Saturday, April 18, 2020
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REVIEW: Meddling KidsMeddling Kids
Author: Edgar Cantero
Published: July 11th, 2017 by Doubleday
Genres: horror, fantasy, mystery
Source: Library
Format: eBook, 338 pages

For fans of John Dies at the End and Welcome to Night Vale comes a tour de force of horror, humor, and H.P. Lovecraft. The surviving members of a forgotten teenage detective club (and their dog) must reunite as broken adults to finally solve the terrifying case that ruined them all…and sent the wrong man to prison. Scooby Doo and the gang never had to do this!

1990. The teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in the Zoinx River Valley in Oregon) are all grown up and haven’t seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is twenty-five and on the run, wanted in at least two states. Keri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she’s got Sean, an excitable Weimeraner descended from the original canine member of the team. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last thirteen years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum in Arhkam, Massachusetts. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter’s been dead for years.

The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting.

With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids taps into our shared nostalgia for the books and cartoons we grew up with, and delivers an exuberant, eclectic, and highly entertaining celebration of horror, life, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

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3 Stars

the low-down

  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero, as you may have already suspected if you were a fan like I was, was undoubtedly influenced by Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang. It’s what drew me in, with the title and the the silhouettes that mimicked the famous quad + dog that I basically grew up with.

Characters

  • Four teenagers created the Blyton Summer Detective Club in Blyton Hills, Oregon.
  • Kerri: SUPER smart with great hair (seriously, the author spent two pages on her hair at one point), is a bartender living in a dump with her dog, Sean.
  • Andy: a lesbian Latina who does a bunch of odd jobs and has internal anger issues and also has a long-nurtured infatuation with Kerri. Also broke out of prison.
  • Nate: Kerri’s cousin, and he committed himself into the Arkham asylum.
  • Peter: a teenage film star heartthrob… committed suicide. And he haunts Nate at the asylum. 🙃

Writing

  • This author has some talent, there’s no doubt about that. They way that he wrote left me with feeling a bit of awe. But the style seemed to be all over the place. There were parts of 2nd-person POV, and then third-person, and even a bit of screenplay-style where he would use stage directions, which was peculiar, but did fill in that feeling that it was based off of Scooby Doo, which is a classic television show.
  • I felt myself getting lost a lot and unable to picture the scenes in my mind, which was a downer for me. If the scene can’t be displayed correctly in my mind, I start to lost interest. Which I did, because this book took me over a month to read.

PLOT

  • 1977, the group encounters a weird case. They solve it, but there’s some unexplained loose ends that leave them spooked. The experience shatters the group, and they disband that summer, going their separate ways, where they all seem to fall apart and never live up to their potential.
  • Andy, determined to get them all back together, recruits Kerri to help her break Nate out of the asylum and they head back to Blyton Hills of the Zoinks River Valley. She wants to dissolve the eeriness they all left with and identify what exactly left them all feeling like fragmented and broken adults.
  • It contains all the necessary elements of a Scooby Doo comedy: scary houses, lake monsters, and g-g-g-ghosts!


Total time spent reading: 10h 12m
Dates read: Nov 11 – Dec 16, 2019

#BookReviewBlogChallenge

Any book cover that sparks joy.
I decided to use this book for the prompt because even though the book didn’t bring that much joy in the end, the fact that it borrowed so much from my favorite cartoon series as a kid, and spinning it in its own unique way, made me smile. And I in no way hated the book, because it was still a solid read. Three stars doesn’t necessarily mean bad – it just means I had some trouble with it, and still had mostly enjoyable moments. Anyway, the cover really sparked joy when I first laid eyes on it! And in the end, I’m glad I finally read it, since it’d been sitting on my TBR for a couple years.

#BookReviewBlogChallenge hosted by Great New Reads!

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3 Responses to REVIEW: Meddling Kids

  1. I liked this book a lot mostly due to being a huge Scoob fan! Edgar Cantero has another book I’ve read caked This Body’s Not Big Enough for Birth of US, which was entertaining but so, so weird. Definitely not for everyone. It has a great cover like this one does.

  2. Kyra says:

    I’m really intrigued by this, mainly because I loved Scooby-Doo growing up😂

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