Locke and Key: Small World
This “Golden Age” adventure features a very different Locke family that is from the past. It focuses on what happens when the father of this family gives his two daughters a dollhouse with a magical key that makes things happen in the bigger house. Danger quickly ensues and the family has to band together to save the entire Keyhouse again.
When I picked this up with the rest of the volumes of the main series I was not sure where this fit into the entire world. I decided to do a little research before reading it so I knew where to read it. It said that you could read it after the main series and honestly I feel that this could have been read anywhere and it would have been fine. It does not attach itself to the main series in any meaningful way outside of the usage of keys and the Locke last name.
I wanted to like this because of coming off the high of the final volume “Alpha and Omega”, but this was a very short romp back into the Keyhouse and it just didn’t do it for me. I did not care about these characters and I most definitely did not enjoy the fact that this ended so quickly. It was like I had just reentered the house only to be shut out almost immediately again. The story focuses on a different family and focuses on their adventures with the keys. There are ones that readers would know from the main series and one that is new exclusively to this one. It just felt like a bit of a cop out and I may have enjoyed it more if this had been a collection of other tales set in the same world, but instead this collected a single issue that told this cheesy story about the dollhouse.
To round out the volume it had a bunch of interviews and “extras” mainly so that IDW could charge more than whatever the original cost of the single issue that is included here. While I did enjoy seeing the way that Hill went from script to the pages in the book it felt like a bit of a misstep as well because we are not given any aspect of Rodriguez’s work to even out how they got from the script to those pages. I just wish there were more included to help it feel worth the cost that I saw on the backpage. I feel somewhat sorry for anyone that actually paid for this at this price of 14.99. I am glad I picked it up at the library. It would not have been worth the price to me.
I am not trying to be pessimistic here, but you can skip this volume and lose nothing related to the main series of “Locke and Key” and in my opinion it takes a bit of the magic away from that series. It would, however, be interesting for those that just want to step back into the Keyhouse after a long absence. If you want to read this I suggest not reading it after the first six volumes. You will be a bit disappointed. It would be great though later on and you walk through the doors again for one last time.
There is still one more volume of “Locke and Key” that has been released, but my library did not have a copy of this yet. It is called “Heaven and Earth”, which includes similar “Golden Age” stories that this contained.