Author: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Genre: Supernatural / Horror / Adventure
Year Published: 2010
Year Read: 2012
Series: Locke and Key #3
Publisher: IDW Comics
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Strong Language and Disturbing Moments)
Oh my goodness! This series just keeps getting better and better every time I pick up a new volume on Joe Hill’s fantastic “Locke and Key” series! In the third volume “Crown of Shadows,” we are introduced to the more mysterious and haunting adventures of the Locke kids and how well they are trying to get on after the death of their father. “Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows” is definitely a brilliant follow up to the second volume “Head Games” that fans of the “Locke and Key” series will love!
Now that Kinsey has ridden herself of all her fears and pain in “Head Games,” she is now a new person as she takes dangerous dares without fear and no longer mourns over the death of her father. Also, it seems that Zack Wells has found the Shadow Key and is planning on using the key to find the legendary key to the well house while dealing with the Locke kids.
I have to say that I enjoyed this volume even more than the first and second volumes (although I still loved the first two volumes just as much). After reading “Head Games,” I wanted to see what Kinsey would be like once she removed the fear and the pain aspects of her nature from her head. What I got was a truly unbelievable and a bit unnerving experience from seeing the change in Kinsey’s character. When Kinsey was first introduced in “Welcome to Lovecraft,” she was a wreck after the death of her father and it was sad seeing her be all moody and upset at everything life threw at her. Joe Hill however has done an excellent job at portraying Kinsey’s new personality as Kinsey is now a confident and brave girl, which was a huge change from her moody personality early on. I also loved the way that Joe Hill crafted the mystery surrounding Zack Wells and his ambition in finding the key to the well house that could possibly put his plan to fruition. Since we still do not know what Zack’s true plans are regarding the keys, it was interesting seeing Zack collecting most of the keys in the Lovecraft house and discovering what each key does and in this volume, we are introduced to the shadow key which brings people’s shadows to life and boy, was it truly a terrifying experience in seeing the powers of the shadow key! Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork is truly effective in this volume as the colorings on the artwork are bleak, which is a perfect mood for a story that is based on horror elements. Probably my most favorite images in this volume were the images of the shadow creatures as they look frightening and they have sleek dark skins that make them look beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
For anyone who does not like strong language and disturbing content, this volume has extremely strong language and it might be best to skip over the dialogues that have strong language if it is troubling to read through. Also, there is some disturbing content in this volume regarding the scenes where the shadows start overtaking the Locke kids’ house and that might be a bit disturbing to some readers.