Book Review – Fantasticland

Welcome aboard, train wreck.

As I’m writing this, I just finished the twelfth book in my 31 in 31 book reading challenge. I have read some great classics – Dracula, Frankenstein, The Lottery, The Doll, Carrie. I read some middle grade horror which totally surprised me – CIrque Du Freak. But so far, one book stands out among the rest.

If this is your first time here, welcome aboard, train wreck. Glad to have you here. If this isn’t your first time here, I’m still glad to have you. Please like, comment, share, and subscribe. My goal is to have five hundred subscribers by the end of the year. I think we can make that happen. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. As always, I will link the books and where you can buy them. When you use my links to buy, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me buy more books to read and review. And coffee and wine for the rest of my time that isn’t reading. So, thank you.

FantasticLand: A Novel by Mike Bockoven

From the Amazon description –

Since the 1970s, FantasticLand has been the theme park where “Fun is Guaranteed!” But when a hurricane ravages the Florida coast and isolates the park, the employees find it anything but fun. Five weeks later, the authorities who rescue the survivors encounter a scene of horror. Photos soon emerge online of heads on spikes outside of rides and viscera and human bones littering the gift shops, breaking records for hits, views, likes, clicks, and shares. How could a group of survivors, mostly teenagers, commit such terrible acts?

Presented as a fact-finding investigation and a series of first-person interviews, FantasticLand pieces together the grisly series of events. Park policy was that the mostly college-aged employees surrender their electronic devices to preserve the authenticity of the FantasticLand experience. Cut off from the world and left on their own, the teenagers soon form rival tribes who viciously compete for food, medicine, social dominance, and even human flesh. This new social network divides the ravaged dreamland into territories ruled by the Pirates, the ShopGirls, the Freaks, and the Mole People. If meticulously curated online personas can replace private identities, what takes over when those constructs are lost?
FantasticLand is a modern take on Lord of the Flies meets Battle Royale that probes the consequences of a social civilization built online.

About Mike Bockoven

Mike Bockoven writes thrillers, horror and other stories while his kids are in gymnastics class or at piano lessons. He lives with his wife, Sarah, two daughters, Emaline and Tessa, and an exceptionally dumb wiener dog named Sherlock.

You can find out more at his website,, on Facebook ( and on Twitter @mikebockoven. He lives in Grand Island, Nebraska.

To learn more about the author and their other works, click here.

My Summary

This has been sitting in my Kindle since March 2017 and I’m just now getting to it. By the way, if you love your Kindle like I do, you should check out Kindle Unlimited. Why did I let this one sit there so long? It was so good. When I had to stop it, I couldn’t wait to get back to it. I needed to know. What happened? How? Why? But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Picture if you will, Walt Disney World and about three hundred employees. And now make it Lord of the Flies. I love how it’s done in a series of interviews. Very much like World War Z. I really enjoyed how there are “author’s notes” that include things like notes that were found and even a play by play of a video.

This isn’t monsters and creatures. The real horror is how fast we would revert back to savagery. The real monster is us.

What I really liked.

Sad but true, I can see this happening. And even though it’s not Walt Disney World, I totally imagined Main Street and Pirates of the Caribbean and Dumbo’s Circus. I enjoyed how some characters were absolutely disgusted with themselves with what they had to do. Others, thrived. And there’s the horror.

What I didn’t like.

If you have a weak stomach, don’t read this. You’re going to be subjected to smells and sights that will turn your stomach. I’m usually ok with this but my stomach has been warring with my body lately. Aside from that, I felt like the decline of the survival society moved way too fast. I would hope it would take more than a day or two before people were looting, raping, and pillaging.

Who should read this?

Listen, I can be kind of an asshole some days. This would absolutely be a gift I would give to an obnoxious Disney fan. Like myself. Now whether they get mad or laugh, that’s on them. Other than that, I would say anyone who enjoys survival horror. Kill or be killed, battle royale type of books. This would be good for them.

My rating

This absolutely gets five out of five broomsticks.

Well, there you have. This may wind up as a read on my way to our Disney vacation next year. Just because.

Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. If you read any of the books listed, please let me know what you thought of it. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.


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