Smoke and Key
by Kelsey Sutton
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: April 2nd 2019
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…
It wasn’t good enough to show anyone, so I took another year and wrote a completely new novel, a contemporary-suspense kind of story. It was 2009, I was seventeen and still on my own. At that time, writing was the only constant in my life. I did try querying this latest book, and it got me in touch with my now-agent, Beth Miller. But it still wasn’t quite where it needed to be.
Time passed. I graduated high school in 2010, and immediately afterwards ran off to California and wrote another novel. Working on that book might be all that kept me together during that tumultuous time. Then I came back to my beloved Minnesota and got responsible, enrolling in college and finding a job. And in the beginning of 2011, I queried Beth again. I was eighteen years old, with a story that was new and strange and exciting. I had written it during a time when I was living with people I didn’t know that well, in a place that was a little frightening, during a time when absolutely nothing was certain. Beth quickly got back to me. The subject of her e-mail read, RE: Query: SOME QUIET PLACE.
The rest, as they say, is history.
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. You can visit her online at www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
Review of Smoke and Key
Review (5 Stars): Smoke and Key is a dark yet intriguing tale set in an magical world that the reader will not be able to get enough of. The story revolves around the character of Key, a young woman, who has recently died and the only thing left to identify her is a key that she wears around her neck. As she navigates her way around this strange new place, she quickly learns that she must protect herself against an unknown assailant that is killing of members of the Under. With a handsome young man by her side, Key must put the pieces of her identity back together before it is too late.
Ms. Sutton has created this rich magical world that I absolutely got lost in. I was intrigued by Key and Smoke and this new place between Heaven and Hell. Smoke and Key is one of my favorite books this year and it is one that I will go back and read to see all the clues that I might have missed. Amazing story and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.