Self Publishing Review.com
REVIEW BY HENRY BAUM
Fantastica, by Victorio Velasquez is not a serious novel.
If you sit down to read it and you want your mind to be blown away by a
touching story, this is not the novel for you. If you are looking for
something to make you laugh and to help you forget about the real world,
then this may be the right fit.
Before I summarize the novel I
would like to state that this story is meant to be silly. Velasquez is
poking fun at fantasy novels and about the world we live in today. He
goes out of his way to be outrageous and shocking. Without knowing
this, you may be turned off by his writing.
Fantastica is a
magical land that is under the rule of an evil emperor, Louie, who is an
orange tabby cat god who has lived for over 2000 eons. His empire is
plagued with political, social, and racial divisions. And Louie,
sticking to his cat instincts and desires, does not care as long as he
is fed his favorite foods and petted.
Shit and Dope are two
friends who repeatedly get into mischief. Shit is an outcast who is not
only rude, but ugly. The author writes, “his overall demonic
appearance of warty reptilian scaly skin, pupil-less silver eyes that
glowed in the dark, disheveled black hair, peculiar doggy ears, along
with his offensively rude obnoxious behavior in the presence of the cat
god’s imperial court eventually made him an outcast from the social
élite that had the privilege to speak to the cat god on a regular
Shit, however, has some good friends, including Dope, who
make his life interesting. Dope’s family is part of the imperial
court. And his friendship with Shit is dangerous. This does not deter
Dope from attending Shit’s annual week long Pigshit festival. The
festival is a time for the ordinary people and beasts that live outside
the city to celebrate and to relax. However, the festival is
interrupted by the military and the two friends are separated.
is arrested by the military and has to stand trial in front of the
emperor. He’s sentenced to become a slave. Yet, keeping to the fantasy
formula, he is able to elude his fate with the aid of some friends,
including talking rats and birds. Breaking with the fantasy genre, the
author sidetracks Dope by having him fall in love with an ugly woman.
This love threatens Dope’s freedom.
Shit escapes arrest and sets
off on a quest to seek the power to take down the emperor. His journey
includes many trials and tribulations, but with some unexpected twists.
Will he succeed and make it in time to rescue his friends from the
As I said before, this is not a novel to be taken
seriously. If you are expecting to have your socks blown off by
riveting descriptions of a new fantasy world I would advise you to look
elsewhere. The author wants to surprise the reader. He says in his
description that all of the dialogue “reads like bad acting in 70s/80s
era B movies, Old English dubbed Kung Fu flicks, and dubbed Japanime
from the 80's and 90's.” For example, Joe, the talking rat, says to
Dope, “Look, homeboy… I've only known you for less than a week, and
it doesn't take much to let me know that your jonesing for a woman after
days of being cooped up with us magically talking sewer rats.” If you
are in the mood for silliness than you may enjoy Fantastica.
Life can’t always be serious now can it? I once heard that novels like
this are like candy for the brain. A little bit of sugar to soothe an overworked person can be a perfect way to unwind and to remember to laugh. Velasquez shows promise and I would like
to see some of his writing after an editor has worked his or her magic.
Fantastica is the first volume and I’m curious about the continuation of the series.