Good Mythical Murders
Horror and Supernatural thrillers are not my cup of tea, I have enough struggles with nightmares as it is, but I threw away my nervousness at starting this book purely for my love of Rhett and Link. GMM has been an internet staple for over a decade now, and like most people my age, I love to watch Rhett and Link in the morning. I enjoy their style of humor and personalities, so I am glad those aspects transferred over when it came to writing a novel.
The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek isn’t what I expected from a debut novel, in all honesty. I figured they would go down a similar route, but the combination of genres in this was a pleasant surprise and a bit much at times. Set in 1992, the book follows Rex and Leif, stand-ins for Rhett and Link themselves, as they deal and fight with a force slowly taking children from their small Southern town. The supernatural element isn’t unveiled until a bit into the book, and while it doesn’t come as a shock, it does shift the novel’s perspective a bit. Rex, Leif, and their best friend, Alicia, end up running afoul of the local town leader, and because of this, Alicia is punished massively. Rex and Leif, scared for her life, end up trying to save her and meet with a slew of characters, all motivated for different reasons to keep things status quo.
A few reviewers have mentioned the YA tilt to this novel, and I agree. The characters (for the most part) are very young teens, but the book is written for an adult audience. Had this been marketed or edited just slightly to release as a YA/Teen novel, it would have matched the writing style and language more aptly. It has major Stranger Things vibes, which is fantastic, and something about the book I loved. There’s a character point regarding New Kids on the Block, and I love when authors include timely references to things released the year their book is supposed to be set. It adds so much to the general feel and sense of place that one is supposed to get from a book like this. I wish some aspects were a bit more fleshed out, especially the evil adult characters as they read as very face-value evil with little depth. Of course, those characters being portrayed that way works perfectly, seeing as the book was told from the point of view of two 14-year-olds, but with the adult-skewing language and writing style choices, it came off as slightly disjointed. The mystery/horror elements were wonderfully fun, but I’m okay with getting nightmares after the fact. The way the authors used common locations in small towns to create a sense of dread and foreboding was also entertaining.
Rhett and Link aren’t necessarily authors, so I wasn’t expecting some New York Times nonstop bestseller-style writing here. I was hoping for an enjoyable, passable book that would leave me hoping they write something else in the future, and on that note, they succeeded.
Title: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek
Author: Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal
Three Descriptors: Creepy, Funny, Well-Plotted
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