Jane Doe and the Key of All Souls

Carolrhoda. (Jane Doe Chronicles). May 2021. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781541539228.
Gr 3-7–Lachlan’s fantasy sequel to Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds is packed with high-octane action and adventure sprinkled with a tender spark of LGBTQ romance. This is a tale of friendship, grief, trauma, revenge, genocidal conquest, and how unchecked power can lead to corruption. The text contains many similarities to “Harry Potter” and Joe Hill’s “Locke and Key.” Jane, 14, fights immortal villain Roth, saves her dad John with the help of her trusted friends Violet and Hickory, and heals the crumbling world between worlds known as the Manor. Jane discovers she is the third key needed to destroy Roth. The ragtag trio receive help along the way as they battle strange fearsome creatures that push them to their limits. Discussion questions similar to those offered in the first book would have been beneficial. While the text’s constant action keeps readers on the edge of their seats, there seems to be a lack of depth among the characters. The attraction between Violet and Jane is barely mentioned until the very end, and readers never really get closure about Elsa’s connection to Jane.
VERDICT A fast-paced fantasy tale of friendship, trauma, and survival with a hint of LGBTQ romance.

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