Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Key to Fear (The Key #1) by Kristin Cast – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four Stars

RELEASE DATE:  13 October 2020

Format: E-ARC

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Source:  NetGalley


To Health.
To Life.
To the Future.

We are The Key.
‘No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.’

Elodie obeys The Key. Elodie obeys the rules. Elodie trusts in the system. At least, Elodie used to…

Aidan is a rebel. Aidan doesn’t do what he’s told. Aidan just wants to be free. Aidan is on his last chance…

After a pandemic wiped out most of the human race, The Key took power. The Key dictates the rules. They govern in order to keep people safe. But as Elodie and Aidan begin to discover there is another side to The Key, they realise not everything is as it seems.

Rather than playing protector, The Key are playing God.



Thank you to Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy of The Key to Fear, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review!

Fifty years ago, a pandemic swept the world and in order to survive, a ‘no touching today for a safe tomorrow’ motto became law. Living in the advanced technological world that developed to fulfill this need – with VR being the preferred way to meet other people and an algorithm appraising peoples aptitude’s for the correct career path – Elodie works hard at her medical career, while living with her overbearing mother, waiting for her wedding to her ‘matched’ fiancé. When she meets Aiden, a strange boy working in the morgue, she has no idea just how much her life, and everything she’s ever believed, is about to change.

The Key to Fear took a while to get going, although I appreciated the world building required a fair bit of explanation, but once I got in to the story, it moved along at a nice pace. I’m not sure if the author was trying to make a real life connection between current world events and this story (I’m never sure how long books took to write and whether the idea came before the coincidence of the real life events!), but since the theme here was ‘is the governing body responsible for advising us on the pandemic telling the truth or are we all being duped?’ I’d like to hope not. There’s enough crazies around with those sorts of ideas already 😅

Elodie’s fiancé was a real piece of work, and it felt like he was maybe a bit too stereotypical as the chauvinistic, condescending boyfriend. I found myself hoping for at least some redeeming qualities that would make me feel something for his character, but nope. Elodie herself was a somewhat likeable character, but she seemed to flit between being naive to the point of brainwashed, then make a gigantic leap to ditch her entire world belief, without a whole heap of provocation. Aiden was by far the realest character and the highlight of the book. I can’t wait to see more from him in book two!


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