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
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/12161433
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: First Kiss at a Spooky Soirée

Title: First Kiss at a Spooky Soirée
Author: NomNomNami
Format: Visual novel
Published/Free: free/name your own price
Length: 25min~
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: some strong language and screen shakes
Link: https://nomnomnami.itch.io/first-kiss-at-a-spooky-soiree
Summary:You play Marzipan, a light witch who’s gone her whole life without kissing anyone–UNTIL TONIGHT!

Review: Marzipan tastes great and that’s reason enough to play… no? The art is super cute and I loved the different endings. Even characters I didn’t really like at first got to me. Kinda sad we can’t date ourselves because Marzipan is a sugarbomb. Or a pumpkin latte. If you like Halloween and girls, that’s the game for you. Got translated into Korean and German, and there’s an option to change the font for dyslexic players.

Rec: Blue Pariahs

Title: Blue Pariahs
Author: JamieBB
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: Unsure yet (1 published for now)
Status: WIP
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Violence, blood, (minor) mentions of past abuse, casual uses of illicit drugs
Link: https://tapas.io/series/Blue-Pariahs
Summary: A story of two boys, one of who is a dragon leaving his safe but lonely home for college. Follow his journey through self-discovery, true friendship and precarious feelings, but also discrimination and the weight that comes with being (very) different.

The other is a young man about to learn that the world is much bigger than he thought it was, and that he quite likes that.

Review: Writing a review for my own work is quite awkward, but the friends and beta readers helping me out like to point out the black and white aesthetic and how fast they got attached to the characters, there will be lots of feelings, some heart warming, some depressing, but it’s still a feel good story.

Rec: Minu ga Hana

Title: Minu ga Hana
Author: Rana Dorada (me!)
Format: Web Serial
Published/Free: Free
Length: 600 to 1000 words per post
Status: Ongoing
Rating: T
Warnings: Swearing, mentions of drug use, eating disorders, sexual assault, and/or bigotry.
Link: https://minu-ga-hana-story.tumblr.com/
Summary:A web serial following the paranormal investigator Manami Hayase as she struggles to get her career off the ground. The scores of new people she meets along the way make it clear the world around her isn’t quite what she expected. In fact, it may be even better.

Review: It just started, so there’s not much to talk about yet without spoilers. I would know- I’m the author! Also, the plot is primarily about paranormal investigation, and my aim is to normalize the LGBT+ characters therein. Expect lighthearted fluff with plenty of twists and turns through horror and suspense.

Rec: Once on a windswept night

Title: Once on a windswept night
Author: Ebi-hime
Format: Visual Novel (Windows/Mac)
Published/Free: Free
Length: 40k
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: dissociation, death
Link: https://ebihime.itch.io/windswept
Summary: A lost traveller almost gives up hope until they stumble upon a mysterious church.

Review: It’s not a very complicated game, since it’s pretty short, and there aren’t many different graphics. But the designs are cute, the music is perfect and the story is so worth it. Surprising, funny, sweet, full of suspense, original, sometimes tragic. I’ve seen some people complain about the fact that the traveller (who is the player) is being referred to as ‘they’ quite a long time. If being referred to as ‘they’ breaks your immersion, then I guess this is not for you. If you like mysteries or use they for yourself, this might be on the contrary exactly what you’re looking for! The universe of the game is really interesting and well-built in my opinion. The characters might be a bit stereotypical, but it’s nothing too exaggerated. In any case, this game will stay a long time on my mind, and for positive reasons!

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
Link: https://tapastic.com/series/Spidersilk
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.

MON★STAR Studios

Title: MON★STAR Studios
Author: vampmilk
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: Ongoing
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Mentions of/implied sexual content
Link: https://tapastic.com/series/monstarstudios
Summary: In a modern city where humans and monsters live together peacefully, college dropout Ramone Garcia makes some strange and exciting friends when he becomes the first human employee at MON★STAR Studios, a monster-centric gay adult film studio.

Review: This comic will focus on themes of sexual positivity, open mindedness and the freedom to shamelessly enjoy one’s interests. The entire cast is made up of LGBTQ+ characters. It is made to be fun and lighthearted.

Rec: ENTROPIA

Title: Entropia
Author: Ink-Mix Studio
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 5/10 chapters
Status: Wip
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Abuse, Violence
Link: https://tapastic.com/series/Entropia
Summary: Taavi is a hybrid slave that lives in a society divided by political and racial aspects. Living among the winged and being a victim of prejudice because of his impure blood, Taavi finds himself involved in a circle of conquest and defeat that fate reserved for him since the day he was born.

Review: Self-Rec. The story may be interesting for those who like medieval fantasy.

Rec: Dragon at the Bar

Title: Dragon at the Bar
Author: enblackink
Format: Short story
Published/Free: Free
Length: 11,661
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mentions of past abuse
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/604772
Summary: After years of running from a past he’d rather not remember a young Dragonet has no care for mating seasons or mates, but a chance meeting at a bar may change all that.

Review: This story rather surprised me. I thought I was going to read something cliche about dragon’s mating, but it was a rather quirky but sweet story about dragon’s mating. I rather liked the speech pattern in this story. It’s not anything too confusing, but for me it felt like a breath of fresh air, something different and interesting that just adds to the charm. The characters were interesting and the little details woven into the story was quite subtle but engaging. Worldbuilding might seem a little off on how the details are revealed and explained, apparently this particular story was an excerpt to a main story that has not actually been written down yet. I don’t really mind myself though. I urge everyone to check this story out!

Author has indicated that maybe they might post more so looking forward to it! It’s a cute story worth reading. 😀

Otherworldly

Title: Otherworldly
Author: Becky Hopkins
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 156 pages as of this submission
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Alcohol use, mild sexual references, mild swearing, gambling
Link: http://otherworldly-comics.cfw.me/https://tapastic.com/series/Otherworldly
Summary: Otherworldly is the story of five twenty-somethings who’ve recently discovered they’re not human; they’re actually changelings, magical babies swapped for human ones, and at first they don’t even know what kind of Fair Folk (used as the general term for magical being here) they might be. While they’re helped along the way by two friendly fairy private detectives, they also start to run afoul of some shady characters in both the human world and the magical Otherworld, as they attempt to balance their lives in both and figure out who they are, not just what.

Review: As the creator of this comic, I don’t think I can offer a completely unbiased review, but I really do think this comic offers a reading experience that can appeal to all kinds of fantasy fans. LGBT+ identities aren’t the main focus at the moment, but several characters’ identities and queer relationships will be important as the story goes on. I’m trying to do something unique with all the mythological and fantastic elements I have at my disposal through an approach of equal parts comedy, action, and some quieter drama.

Happy reading!