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The Key to Fear

(The Key #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  142 reviews
No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.

For fifty years, the Key Corporation has defended humanity against a deadly virus that spreads through touch. Lovers don't kiss, or even hold hands. Personal boundaries are valued above all. Break the laws, and you'll face execution.

Elodie, a talented young nurse, believes in the mission of the Key and has never questioned the laws
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 13th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing
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Dee The year isn't actually specified, though the book takes place fifty years after a global pandemic.…moreThe year isn't actually specified, though the book takes place fifty years after a global pandemic.(less)

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Miranda Reads
Dec 09, 2020 rated it did not like it

February's Reading Vlog is out today!
The Written Review

No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.
The Key Corporation is the only thing standing between humanity and complete and utter destruction at the hands of a deadly virus (at least according to them).

Elodie has spent her entire life following the Key Corps rules - no kissing, no hugging, no touching.

She's training to be a nurse and she cannot be for fulfilled in that position...but then the unthinkable happens. A terminally ill pat
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM but make it Coronavirus. ...more
Nov 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think eating corn is a sensual experience
[ARC Provided by NetGalley, my review is unbiased]
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📗 Hello and welcome to the review of the worst book I have read this 2020. Now you probably know how much I love YA Dystopia, I read so many in the early 2000s, both great and utterly terrible, and this book is even worse. This story is completely senseless, an insta-love romance using borrowed tropes from other Dystopia novels with seemingly no new ideas of it's own, before delivering a truly mediocre ending t
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: via-publisher
Despite being shockingly relevant to our pandemic lives, this YA novel fails to convince. Set in the years after a virus killed the most of the world's population, the characters live in fear of a new outbreak. This is a dystopian nightmare based on the safety of distance. How very modern.

No touching today for a healthy tomorrow

Except Elodie and Aiden want to do the touchy touchy. Of course, this causes any number of problems. Instalove plus a really slow pace means this didn't hit the spot. I'
Karen’s Library
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.

These are the words that the inhabitants of this futuristic world live by. After a pandemic wipes out most of the world’s population, touch is no longer allowed. Babies are conceived using science, not by love. There is no touching, no kissing, no hugging, no anything. Spouses are basically chosen for you by the Key, the government.

This dystopian, post-apocalyptic world created by Kristin Cast was definitely an eerie look into a possible future, especial
Toya (the reading chemist)
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
There’s nothing more timely than reading a post-apocalyptic book that’s the result of a pandemic in 2020.

No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.

After a pandemic decimates most of the population, those who remain live by this mantra. Physical contact of any kind has been outlawed. Babies are now conceived by science. The ruling government, which is referred to as the Key, chooses your career and love interest (amongst other things). The freedoms that once seemed obvious have ceased to exist.

Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Somewhat timely and a good dystopian. I thought the ending gathered far too much speed, and was beginning to think she didn't save anything for the next book, but she definitely did. It will be interesting to see what comes next. ...more
Sentranced Jem
Sep 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
The blurb sucked me in..It IS 2020 after all...
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars!

I’ve been craving a dystopian read recently and this seemed to fit the bill. It was a mix between dystopian, romance and a bit of sci-fi and I enjoyed it.

- Well developed characters. Initially I didn’t like how we got multiple perspectives but this grew on me as the story developed. I think the best part of this was Elodie’s character development. She genuinely grew so much and I really liked her in the end.
- I really thought the plot was decent. I think there were some plot holes in
Bertie (LuminosityLibrary)
Remember when YA dystopian was a massive craze? The Key to Fear makes me think, maybe the genre still has a bit more life to it. Maybe it's time for a comeback.

No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.

The Key is the corporation that governs after a pandemic nearly wiped out the human race. It creates the rules. It keeps people safe. Elodie obeys the rules, at least, she used to. When she meets Aidan things begin to change, he's different, and she likes it. She's drawn deeper into the world o
Karen Barber
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
One thing I think you need to do if you’re going to write a book set in an alternate world is offer some attempt to build it up and help us to understand how this came into being. Sadly, this was lacking. In spite of numerous references to the Key and how it controls the lives of its citizens, and mention of some kind of virus that has affected people beyond ways they might imagine, there was little to explain this world.
Our two main characters are Elodie and Aiden. They have a brief run-in and
Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received this book for free from MTMC Tours, Blackstone in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef *

It is chilling how The Key to Fear is so close to our current situation right now. In a post pandemic world, The Key was created to prevent any viruses that show any potential threat to humanity. No touching is allowed, no kissing, no hugging, no fiction books *gasps*, pe
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley for an audio advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 stars
This book was ok. It had an interesting premise, but it didn't hold my attention well. I think part of it was the fact that it hit so close to home for all of us right now. There had been a pandemic that killed (I think?) 75% of the population? No one is supposed to touch. People get their careers chosen for them, their friends and partners chosen for them. I really was interested in the beginning listeni
El Hyrst
Full review on my blog 9th November:

Rating: 3.5

Trigger Warnings: sickness, death, fatphobia, emotional abuse, controlling relationship, human experimentation, virus, pandemic, suicide

Thanks to Head of Zeus for the review copy and the tour invite, it has not impacted my honest opinion.

The Key to Fear is a strong opener to a new series, a dystopian story that’s a little more familiar than anyone could have expected. I found it to be an interesting read, tho
Lydia (Readerofrivendell)
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Huge thank you to @headofzeus for having me as part of the book tour and sending me a copy to review.

I LOVED this book! It was so unique and yet so hauntingly fitting for the current world situation. A world where touching is forbidden, books are banned and the Key governs the people with tight rules, err yes please! We are given a story filled with drama, mystery, adventure and romance and @kcastauthor does not disappoint.

The characters were well written and fleshed out. I loved Elodie and Aide
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher Head of Zeus via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2.25 stars

At first I was so drawn to this book because of this cover and its plot. It really sounded like my cup of tea. The Key to Fear is presented as a dystopian novel set in a world where touching is forbidden, books are banned and the power is in the hands of The Key, who are playing God instead of truly protecting the people.
We find ourselves in a future where touching is no long
I wanted to love this story as the blurb sound promising but, even if it's well written, it didn't keep my attention.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
"No touching today for a healthy tomorrow."

This is the motto the citizens of Kristen Cast's newest novel, The Key to Fear, live by. In this YA dystopian novel, based 50 years post pandemic the citizens of New America are governed by a corporation called The Key.

The Key controls everything. From selecting your perfect career and your ideal match, to policing human contact and creating babies in a lab. Most people live the majority of their life in VR and doing anything out in the real world is co
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an advanced copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

First, the novel seems SO applicable currently with the crazy pandemic going on! This novel is a futuristic novel where a virus has wiped out most of the human population and now so many safety precautions are in place. The biggest is all these rules that The Key corporation has in place that are safety measures to keep the population safe and healthy...right? Elodie has always followed the rules because the rules
Nov 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a fairly fast read that interested me because of its pandemic plot-line. The book was mainly focused on the romance between Elodie and Aidan and I would have preferred more information on the virus that wiped out 90% of the population and the details of those that the virus took hold of (especially Zone Seven). It had Divergent feel to it and a lot of it I felt was predictable plot-wise nonetheless I enjoyed the story line but would have liked the author to have given me more detail.
A s
Sifa Poulton
I received a review copy from the publisher as part of a tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

I really wanted to like this book - I really wanted dystopia to be on the rise again, but with a fresh new perspective. However, this mostly felt like a book that would have fit right into the tail end of the earlier dystopia surge with nothing really to distinguish it.

So here's my problem with dystopia - it has a lot of cliches and it's hard to find a way to put a new
Rebecca (Bex the Bibliophile)
Thank you to the publisher Head of Zeus for providing me with an arc copy of this book via NetGalley.

The Key to Fear is the first Kristin Cast book that I have read, and my first dystopian novel in a long time. I am not sure what I was expecting heading into this, but the plot didn't surprise me that much, as it seemed the same as every other dystopian that I have read. One thing that I did find unique about the plot and setting was that it was set post-pandemic rather than post-war/post-natural
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book hooked me right away. Obviously from the description I was immediately feeling the tension of art impersonated reality. With the way the world is now, I’m often thinking about the loss of “touch”. Those quick hugs when greeting a friend. The longer embraces of comfort offered to a loved one in pain. The simple act of holding one’s hand while watching a movie or going for a walk. These are things I personally already miss and I can still do them occasionally. The description of a world ...more
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story will creep up on you.

It has a relevant post-apocalyptic vibe that feels eerily like foreshadowing for real life. It's set in a world that has suffered catastrophic effects from a virus that has wiped out most of the world's population. The Key corporation was able to safe the few survivors with a vaccine and other safety measures (like a Violet personal bubble) because of this the Key pretty much now runs the remaining world cities (for the good of the people - of course!!). In the f
Kristina Hart
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Key to Fear by Kristin Cast

I have been in search of a new YA dystopian novel, as it’s a genre I do love reading. I am so glad that I read this amazing novel by Kristin Cast. It’s compared to novels like The Handmaids Tale and Vox, both equally amazing dystopias.

The Key governs the world, they tell their citizens that they must not touch. Intimacy between people is absolutely forbidden. This is due to a pandemic that wiped out Billions of people, and The Key blames humans for this and seeks
Denice Langley
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The "Key" in THE KEY TO FEAR is an organization that assumes control of the few humans left alive after a virus kills off most of the world. The humans left alive are so afraid of contracting this virus that they allow this organization to control their lives. There is no touching allowed for fear of disease transmission. No kisses, no hugs, so get the picture. Violations of this rule are punishable by death. This is the first book in a new series. Two individuals start to question th ...more
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story is absolutely fantastic. I bought this book because I am a fan of the author (not normally a reader of dystopian type stories) and I was not disappointed. "No touching today for a healthy tomorrow " completely resonates with our current lives. The eerily prophetic way Kristin Cast has created this world for us really makes you think about our future.. This story sucked me in had me begging for more. Its crazy how the characters can't touch but so much feeling and emotion is written be ...more
Short and Sweet Reviews by Sam
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Before I begin my review for The Key to Fear (The Key book one) by Kristin Cast, I would personally like to thank the author, the publishers and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC and I have reviewed it honestly.

Dystopian tales have never been more possible. 50 years after a global pandemic wipes out a large percentage of human kind, The Key takes hold and governs a stringent society with rigid rules. Rule number one? No touching. Join a contrasting cast of characters as secrets a
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book free for review from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had to have this book when I saw it was by one of my favourite authors Kristin Cast! I love the house of night series. Plus how could I not read a book that is my favourite genre dystopian and the main character works in a hospital (I am a nurse). I really liked the characters and the story and the little bit of a twist. I can’t wait to continue on in the series (only bad park about ARCs are you have to wait
Emmie Rose
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Oh my god, this book had me hooked from the very beginning and I had so much trouble putting it down!

This post-apocalyptic, dystopian world that Cast has created is so believable during the time of Covid-19 where touching is a no-no! This book really makes you consider how things could turn out in the future, with your spouse being chosen for you with no intimacy involved and science being the only way for babies to be conceived. I really enjoyed the world building in this book and the
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Kristin is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who was born on an Air Force base in Japan and grew up in Oklahoma where she explored everything from tattoo modeling to broadcast journalism. After battling addiction, Kristin made her way to the Pacific Northwest and landed in Portland. She rediscovered her passion for storytelling in the stacks at dusty bookstores and in rickety ...more

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