Clown in a Cornfield 2: Fendo Lives! by Adam Cesare

Let me start on a positive note. I love a good horror story set amidst the backdrop of a creepy cornfield. I picked up the first installment of Clown in a Cornfield in an effort to chase that same chilling high I got from tale of Harold the killer scarecrow. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark fans, you know who I’m talking about! Although Frendo the Clown can’t hold a black-flaming candle to Harold, he still delivered an entertaining romp around the cornfields in the first installment. This second book, however, was a mess–and by “mess,” I mean the polar opposite of scary.

Gripe No. 1: The multiple POVs made the story choppy and the characters both unlikeable and uninteresting. I mean, they weren’t that great in book one either, but I gave them a pass because this is a slash-and-stalk, a genre that doesn’t spend much time on character development. You have to accept it for what it is, right?

Gripe No. 2: This book is a slooooooow burn, but not in a good way. The action doesn’t really start until you get halfway through the many chapters of whiny teenage angst. At this point, I was rooting for the multiple copycat clowns to end it all. Confession: I got about 80% through this thing until I had to pluck it in the DNF pile.

Gripe No 3: The pitiful attempt at character development involved too many scenes of bickering teenagers who forged their unlikely romance in the first book, a side-plot that I just didn’t care to remember. Frendo really needed to step it up fast to save me from the boredom of insecure puppy love drama.

Gripe No. 4: Here’s my biggest gripe of all: This book is social commentary in the guise of a horror story. I get it, we live in a F***ED up society full of fake news, proud boys and Trumplicans. Turn on the news and you’ll see we’re living in a dystopian story with all the weirdos drinking the Fox News Kool-Aid. I like to read books to escape our sad reality, not to be beaten over the head with the author’s political agenda. In all honesty, I lean the same way as this author; I just didn’t like the way he shoehorned his politics into what’s supposed to be a campy horror story about a killer clown. I just want a mindless slash-and-stalk in a creepy cornfield. Is that too much to ask???

Thanks for reading my soapbox rant. I would love to know your thoughts as well, so post a comment!

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