Buddy Reads & Rants: Locke & Key Series (Jonny Pongratz and Misty’s Book Space)

Hello Blogging World!


Hey guys it’s me again, lover of all things romance.


And I’m Jonny, lover of magic and mayhem.


This buddy read and rant is for the Locke & Key series by Joe Hill.




Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all…



Buddy Read Book Rant:


Hey Misty. So wow, the Locke and Key series was quite the roller coaster ride, wouldn’t you say? This is the only series I’ve binged through this year, but this was such a solid experience and I enjoyed so much of it. It definitely made me a huge fan of Joe Hill. How’d you like the series?


Hey Jonny!! I agree it was definitely a roller coaster ride and I really enjoyed it. Luckily this was done as a graphic novel otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get through it so fast. After reading this I will for sure being picking up his other books.


Oh, I totally agree. I’m relatively new to reviewing graphic novels, but I’ve learned that I can burn through them much faster than a normal book. We got through the majority of the books in about a week, and I think that’s amazing. It also speaks of how much we enjoyed the series because I won’t blaze through a series if I’m not having fun.

All that being said, what was your favorite thing about this series?

For me it was the keys. I’m an escapist reader, so anything that takes me away from reality is great for me. The keys are magical and I wanted to learn about each one and what they do. Every time they discovered a new one I felt like a little kid looking up at the clouds or flying a kite for the first time. There was this childlike sense of wonder that really came through to me, and I’m only sad that the series wasn’t longer so that I could learn about more keys.


Yeah if I wasn’t really enjoying it I wouldn’t have flew through it like we did.

Honestly I really did like the series as a whole but I enjoyed the introduction of each key and all the action. I also loved how he wasn’t afraid to go there with Dodge. Like Dodge was awful on so many levels and Joe took him to extremes that I didn’t expect. The illustrations were also a huge plus.

My one complaint is that in some of the issues I felt like some information was missed. Some things needed to be explained more because when things happened in one book I felt like I had missed something in the previous book. For example when Luke and the girl (I’m blanking on her name right now) ended up dating in one of the books that came out of no where for me.


Couldn’t agree with you more. The keys and the action surrounding them constantly kept things interesting, with Dodge’s participation in things amping it up even more.

I have to say, Dodge was the perfect villain for this series. Clever, ruthless, and conniving. He really went the extra distance and he quickly learned from his mistakes too, which made him even more dangerous. I learned to hate him very quickly, and after a while I started fantasizing ways for the Locke kids to kill him off, though I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task. Toaster while he’s bathing was my favorite idea, haha.

Oh, I loved the artwork. Very well done and beautiful. The only blip for me was in the fourth (i think) where the beginning started out in a cartoony style and then went away. That kinda threw me off because that never happened before in the series and it felt odd.

I think you have a point with small developments not really being explained. It happened to me several times too, so I don’t think it’s just our minds playing tricks on us. One of the memorable ones was when Nina (the mom) had a crutch of sorts and I wondered where she’d gotten hurt. I didn’t bother looking back to try to find where it occurred, but it did confuse me a little when these instances happened.

Did you have a favorite character?


I agree Dodge was the perfect villain and he was very ruthless which I kind of like. Don’t get me wrong though I didn’t like his character at all and I was 100% cheering for the Locke kids.

You know I didn’t really notice the difference in the artwork I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention.

It happened to me a few times as well. Yes the crutch threw me off as well. And in the last book the whole thing with Bode I was like how did that happen? I don’t want to spoil it so we can talk later if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

And speaking of Bode he was my favorite character. I just loved everything about him!! What about you? Who was you favorite character?


For sure! With great protagonists you have to have an equally awful antagonist or it just isn’t as pleasing. He fit the bill and then some.

No worries there. It was reminiscent of the Calvin and Hobbes comics or perhaps Charlie Brown style. I was reminded of it when I saw someone mention it in the reviews on GoodReads and I looked back and was like “son of a gun, they’re right!”

Right, they could’ve explained the Bode bit, especially since it was the last book and it wouldn’t have taken but maybe one page.It didn’t confuse me too much, but it did take a second to pull the pieces together.

Aw, I have to say you stole my answer! Bode is just this great rambunctious kid and I saw a lot of myself in him. Kinsey came in as a close second. I liked her without her fear and overall I thought she helped keep the others on track to finding Dodge when they just wanted to live their lives (Tyler, I’m calling you out!) or give up.

Another thing I really liked was how fleshed out the story was. The history behind the keys in several different times was so great and only added to the awesome mystery and horror of it all.


Honestly that whole thing with Bode still confuses me. Also I’m still not sure what exactly Dodge is. I mean was he a ghost a demon i don’t know. I definitely feel like this could have benefited from at least one more book in the series or making them longer by including some of the missing information.

Honestly none of the other characters were my favorites. I did like Kinsey without her fear but at the same time she annoyed me like that too because she was putting others in danger.

I definitely agree that the history about the keys was very well done but I feel like we needed more information on what exactly dodge was and about the other world.


No, that’s fair I think given how it wasn’t quite explained. The same goes with what Dodge is. We do get a basic explanation of what in general he is, but it doesn’t go too much further than that. I agree that we could’ve had at least seven or eight volumes, especially with some of the other key discoveries being cut to just a single page or two. I wanted to know the full story behind each discovery, and that kind of irked me because I wanted to know everything about them.

Yeah, Kinsey did get quite a bit reckless, but I think that over time she began to realize that and was able to modify her behavior, even if it wasn’t quite enough.

Ooo, we could’ve had a whole thing about that other place and what they saw and experienced. We did get something of a brief explanation but they moved on from that pretty quickly.

Still, I think this was definitely a solid read overall. Yeah, they could’ve fleshed everything out a bit more because the backstory was there, but it was still very enjoyable with what we got.

I think it’s going to be hard to top this series. I’d give the whole thing somewhere between a 4-4.5 out of 5.


I agree overall it was a really great series despite some things needing to be fleshed out a little more. I also agree that Kinsey did realize what she was doing was wrong and did better which I really enjoyed. It showed her growth as a character.

I’m wavering between a 4 and a 4.5 for the entire series as well. I’m thinking more like a 4.5 because I really did enjoy it and the little issues I had with it while reading didn’t really take away from my enjoyment of it all that much.


Great points. I think we overall felt the same about it. Very strong for a series, not perfect, but extremely memorable and quite the experience.

I think Joe Hill has some more graphic novels, so I’ll have to look him up and see what he’s got. Hopefully something with a touch more romance that we could both enjoy!

I had such a fun time doing this with you book bestie! Can’t wait for the next read of ours. 🙂


Thanks yeah I think we both felt the same way in the end!! I love when that happens.

Oh I didn’t know he had more graphic novels. I will have to look into everything he’s written.

Thank you for suggesting this as our next read. I always have so much fun reading with you!! Looking forward to what we pick next.


That’s A Wrap!

Thanks for joining us on our buddy read and rant of the Locke & Key series! We had a lot of fun, and hope you did too! We will definitely be doing some more buddy reads in the future, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, why not check out Misty and Jonny’s other fun buddy reads?


Buddy Read: Locke & Key, Vol. 2: Head Games

Buddy Read: Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

Buddy Read: Dark Lover

Buddy Read: Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain


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    • Thanks! This is one of my favorite things about blogging. Gotta find a way to be social these days!

      Yeah it was cute, but didnt seem to fit with the grim tone of the series.

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