Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Titel: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Autor: Becky Albertalli
Seiten: 384
Genre: Gay Romance
Amazon-Link: https://amzn.to/2L7kG9U

I reread the book after having watched the awesome movie adaptation and wondered why I only gave the book three stars before. Well, before I dive into the book let me just say that I LOVED the movie! It is cute, it is honest, it is everything I ever wanted from a teenage love comedy – why didn’t this come out when I was fifteen?! Anyway, when I read the book for the second time I remembered why I only gave it three stars before – yes, it is funny. But sometimes it feels like this was a little bit to childish for me, a bit over the top. I also have to say that I’m usually not that much into love stories and so some things were too cheesy for my taste. However, I just love these characters SO much! And after the movie, I cannot help but immediately picture the charismatic Nick Robinson when thinking about Simon. I know it’s an unspoken rule between book lovers never to say “the movie was better”, but I really think that watching Love, Simon enhanced my experience with this book a lot and made me fall in love with Simon, Leah, Abby, and all the others even more. So when this book was a 3,5 stars for me and I rounded down to 3 before, I just have to round up this time and make it 4 stars. Because we need more LGBT books like these – books that make you laugh out loud, books that make you happy, books with a happy ending. (This was pretty cheesy coming from me).

Conclusion: A lighthearted LGBT story that handles being a gay teen spot-on, albeit the cuteness can be a little bit of a sugar overload.

★★★★☆/★★★★★
(4/5 Stars)

Review: Rough Animals by Rae DelBianco

Title: Rough Animals
Author: Rae DelBianco
Pages: 304
Genre: Western thriller
Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2tKl96q

I’ve been following the author’s inspiring Instagram channel for a while now and when I heard about her first novel, I was intrigued. Just by looking at her pictures you can tell that she has an eye for aesthetically pleasing photographs and I wondered if her writing was equally mesmerizing. And hell yes, it is! After the first few pages, you will not only be totally captivated by the plot, you are also going to want to dwell on each sentence. If you’re not a fan of flowery language, I guess you won’t enjoy this book. But if you are into metaphoric sentences and like to interpret things – you will love it. Because every word is at the right place and there for a reason, nothing feels forced. That is not to say that the story is convoluted and hard to understand. In fact, it is pretty straightforward and will have you turn those pages until you’ve reached the jaw-dropping ending of this thrilling ride. This book is wild! And quite often not for the faint of heart. If you’re looking for a captivating, lyrical, albeit brutal read – do yourself a favor and pick this up. As Kirkus Review aptly summed it up in one beautiful sentence: “Man, this ‘redneck kid author’ can write.”

Conclusion: An astonishing debut novel that sure as hell doesn’t feel like one! Totally recommended reading!

★★★★★/★★★★★
(5/5 Stars)

Raven Translations

There are news about the translations of the Raven-Saga! From now on, the first part is also available in Spanish! The title is Raven Blood: Despierto en la oscuridad de la noche. Many thanks to Shariff Montilla for the translation! Now the first volume is available in German, English, Italian, Russian, and Spanish! Of course you can find the Spanish book in the Kindle store on Amazon:

Furthermore, the last two volumes have now been published in English, which makes the series complete in English! Have fun with Raven Death and Raven Paradox. Now, the remaining translations can be resumed. Next, I would like to offer the first volume in French. But for now, here are the links to volume 4 and volume 5:

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Pre-order Raven Poison

English 707x1000It’s time! The third installment of the Raven-Saga is set to be released on January 19, 2015 and that means half-time for Abigail and Corvus. Rave Poison – Forever damned is a little bit longer than its predecessor and some of the open questions will be answered. Here is the blurb:

„Abigail Willows‘ world is shattered. Just when she thought everything would turn out well, the blazing inferno longed for her again. Death seems to follow her every step, and she starts to wonder if she can even stand a chance against destiny. Once a witch, always a witch. It is about time for another trip into the dark past to learn more about the mysterious family Winterberg. The phantom lifts his masquerade, but for which side fights this inscrutable being? Abigail realizes that she cannot save everyone and she feels forced to make an unmoral decision.“

You can pre-order the book here! More information on the official site here.

Bachelor Thesis

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.grin.com/images/cover/e-book/287646_big.jpg?w=620My bachelor thesis Forms and Functions of Multimodal Storytelling in Story-based Video Games is now available for everyone who is interested. The eBook was already released by GRIN Publishing GmbH and the printed version will follow soon. Among other things, I analyzed the games The Walking Dead by Telltale Games with regards to its moral functions and The Elevator by Cyanide Tea with regards to its depiction of religious beliefs. I also looked at other story-based video games briefly. If you are interested in such kind of things, you can view the work or an excerpt here.

Price: $ 15.99
Pages: 35
ISBN (eBook): 978-3-656-87979-4
ISBN (Book): 978-3-656-87980-0

Christmas Greetings and 2015 Prospects

The Silver Fox wishes you a Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas! I wish all of my readers, players, friends and relatives Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Now is the time to recall the bygone year and prospect the new one. Many things did happen, but unfortunately, many things did not. Legend of the Silver Fox is far from being finished, but here’s to hope it’ll see the light of day in 2015! Also, many translations are still not released, which personally annoys me; not only because of the lost time, but also because I know that many visual novel fans wait for those games. 🙁

But enough of the negative stuff!

English1200x1697Books

My eBook series, the Raven-Saga, started and it is selling better than I expected. Thanks to everyone who supports the series. I publish the book series on my own and that’s why I’m even happier that it was a successful start. By the way, you can get the first book on Amazon for free over Christmas; just click here and download it. You can expect the remaining episodes in 2015 and … even more! I cannot tell exactly what just now. 😉 Furthermore, two of my short stories got released in anthologies (German only, though); „Eins mit der Natur“ in Eine Feder für Wölfe (published by Swantje Berndt and released in the Weltenschmiede Verlag) and „Monster“ in Bunte Augenblicke (published by the Autorentreff Bad Camberg and released in the Verlag Edition Winterwork). Moreover, there are great new book projects coming for me to edit next year; among other things an adaption of a well-known, German video game. I’m really looking forward to it!

TranslationsWhispering Willows
Concerning upcoming game translations, it’s also going well. Since a few months, I’m part of the localization group MoonCreative; we localize video games for various gaming systems into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Polish and more. That means I get to translate many more well-known games into German like Whispering Willows. But of course in my free time I’ll keep doing translations for visual novels; regardless of whether they are free or commercial. Though, please note that (also partly because of my indignation about the unreleased translations) those works, which I get paid for, take priority. I have to pay my bills as well. Even more video game news? Yes! However, like always I’m not allowed to reveal much. As a matter of fact, some of my translations will be released on Steam, iOS, Android, and PlayStation in 2015. As always I’ll announce  all new infos on here and on Facebook as soon as I can tell you more.

CoverMy own video games
To Kill A Black Swan was released this year and even though it did not get the same resonance as This Is Where I Want To Die did, feedback was mostly positive. For 2015, I intend to release the last Sleepless Night. Part 3 will be darker, longer, and combines elements from both its predecessors. Furthermore, all open questions will be answered. Legend of the Silver Fox will hopefully be finished and a new visual novel should make enough progress so I can present it to you. What’s more, I’m also working on a RPG, which I hinted at here and there. 😉

That’s it from me for this year! I was able to work with great authors, translators, and developers in 2014, and all things considered it was a good year. I’m looking forward to read from you; how was your year, do you have good resolutions for the new one?

Cheers
Marcel

Raven Tears – Preview

English1200x1697You can now preorder the German version of Raven Tears – Lost by Midnight on Amazon! The Raven-Saga enters its second round and it’s getting much darker. More horror elements await you and the volume is much longer due to popular demand.

Description:
“The young witch and former time traveler Abigail Willows finished high school and now the college stress is knocking at her door. However, that is not her only problem. Her feathered friend Corvus Raven is unable to go out into daylight and to crown it all he lost control over his human form. Abigail learns about the scale of her witch powers and that way hurls herself into one disaster after another. What does her mysterious mother have to do with all of this? And will she be able to save herself and those few people she loves in time?”

You can preorder the German version here! So you can start reading on November 12! I’m trying to have the English version ready in November as well. More information on the official site here. A huge thanks to everyone who has supported me so far. I’m very happy that you seem to like the story, and I even have more great surprises concerning the future of the series. I’m only going to say: It’s something international fans can look forward to! 😉

What is next? A movie adaption? A TV series? Hollywood did not call just yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as possible! 😀

Raven Blood – Release + Raffle

Header3Grab your copy now on Amazon for just $2.03! Or visit my Twitter and RT my latest tweet to get the chance to win an ebook. Now it’s up to you: Help me promoting the Raven-Saga so that the series can live on and make a printed version possible. Abigail and Corvus have some more surprised for you planned.

The Raven-Saga is an experiment; there is no publisher to back me, just me and you! I’m looking forward to hones reviews, and as you already know, you could bribe me with fan art for a free copy. 😉

Official Page
Amazon
Facebook

And here again the international trailer, made by Gabriel Cyphre:

Raven Blood – Announcement

For a long time, there was little news about my book projects, but today I can finally announce my new series! Here on the left, you see the cover for the first part of the Raven-Saga, a planned six-part series about witches, time travel, and a mysterious raven man. The title of the first book is Raven Blood – Awakened in the Dead of Night, and it takes you into the contemporary Salem, where the outsider Abigail Willows has to come to terms with the dimensions of her new witch powers.The fact that her friend Julie wants to hook her up, and that the charming, if somewhat conceited, Corvus Raven gives her a hard time, do no make this situation any easier.

In the historical novel Raven Blood, fantasy meets horror. However, if you expect a clichéd romance between a young girl and a supernatural being, you will be disappointed. The characters are sarcastic, dark, and Abigail and Corvus merely share their hate relationship. Of course, there are also Romance elements here and there, and who knows how their relationship will develop over the episodes …?

The Raven-Saga is an ebook series and the first part will be released in August on Amazon for just $ 1.47! The episodes are self-contained stories, but a rough storyline connects them all and lead to an epic finale. The series is in many ways an experiment by me and I’m publishing it myself. Therefore, a print edition also depends a little on the success of the book, and I’m grateful for every review and recommendation. More information is available on official page or on Facebook.
Official page
Facebook
Goodreads

A few final words about the other book projects. They are also making progress, but releasing a book in a publishing house usually is a long process and with the Raven-Saga I am quite independent and can decide many things on my own. Depths of Forever, for example, will be published as a single volume, which means that it has to a lot longer than it is at the moment. The Raven-Saga will also be released in an English translation about the same time the German version is released. Furthermore, I cannot say exactly at which intervals the episodes of the Raven-Saga will be released; it Is planned to be an interval of three months (possibly sooner or later). I look forward to your opinions!

The Shadow-Trilogy ebooks!

Die Schatten-TrilogieAs of now, the Shadow-Trilogy is available as ebooks (in German only)! Each book costs only 3,49 € and the complete edition with all three books and bonus material only 9,90 €. If you have been hesitant before, now is the time to grab a copy! Experience the adventures of Haru and his friends in this fantasy series full of interesting characters, romance, and supernatural beings. The book series is set in a diffident universe to the Sleepless Night series, however, most characters from the games appear in the books as well; they might have slightly different personalties.

With a new cover and revised design, the 2011 novel series shines like new! The Shadow-Trilogy, which was inspired by mangas and visual novels, is my first work and came into being while I was still a teenager. After a long editing process and searching for a publisher, I was able to release the series, which I started when I was 16, in the Kubayamashi-Do publishing house.

Schatten (Shadows)
Schattenjäger (Shadow Chasers)
Schattenland (Shadow Land)
Die Schatten-Trilogie (The Shadow Trilogy)

English version:
Of course, there’s still desire to translate the trilogy into English. To be honest, almost 90 % are already translated, but it still has to be proofread. Due to my other projects, I have not much time to work on it, but I’m sure there will be an English version eventually. As soon as there are some news, I’ll announce it here.