Book Review: “Fantastica” by Andrea Lightfoot

Disclaimer: “Fantastica” by Andrea Lightfoot was distributed to me by Voracious Readers Only for free in exchange for an honest review.

Cover of "Fantastica—Surreal Prose & Poetry" by Andrea Lightfoot
Cover of “Fantastica—Surreal Prose & Poetry” by Andrea Lightfoot

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing the book “Fantastica” by Andrea Lightfoot! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“Fantastica – Surreal Prose & Poetry is a guide to Fantastica, one of the most mystical and mysterious places on Earth. It is the nearest place to Fairyland and there is an immense number of magical and paranormal folk who reside here. You will find stories, poems, interviews and information created by Fantastica residents and visitors from other places and countries designed to inspire you.”

Worldbuilding Development: 2 out of 5 stars

The worldbuilding of this book leaves much to be desired. There are certainly fantastical elements through each of the poems, stories and/or letters from one character to another. However, I don’t think it melds together in a way that the author hoped it would. It doesn’t feel like a fully formed world. I was curious to learn more about all the beings that inhabit this place, but nothing really stood out as interesting to me. It has potential for more growth than it got.

Plot Development: 1 out of 5 stars

Character Development: 1 out of 5 stars

Since “Fantastica” is a collection of short stories, poetry, and letters between characters, it’s hard to determine a “main plot. It’s better to see this book as a compilation of stories from the everyday world of Fantastica. The short stories are fine as everyday, slice-of-life pieces, but none of them really caught my interest. I was really bored when reading it, actually. I’m disappointed to find all of the stories to be so underwhelming. I also thought the poetry could be better in terms of creative word choice and overall structure, and didn’t give me a good sense of the worldbuilding going on in this book.

I also thought that the characters could be better-developed, especially in the short stories. None of them stood out as interesting to me, as they didn’t have a lot of development. It could be due to the short stories being really short as is. I just think there could be more depth to the characters than what was given.

Overall, I’m rating this book 1 out of 5 stars!

I think this book had a lot of potential to be interesting, offering a lot of worldbuilding through snippets of everyday life. Unfortunately, it falls flat in execution, and I wouldn’t recommend this book. If you’re looking for better short story collections in a fantasy world, I suggest a series like “Restaurant To Another World” instead.

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