We are reaching the end of Cesarefest. Before we continue, I want to point out that we are covering Cesare's full length works here. He is also an accomplished writer of short stories and appears comfortable in almost any medium. Therefore, I'd like to remind you that his name means quality. If you see something featuring Cesare, snatch it up and rest assured that you're about to encounter quality. That said, onto today's review...
The First One You Expect is part of the first wave of books releases by one of the most important publishers today, Broken River Books. Once again, Cesare's love of horror shines through and he takes elements and throws them into the pot with ingredients that are uniquely Cesare. The result is funny, tragic, scary, and really makes you think about the horror genre's successes and failures.
The First One You Expect is about a guy named Tony who makes low-budget horror films. Tony has a plan to launch a Kickstarter for his new film and that plan involves a series of the sort of really poor decisions you'd expect from a character in a noir novel. The sort of decisions that lead to getting involved with people you probably shouldn't get involved with.
Cesare handles this one like a thriller and homages the slasher genre. Throughout his career, Cesare appears to be saying that he can take almost any subgenre and make it his own. This one could not be more different in subject to something like Tribesmen but he still injects the characterization and terrific dialogue that you have come to expect from him.
If there was something to complain about here, it would be that the book was not longer. That is, however, often the way with good books. What Cesare does right, he does better than anyone else.
I think that Tony's character serves as a stand-in for many people in the horror community. His faults are, at times, criticisms of the horror genre as a whole taken to the extreme. Tony feels real and you want to see all of the bad choices he's going to make and the resulting consequences of those choices.
With The First One You Expect, Adam Cesare has written another terrific piece of horror fiction. You won't be able to put it down once you start, and you'll wish there was more like it when you're done.