Published by Entangled Teen on April 2, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley, Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Characters have sex, Some violence)
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. None of them remember who they used to be. Under is a place of dirt and nightmares, and Key is determined to discover the secrets of her past in order to escape it.
She needs help, but who can she can trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. There's Smoke, the boy with sharp words and a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, the boy who stays apart from everyone else and loses himself in books and science. Key's instincts tell her that 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...
One woman’s choices in life follow her into the afterlife … and she can’t escape the consequences without unraveling the truth of her past.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Creepy and atmospheric. The book takes place Under, which is a creepy afterlife that’s literally under the graveyard. All of the characters show signs of their deaths–often quite gruesome–and the world is made of dirt and devoid of light (aside from light from torches). Sutton does a fantastic job of establishing a memorable setting.
- Lots of mysteries. Key wakes up in Under with no memory of her life or her death, but it soon becomes apparent that her life held numerous secrets and betrayals. When people in Under start dying (again), Key has reason to believe that it’s somehow because of her. Her memory starts to come back to her in pieces, and we discover the whole sordid history along with her as the book progresses.
- Real life vs. Under. One of my favorite things in this book was seeing Key interact with the characters in Under and then finding out how they related to each other in their “real” lives. Some of the feelings and relationships from Key’s original life bled into her afterlife, and it was really intriguing to see that unfold.
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- Slightly slow start. The beginning of the book is really all about setting up the atmosphere, and it took until about a third of the way through before we got a big revelation that truly hooked me into the story. It also did take me a while to become invested in the romance, but by the end I found myself rooting for them.
- Some twists were predictable. I figured out who the villain in the story was almost immediately, but the why and the how of it all kept me interested (and I definitely had some doubts along the way).
If you’re a fan of creepy ghost stories with a touch of magical flair and a dash of revenge, this is the book for you!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher and FFBC Tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Click Here for Kelsey’s Top Ten Addictions list!!
About The Author
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.
Win (1) of (2) signed copies of SMOKE & KEY by Kelsey Sutton (US Only)
This one sounds like a LOT of fun! I love a good “ghosty” book! There’s not too many of those so I will definitely be checking this one out!
Well, you’ll have your fill of ghosts in this book! 🙂
This sounds like a good read. I enjoy creepy ghost stories! The cover is pretty also.
I agree that it’s a great cover!
This sounds like a wonderfully unusual setting and story. I know you said it starts a bit slow with the atmosphere creation, but I think I’d appreciate understanding all the details of how this world works
Yes, sometimes you need a slow start to set tone.
Ooh the cover to this book is simply divine. A slow start is always a bit rocky but I never mind it much. The mystery intrigues me and I love when the author gets the atmosphere just right! I think some of the plot being predictable would be a tricky thing for me though…
Yeah, with a mystery sometimes it’s not great when you can guess the villain, but there were definitely surprises too.
Not familiar with this author but this sounds really good!
This was my second of her books, but I’ll definitely be reading more.
This was a winner for me, too. Loved that atmosphere and gothic feel. 🙂
A gothic feel is a great way to describe it.
Oh wow, that does sound like a creepy and gruesome afterlife! The real life relationships bleeding into the afterlife sounds intriguing. Some books are slow to start but worth it 🙂
Yes, I agree. There are times when a slow start really pays off.
Creepy and atmospheric sound good! I like the engagingly horrific setting!
I agree! Even though horror isn’t my favorite genre, a fantasy with creepiness is great.
Thank you so much for this opportunity 🙂 I will add it to my long tbr 🙂 my favorite genre is ya fantasy.
I can certainly relate to a long TBR! 🙂