The Marian by Taylor Hohulin
A Steampunk/Pirate Sci-Fi Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (8/17/15)
Ethan Denby is still trapped in Duncan’s body: the former captain of the Marian, a ship full of illegal water harvesters. Now it is more imperative than ever for Ethan to swap out of Duncan’s body as the Other World is closer and closer to claiming his new body. It is harder than ever to find a solution as Ethan has nowhere else to turn after the Cloud Priestess screwed him over and he was forced to kill Jarvis in self-defense. It isn’t until one of the mercenary twins finds a book of the Cloud that Ethan’s hopes are revived. He might well be able to swap back into his former body and former life after all. The adventures take the Marian and her crew to more HydroSystem wells and through more dangers, as more than just the HydroSystem workers are out for their blood, now it seems the entire Empire is after the Marian’s crew to claim the price on their heads.
Illegal Water Harvesting, Water Scarcity, Criminals, Soul swapping, Steampunk, Ship on Legs, Navigation, Well, Extraction, Water Police, Teenagers, Captain, Mercenaries, Trouble, Pirates, Post-Apocalyptic, Own Agenda, Death, Other World
The Hunted begins with a new character in the same world as the Marian. She is a mercenary. Her name is Scarlet and she has a story. When she is given the task of killing the Marian’s crew she hesitates. She is human. She has a moral conscience. Then again, she has taught herself to forget the faces of those she’s killed. What makes the Marian and her crew any different? It is not one bad man having her kill another bad man. The Marian steals from the rich to give to the poor and though they are one drop in the bucket against HydroSystems monopolization of the world’s remaining water, it is enough of a rebellion to give Scarlet pause in her murderous task.
Ah Scarlet. We lost one female only to gain another. Bonnie for Scarlet, a worthwile exchange, though I wonder what in fact happened to Bonnie and if we will ever find out. Why Bonnie, after all? Why not have someone else kidnapped in book one? Only because Hohulin gave her the most obstinate personality that she was the one who insisted on going with Ethan in the first place. She was the only one that could have been sacrificed at the time for the book to continue.
As Jackie puts it, nobody is trying to find Bonnie, they are only after Duncan and righting the soul swap that left Ethan out of his body and world. This creates great tension between Jackie and Ethan as Ethan is mostly to blame for allowing Bonnie to go to the Cloud and get captured.
Scarlet was one of my favorite additions to the Marian, she had such a great backstory and added much to the plot. She was conflicted but resolute. She was the strongest character. “She collected all the anger at being turned into a killer before she could turn into a woman, all the frustration at being given an identity she couldn’t control, and all the horror at having two fathers taken from her.” (Kindle Locations 3755-3757).
I love the idea of different types of mercenaries that Hohulin introduces and how he defines each type, giving more shape to the politics going on in this world and how everyone has their part to play. Kyle and Kale are given more definition within this context as well and I enjoyed seeing more to them than was revealed in book one.
The Players in the front describing all the characters was very helpful and I’m always glad when authors re-iterate who is who and what is most important.
The plot clicked into place, things from book one, small almost insignificant details were brought to life in book two. What a great continuation and I can’t wait for more from Taylor Hohulin.
This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on August 17th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75
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