In my opinion, Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives suffered a bit from middle-book syndrome.
Based upon the rumor mill and the way this one left off, I am guessing there is going to be a third book and it’s going to knock this one out of the park.
It’s been a year since the bloodbath in Kettle Springs. Quinn Maybrook finds herself back in Philadelphia, attending college and trying to recover from the horrors she survived.
The public reaction to the Kettle Springs events are mixed. There are factions of online warriors who believe the whole thing was a hoax and some who believe that Quinn and her friends, Cole and Rust, were the actual perpetrators. Frankly, it’s been difficult trying to navigate that atmosphere.
Quinn is a tough egg though, she’s getting by the best she can, just trying to blend in.
Back in Kettle Springs, her father is now the mayor, doing his best to get the damaged town back on track.
The town has become a bit of a tourist attraction for fans of the macabre, general looky-los and unfortunately, a few crazies. All the day in the life of an infamous town.
One weekend when Cole and Rust go to visit Quinn at college, they’re suddenly attacked by a familiar figure. This isn’t their first rodeo, however, and our trio is able to fight off their attackers.
Then Quinn gets the most disturbing call of her life. Something is going down in Kettle Springs and her father seems to be the latest victim. The three must return and seemingly relive the worst night of their life all over again.
Is it a copy-cat? Is it a conspiracy? How were the attacks coordinated? Quinn’s not sure yet, but she definitely intends to find out.
I loved Clown in a Cornfield. I started it on release day, read my hardback copy and enjoyed every moment of my reading experience. It was the exact book I needed to kick off the start of my Spooky Season 2020.
I loved the new girl trope we had happening with Quinn as she first arrived in Kettle Springs. The set-up was fantastic, including details as small as the view from Quinn’s bedroom window. I see you, Frendo.
The social commentary was fantastic as well and the kill scenes were a ton of fun. I marveled at Cesare’s creativity.
While this reading experience was quite different for me, I’m not mad at it.
This time around, I listened to the audiobook, while preparing for and traveling for Thanksgiving. Because of this, I feel like my mind wasn’t 100% committed and had the tendency to wander.
In fact, I listened to the last 40% twice, just trying to determine my opinion on it. One issue was that I found the multiple perspectives difficult to track.
Additionally, I found the build-up to the climax to be a bit muddled. In fact, it was confusion city there for me for a while.
Obviously Quinn’s personality has completely changed as well. At least it felt that way to me. While that’s understandable after all she’s been through, I did find it a little more challenging to connect with her.
While Cole and Rust’s relationship/angle was a bit of a mess for me, I did enjoy the inclusion of a new character in Kettle Springs, Jeri. Meaning new, as in we get her perspective multiple times in this installment.
Jeri lost her sister in the first book and had a very close call with Frendo. I really enjoyed learning more about her and her experience in the aftermath of his sister’s death and the town’s sudden infamy.
Personally, I don’t think the audibook did me any favors either. It’s not like the narration was bad. It really wasn’t. It was great in fact. I just think this could have been a better experience for me if I had read my hard copy.
Regardless, this was still a solid book. The themes involved were well-expressed. Particularly relevant in the aftermath of the Alex Jones / Sandy Hook trial. Cesare did a good job channeling those types of real-life issues into this.
I like that. I always enjoy some social commentary in my Horror. So, while this wasn’t great for me, I’m still enjoying this series and would absolutely pick up a third book!!!