Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton: Review & Giveaway
A sound awakens her. There's darkness all around. And then she's falling.
She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she's dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.
She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn't utter a word. There's Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key's instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can't remember why.
Then the murders start. Bodies that are burned to a crisp. And after being burned, the dead stay dead. Key is running out of time to discover who she was—and what secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden—before she loses her life for good.
Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton
Young Adult Fiction / Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Published April 2nd 2019 by Entangled Teen
Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher and FFBC Tours
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
“She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she's dead.”
Set in a world of the dark and whimsical atmosphere called Under, SMOKE AND KEY is a young adult mystery with a touch of magic and romance in which our heroine has no idea who or where she is—or why she's dead. Her only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key.
Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.
The story’s setting has such a great atmosphere. Dark and eerie, it is an afterworld that the heroine Key literally falls down into from a graveyard. The dirt and earth open up, dropping characters into this limbo-like world where they cannot remember their lives before they fell. Key begins to piece together the mystery of how their lives are connected and why someone wants them to never remember. Then the murders begin.
Secrets, Betrayal and Romance
Kelsey Sutton does a great job of adding plenty of twists and secrets to uncover in this story. Each character entered the Under with an item, many of which are clues to the above-world that make for a fascinating mystery. Not every character is as they seem and betrayal is around every corner in this story.
For those of you who enjoy romance in your reads, there is definitely a building one that ended-up pretty swoon-worthy. Two young men seem to have personal connections to Key but we don’t know why and only discover how as Key does. Smoke is the boy with a fierce heart that rivals even the living and Journal is the quiet and thoughtful one who seems to know more than he lets on. Key's heart tells her there is something important about each of them, even if she can't remember why.
Curses, Keys, and a Touch of Magic
My favorite part of the story was linking the various characters to the real world with those in Under. Readers are treated to a mystery that encompasses both and sees how the actions of certain individuals affect both worlds—which was really interesting to read. I also really enjoyed the touch of magic in the story which gave everything and slightly spooky and chilling vibe.
In the End
Overall I found the story and mystery well done and the atmosphere fantastic. The romance was definitely swoony and I couldn't help but root for them. The beginning is a bit slower-paced as the author sets the stage for the mystery and readers need to be patient at times, but I was invested the whole time in the characters and plot. I would definitely recommend this to readers of YA, mystery, and the supernatural.
About Kelsey Sutton
Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master's degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, napping with her rescue dogs, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
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