Rec: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series #2)

Title: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series #2)
Author: Aldrea Alien
Format: Kindle
Published/Free: Published. $2.99 (until the 15th of April)
Length: 598
Status: Complete book of on-going series
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Suicide attempt. Violence. Homophobia.
Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0834FL7QG
Summary:

How can he win with the odds stacked against him?

Prince Hamish has no interest in fulfilling his duty of marrying. Not to a woman, at least. That doesn’t stop his mother, Queen Fiona, from presenting him with every eligible noblewoman that enters their castle. He’s certain it’ll be no different with the representative of the Udynea Empire.

So when they do arrive, Hamish is relieved the imperial prince, Darshan, is not the woman everyone expected. Until the man kisses him and Hamish is confronted by the very emotions he has been forced to conceal or be punished for. Emotions he is eager to explore.

But the kiss proves to be a little too public and leads his mother to take drastic measures to ensure Hamish adheres to her family vision. The contest of arms will force Hamish to make a choice: give up his happiness for convention’s sake or send the kingdom spiralling into civil war for the right to love his own way.

Review: Entertaining read. Really liked Darshan and Hamish. Excited for what happens next!

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
Link: https://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/fallen-hero-rebirth/
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
Link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/166116351-rébellion
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: Circuits and Veins

Title: Circuits & Veins
Author: Jem Yoshioka (on Tapas)
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: currently around 300+ pages i believe 
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: none
Link: https://tapas.io/series/Circuits-Veins
Summary: What do you do when the cutie who moves in next door to you is an android? In a world of automation, artificial intelligence and reliable public transport, two awkward dorks try to work out how to date each other.

Review: This comic is really, really good. It’s a refreshing lesbian romance story about a mixed girl living with chronic illness, recently out of a toxic relationship, and an Android who is learning to love herself and the world around her.

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
Link: https://tapas.io/series/Euclidean-Signature
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: Last Night in Tokyo

Title: Last Night in Tokyo
Authors: Andrea律 and Kurara
Format: Kinetic visual novel
Published/Free: Name your own price/free
Length: one hour?
Status: complete
Rating: everyone
Warnings: abusive behavior ment
Link: https://andrearitsu.itch.io/last-night-in-tokyo
Summary: Tindra has spent a week in Tokyo with her friend, Emil. Sadly, she didn’t enjoy it as much as Emil hoped. Her last day is her chance to have the time of her life.

Review: It’s probably a good thing I didn’t read the summary given on the download page (which is different from the one above) because there’s not much more than that to it? I like the way it’s been written, but the game is very short and has hence not much of a plot. I feel like the whole game was just character exposition, so it kinda leaves you hanging. The “what do you mean it stops here I want more this is so mean” kind of hanging. Which is why I would play the second part if Tindra’s life was to be made into a game again. All in all, I’m slightly disappointed (probably the kinetic part plays into it, because I’m not used to that), but looking forwards to the team’s next works.

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: 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: Blossoms Bloom Brightest

Title: Blossoms Bloom Brightest
Author: Reine Works
Format: Visual Novel (Windows/Mac)
Published/Free: Free/Name your own price
Length: 2-3 hours
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: murder, abuse
Link: https://reineworks.itch.io/blossoms-bloom-brightest
Summary: Three strangers are thrust into an unexpected situation together—they awaken only to find themselves on a spaceship called the Blossom.A mysterious journey lies ahead of them; what misadventures will they experience over the next two weeks?

Review: The best aspect of this game is probably the universe. Sadly, most of it isn’t explored since the game is very short. I also felt like the romance was a bit forced at the beginning, but my curiosity kept me playing nonetheless. What bothered me the most in the game was the way jealousy was portrayed. I felt like the author validated (in my eyes already quite extreme) jealousy as a normal, inevitable expression of love and it made me feel uncomfortable. I know this is not an unusual trope in monogamy oriented works, so that might be just fine with you. The designs are neat and the characters are interesting, funny and attaching. Various endings are available (still trying to get one of them, so more warnings might apply). Additional bonuses and a guide can be bought for a few bucks. The game itself is going to be published in October 2017 as a remake under the name ‘Galaxy Girls’, which will be more mature, so if you thrive for more than fluff, maybe wait until then.

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!