Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Review: Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton

Smoke and Key


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 burnt to a crisp. 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 becomes the next victim…


This is such a beautiful and sad story. I loved it so much, the whole concept of Under and the curse made it epic. What started as a simple love affair soon resulted in many deaths and a mystery that needs to be solved before any soul can rest in peace.

In Under, no one has a name. Everyone is simply called by whatever they had on them at the time of their falling. So, Key is Key because that's what she had on her when she fell. She is the new arrival and everyone is trying to teach her the ways of Under in their own way. She meets Smoke and feels things that the dead should not feel. Then there is Journal, always reading something and researching. People around her, are good and she starts making friends. But in the shadows, a danger lurks, a murderer is on lose and only Key can solve this mystery. Because no one remembers their lives from Topside, it is not easy to learn the truth. Key, however, feels that there is more to this place than meets the eye. This in-between place where they are neither alive nor dead is holding some secret and only when it is unraveled will they be able to cross-over.

The story is told beautifully and the mystery is kept until the very end. It is the kind of novel that will make you hold your breath and sit at the edge of your chair while you try to make sense of everything going on in the Under. I really enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend to all fellow readers.
P.S. I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley.

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