Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton. This tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. I’ll be sharing my review today.
Smoke and Key
by Kelsey Sutton
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: April 2nd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Historical, Fiction, Paranormal, Magic, Horror
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…
Smoke and Key was such an interesting and unique book. I’m not sure exactly what to classify it as. Historical/Mystery/Fantasy/Romance?
Smoke and Key takes place in the early 1900’s. A young girl wakes up in a strange place called Under. She has no idea what happened to her or what is going on. She meets a couple people right away and not all of them look right. She can see wounds and strange skin color. A young boy tells her that she’s dead. The girl argues until he asks her what her name is and she can’t remember. He tells her that none of them have memories. Each person in Under fell from their graves with an item and they are named for that item. This girl had a key with her, so that became her name.
Key meets everyone in the under and is drawn to certain people, especially Smoke. She is one of the few people there that can read and she receives a message that says “I remember you”. Shortly after Key arrives, people start getting murdered. They are already dead, but the way to end their life in Under is to burn them. Key starts having weird memories that she realizes have to be from her past. She remembers a sister and a book of magic that they find. It belonged to Kathleen’s mom, but both girls start using it. Key remembers meeting a boy from America and sneaking off with him. She realizes that this boy is Smoke. And he is the only one who falls into the same memories that she is when they touch. Key believes that the key to everything in Under is to remember what happened to her when she was alive. Most of these people in Under were people she knew or were people from her town. They all have to be in Under for a reason. After Key starts finding a way to go back above, she studies the town history more. She also remembers that she was promised to a boy, but she wanted Smoke. She did love this other boy though. Her father was gone and Kathleen wasn’t really her sister, but Key lived with her. All the memories start to make things clear and she starts telling everyone their names. But she also needs to stop a murderer because everyone having a memory is being killed and Key remembers more than anyone else.
I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me a finished copy for review.
Warnings for death, abuse, gore, murder, and cheating.
Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, napping with her rescue dogs, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
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