Hoffnungslose Ziele: A Dark Journey of Lost Causes is a dark fantasy novel taking place in Central Europe in the 1860s. It is a world where witches, werewolves, and vampires are real. Best friends Anna and Christine live in a rural farming town in Eastern Prussia, along with Christine's fiancée, Karl, and his best friend Gustav. The two men are about to enter conscripted military service in the Prussian Army at a time when tensions are high between the Prussians and the Austrians, as both vie for control of German-speaking Europe. Anna is a devout Catholic, while Christine is allegedly related to a witch--hardly an endearing rumor in a small, religious farming town. In spite of this, the two teenagers share a deep friendship and loyalty to each other.
The story begins with Anna and Christine dabbling in witchcraft for the protection of Karl during his military service in the Prussian Army. While Anna's Catholic faith is being tested by her dabblings in the occult, however, a more sinister trial awaits: a 300 year old vampire takes an unhealthy interest in her. As her friends try desperately to save her, they meet various friends and foes along the way–including a mysterious demigoddess from the pagan world whose intentions are anything but clear.
Hoffnungslose Ziele is quintessentially a story about coming of age, as the young friends confront the painful realities of innocence lost, finding love only to lose it, responding to trauma, and finding one's way in an often harsh and unforgiving world. The four unlikely heroes from rural Prussia find themselves thrust into the adventure of a lifetime: a dark and at times hopeless journey in which more than one "lost cause" must be taken up, or that which each holds most dear abandoned.
Hoffnungslose Ziele is written in the epistolary format, offering the first person perspectives of six protagonists who do not always see eye-to-eye, as they recount fantastic events and their part in a journey across 19th Century Europe and beyond from each of their unique perspectives.