Book Review: “Fountain” by John Medler


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I picked up this novel because it sounded like an intriguing historical thriller, but it took only a couple of chapters to convince me it was way more than that. Complex action, interesting, well-developed characters, mysteries, and even some clever twists – I’d say this book has all it needs to keep any reader glued to the pages. It surely kept me. Even if it has over 500 pages, I read it in two sittings and I couldn’t believe it was over.

“Fountain” follows at least two different plot lines that somehow come together at the end of the novel. On the one hand, there is the incredible theory Professor Charlie Winston develops regarding the discovery of America. I liked how the author did his research and presented all the historical facts in such a way that it didn’t feel like a history lesson, nor like the characters were dumping information. All the details were cleverly woven in the narrative and the dialogue, and it was a real pleasure to learn so many things about the discovery of America and the Pacific Ocean, as well as about the myths and legends of the natives, and the Fountain of Youth. I must admit that I didn’t expect the characters to actually go on a journey to find it, because it seemed like a crazy thought even for a history professor who was so passionate about this legend, but it was a nice twist. I absolutely loved the second half of the book, where Winston and his friends had to use their wits and knowledge to solve the Mayan riddles and survive the Trials of Xibalba.

On the other hand, there is the plot line that focuses on bioterrorism. Two brothers want to take revenge for their parents’ death, and choose to do so by spreading the airborne strain of the Ebola virus and threatening with the painful death of millions of Americans if the president doesn’t accept their terms. It was really exciting to see the best scientists trying to isolate the virus and find a cure, and, again, I loved the fact that the author did so much research on this. It was also interesting to see the bioterrorists’ side of story and try to understand the motivation behind their actions. The fact that “Fountain” is such a character-driven story was a plus for me.

Now I’m curious to read the author’s other book, especially since “Fountain” is a sequel to it. The characters hint at what happened in “Quatrain” a couple of times, and I really liked John Morse and his son, Zack, so it would be nice to read about how they discovered the lost prophecies of Nostradamus in John Medler’s first novel.