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Smoke and Key


Smoke and Key

A girl falls into a mysterious dark cavern not knowing where, what or even who she is, remembering nothing about her past. She meets a boy named Smoke who starts explaining to her that she is dead and has fallen out of her grave into an area people call the “Under.” All the people that fall into the Under are named based off of the item they had with them at the time of their death. With a key around her neck, the girl came to be known as Key.


Key refuses to accept her new life. She does her best to try and remember her past but without any success. From the very start, Key could tell she was special. All the people in the Under were somewhat decomposed as if they had already started to rot before they fell, however, Key was oddly preserved. However, when a series of brutal murders started occurring Key's memories started to slowly return. Key meets new people and among them are Doll, Freckles and Fiddle. However she is most drawn to Smoke, who she thinks had something to do with her past. 


After Key starts finding a way to go back above, she studies the town history more. Slowly but surely Key remembers more and more, but at the same time, everyone having memories is being killed and Key needs to find and stop the murderer. 


There were many good things about this book, and among them were the personalities of all the characters. It was interesting to watch Key change throughout the course of the book as she reacted to her memories. Another thing I enjoyed was the tension and mystery. This book also carried an important message about how much damage hate and jealousy can cause and how it can easily get out of control. 


Despite all of the good things about SMOKE AND KEY, there were some minor flaws. Even though there was a clear plot to this story, not much action occurred in the book overall. In addition, there was some information given that was not really necessary. However, my main problem was with the ending of the book. It was a bit rushed and a little too smooth, leaving me with questions.

I would recommend this book to anyone that is fond of thrillers and romance books. In addition, if you are looking for a book that is a light read and easy to follow, this is certainly the one for you. Books similar to SMOKE AND KEY are SMOKE AND IRON by Rachel Caine and LAST WORDS: A DIARY OF SURVIVAL by Sharl J. Ryan. I hope you find SMOKE AND KEY to be interesting and I wish you good reading!

Reviewed by Ian R. on April 10, 2019

Smoke and Key
by Kelsey Sutton