Well, this series has gotten nothing but better as it has gone along. I've been thoroughly impressed with Hill's writing and Rodriguez's art right aloWell, this series has gotten nothing but better as it has gone along. I've been thoroughly impressed with Hill's writing and Rodriguez's art right along. They haven't lost anything in the storytelling and haven't weakened in their storytelling either. One of the things that I was worried about is that at some point they would lose their momentum, but five volumes in and that hasn't happened yet.
In Volume 2, Head Games, the kids are still recovering from the events at the end of Welcome to Lovecraft, events that may brought back a lot of memories that they were trying to forget. Kinsey and Tyler find some companionship in their new friend Zack, not realizing Zack's dark secret or intentions. Bode finds a new key, and as they start to uncover the secrets of this new game, Zack starts to become a little too recognizable for his liking.
Volume 3, Crown of Shadows, finds more secrets and more revelations in the background about Dodge and more keys. This volume deals a little bit more with the emotional impact prior events have had on each of the members of the Locke family. I really found these issues handled well in this volume, especially watching Kinsey after her change in the previous volume.
Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom, was a series of shorter stories that all tied into the Key house and what is happening with the various characters. While not necessarily on complete story throughout the entire volume, each of these stories still successfully moves the story along.
I was concerned about going into Volume 5, Clockworks, as I'd heard that this was mostly a background story, and I wasn't exactly sure how a volume dedicated almost entirely to background was going to help move the story along, but holy crap was I wrong! I think this might be the best volume so far. We learn about the history of the Locke family, the Keys, Key house, the purpose of the villain behind everything (SPOILERS! - which ties directly in the title of the first volume). It just all came together amazingly well.
Needless to say, you won't find much about the actual story in this review, because it's almost impossible to talk about the story without giving anything away, as Hill seems to find a way to tie in almost every plot thread one way or another into all of the story. What I can say, is that this is completely worth reading and might be one of the better graphic novels you'll find. If you're not a fan of horror or of violence, this might not be the best series for you, but if you can stomach it, this is a fantastic series. I'll definitely be picking up the final volume when it's released.
I'm not entirely sure that I would be able to do justice in describing Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The book is equal parts nostalgI'm not entirely sure that I would be able to do justice in describing Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The book is equal parts nostalgia, beauty, terror, and magic. Nostalgia for a simpler time when magic was all entirely too possible for a young child; the book is beautifully written, nothing forced, it just is; Gaiman's writing is capable of creating such terrifying imagery to what can scare a child, something that would not be possible in less deft hands; Gaiman has created a magic all his own for adults, by reminding us that once upon a time, our childhood selves did believe in magic, and somehow he reawakens that sense of wonder in this small volume he has crafted. It's a wonder that such a slim little book is capable of manifesting so many emotions in such a short time. This is Neil Gaiman we're speaking of, so of course it really comes as no surprise to me when I really think about it.
I think I may just leave this review, for what it's worth, at that. I mean, I could go on and on about the book, but I don't want to give anything away. The magic of the book is in letting it speak for itself, telling you its story, and letting you take it all in.
So, if I haven't made it obvious, this is a book worth reading. I know it will be topping my list of books for the year, and I know it's going to be one that I will be revisiting over and over again through the years. This book and I are going to become best friends.
Go and read it. Read it again. You won't be sorry....more