Book Review: The Cloud (The Marian Series #3) by Taylor Hohulin

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The Cloud by Taylor Hohulin

A Steampunk/Pirate Sci-Fi Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (10/21/16)

Summary:

“Donovan Johns clearly preferred motivating his people to stick to Plan A by leaving them woefully unprepared for Plan B.” (Kindle Locations 1480-1481).

Ethan’s last hope lies in a three-way soul swap between the water dictator Donovon Johns, Duncan, and Ethan himself. All they have to do is go into the Cloud and get Duncan out of Ethan’s home dimension, use the blood from all three, and get someone to read from a book so powerful it corrupts. Easy, right? The Marian and its crew is committed to helping out Ethan, not just because he’s part of the crew now, but because they can change the face of the post-Bomb water scarce world for good.

Keywords:

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

My Review:

Excellent trilogy. Excellent ending. Excellent book. The Marian Trilogy is the best steampunkian series I’ve ever read. It’s well written and the plot makes sense on both the individual book level and as a series. There’s action, adventure, and tension. There’s depth, complexity and the characters are interesting and multi-faceted.

Every part of this story felt tight and well-edited. I never questioned a single scene or moment or piece of dialogue. I simply read the book (and the series) as a well-written story should be read: at the edge of my seat and without putting it down.

The evil HydroSystems and Donovon Johns were fleshed out and clever enough to give the Marian and its crew a run for its money. The good guys weren’t all good though – they were conflicted and sympathetic. And we finally get to see Duncan ‘in the soul’ with this final book! After so much hype about how great and motivating he is, even after abandoning his crew and a random soul to its own sordid fate, Duncan did live up to all that everyone thought he was. I very much enjoyed this book and the series and look forward to what Hohulin will write next!

I received a free copy of this novel.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on October 21st, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Taylor Hohulin’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads

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Contest Closed! Congrats to Sarah A. for reading and reviewing The Hunted (The Marian) (Volume 2) by Taylor Hohulin

Rafflecopter contest to win $50 Amazon gift card ended with 2015! 

Thanks to all you readers out there who bought/read/reviewed some great Indie books and I look forward to supporting more great Indie authors this year!

What was this contest about? See details here.

Book Review: The Hunted (The Marian Series #2) by Taylor Hohulin

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The Marian by Taylor Hohulin

A Steampunk/Pirate Sci-Fi Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (8/17/15)

Summary:

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.

Keywords:

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

My Review:

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

Links for more information:

Taylor Hohulin’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads