Book Review: The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An interesting, unique premise and a plot that will keep you on your toes.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on!

Premise (from Goodreads)

Jacklyn Madison never expected to be attacked by a beast on an evening snack run. Add a rescue mission enacted by a trained regiment of teenaged warriors, and her night officially becomes just like a scene from one of her beloved comic books. Turns out, her parents were once members of the Order of the Key, gifted humans that protect humanity from creatures spilling through inter-dimensional rifts. Unable to control her newfound abilities, Jacklyn and her family rejoin the Order.

After an attack on their headquarters leaves Jacklyn questioning their leadership, Kyp–the boy who led her initial rescue–reveals a darker secret. The Order’s leader may be corrupt, and Jacklyn’s questions could put her family in danger. Drawn into the search for proof, Jacklyn must use her guts and magical brawn to protect her family, her friends, and herself from the monsters spilling from rifts, and those hiding within the Order.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

Thank you to the author, Justine Manzano, for providing me with a complimentary physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! My profound apologies for taking so long to review this.

The Order of the Key is a book that surprised me in a very good way. I’m not much of a fantasy reader, and based on the premise and the title, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to enjoy this one. I’m happy to say that I thought this book was pretty darn great.

Not only did the story revolve around a secret magical world that verges on being a dystopia (possibly my favorite sub-genre/trope), it also did a really good job at keeping me interested throughout. I read this book over a series of many days, but even when I wasn’t reading it, I couldn’t stop thinking about the plot and the characters. It kept me going back to read more and more despite my current reading slump.

What stood out to me the most in The Order of the Key was the character-depth and world building. While there were a few times where I was confused about what exactly was going on, this is clearly a book that Manzano spent a great amount of time planning out. The other thing I thoroughly enjoyed the exploration of Jacklyn’s relationship with her sister. When it comes to YA novels, healthy familial relationships is something that is much rarer than I’d like so whenever a book features a family that clearly loves each other (in healthy ways), I appreciate it very much.

The Order of the Key is the first in a series and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our characters in the future installments!

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

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