Release date: 5th November 2020
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Series: The Key #1
Blurb: No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.
For fifty years, the Key Corporation has defended humanity against a deadly virus that spreads through touch. Lovers don’t kiss, or even hold hands. Personal boundaries are valued above all. Break the laws, and you’ll face execution.
Elodie, a talented young nurse, believes in the mission of the Key and has never questioned the laws that control her life. But Elodie is forced to break the rules when she sets out in search of a terminal patient who goes missing while under her care.
From the outside, it seems like Aiden was given everything he could want from the Key — a purpose, an education, and a future. But Aiden knows more than he’s letting on, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could tear the Key’s strict society apart.
When Elodie and Aiden’s lives collide, the fallout will be devastating. What do you do when the brutal system that once kept you safe hunts you down?
So, here’s the thing – post apocalyptic novels have a certain formula for the most part.
- Big thing happens and wipes out most of humanity.
- Humanity adapts and the main character sees the new norm as wonderful.
- MC finds a rebellious group and climbs in for the ride.
- Government attempts to shut down rebels.
- Rebels run away.
It’s a thing and it works. Look at The Hunger Games and its massive success. But I kind of wish The Key to Fear had have given me something different. Do I know what I wanted different? Well, no but there’s just something super cookie cutter about the whole thing.
TKTF starts out really well, it draws the reader in with its multiple POV’s and ominous feel that something isn’t quite right. There’s a villainous doctor and his assistant; a nurse who is just trying to make the best life for herself and her future husband; a rebellious child who refuses to take what fate has dealt him; an heiress who is determined to get what she wants; and finally, a soldier who only wants to live his life and settle down. Oh, and don’t forget the chapter or two from the current director of The Key POV. Yes, you read that correctly, there are AT LEAST 6 POV’s… which is one of the first things that turned me off. If you have read GoT, you will know the pain – alas this isn’t an epic fantasy. After a while I got super confused with the jumping. In all honestly, I had a major disconnect because I just couldn’t care enough about anyone due to the written ping pong that this novel eventuated to be.
That ominous feeling was amazing. I was all for it. But then something happens and there is zero explanation of why, who or literally any other information on what the deal is. From that point on, it felt like a completely different novel. It was average for the remainder and I just wanted more of the doctor and his nefarious schemes. Even if it was just 2 or 3 more chapters to explain what the hell he was doing.
This is in no way saying everything is bad. It really captured that Stockholm Syndrome feeling in the characters who were dedicated to the cause of The Key. The blind faith in their government honestly made me think about whether I would be the sheeple of the tale or the wolves on the sidelines waiting to take down the cause. Key also followed that tried and tested formula I mentioned earlier in a way that would be intriguing for those who don’t read a wide variety of novels or who think that dystopian is the best thing since sliced bread.
Overall, as I have said it ran that middle line whereby, I read it to say I have done so. It had massive potential which was then squashed around the 45% mark. The characters were fleshed out enough to know what was going on but the whiplash the changing POV’s caused made me simply read the story rather than get invested. If you love the dystopian genre, then this is definitely for you. If not, maybe don’t go in with too high expectations.
Until next time lovelies xo