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review 2018-09-19 23:15
Fantastic narration sets this horror-if-ic story apart from the others...
FantasticLand - Mike Bockoven





Mike Bockoven



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.






Luke Daniels has essentially become my favorite male narrator after listening to this.  He and Angela Dawe were phenomenal.  They narrated several characters between the two of them, giving each voice its own sound.  Daniels did the majority of them.  He had different accents, inflections…this felt like it was a full-cast narration.


Fantasticland asks the question…what would a few hundred young adults do when completely cut-off from their phones and social media accounts and with no one left to tell them what to do…It's outlandish that something of this magnitude would happen, but it's laid out in a very real, very plausible way.  Seriously, this totally freaked me out, on several levels.  It was so intense and scary…if I was ever in a position to have to evacuate because of a hurricane…I'd be out.  Especially, after listening to this.











Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5+/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ …on a horror scale, I'll give it a 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5


Book Cover~ It's perfect.  (Although a giant question mark laying on the ground would've been better…)

Narration~ 5+ for Angela Dawe & Luke Daniels

Setting~ Fantasticland Theme Park, Florida

Source~ I own Audible Audiobook




I used this for Creepy Carnivals Square in Halloween Bingo 2018


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review 2018-09-09 22:52
The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule - Stan Berenstain,Jan Berenstain,Mike Berenstain


Brief Review:

The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule, Do to others what you want others to do to you. The story gives examples of how young children should or should not do to others what you want others to do to you.

Idea of how it can be used in a classroom:

The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule could be used to teach students how others feel when they are left out. The teacher could have the students explain why the Golden Rule is so important.

Reading Level & Leveling System:

Accelerated Readers

3.5; Third Grade Fifth Month

Book Rating:

I would rate this book a 5 because it goes over one of the most important rules for children to know and understand.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-07 22:42
My Name is Not Isabella
My Name Is Not Isabella - Jennifer Fosberry,Mike Litwin

My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry is about a girl named Isabella who refers to herself as a variety of different strong and influential women of the world throughout one day.  At the end of the book, Isabella goes to bed confident and as herself, but she wonders who she will be tomorrow.  This is a great book for young girls to explore as it shows that women are powerful and can achieve greatness.  My Name is Not Isabella is also a good book for a history lesson on women's history because it gives small bios at the back of the book on each of the women mentioned in the story.  An activity that could be done with this book is to have students research a person they look up to and have the students make a cereal box biography on the person. On the Lexile reading level measure My Name is Not Isabella is AD640L (Grade 3).  

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review 2018-09-01 19:33
Cold Moon Over Babylon
Cold Moon Over Babylon (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Michael McDowell,Mike Mignola

Can Michael McDowell write a bad horror story? I don´t know yet, because Cold Moon Over Babylon, my third book by this author, has been excellent … truly excellent, in the most terrifying kind of way. I had to look numerous times over my own shoulder, because I got the impression that someone (or something) was standing there, lurking over my shoulder. I´m not afraid to admit it, this novel freaked me out. And I loved every second of it.


What really works for me in a McDowell book is his writing. He knows how to create atmosphere in his stories. The dense and dark pine trees, the deep and muddy waters of the river or the looming sphere of the moon – the most ordinary objects get turned into something menacing. And how he matter-of-factly turns up the gore and the scariness is highly entertaining. I´m already looking forward to my next McDowell.


I have read this book for Halloween bingo. It qualifies for Southern Gothic, Slasher Tales, Ghost Stories, Terror in a Small Town, Genre: Horror. I call the square Southern Gothic.  


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text 2018-09-01 18:35
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Cold Moon Over Babylon (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Michael McDowell,Mike Mignola

This was an intense, scary, creepy, eery and excellent book to kick off the official start of Halloween book bingo 2018.


I fear, though, falling asleep tonight might be a difficult task.

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