[REVIEW] Death Fortune – by Sean Thomas Fisher

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Fisher is a new author to me; prior to his contacting me for this review consideration, I had never heard of him, nor had I ever seen his work promoted by the reviewers I trust and follow. This meant I went into Death Fortune with zero expectations. 

Though it is an adult novella, it honestly brought Goosebumps to mind throughout. I also saw another reader comment on a Creepshow influence, which I can also see. I think this is mostly due to its length and synopsis. You have two brothers that trade an inherited storage unit of junk for one of mystery. Inside, they find an amazing fortune telling booth named Rozelda. Of course, she’s cursed! Jimmy – the brother that chose to keep the machine for the bar he’s trying to open – now must deal with the death Rozelda brings, and figure out a way to stop it before his girlfriend is claimed next.

I’m not much for the setup, but I actually enjoyed Death Fortune quite a bit. It wasn’t until the last fifteen or twenty percent of this story that I lost some interest. Up until that point, I found the pacing and suspense top notch. Again, this reads like an adult version of Goosebumps, so if you grew up on that series like I did, you may get some nostalgic vibes from this novella. In fact, that might be part of the reason I enjoyed it so much. Nothing wrong with that! 

I will say some of the dialogue seemed overly excited – there are a lot of exclamation points through this story, is what I mean – and the flashback sequence near the end actually pulled me out of the story, rather than enhance it. I also could not stand Jimmy’s ex-wife – conversations with her actually irritated me deeply. I also found the whole story with her and the boyfriend somehow taking half of Jimmy’s inheritance – despite the fact that she had committed adultery to end their marriage – struck me as a little unbelievable. I know weird things come from divorces, but this one just didn’t strike me as a realistic threat. If Jimmy got himself a lawyer, I would imagine they’d win the case rather easily.

Complaints aside, I enjoyed Death Fortune enough that I have already downloaded several other stories by Fisher to see what else he has to offer. Again, if series like Goosebumps, Fear Street, or Creepshow ring your bell, I definitely recommend this quick and satisfying read.

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