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.
Reading a book about a pandemic wiping out most of the human race may not be everyone’s cup of tea right now, but the blurb hooked me right away.
What would the world look like if touching was forbidden? The world-building is impressive, and it’s obvious the author put a lot of time into creating it. Everything from personal pods to procreation techniques is covered. Citizens don’t date – they’re matched by The Key based on compatible genetics and given jobs determined by assessment tests. Everything is sterile and impersonal – free choice is practically nonexistent. What I missed was more information on how the pandemic came about and when and how The Key came into power. A little more backstory would have filled in some blanks.
I liked that conformist Elodie and rebellious Aiden are polar opposities – the rule follower and the rule challenger. Early on, it’s clear that Elodie doesn’t exactly obey all the rules, and I liked that about her. It didn’t come as such a shock when she began questioning things. The insta-love between them really wasn’t necessary for the plot – I think the story would have worked fine without it, but that’s just my opinion.
Pacing was an issue for me as not a lot happens in the first half of the story. Around the 80% mark, things take off to the point that the ending feels rushed, but it’s a good place for the next book to begin.
If you’re in the mood for a dystopian set post-pandemic, The Key to Fear is a timely read with well-developed characters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.