Finally, after years spent on my tbr, I have finished Meddling Kids (thanks Audible!). My copy smells like its been living in a musty basement for several decades (not entirely inaccurate) and for the circa 1990s vibe it gives off, it absolutely could have been. I didn’t dislike Meddling Kids, but I think it did not meet my expectations and left a lot to be desired. Let’s jump in.
More than ten years ago, Peter, Nate, Andy, Kerri, and their dog Sean stopped the man with the mask in their final adventure as the Blyton Summer Detective Club. But present day, Peter is dead, Nate is in a mental institution, Andy’s on the run from the law, and Kerri and Sean’s great-grandson Tim are washed up with bad luck. The release of the man they captured from prison sparks something in Andy, forcing her to gather up the remaining members of the BSDC to tie up the loose end she thinks remain in Blyton Hills.
Together, they hit the road and try to piece together the remaining threads of what they left behind all those summers before. Something never quite added up, and it’s plaguing them. All of them.
Obviously this screams Scooby Doo in its entirety, but I really thought it would land somewhere closer to Scooby Doo for grown-ups, tripping, scared-out-of-mind… I genuinely thought this would be a haunted house of horrors that packed a lot more punch in the scare department. However, there’s a lot more magic and story behind it, and I don’t think it did it any favors.
In fact, I think this book draws on for far too long. The story was *over* developed, if that’s a thing I can say. The backstories of each and every character, their hopes and dreams, the whole mess of lore that goes along with it – the book would’ve been better and about 100 pages shorter if we had cut that out. It’s not even a long book, or a bad book, but I 100% think it loses its shock value the deeper we dove into everything happening here. It goes on. Too. Dang. Long.
Not to say I didn’t like the characters. In fact, I loved them all, in their own unique way. And they don’t really fit the Scooby Doo archetypes set forth for them, so I must admit a feat in creating such well-rounded characters for a group adventure from the ground up. This component is well done. The supporting characters are also wonderfully cool.
This book just lands somewhere closer to fantasy and farther from the gut-wrenching horror I was expecting and hoping for. He hasn’t made a fan out of me with this little bait-and-switch maneuver.
I didn’t dislike this one, but I wouldn’t pick it up again knowing what I know now. Take that as you will in the recommendation department.
Have a great weekend!