Book Review – Meddling Kids

Book: Meddling Kids – Author: Edgar Cantero

Genre: Adult, Adventure, Supernatural

Description from Goodreads:

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. Kerri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she’s got Tim, an excitable Weimaraner 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.

My Review:

**I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

To start with…yes…this is exactly what it looks like. 😉 Meddling Kids is a satire/spoof/what-if of the original Scooby Doo cartoon from the 1970s . The kids who caught that ‘naughty guy in a mask’ back in the ’77 have now grown up, each with their own problems, each battling their horrific memories of that night that they keep trying to ignore.

Being a huge Scooby-Doo fan, I liked the idea behind this novel. Some of the more recent movies have kind of dealt with this possibility, but none of them were ultra-realistic about how these types of events would affect the kids (and adults) involved. Yes, there was a lot of cursing and drinking…but honestly, if you were trying to stop the apocalypse while coming to terms with your adolescent trauma, wouldn’t you be cursing and drinking too? 😉

jzv-scooby-doo-vs-the-zombie-apocalypse-14
(Photo Credit: Jeff Zoet Visuals)

And, yes, I said apocalypse. The action, especially towards the end, was practically Lovecraftian, while still not coming across as over-the-top. I actually really love horror novels where you aren’t sure if your characters are going to make it out alive and this one definitely managed that.

I know a lot of people will think the hidden (and not so hidden) nods to old kids’ mysteries are a bit much, but I got a kick out of finding them all. The Zoinx River…the girl with red hair having to be rescued…heck, the author even threw in a reporter named Nancy Hardy (gold stars if you get that one). It was like the movie Jurassic World where around each corner you found a little inside joke for the fans. I loved it. 🙂

The only thing I didn’t really like about this book was the writing style. Not that the plot didn’t flow well or the characters weren’t likable, they totally were! But the author plays quite a lot with the format of the book, jumping from regular novel format to script format and back again for no apparent reason. I’m not sure if this was because I had an ARC of the novel or if this is the final format, but it threw me off while reading. Some people might really enjoy it, though, as it breaks the fourth wall in a way. Maybe that was the point.

Overall, I’d recommend this one to people who like horror novels, especially if they are also Scooby-Doo fans. 😉

Similar Book(s):

Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

The Mist – Stephen King

Anything by H.P. Lovecraft