Wednesday, June 13, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Locke and Key: Head Games Volume 2 by Joe Hill

Title:  Locke and Key:  Head Games Volume 2

Author:  Joe Hill

Artist:  Gabriel Rodriguez 

Genre: Supernatural / Horror / Fantasy

Year Published: 2009

Year Read: 2012

Series: Locke and Key #2

Publisher: IDW Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language and Gory Violence)

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 Games” is definitely one fantastic follow up to the first volume that fans will easily get into!

The story starts off with an old man named Joe Ridgeway who happens to be one of the teachers at the Locke kids’ school and how he relates to the audience about how he lost his true love to cancer years ago.  However, the story starts to pick up when Joe Ridgeway soon discovers the dark secret of Zack Wells, a new student who had mysteriously transferred from another school and how he does not seem like a normal student. We also start to learn more about Zack Wells and how he is mysteriously tied to a man named Lucas Don Caravaggio who knew the Locke kids’ father.  Also, the Locke kids find another key that can open another door to your head!

Alright, so now that I have pretty much summarized this volume without spoiling too much from the story, here are some things I liked about this volume!  For one thing, I really enjoyed the way that Joe Hill explained the background history of Lucas Don Caravaggio, a young man who seems to have known the Locke kids’ father in this volume.  It was really interesting learning about how Lucas Don Caravaggio is connected to the mysterious Zack Wells since that seems to be essential to the plot of this series so far and I loved the way that Joe Hill is trying to alert the readers about Zack’s secret plans for the Locke kids without really spoiling too much of his plans.  It is true that I wanted more adventures with the three kids Tyler, Kinsey and Bode and we did get more adventures starring these three kids, especially when they found the head key, but Joe Hill also continues their story on how they are still coping with their father’s death and yet are becoming close friends with Zack Wells (despite not knowing his true intentions for being with them, which brings so much tension to the story). Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork is as always gorgeous to look at and I loved the colorings that he puts on the artwork as they are a bit dark and dreary which fits the mood of the story and I also loved the facial expressions on the characters as you can see the frightened expressions whenever they are terrified of a certain situation (and believe me, it happens quite often in this volume!).  Also, I loved how Gabriel Rodriguez actually has some surreal imagery in this volume, especially when we take a peak inside the character’s heads and see how they view their lives!

For anyone who does not like strong language or violence in graphic novels aka comics, then be forewarned that this volume contains a bunch of language and some gory violence.  Although this volume was not as violent as the first volume, there are still some scenes where people are murdered and there is a lot of blood being shown during these murder scenes.  Also, some readers might be a bit disturbed at the idea about characters being able to open up their heads even though it does not hurt the characters when they do this.

Overall, “Locke and Key: Head Games” is a brilliant follow up to the first volume and has done an excellent job at explaining not only the Locke kids’ current situation, but it also reveals the back story on Lucas Don Caravaggio that proves to be a huge focus on the “Locke and Key” stories in the future.  I am definitely looking forward to reading the third volume in the “Locke and Key” series, “Crown of Shadows!”

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