on April 2, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, mystery, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
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 is a young adult paranormal by author Kelsey Sutton. First off, I have to just point out how crazy beautiful the cover is. I was immediately drawn in because of it, but then the mysterious summary really hooked me. I had to know what Smoke and Key was all about. And talk about starting the book off with a bang. The first chapter was completely creepy and spooky and set the stage for a haunting and mysterious story that I simply could not put down. Smoke and Key was fascinating and something wholly different than I was expecting. If you are a fan of gothic style mysteries, I think you will absolutely love this novel.
In Smoke and Key we start out with Key finding her way into the Under. The Under is a world where some individuals find themselves after death. It is named the under because it is literally the ground underneath their graves, and the only way to enter it is to fall into by bottoming out your grave. Totally creepy, right? No one in the under has any memories of their life on earth. Our story starts out with our main character waking up in her grave and falling into the Under. She can’t remember her name, but she quickly learns that no one can. Each of her new inhabitants picks their own name from whatever belongings they had with them when they fell out of their graves. Key enters the under with a Key hanging around her neck. Key is determined to get her memories back. I really loved Key right from the start. She was an immediately engaging character for me, and actually so was Smoke.
I loved the world of the Under that Kelsey Sutton created. I loved all of the curious characters, and I loved meeting them through Key’s eyes and deciding together who we could trust and who we couldn’t. Take this fascinating world and couple it with a really creepy mystery, and you have a paranormal read that felt totally fresh and unique to me, which is no easy feat. The mystery was excellent as well. Murders in the under! Who would kill so many people that are already dead? And why? Smoke and Key’s twisty plot is sure to keep you turning pages in anticipation for the entire novel. I really applaud Kelsey Sutton on what she has created in Smoke and Key. It is a fascinating world with intriguing characters and a mystery plot that kept me guessing and engaged until the very end. This is a book that I would easily recommend to anyone looking for a creepy paranormal mystery.
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