Book Review: The Key to Everything by Alex Kimmell

3939131Title: The Key to Everything

Author: Alex Kimmell

Genre: Horror, Fantasy

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Cracked and weathered binding, hiding mysteries on pages tied closed by a bloodstained string. A happy young family enchanted by dreams and possibilities. A barren, empty room. A boy with no friends obsessively drawing angles, edges and diagrams. In his debut novel, Alex Kimmell captures a vivid and startling tale of fear. Auden’s journey begins when he discovers a curious leather-bound book whose contents will soon endanger his entire family. The pages of this book draw him into a prison that cannot be breached, a place that can only be unlocked with a very special key. In The Key to Everything, fear is explored and heightened through jarring imagery and a terrifying, unique menace, ratcheting up the tension until the novel’s gripping climax.

In The Key to Everything, we meet a diverse cast of characters who each have one thing in common: somehow, their lives got entwined and connected to the Key. Auden, our main character for the largest part of the book, moves into a new house with his family. From the moment he sets foot inside, strange things start happening. An ancient, leather-bound book, calls for him. At first, he believes it’s just the stress of moving that’s catching up with him. But as he starts having nightmares about his family, with neck at an impossible angle, and their mouths impossible wide open, he starts to believe there may be something more sinister going on.

I thought at first that this would be your average, ten in a dozen, haunted house story. But it turns out to be so much more. The writing is amazing. Alex Kimmell has a distinct narrative voice, a clean eye for detail as an author, and the ability to make his characters seem like real flesh-and-blood people. He masterfully writes down the gorey, gruesome scenes this book demands, but is just as skilled at slowly building up tension. While it may have started out as your average haunted house cliché, it’s anything but.

If I had to come up with one flaw, it would be the second-person POV used when the chapter focuses on Auden. I’m not a fan of “you did this, you did that”. I much prefer third person, or first person POV. But it does manage to give the book a bewildering, surreal quality, so maybe it succeeded in what it tried to do.

This book deserves to be read by all horror fans. Immensly flawed characters, great narrative, interesting plot, deliciously creepy.

Comments

  1. Normally you and I are on the same page when it comes to books… but this book had me so lost and didn’t resolve any questions I had, not to mention the typos that were extremely distracting and frustrating. If you typed up an explained of the book, maybe that would help me lol. But for right now I was very disappointed 🙁

    Off to find my next book….

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