Clown in a Cornfield Review

When it comes to horror, sometimes movies just aren’t enough. Many horror mediums include television shows, board games, music, and books. I often indulge in many horror-related novels and there are times when a book stands out enough that it is worth talking about. Especially when the book reminds me of my favorite horror movie, Scream.

Quinn Maybrook is a senior in high school. After the death of her mother, Quinn and her father decide to move from Philadelphia to the small town of Kettle Springs, Missouri. The town has suffered financially after the local factory burned down. The adults spend time worrying while the kids and teens do what they can to have fun and live life.

Quinn makes friends with some of the teens in town including a popular boy named Cole, and her neighbor Rust. Things seem to be going well enough. Quinn is even invited to a party in a cornfield. Unfortunately, things turn for the worse when the town mascot, Fendo the Clown, begins to kill off the town’s youth one by one.

Things Are Not As They Seem

The thing that honestly drew me to this book was the fantastic cover. Dark and ominous with a creepy face smiling back at you. The title while holding my interest did throw me for a loop. The title doesn’t lie. There is a clown. The clown is in a cornfield. One might look at this title and go, “Wow this sounds fun.” The book is a lot of fun, but it is way more than just that.

I am a huge fan of horror comedy. It is one of my favorite genres. I like weird things that are full of cheese. When I picked up Clown in a Cornfield, I thought I was getting a zany out-of-this-world book. I expected a wild supernatural clown to be gross and murder people violently while doing obscene things. I was pleasantly surprised that I got an intriguing mystery with very good character development, great detailed gore, and something when once finished, I just needed to share it with others,

The Character Development

Author Adam Cesare does an astounding job with character development. In the first half of the novel, we spend a lot of time with our characters. Creepy things do happen but I love that we can spend time learning about who we are spending time with. Horror movies have tropes. Cesare understands this and you can tell he is a horror fan as his love for horror bleeds off of every page.

We have the final girl. We have the jock. We have the popular girl. Cesare finds a way to not just have them be cookie-cutter characters. There are times when I read a book or watch a movie and the characters can be either too dull or too one-note. One of the worst sins for me is when I can’t tell the difference between characters and it makes for a confusing read or watch.

After reading this book, you could probably read a line from a character and I would be able to tell you who said it. I love that. Character building is very important. It makes you care more. There is a reason why the Scream franchise was able to resurrect the slasher genre and make people care again. Yes, the movie was self-aware but it gave us characters we could care about. Don’t get me wrong, I love a random slasher where the killer just kills without meaning and characters die without even having a name. But to give us characters we could root for is a great bonus. Especially because the second half of this book is balls-to-the-wall insane.

Kills, Kills, Kills

The body count in this novel is very high and it is very welcomed. Quinn and her friends are partying in the cornfield when Fendo the Clown shows up and all hell breaks loose. Quinn and her friend have to do what they can to survive and rescue who they can while trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Once it is revealed what is going on, it is something I did not see coming from a mile away…

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! (If you do not want to be spoiled skip the next paragraph as the twist will be revealed. I do feel it is necessary to discuss to explain how different and great this novel is.)

As many teens are dying in the cornfield it is revealed that there isn’t just one clown. There are several clowns. Many clowns all over. Fendo is everywhere. Who are these clowns? It turns out that most of the adults of the town came together and decided it was the youth of Kettle Springs that was causing all the grief. Their solution was to dress like the town mascot and massacre all the youths. They would rebuild, repopulate, and try again. It is an insane twist but the pages kept turning because I needed to see how it would end. Our main character, Quinn, goes all over the place with the help of her friends, killing Fendo’s left and right and it is glorious.

Spoilers Over!!!!!

Overview and Sequels

Clown in a Cornfield is well-written, well-paced, and a lot of fun. The characters are all interesting and you never know who will be next to get killed. Fendo as a villain is intriguing and mysterious. Quinn is a great final girl who is relatable in multiple ways and as a whole the book is very refreshing while also having major Scream vibes.

There is a sequel as well as a third book in the works. Also, a movie adaptation has been announced. The sequel is great as well and gives us more information and answers questions that may have lingered. The character building helps because you care even more about certain characters you have spent so much time with already.

I look forward to reading more by Adam Cesare. You can tell he is a fan and I love that. There is a ton of care and warmth in this book which is funny because it is a brutal slasher novel. The writing always feels genuine and that means a lot to a horror fan like myself. If you are a fan of slashers or horror novels, this is one to pick up and lose yourself in.

About Martin Maruri

Martin Maruri is an avid fan of pop culture and movie trivia. In his spare time, Martin loves to watch horror movies, watch baseball and spend time with his lovely girlfriend. P.S...He also loves spending time with his French Bulldog named Tobin.

View all posts by Martin Maruri

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.