Rec: Fallen Hero: Rebirth

Title: Fallen Hero: Rebirth
Author: Malin Rydén
Format: Online text-based Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game
Published/Free: Published
Length: 380,000
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Possible mentions of past abuse, suicide, alcoholism
Summary: Become the greatest telepathic villain Los Diablos has ever known! Once you were famous; soon you will be infamous. That is, unless your old friends in the Rangers stop you first. Juggle different identities and preserve your secrets as you build new alliances and try to forget the friendships you’ve left behind.

Review: In terms of interactive fiction, Fallen Hero: Rebirth may be the best one out there. The intricate and seamless writing introduces a world where superheroes are more than simple ‘do-gooders’ and where everything may not be as it seems. The characters you can romance are fully fleshed out and are truly living and breathing in the city that you may very well destroy…

Rec: Rébellion

Title: Rébellion
Author: Anwise Lanvière
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 3 chapters/?
Status: WIP
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Written in French! Dubious consent, mention of violence, mention of child abuse
Summary: Comme tous ceux de son peuple depuis que le grand empire de Fréane a conquis la péninsule d’Uria, Sao est un esclave.
Son indiscipline l’a conduit à être vendu de maître en maître jusqu’à se retrouver au service du mystérieux Friedhelm Archenias.
Si cette nouvelle situation lui permet de retrouver un peu de confort et de se rapprocher de Rébellion, une organisation secrète d’esclaves qui fomente une révolte, il n’en reste pas moins sur ses gardes. Il se méfie du caractère imprévisible de son maître, qui lui accorde de nombreux privilèges mais n’hésite pas à lui rappeler sa condition à la moindre occasion.
Sao et les rebelles parviendront-ils à obtenir la liberté ?
Et qui est cet étrange monsieur Archenias ?

Review: Since I’m the author, my opinion cannot be neutral 😉 If you can read French and you’re looking for a slave/master story with a plot that goes beyond sexual tension and is more centred around politics. Also, steampunk atmosphere, if that’s your thing.

Rec: Immunity Series

Title: Immunity
Author: Epic Solemnity (Dark_Cyan_Star)
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 2 parts so far, Part I: 22 Chapters, Part II: 19/30 Chapters
Status: WIP, updates once or twice a week
Rating: Mature
Warnings: graphic violence, implied/referenced incest
Link: AO3 (Part I)  AO3 (Part II)
Summary: Raised in the slums, away from his scheming relatives, a prince grows up dreaming of revenge. However, blood is power, and despite his royal lineage, Ezra isn’t an Elemental. Or so he believes. When he reencounters his darkly enthralling uncle, he finds himself facing new, enigmatic possibilities and unlocked powers. He soon realizes he doesn’t want to kill his family. He wants to beat them at their own game. 

Review: The world built around this story is amazing. I love the dynamics of all the characters, and the story itself is new and refreshing. The author is a great writer and it really shows in her word choice and grammar. Although they claim the story updates once a week, they have posted more than one chapter a week many times. If you love fantasy and slow burn, this is the story for you.

Epic Solemnity (Dark_Cyan_Star)

Rec: Euclidean Signature

Title: Euclidean Signature
Author: mobiusghost/mobiusreach
Format: webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: currently 38 pages, will be pretty long
Status: wip
Rating: currently Teen, will go up to Mature eventually 
Warnings: blood, mild gore VERY later on, sexual themes, implied abuse/csa later on
Summary: An angel and an alchemist travel across the lands on the run from thrill seekers and bounty hunters.

Review: "it’s good, read it.“ – me, the author

Rec: Blue on Black

Title: Blue on Black
Author: Carole Cummings 
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Published
Length: 380 pages
Status: Complete 
Rating: Mature 
Warnings: non-con (not between main pairing), mind control, violence, slavery through debts
Summary: Bas is a Directorate Tracker on the trail of Baron Petra Stanslo, a megalomaniac and ruler of a little desert barony on the edge of nowhere. Techs tend to die and disappear around Baron Stanslo, and the latest one is Kimolija Adani–Class 2 gridTech, beloved brother, most promising student the Academy’s ever had the privilege of calling their own, genius mechanical gridstream engineer, brilliantly pioneering inventor. A dead man Bas has definitely not fallen in love with through his diaries and work.

For almost three years, Bas has tried to find a way into Stanslo’s Bridge, and when he finally makes it, shock is too small a word for what—or, rather, whom—he finds there.

Review: I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. I’ve read Cumming’s other works before, specifically her Wolf’s Own series, and though I didn’t mind it, I certainly didn’t love the books. Maybe it’s the subject matter and the genre that caught my attention. It’s a Wild West Punk with psychics, and my god I did not know I needed that in my life until now.  

The romance is slow, and the plot is convoluted, and Cummings does an excellent job of weaving it all together. I love reading about Bas contending with his feelings for Kimo, whatever they might be, while dealing with Stanslo’s particular brand of insanity. Not to mention that everyone seems to have their own agendas, and he’s not sure who to trust. On that note, the secondary characters really stood and I would have loved to read a number of backstories about any of them. Even the most villainous of character were fascinating in their own right, even if sometimes that fascination is laced with disgust. 

I really enjoyed the worldbuild, and how it’s revealed bit by bit, rather than in episodes of massive info dumps. It felt natural, the way the information is given to the readers. Not to mention Bas is a hilarious character in his own head, whose love for being a hero battles constantly with his survival instincts and common sense. 

That said, the story doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the violence either, which might not be to everyone’s taste. And admittedly, the slow start can be a bit of a slog to get through, and Cummings is not kind with explanations but it’s worth it for the story that unfolds. 

Rec: Black Sails

Title: Black Sails
Format: TV Show
Published/Free: It’s free with a Starz subscription (so not free technically)
Length: 4 Seasons (38 episodes total)
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature to Ultra mature 
Warnings: Rape (specifically in ep 3, and somewhat through s1. There is very little, if any, outside of that season after), major character death, a graphic keelhauling scene, blood, action violence.
Link: on Starz. also hulu (s1-3)
Summary: This is a prequel to Treasure Island and is set in Nassau during the golden age of piracy. It follows Captain Flint and characters involved with the crew or Nassau as Captain Flint chases after a shit ton of gold–and then turns to a power struggle on pirate freedom. 

Review: This is a very very good show. The first season is a little….clearly trying to attract the straight man audience but then it starts to get gay and the women get very powerful. There are many gay characters and (with the exception of one) they all survive! One of the strongest characters is a queer black woman who came from a slave start (before the show) and ended up so powerful (and spoilers: she doesn’t die). 

The characters are all nuanced and interesting and it is a very good show. The action scenes are tight and exciting. The relationships are so good (and a lot are gay which is what a lot of y’all reading this are looking for haha). The story is good and is not just focused on a hunt for gold. It talks of the problems with England and touches on “othering” (a lot having to do with the queer characters). It’s one big power struggle and it is amazing. There’s also a poly relationship if you’re into that. 

There is a significant rape scene right at the beginning of season 1. It is a gang rape scene so please exercise care if you need it. The good news is–it gets better. Rape is not a main point in anything after that, outside of a few throwaway mentions (and i remember a throwaway line about bestiality in the same vein). 

Basically: pirates! gay! cool! action! 

Rec: Silver in the Wood

Title: Silver in the Wood
Author: emilyenrose
Format: Novella
Published/Free: free, on ao3
Length: 19291 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Everyone (maybe Teen ?)
Warnings: None
Summary: It was the middle of an autumn downpour when Tobias first met Henry Silver. Midsummer had come and gone, and the wood was quiet.

Review: Very good and well written story with mythological/english folklore elements in a sort of victorian setting (this last characteristic isn’t very pronounced). Poetic and slighly melancholic story that still ends on a positive/hopeful note.

Rec:  A Dissident Symphony

Title: A Dissident Symphony
Author: Evercee (Hannah Pasedag)
Format: Short story
Published/Free: Up for free on Tapas!
Length: Right now there are two chapters with the chapters being uploaded in small 600 word bits.
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen (some light violence, mentions to sexual themes, and crass language).
Warnings: Mentions of abuse, violence, mentions of self harm, mentions of suicide.
Summary: This story is about Nisha Kakkar, a young woman who suddenly finds herself thrown into a job she’s never wanted and forced to live on the fringes of a society she would have never willingly joined. It’s also about found family, really cool superpowers, complex social issues, and the journey to self love.

Come join Nisha and her new life as she learns: what makes something worth fighting for, and more importantly, what makes it worth living for?

Review: I feel a little biased writing a review for this story since it’s my own! But what I can say is these characters/world are something I’ve had for years and years and they’re very dear to me. I’ve put a lot of thought into the world building and creating a meaningful story and I would more than appreciate anyone that takes the time to read it!

Rec: Spidersilk

Title: Spidersilk
Author: Pamela Kotila (Alakotila)
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free. Two volumes available for purchase on Kickstarter
Length: 20 chapters and counting
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Torture in flashbacks, combative violence, and sexual references
Summary: Prentice, a former soldier struggling with events a year before the story’s start, is introduced to a city’s criminal system by new friends. Attacks during his training reveal threads to a large trap for their system.

Review: Spidersilk is Social Fantasy. While the primary relationship is a sweet romance between a warrior-mage and a golden-hearted thief, the story follows other relationships, most notably friendships and chosen family. Because of the interwoven story lines, I feel as if the comic’s title is as descriptive of the story’s structure as the network of criminals accepted by the city.

The large cast can be hard to follow, especially when background characters are referred to by name. Original character designs makes remembering the big players easier. It’s obvious their creator cares about showing their unique identities.

One aspect I really appreciate about the cast is the mix of masculinity and femininity in the characters. After jumping in from a reading break, remembering the gender of the secondary characters can be a challenge but it ultimately doesn’t matter. They treat each other differently based on skill, affiliation, and attraction rather than on gender.

The characters are beautiful. All of them. I suspect every reader develops a crush on at least one character. It’s not only their pretty faces, lean bodies, lush hair, and intricately-drawn clothing; many of the characters have lovely personalities. Excepting the occasional racist guard and mysterious strangers attacking the city’s system, the characters are accepting, supportive, and interesting.

I wouldn’t mind living in their world.

There’s both beauty and humor. The physical humor is actually what first hooked me. This summoned creature called Ambassador is a big contributor. He seems to change size to loom threateningly or to offer up hugs. He has to share the funny moments with a guard llama (my favorite), an owl, and even clothing as an impromptu weapon.

That this comic is culturally rich is quickly apparent. While Prentice (and the reader) is introduced to the city of Kalviva. The clash and blend of cultures from outside the city adds to the rich tapestry of the world.

Speaking of, I wish for a faster-moving plot. That’s because I’m more action-oriented and more interested in the main couple than any of their friends and allies. More patient readers might delight in the time spent exploring the side relationships.

What many of us fans have in common is that we wait like spiders, ready to pounce on each new page.

Rec: The Journey of the Peasant King – A Straight Fairytale Series

Title: The Journey of the Peasant King – A Straight Fairytale Series
Author: Christina Ebbesen
Published/free: The work isn’t published yet, but the first chapter is available for free
Length: About 6200 words
Status: Unfinished – the first chapter is done. The novel is going through the last edits, it’s in Danish though, and so far only the first chapter is available in English.
Rating: Teen/Mature – There is commissioned art at the page with nudity and also rape. There are warnings before you reach the NSFW stuff though.
Warnings: Some mature art with sex and rape. The text itself don’t need warnings.

Review: Epic fantasy with a nice boy meets boy story, that might go from bromance to romance.