Like a mashup of the teen detective gang in Scooby Doo with the return-to-what-still-haunts-you-in-your-home-town vibes of It, Meddling Kids brings us a club of teenagers who would solve mysteries in their town over the summer; 13 years later, however, and their once-bright futures are all anything but, as the remaining members of the club all still affected by the last case they did together in some way or another. Their final case seemed straightforward enough, finding a man in a mask imitating an old legend of a lake monster in town as a way to scare people off as he tried to find gold supposedly hidden under a mansion. But what the kids say that night as they found their culprit stayed with them, and they feel they have no choice but to return and reopen the case (with, of course, a dog companion in tow!).
First and foremost, this novel is definitely fun, and pays a lot of homage to all the teen-detectives on whom inspired it. Though to diverge on it’s own path, it actually dives quite deep into ritualistic magic/supernatural elements that aren’t always a straightforward solution. This novel has some really fun characters and dialogue, though some of the stylistic choices here and there didn’t exactly jive for me; it’s kind of like the comedic 4th wall breaks in Deadpool which are great in some cases but, also get to be a bit much at times (or attempt to sound clever while actually exposing some lazy writing/awfully convenient moments that push the story and resolution along). As well, some of the action sequences have a LOT going on in them, which made them a little difficult to follow. But in the end, these were relatively minor complaints for me in terms of the overall experience of the novel.
So overall, Meddling Kids was certainly an enjoyable read, especially for me since I didn’t really know what exactly I was getting into when I chose to read it: that’s right, I literally judged a book by it’s cover when I just couldn’t help myself from picking up a book with neon pink tentacles on it.
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