Hello awesome readers. Today a fantastic new book was released into the world, Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun. I was really excited to read this book because another book by this author (Dead Over Heels) was one of my past Book of the Month winners. I was certainly not disappointed with this novel. It features scary paranormal activity linking two timelines together, and was a very entertaining and original read. Below you’ll find my review of this book and the blurb from Amazon.
Author: Theresa Braun
Category: Horror, Haunted House, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT
Suitable for: Teens+
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: E-book ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Also available in paperback and Kindle Unlimited.
Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past. Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.
This book is a really unique spin on your typical haunted house story. The house is plenty creepy with tons of spooky occurrences that our hero always tries to explain away. There is a mysterious and dark malevolence in the house and you see the deep story unveil bit by bit as secrets from long ago are revealed. It’s told from the perspective of 2 time periods centering around 2 key people. I really liked these two perspectives, seeing what happened in the past, as if it was real time, and then seeing how that connects to the “present.” I say “present” like that because one time period is the 1860s and the other is 1988. I liked the main character Mark from 1988, and found this to be a sort of coming of age story for him. He’s a teenage boy who is discovering he has feelings for boys but he’s confused by also liking girls, a cross dressing ghost from the past doesn’t help his confusion in any way. There’s a bit of cute love story nestled in there and a small light of hope for him after being so miserable moving away. He also has a little sister that brings more uniqueness and personality to the cast.
“He hated that societal gender expectations stung him with shame.”
In the even further back past (1862) Emma is living a rough life in a world full of sexism, racism and violence toward Native Americans. Even though she is but a memory from the past we get to see her life as she lived it. I thought the settings of both 1862 and 1988 felt real and immersive. I really do like how this book seamlessly gave voices to minorities, LGBT individuals, and women. Through the story and dialogue weaved subtly demonstrated discrimination and gender issues. No matter the time period there have been groups ostracized and treated unfairly and this book brings light to that through a scary horror story.
“Mark gasped. He’d stood over that fountain in nightmares.”
I really, really enjoyed this book! The story was exciting and full of detail. It was very well written and I would definitely recommend it and read more by the author. If you like horror and haunted house stories, it’s a must read. With the added bonus of a diverse cast, elements of historical fiction and time travel.
“Claws clacked closer, seeming to cease at the threshold.”
My 5* review of past Book of the Month winner Dead Over Heels by Theresa Braun can be found here.