(Website, Blog, Twitter)Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC on April 2nd 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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…
I was intrigued when I read the summary of Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton and that seems to be the trend with her books. I find that her stories have an interesting twist that grabs my attention and so far, I haven’t been disappointed.
The story begins with an unknown character falling and finding herself in a place where she has no recollection of who she is, why she is dead (yes…dead), and what the key around her neck means. Everyone who has fallen to Under has one identifier and as the main character has a key, that is what she is called by everyone. I loved how Sutton built this world and slowly revealed the story and characters. Its focus is on Key and how she is linked to all the characters in Under but there is also a bit of a mystery because once Key does show up, others in Under are showing up dead and no one can figure out who is doing the killing.
Key was an interesting character. She knew something weird was going on and as she kept having flashbacks of the characters in Under, she started to uncover what was really going on. I loved that even though it meant she was in danger, she wasn’t willing to stop digging into what was going on. She needed to figure things out to determine who she could trust, and, in the end, she was resigned to face whatever danger she needed to in order to figure out who was killing the others.
Smoke is someone Key meets when she finds herself in Under. He saves her from another character and she’s immediately drawn to him even though she doesn’t really know if she can trust him. Smoke has an air of mystery to him and it was hard, at first, to know what his story was but as Key’s flashbacks move the story forward and his background unfolds, it was hard not to like him.
The secondary characters are interesting as well and help to move the story along. As I alluded to, a number of them link to Key from her life when she was alive and although I won’t say anything specific here, it is important to note that through each of them, Key starts to tie everything together. I really appreciate that as the reader, I was learning everything right along with Key and it made it so that I didn’t want to put the book down.
If you are looking for a book that will introduce you to a unique story and interesting characters, consider checking this one out when you can. I have enjoyed the books I’ve read by Sutton so far and will definitely be looking forward to her next one.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.