Book Review: Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton

To be honest, the book was weird. Like really really weird and i am not talking it in the nicest way. It is super creepy and weird that kind of makes you want to double check as to what you are reading. Well to be fair, this is not the first time where i have had such an experience but then this book is on a different level. The book opened to an exciting juncture but then it all went downhill for me. To make it worse, Talk about speed and smoke and  key has got it in double the dose. I mean just look at the speed of Insta love. It’s just third chapter and the feelings are already burning high. Anyways that is just the tip of the iceberg for the book

Smoke and Key Official Synopsis

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 RWAT Take

The trouble is that, according to me, Smoke and key had a huge potential. The theme and concept was crafty and the author had something really amazing to work around. To an extent i think the author did but just like a well cooked dish but without salt in it, the book was missing something. I can’t put my fingers as to exactly what was that it was lacking but yes something felt amiss. Perhaps it was the fast pace narrative where things were falling into places magically, without any proper setting or flow. Perhaps it was because the theme was so creepy and unusual that a bit more settings were required to help the readers understand its theories and visualise it.

The reason i am kind of disappointed with the book is because, it had every perfect ingredient. An undergoing mystery, paranormal element, a cute romance and a strength of characters and yet the treatment seemed to be pure superficial. That kind of took away all the fun. I guess it was the rush to cook everything as fast as possible to get it to the serving table that severed the book’s limbs and digits. Literally the book feels hanging in there without its limbs and digits to get a strong grasp. This book lacked a crucial component and i am strongly inclined towards saying that it lacked the proper settlement for the events in the book and explanation to what was happening 


I couldn’t get over the fact that such an amazing concept and story slipped through the fingers because it lacked something crucial that would have turned this book upside down. The book suffers from the fate of fast cooking and missing out the essential seasonings that could have brought out the flavours and goodness of having rich ingredients. That is what is hurting me most about the book that it was a potential that didn’t get the proper respect.

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