The show Scooby Doo holds a very special place in my heart in all of its iterations because I love it just that much. Fun fact, I saw that there was going to be a Scooby Doo/Supernatural crossover show and having watched no Supernatural at all, I watched 13 straight seasons so I could know what was going on. The joke was on me, because I didn’t know that there were stand alone episodes and that Scoobynatural was one of them. It’s fine, I fell in love with Dean along the way and now I get about 13% more cultural references. So what was my point? Oh yeah, well, when I saw this book Meddling Kids on Book Bub I was like, “No way!” “What?” “I have to get it!!” and also a few, “I bet this is going to be bad…” (because Book Bub is hit or miss).
I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t bad, not at all. I’m also here to tell you that Edgar Cantero couldn’t write a Scooby Doo mystery because it belonged to someone else (Hanna Barbera?). So this is the story of Kerri, Andy, Nate, Peter and Tim the weimaraner. The characters that you’re expecting have been kind of mixed together to form new (more diverse!) and interesting adult characters based off of the ones we would be expecting. After the kids finished their last big mystery in 1977, they went their separate ways, despite successfully catching the bad guy. They also all battled some sort of depression, alcoholism, anger issues and other forms of PTSD because there were elements of the case that scarred them, elements far scarier than just unmasking some goofy dude hunting for gold in a supposedly haunted mansion. No, the kids in 1977 experienced true horror…a horror that they attempted to escape and yet, now in their mid 20’s are being pulled back together to uncover the mystery that they were too young to deal with. Oh and they might also have to save the world.
This book is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you liked the newer iteration of the gang with Mystery Incorporated, it felt more like that. There was a real mystery going on and the one they solved as kids was just a foil for the true horror occurring in the so-called haunted mansion. With tentacles splayed across the cover of the novel, I felt sure that it was in for a run in with perhaps some of the Lovecraftian Old Ones. I wasn’t wrong. There’s lots of call backs to the old stories (Zoinx River!) and impossible things happen; echoing ridiculous traps/escapes like in the cartoon (I’m pretty sure the one character would be dead if it happened in real life, but it was fun to read how they bust him out of an asylum) and there are new terrors too. If I had to make complaints, some of the fight scenes went on for a little too long for my liking and I wasn’t sure why the dialogue went from regular dialogue to play format at times, but these are minor quibbles. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Beware, it skews on the side of true creature horror and the occult than the typical tales.