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Peek Inside Smoke and Key

Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it before she loses her life for good…

Smoke and Key

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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 burned to a crisp. And 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 loses her life for good…


"An excellent supernatural tale with a unique premise and indelible characters." — Kirkus Reviews

"Like a haunting and irresistible curse, SMOKE AND KEY lured me deep into the world of Under — and I never wanted to leave. With gorgeous prose and captivating characters, Sutton weaves an unforgettable tale of loss, love, and longing." —  New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn

Haunting and addictive. Smoke and Key is a creepy, imaginative read full of dark mystery and unexpected twists.” — Meg Kassel, author of Keeper of the Bees

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640636019
Release Date: Apr 2, 2019
Page Count: 400
Imprint: teen
Genre: ghosts, historical victorian, paranormal, young adult
Tropes: redemption, revenge, unrequited love

Select Featured Reviews

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By Carrie February 23, 2019

Before I begin let’s just have a moment to appreciate the cover on this one, two thumbs up for the creator it’s probably one of my favorites so far this year. Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton is a young adult fantasy read that is one of those that has a bit of mystery and a bit of romance in the mix t ...more

By Umairah | Sereadipity April 05, 2019

Plot: 4/5 Characters: 4/5 Writing: 4/5

Smoke and Key was a creepy yet intriguing novel that captivated me from the very first sentence.

The book was about a girl who was dead but fell down from her grave into a mysterious world called 'Under'. She didn't know why she was there, she didn't have any mem ...more

By Melanie (mells_view) April 02, 2019

“I suppose some things don’t have a proper explanation. They just are.”

You guys. Smoke and Key is such an amazing read! It’s like this suspenseful historical YA paranormal with a magical morbid feel to it. A genre mouthful I realize. While reading I kept thinking if The Wizard of Oz & the movie Clu ...more

By Mlpmom (Book Reviewer) March 19, 2019

4.5 Stars!
If there is one thing I love more in this genre than anything else, it is originality and Smoke and Key is packed full of it.

It is utterly unique and utterly engaging. From the very first creeptastic chapter I was hooked and couldn't wait to read more.

I absolutely loved the imaginative wo ...more

By Schizanthus March 26, 2019

“You’re dead, darlin’. This isn’t hell, but it’s the next best thing.”
She hears a voice imploring her to wake up. She falls and finds herself surrounded by dirt. In Under she meets a group of strangers whose bodies are in different stages of decomposition. While they can all remember general know ...more

By JenacideByBibliophile April 17, 2019

Death, lost love, walking corpses, corsets, propriety, falling from graves, curious momentous and magic.


The spooky Historical Romance that your Gothic little heart was searching for.


Smoke and Key was just as beautiful, dark, sorrowful and mysterious as I’d hoped it would be.
Kelsey Sutton ...more

By Danielle's February 09, 2019

Smoke and Key is an interesting mysterious read and I know my review isn’t going to do it justice. It’s set in a dystopian world and has a tainted edge. It’s dark and has a twist.

Imagine waking up in a place close to death. Everyone has lost their memory and your body feels undead. The name given t ...more

By Alaina May 17, 2019

I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Smoke and Key was better than I expected it to be. It was like all of Tim Burton's movies were combined into this book (or that was the feeling I was getting - deal with it). This also sort of spoke to my own super dark soul be ...more

Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The Buzz

I first read a Kelsey Sutton book when I first started as a book blogger. It was an intriguing premise, well executed and enjoyable. I loved the fusion nature of the story between slice of life, mystery, action and light romance. When I rea ...more

Smoke & Key was probably the most Tim Burton-ish book I've ever had the pleasure to read. (I listened to Corpse's Bride OST while reading this and geez, it really set up the mood!). It starts with a dead girl waking up in her grave and falling into 'Under', a world where some Dead people live but no ...more

By Erin March 21, 2019

I was intrigued when I read the summary of Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton and that seems to be the trend with her books. I find that her stories have an interesting twist that grabs my attention and so far, I haven’t been disappointed.

The story begins with an unknown character falling and finding he ...more

By Kristi Housman March 29, 2019

Book provided by Entangled Teen for review. RTC ...more

By Sophia April 13, 2019

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Kelsey Sutton sucked me right into Smoke and Key.
I thought Smoke and Key would be a fascinating murder mystery set underground with the dea ...more

By Lili June 06, 2019

The story opens with a dead girl who fell down from her grave into a world called Under. She has no recollection of her past or why she fell down. She didn’t even know that she’s dead. The only thing that connects her with her past is a key in a chain around her neck, so eventually she was named Key ...more

By Michelle April 10, 2019

**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**
Smoke and Key is a young adult paranormal by author Kelsey Sutton. First off, I have to just point out how crazy beautiful the cover is. I was immediately drawn in because of it, but then the mysterious summary really ho ...more

By Lindy April 04, 2019

My Thoughts:

Smoke And Key was a unique story. It begins with "Key," hearing a voice urging her frantically to "Please wake up." She finds herself lying down in darkness, and starts to panic when she realizes she is trapped inside of a casket. As she tries to break out by hitting, kicking, and scream ...more

By ☾❥ May 28, 2019

Thanks to [email protected] I was introduced to the amazing author Kelsey Sutton and all of her amazing work. I plan on buying all of her books sometime this year because wow.

The whole story itself is so special and well written and ugh, I don’t even know how to properly articulate my feelin ...more

By Kira December 01, 2019

Was it unique? No. But was it enjoyable? Yes.
Did the romance have to have a triangle? No, definitely rooted for the two without that extra tidbit and it just made me sad when the other guy was left out because who wants to be on that side at the end of that?
Will I remember it? Vaguely. I enjoyed the ...more

By Nicole April 12, 2019

This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction. Also on the blog is a list of Kelsey Sutton's Top Ten Addictions!

One woman’s choices in life follow her into the afterlife … and she can’t escape the consequences without unraveling the truth of her past.

What Fed My Addi ...more

Flash Book Review: A dark, atmospheric afterlife story with a dash of romance. Exactly my kind of weird.


I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Entangled Publishing, LLC. Trigger warnings: death, body horror, eye horror, violence, blood.

When Key falls into Under, a world ...more

By Kirsti April 09, 2019

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

This is one of those books you just wish you had time to read sooner. Unfortunately we will never read every book we want to, but I'm so glad I found the time to get into this one, because I adored it. It had like a Coraline v ...more

By Jazmen March 09, 2019

I rather enjoyed this unique fantasy. It was unlike anything I've ever read and it's a book I won't soon forget.

Key is in under. Under Earth? In hell? In between hell? We're not sure. But she's just fallen from her grave into another world. She's dead and the only clue she has to her former life is ...more

By Kristen July 29, 2019

Ahh I really loved this book! Has a Tim Burton feel to it! I was instantly captivated and had to know what would happen next. Very quick read and lots of fun! ...more

By SAB August 01, 2019

Actual rating 3.5 stars. This book surprised me. I didn't have any expectations going in and at first I wasn't sure about it, but the story and the mystery quickly grew on me.

This has quite an interesting premise, where the MC wakes up to find she is actually dead and is living in 'Under' with other ...more

By Julia (ten_thousand_books) March 08, 2019

I received a copy of Smoke and Key from NetGalley, Riki Cleveland, Entangled Publishing and the author Kelsey Sutton in exchange for an honest review.


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 ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.75 avg rating
Kelsey Sutton

About the author

Kelsey Sutton

Kelsey Sutton is the author of The Lonely Ones, a middle-grade novel in verse that received a starred review from Kirkus. She is also the author of Some Quiet Place, and its companion novel Where Silence Gathers, both published by Flux. She is also the author of the YA e-book original GARDENIA.

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