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Publisher's Summary

With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

Summer 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon's Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster - another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids.

In 1990, the former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the onetime kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader...which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It's their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.

©2017 Edgar Cantero (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Cantero ( The Supernatural Enhancements) will win readers' hearts with this goofy, smart love letter to childhood adventure and enduring friendship.... The prose is fast and funny, and the quirky, lovable characters are absolutely irresistible." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Cantero's imagination is vivid, and the story, once it gains speed, continues at a breakneck, roller-coaster pace. He plays with form and style, which makes for an enjoyable romp. Fans of modern takes on Lovecraft and those that are nostalgic for the cartoons of their childhood will like this novel, which is also a sure bet for your Stranger Things-themed display." ( Booklist)
"Deliriously wild, funny and imaginative. Cantero is an original voice." (Charles Yu, author of How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Narration and writing hard to follow

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I'd definitely lengthen some of the pauses in the narration when switching between different groups of characters, and maybe try to give each character more distinct voices. I'd probably also add more significant Chapter breaks - without them, it feels like a very long short story.

Would you ever listen to anything by Edgar Cantero again?

Maybe. The writing was a bit over-dramatic for my tastes at times, reading a bit more like an angsty teen novel than I expected.

Which character – as performed by Kyla Garcia – was your favorite?

Joey Crantz; I felt like the narrator Kyla made this guy stand out from the other characters in terms of mannerisms and voice.

Maybe it was the writing, but the main characters kind of blended together in the way that shared protagonists sometimes do - they all had very different backstories, but I feel like it was harder to differentiate them based on their actions in the story once they got together.

Any additional comments?

The book was interesting enough, with a decent plotline that kept me reading until the end. However, it was oddly hard to follow as an audiobook, and I found that I had to go back and listen to several segments to figure out the current setting. The narration and writing tended to jump between different groups of characters and locations without much warning,

There were also several jokes or sayings which didn't make sense at first listen.
Perhaps the book is easier to understand when reading rather than listening.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

What was most disappointing about Edgar Cantero’s story?

The premise was promising but did not deliver at all.

Any additional comments?

Read more like a YA novel. The writing was too over the top for me and at times a little ridiculous. I wasn't a fan of the dialogue.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kathryn
  • WATERFORD, MI, United States
  • 09-05-17

A great premise but

Such painfully bad writing. I kept waiting for it to get better but it didn't and I gave up. Lots of lousy forced metaphors and I just never cared about the characters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

should have been a YA novel

Could have had a broader audience without the language.
It was written like a YA and it should have probably been content wise.
Interchanging dialogue types were also annoying to listen to on audible. I'm sure on paper it works better but
Tim:
Andy:
Tim:
Pete:
Tim:
was hard to listen to when most of the time dialogue was normal and just sometimes that way. sucks to not give super positive reviews. I loved the Scooby doo type crew set in their future adult lives idea but just had issues with the above things.

still with love,
Justin

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Struggled, but couldn't finish

I tried, I even started it over. I just couldn't get into it at all.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Worst Book I've Read in Years

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Better writing (reads like it was written by a "C" high school student?) Original plot (Poor ripoff of "It"?) Better character development? Basic research on some aspects of the book (biology, chemistry, firearms, etc?) Basic plot points that are logical?

What was most disappointing about Edgar Cantero’s story?

Very poorly researched and written.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kyla Garcia’s performances?

I would.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Meddling Kids?

It reads like a YA novel written by a student. Some major plot points depend on incorrect facts (oxygen isn't flammable, there's not such thing as a "pump action assault rifle", as well as dozens of other dubious ideas.) Frankly, it would be easier to list the scenes that should stay in the book.

Any additional comments?

It's a surprisingly bad book. I'm completely shocked that it has the rating that it does. It's as if some high school student was given the assignment to do a mashup of Stephen King's "It" and Scooby Doo, but waited until the night before to do the assignment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Rita
  • Greenbelt, MD, United States
  • 09-08-17

I love camp and nostalgia: this did not deliver

What would have made Meddling Kids better?

From the synopsis, I was hooked. Scooby Doo-- I Loved that as a kid. Tentacle monsters- I'll take a dozen please! This book may work in print a bit better. The breaks between narrative and the script like narrative destroyed this for me. And everytime I heard Zoinks River I wanted to throw spitballs at an imaginary monster in the room with me. I was annoyed- not entertained. Sadly, I cant get back the time I spent hoping this book would get better if I just hung in there and listened to another chapter.

Has Meddling Kids turned you off from other books in this genre?

No way. I really like Lovecraftian mashups so I will keep seeking them out.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Kyla Garcia?

Definately. The flaws in this book were in no way the fault of the narrator.

What character would you cut from Meddling Kids?

All of them?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • C Gipe
  • COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States
  • 08-17-17

Fun idea, mediocre execution.

Pretentious use of language in a disparate number of voices. Reminded me of the over use of adjectives that one usually finds in high-school writing. The concept was good, but the author couldn't figure out whether this was a goofy satire or serious thriller. In the end it was neither.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh Those Meddling Kids!

A serious kick in the pants! This story does not let up for a second. A screaming, rollicking, crazy wild ride of a tale! I would love to read more of the BSDC and they're unbelievable literally out of this world adventures. Highly recommended for lovers of fantasy, horror and Saturday morning cartoons !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Better than I expected.

It seemed shallow and predictable at the beginning with too much forced grit to show that the characters were no longer children. This surprisingly deepened with Nate, but stayed shallow and forced with Andy and Kerri. I would have liked to see Karri develop rather than be the idol for Andy.
I hoped for more from Ghost Peter, but that seemed to fizzle out and become an afterthought. The play between predictable scoot plot and lovecraftian story was more enjoyable and more complex than expected.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful