Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Book Review | Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids is a horror mystery from Edgar Cantero.


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. 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.

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.

Meddling Kids is about a teenage detective club reuniting as adults to go back and solve a mystery from their youth. In the prologue, one of the guys who was foiled by this teenage detective club (and their dog) is up for parole. The manner in which the parole board describes his apprehension involving "a high-speeding serving cart, two flights of stairs, and a fishing net" as well as his admission to staging a haunting in an old mansion and dressing up as a giant salamander was incredible. The prologue was so much fun, and it promised a Scooby Dooby great time!

The unfortunate thing about having a prologue is the excitement usually drops once the story gets underway, and the reader is left waiting for a promise to be fulfilled. That period of waiting is something I never enjoy, and when a book like Meddling Kids never delivers on that promise, the entire book can be very disappointing.

Even if the story itself had been a great one, the writing style in Meddling Kids was something I wouldn't have been able to overcome. The book kept popping in and out of screenplay format. It wasn't just random dialog being presented that way. There was also stage direction among the narrative.

I also had issue with the dialog itself. I don't mind a fucking f-bomb here or there, but 143 times in a 300 page book? There is no way I could have been invested enough in the story to not have been pulled back out due to the writing style, not to mention all of the made up words like "triviaed" and "tragichuckled".

Meddling Kids is being marketed for fans of Scooby Doo, but it definitely wasn't for me. In the end, the only thing that worked for me was the first 10 pages.

2/10: Hated It

Review copy provided by the publisher

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10 comments:

  1. Sounded promising as first, but I see it quickly went downhill. I used to love Scooby Doo when I was a kid, shame about the book.

    http://www.carmensreadingcorner.co.uk

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    1. I'm a huge Scooby Doo fan. I feel like that might have actually worked against me here.

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  2. Bummer. This is the second review by trusted book friends who hasn't been thrilled with this book. I'm putting it on the back burner.

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    1. Sorry. I wish I could be more positive about it. If you give it a try, at least you will get to read the fun beginning.

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  3. Wow! Major let down. That's too bad.

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  4. That's disappointing. I was hoping this one would be good because the premise sounded so promising. Thanks for the warning! I'll be passing on this one.

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    1. Sorry! I wanted so much to love it. I wish I could say you should give it a try.

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  5. I really liked this. But. I'm not a massive Scooby fan. I've watched it and I don't mean to say I don't like it, but I think my expectations were probably different on that account. I can totally see where you're coming from with the writing style. I still don't understand if there was a reason for switching but it didn't really bother me too much for some reason. I can see how it could be a big turn off though. I feel that this is going to be very much a marmite book.
    Lynn ��

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    1. I do think my love for all things Scooby may have affected my enjoyment. I think you are on to something about trying to give the feel of a TV show experience. Again, I really am glad you enjoyed it. I wanted so much for it to be a fun read. I agree that people will probably love it or hate it.

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