I admit it. I knew I was going to read this book the moment I saw the cover. Meddling Kids? The outline of the “gang” on the cover? As someone who grew up on hours of Scooby Doo episodes this screamed look at me (ok, to be honest the pink and green on the cover didn’t hurt). In most regards it was just what I expected. True the character names are different, the dog is now a Weimaraner, and some character traits have been tweaked but these are all understandable adjustments and they don’t detract from recognizing everything you would expect.
It’s a fun book that feels like reuniting with old friends. But what old friend is always exactly how you remember them? There are also some clever Easter eggs. I have to admit I was reading visually rather than verbally and the first few instances completely missed the fact the town was on the Zoinx River. The story definitely addresses some adult themes and I think that’s a good thing. The characters deserve to have more depth than Saturday night at the pizza parlor. The bad guys have more back story too and this is where some of the Lovecraftian mythos gets weaved in. Unfortunately, it felt more like name dropping than fully embracing.
It’s a book I enjoyed reading and would recommend, but it’s not the book I would have written (of course). Credit to Edgar Cantero for having the idea and writing an enjoyable story.