Fiction - Supernatural
415 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

As a beautiful black woman, attracting male suitors is not a problem for Edwina Jennings. Unfortunately, she doesn't find any of them appealing enough, even though she wishes to have a child. Coming from a poor, dysfunctional background, Edwina's gift of lucid dreaming helped her get far in life and climb up the corporate ladder. She plans to keep winning financially and professionally as she goes back to school to get the promotions she desires in her career. When Edwina meets a professor in her school, her life takes an entirely different turn, and she is exposed to new spiritual possibilities. Kenneth Crutchfield's Lockbox depicts a supernaturally gifted, black single woman's quest to have a baby through unconventional methods, her exploration of the spiritual world, and her desire to advance her career in a corporate world rife with overbearing suitors.

With a sensational plot and complex, well-developed characters, Lockbox depicts the uncomfortable truths about women in the corporate world. For example, Edwina wonders if her promotion is truly deserved or if she got it because her boss fancies her. The themes of lucid dreaming and spirituality are explored so excellently that I felt a positive change internally as I read the calming, soul-enriching words—words like, "Expand your consciousness and look with your inner eyes." The book includes various, expertly combined themes, including loss, reincarnation, abuse, artificial insemination, coma, rivalry, and more. Kenneth Crutchfield's book is a masterpiece that every strong black woman would love. Its fairly relaxed pace encourages deep familiarization and connection with the protagonist and her world, both the relatable physical world and the therapeutic spiritual one.

Jamie Michele

Lockbox by Kenneth Crutchfield is a contemporary urban fiction novel told from the point of view of its female protagonist, Edwina Jennings. Edwina grew up with all the odds stacked against her; a young black girl in the projects who essentially raised herself after legally emancipating herself from her mother, while she never knew her father. She is accustomed to being let down and has learned to uplift herself. She does this by focusing on her education, her job, and her expectations of her personal life. She is no longer amenable to compromise, and that's exactly how it should be. An eight-week course puts Edwina on the path to harnessing positive energy, and she embarks on profound lucid-dreaming experiences that revolutionize the way she views her life, past lives, and the worlds that can and cannot be seen around her.

Lockbox is nothing like I expected. I thought I was going into a straightforward story about a black woman who is on her way up the corporate ladder. It started with that but became so much more. Kenneth Crutchfield tells Edwina's story in the third person but the narrative also reads like a stream of consciousness, which takes some getting used to. I loved Edwina from the start but her character arc from an authentic woman in Chicago to a past-life regression aficionado is the true plot of the book. She is a brilliant woman but this is because of the accumulation of her past lives and current experiences. Watching her grow in her knowledge while in pursuit of a worldly journey, then watching her first resist healing and then embrace it completely is a beautiful thing. This is an engrossing book with a shocking twist that I did not see coming, but given the message throughout, it is a fitting conclusion that is truly just the beginning. Highly recommended.

Asher Syed

The metaphysical urban fiction novel Lockbox by Kenneth Crutchfield revolves around a young woman with an old soul named Edwina Jennings. The old soul is where the metaphysical aspects come into play but not until we get to know the Edwina of today; a determined woman who has defined her existence on her own terms. Edwina had a difficult childhood and flipped the system on its head to break away from a cycle of hardship, the vices of a mother with dependency issues, and the evil eye of jealousy that arose from others because of Edwina's beauty and drive. Her goal is to graduate from college with an AA and climb the corporate ladder on the foundation of education and ambition. While pursuing her degree, Edwina is introduced to a way to access memories of the past that are heartrending in their discoveries and bottomless in their intensity.

Lockbox is the first novel I have ever read where lucid dreaming and regression therapy are applied to a character who is not a blonde vegan Yogi who appropriates Hindu words while selling green smoothies. This is an important element and it is difficult to express how much Edwina's power means to me as a man of color, raising a daughter of color, with an open mind to the metaphysical world. Edwina is sharp, lives with purpose, and is 100% capable. Kenneth Crutchfield gives Edwina, a black woman with agency, the right she inherently possesses to decide to become a mother, if that is possible, and explore past-life therapy proudly. I have been waiting years for a character like Edwina to come along. Edwina's voice is fluid and perfectly imperfect to the point where it makes her a flesh-and-blood character. I handed Lockbox straight over to my daughter who agrees it is a book worth reading. Well done.

Romuald Dzemo

Lockbox by Kenneth Crutchfield is a suspenseful tale that presents a supernatural phenomenon, imaginative and original in style. It follows Edwina Jennings, a young woman who works as a simple bank employee but is driven by her strong desire to become a single mother and grow in her career. Using lucid dreaming, she succeeds in climbing the corporate ladder and becoming one of the top management professionals. But her deepest desire is not yet fulfilled and, driven to achieve all her dreams, she embraces mystical practices she has learned from a professor and two research doctors. Can she succeed in using anthroposophy to achieve what she really wants?

One of the things that readers will enjoy about Lockbox is the boldness of the concepts explored. It is a novel with strong philosophical and metaphysical themes and the protagonist is a character who wants to escape her past at all costs. When lucid dreaming fails to be as effective as she wanted, she follows the lead of three professionals — Professor Belford, Professor Drombowski, and Dr. Jimenez. The combination of hypnotherapy and anthroposophy to unveil the heart’s desires and pursue dreams is brilliantly explored. While there is much “telling” in the story, I still found this book hugely interesting, with fully drawn and complex characters, and a female protagonist who succeeds in steering the plot forward in unexpected ways. Characters like Dr. Jimenez who has dedicated his entire life as a physician and scientist for the good of humanity will catch the attention of readers. I highly recommend this book to fans of tales with philosophical undertones and characters that are rock solid.

K.C. Finn

Lockbox is a work of fiction in the suspense and supernatural subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Kenneth Crutchfield. In this metaphysical adventure tale with plenty of surprising and surreal twists, we follow the ambitions of Edwina Jennings. She is a woman who wants to have it all: a powerful career and a child to raise as a proud single mother. Edwina turns to lucid dreaming to make her achievements a reality, but when this doesn’t produce all the results that she’s looking for, a fascinating new philosophy by some interesting alternative researchers catches her eye. What results is a mind-bending journey she will never forget.

Author Kenneth Crutchfield offers something rare and new in the world of supernatural fiction by unlocking the power of our own minds as the central thematic focus of his novel. This presents some really thrilling moments where we understand Edwina’s psychology and what drives her at her core, and in turn, see human nature reflected back at us, and the factors that push us all forward in the modern world. In terms of her character development, I found Edwina highly relatable for her emotional motivations and the balance she struggles to find in life, and it makes good internal logical sense to the plot that she makes the choices she makes, even when things get very surreal and heavy indeed. Overall, readers seeking a complex plot and a fascinating set of ideas to wrap their heads around are sure to love Lockbox and everything it has to offer.