and rollicking story about grief and loss, ghosts and monsters, mysterious doors and the magical keys that open them. It's about childhood and family and sibling bonds
This volume is exposition central. It really expands on the cliffhanger at the end of the first volume (that the Locke family has now befriended a monster). There's a lot of tension from that: Will they realize who he is? What is he doing here? What will he do next? What is he, really? And what, exactly, is his agenda? And then there's the head key, which literally opens the mind so you can look inside and manipulate your own thoughts, memories, and emotions. Or somebody else can do it for you, ...more
This one focuses on the Head Key, which is just crazy. I really find myself getting attached to the Locke kids here. We get inside their heads (literally) and get a better understanding for who they are.

I also really like Rufus.

The artwork continues to impress. I especially like how he handles the head key. I don't think my imagination would have done it the same justice. This really is a story that works better as a graphic novel.
Paul Nelson
Locke & Key volume 2, Head Games brings yet more of the magical keys first encountered in Welcome to Lovecraft and of course focuses on a key that unlocks the mind. Not just metaphorically, this key actually removes the top half of your head and all your memories, emotions and well pretty much everything is on display like naked twister (scary thought).

The Locke children start to experiment, Kinsey removes tears and fear from her head, Ty crams books into his to avoid homework and Bode well
I am completely eating this series up.

(view spoiler) There are a lot of cool new characters.

The execution and illustration is stellar. To the point where I have nothing to say about it. I love that Rodriguez is including square views of the house, and extra f
Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai)

This 2nd volume is a little less gruesome - but no less menacing.

Imagine a key that you can use to unlock your head and take stuff out that you don't want to remember...or put stuff in that you instantly want to learn.

Yeah. Pretty f'ing cool.

There's also some murder. Glorious, Joe Hill scripted, murder.

I say yes please.
Nov 17, 2011 rhea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to rhea by: Nick Kives
I don't remember many of my exact thoughts since I finished this book during my wedding week and my brain was everywhere, sort of like this book. If I recall correctly though, I think I said/thought things such as: "Wha?!" "Whoa!" "Ew!" & "Cool." I can't wait to read on!
The Flooze
Just re-read this and it's still intriguing. The mix of gore and mystery is thrilling. The amount of detail in each frame is sometimes astounding and I noticed even more clues this time around. One of the themes of this installment is that memories are unreliable things; I'm so pleased to say this series is just as great as I remember!

So far, this series has impressed me. Both the story and the artwork display a wonderful level of imagination and a stro
Matthew Hunter
As good as Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft, maybe even better. While not quite as gut-wrenchingly violent as the first, the imagery of characters unlocking their own heads with possessed keys might tweak readers' stomachs a bit. Would you enjoy having the power literally to cram entire books into your head and recite the contents verbatim? Maybe. But the actual act of cramming large objects into your melon might deter you a bit.

If you're into discomfort with your fiction, you're
Head Games was a lot less of a gory bloodbath than WelcomeTo Lovecraft. It is filled instead with psychological horror, which is in my opinion a lot more terrifying.

After the first murder the book settles in to divulge bits and pieces of Dodge's background. Joe Hill is such a tease! He revealed just enough about the series' uber creepy character/villain/monster - whatever you want to call him/her, that I was desperately wanting MORE. I was also getting the feel for a theme that is becoming very
The second installment of Locke and Key, Head Games, was chock full of backstory and entanglements. Bode, the youngest Locke child and the more perceptible to magic, discovers another key. This one has the power to literally unlock your skull. It is known as the Head Key and it allows a person to put in new information or take it out. This includes fears, dreams, emotions and memories.

Memories played a big part in Head Games. Joe Hill illustrates that memory is a matter of perception; influenced
Two for two flawless...well almost. Though very stereotypical filler story two formatting, this was nothing less of an attention grabber. Keeping up with the first volume, this novel commanded as much attention as the first. The introduction of the new keys and characters I found myself wrapped into the book so deep I skipped dinner and dessert(for a teenage tumblr addict girl that is huge). The art style is still very unique to this story, and also very relevant to the ideas on hand. Joe has do ...more
Sumit Singla
You ought to get rid of these things yourselves... your fear and your tears.

Think about it. You've got one of them in your head all the time, telling you lies, and stabbing your best self.

You've got the other drowning your thoughts in unhappiness. Tell me how they do you any good.

You don't expect a graphic novel to always get this philosophical, do you? Well, this one does. Would you like to permanently remove some unpleasant memories from your head? And wouldn't you like to just open out your h
Dawn Peers
"Crisp artwork, flawless story, beautiful binding"

There is *no* reason why, if you want to buy Locke and Key, you shouldn't buy the hardback edition.

The binding cover is beautiful - the picture on here does not do it justice. There are nice sketches of the layout of the Keyhouse on the inside covers to front and back, as well as some great cover / concept images at the back.

The introduction by Warren Ellis is sharp and witty. Joe Hill's storytelling is, as ever, flawless, and the edgy graphics c
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not fair, introducing us to a sympathetic character up front and then taking him away so soon. Better though is the idea that Warren Ellis' introduction keys in on so hilariously: a key to unlock your head, then put wanted stuff in and take unwanted stuff out. Fantastic little plot point and writer's allegory. Especially cool is how warped and exaggerated memories look to the outside world - like something that went through a drug haze.

The events of this book aren't nearly as menacing as what tu
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Joseph Hillstrom King (born 1972) is an American writer of fiction, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill.

Hill is the the second child of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. His younger brother Owen King is also a writer. He has three children.

Hill's first book, the limited edition collection 20th Century Ghosts published in 2005 by PS Publishing, showcases fourteen of his short stories and wo
More about Joe Hill...
Heart-Shaped Box Horns NOS4A2 Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1) 20th Century Ghosts

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“-one teebs? You mean tablespoon?"
"I don't know.”
“That's it? 'Damn, it smells like the fishsticks are burning and don't do that with your head, Bode?' What the fuck?” 2 likes
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