We weren’t meddling kids; we were pawns.
Published: July 11th, 2017
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Series: N/A – Standalone
Well, we went creature hunting last night, and we came across this… We’re… ninety percent sure it was not a guy in a costume.
1990. The teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in the Zoinx River Valley in Oregon) are all grown up and haven’t seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is twenty-five and on the run, wanted in at least two states. Kerri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she’s got Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the team. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last thirteen years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum in Arhkam, Massachusetts. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter’s been dead for years.
The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting.
Okay, so first let me say this; WOW. Just wow.
The cover and synopsis were enough to have me buy this on site, no contemplation needed, and I was so beyond excited to read this. I won’t lie; at first, I was disappointed. The book started out a little slow, I was slightly confused, and the writing style isn’t something I’m used to at all. Really, this isn’t a genre that I read a lot of, so it was something new for me. I’m glad I took a chance on this though, because I really did love it. While this book is supposed to be a fun take on the old school mystery solving groups like Scooby-Doo (my personal favorite), Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys, this book certainly is not for the kiddos. I’d give this book more of a high school rating for language, gore, and black magic aplenty.
The thing about this book is that it’s so intricate; there’s a lot of shady stuff going on and you’re trying so hard to piece things together but you never quite figure it out on your own. This book is overflowing with plot twists, I mean you literally get a twist on the very last page. Really, the last paragraph is a plot twist. Major applause to the author for making that happen. Didn’t see it coming, but I loved it nonetheless!
Like I mentioned before, I did have to get used to the writing style but once I did I was really into this book. I loved the characters, the fresh and original concept, and how vividly the author describes things. For instance, Kerri’s beautiful, curly orange hair takes on a life of it’s own in the story. The way the author describes it makes it seem like every single strand has it’s own personality, like they’re there to worship Kerri. He does this same imagery with a bunch of other things in the book too, and it really makes for a magical read.
The characters were so on point. I loved their playful banter, the way they each had their own distinct skills and personalities, and the way they worked together so well to really solve this mystery. Not to mention how awesome Tim was; he was such a brave boy! Yay for Tim! I need a dog like Tim. Anyway, I could really see the parallels between these kids and the Scooby gang, but I could also appreciate how very different these characters are from the those they were sculpted after. It was like there were just enough similarities for me to get the Scooby feel, but also so many differences that it didn’t feel like I was just reading a Scooby Doo rip off.
The whole concept behind the book was so original and fresh and totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Like I said, there were so many plot twists this would probably make for a great show on HBO. Cantero’s writing style plays a lot into how this story is perceived too; there are time when he switches from a regular writing format to a kind of movie script format, where it’s just what the characters are saying rapid fire, and it helps give that feeling or urgency to their conversations or actions. Not to mention the parts where the characters seem to know they’re in a book, like when the chapter is supposed to end but Andy screams and forces the chapter to continue. Just stuff like that made this book the fun romp that it is.
All around I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, exciting, spooky, and fresh. Definitely wouldn’t be mad if there was some sort of second book or something (just saying). Great spooky Fall read, or for any other time you want to be scared by monsters!
Other Novels by Edgar Cantero