Hounds of Gaia

The Marrower Saga: Book One

Fiction - Science Fiction
282 Pages
Reviewed on 12/21/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I graduated from CSUSM’s Literature & Writing Program and have had short stories published in Infinite Worlds Magazine (Issue 6) and Infinite Horrors Magazine (Issue 1). I currently live in Rochester, NY, with my incredible wife and our two endlessly spoiled little dogs.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Angelique Papayannopoulos for Readers' Favorite

Set deep within the dark and mysterious Kuiper Belt, Hounds of Gaia by Sean M. Tirman is an action-packed sci-fi adventure. An armed space-traveling mercenary and loner, Foxhound is a highly paid Contractor who hunts down hardcore criminals in the outer colonies. She has been assigned a mission to deliver a marrow-eating serial killer from a cult starship back to Earth. However, the suspect in custody is a young orphan girl and shockingly bears a striking resemblance to a much younger version of Foxhound. It is immediately apparent that she and the young girl have a past connection. As a dangerous group of prisoners escapes and goes on a barbaric rampage, Foxhound teams up with two headstrong humans and her AI mechanized assistant to complete her mission safely.

Hounds of Gaia is an ingenious and enthralling sci-fi action story. It is evident throughout the detailed events of this fast-paced novel that Sean M. Tirman has a fascination with space exploration and futuristic innovations, thus drawing the reader into his gripping fantasy. Unique imaginary elements are abundant in this story, ranging from the humanoid characters to the starship setting to the Kuiper Belt. Even though sci-fi may not necessarily be your cup of tea, your curiosity surrounding the outcome will spark your imagination. Moreover, the cliffhanger ending will inspire you to read the other books in the series for more insight into Foxhound’s mysterious past. Keep in mind, though, that the content contains graphic violence and explicit language. For fans of science fiction, futuristic space adventure, and plot-driven action stories, House of Gaia is a page-turner! Such imagination - it was awesome!

Pikasho Deka

Hounds of Gaia is the first book in The Marrower Saga by Sean M. Tirman. It's the future, and humanity has colonized most of the solar system. Foxhound is a contractor for the Divine Church of the Ominphage, sent on a mission to the Deadwood Station in the Kuiper Belt to retrieve a dangerous prisoner named Phineas 'Fink' Ames. Foxhound somehow manages to capture Fink, but before she can deliver him to Earth, an SOS call by the spaceship Gaia forces her to board it. On Gaia, the Organic Humanists led by the radicalized Mother are under attack by the dangerous prisoners who escaped from Foxhound's ship. Now, along with her AI robot, Mailman, a disgraced nun named Penelope, and a mysterious little girl with extraordinary abilities, Foxhound must fight back to ensure everyone's survival.

Action-packed and filled with mystery, intrigue, and suspense, Hounds of Gaia is a stellar start to a promising sci-fi series. Sean M. Tirman wastes no time in dropping the reader right into the scheme of things, and it's a non-stop thrill ride to the finish line. Tirman's tight plotting and fast-paced narrative make for an enjoyable reading experience, and there's not one dull moment in the entire book. The author also has a keen eye for detail, and you find yourself immersed in a fully realized world and story, which leaves you wanting more. The book ends on a cliffhanger, which I'm looking forward to being solved in the sequel. All in all, this is a fantastic first installment of a sci-fi series with a captivating premise. Highly recommended.

Essien Asian

Foxhound cannot remember much about her past beyond a few short conversations but, given the chance, she would be prepared to explore that dark chapter in her life. She busies herself working as a contractor for the Divine Church of the Omniphage, gathering the criminal scum of the galaxy for a rather lucrative price. In the middle of her latest expedition, she is notified of an impromptu bounty her clients want her to collect. Seeing as it is a supposedly notorious serial killer, Foxhound is not too keen on taking up the contract until she discovers that her latest quarry may have answers to questions she would like answered. She must decide if the risk is worth the reward in The Hounds Of Gaia by Sean M. Tirman.

In Sean M. Tirman's novel, the hunter turns into the hunted. A galactic bounty hunter on a formal assignment becomes entangled in the politics of a religious cult in the plot. With Foxhound's eccentric sidekick Mailman providing a dispassionate summary of the ship's events as they transpire, this has all the makings of a slugfest. The power struggle on the Organic Humanists' ship and the unholy alliance Fink forges with his fellow captives blend seamlessly to give the narrative the feel of nonstop action spiced with just enough tension to keep the reader interested. The dialogue between the characters is clear enough for the reader to follow, and the battle scenes are highly detailed. At first glance, The Hounds of Gaia seems like an easy read, but Tirman's narrative approach and talent for hiding surprising clues in unexpected places hint at a compelling series ahead.

K.C. Finn

Hounds of Gaia is a work of fiction in the science fiction, adventure, and suspense subgenres, and is the opening novel to The Marrower Saga. It is best suited to mature adult readers as it contains explicit language throughout and scenes of graphic violence. Penned by author Sean M. Tirman, the novel follows the exploits of Foxhound, a spacefaring mercenary, who embarks on a seemingly routine job transporting a bone marrow-eating serial killer. However, the mission takes a mysterious turn when she discovers that the prisoner is a girl who bears an uncanny resemblance to herself. Determined to unravel the mysteries of her past, Foxhound is thrust into a web of violence and intrigue as violent prisoners break free on her starship, and the once-peaceful cultists turn hostile.

Author Sean M. Tirman has crafted a truly gripping novel with a narrative that unfolds in a unique mix of sci-fi, mystery, and action, keeping the reader engaged with questions about identity and conspiracy. Tirman creates a detailed and immersive world, and it’s easy to imagine oneself aboard a mercenary vessel harboring dark secrets and unpredictable energies. The descriptive lexis is a joy to read, and it sparks cinematic, multi-sensory visions of a bold new sci-fi world with really sharp edges. Foxhound's character is compelling, combining strength and vulnerability, and I really enjoyed her dialogue and the attitudes and emotions that are shaped by her plight. I felt that the plot moved at a great pace with plenty of new story events to keep it fresh as we witness Foxhound’s powerful discoveries. Overall, Hounds of Gaia is a well-crafted and deeply engaging science fiction work with an ending that leaves readers eager for the next exciting installment in the series, and I can’t wait for more.

Stephanie Chapman

Sean M. Tirman’s Hounds of Gaia is the first book in The Marrower Saga. Sister Penelope finds a frightened young girl who doesn’t have a name. She invites the girl to join her “family” on Gaia. After they witness a Contractor capture Brother Phineas “Fink” Ames, Sister Penelope promises she will not abandon the girl. Foxhound and her AI “Mailman” are escorting Fink into a holding cell when the Divine Church of Omniphage asks her to find the serial killer, “The Marrower.” She receives a second call about a security situation from the Organic Humanist’s leader. Foxhound takes the exoskeleton version of Mailman with her, lowering her ship's security measures. While Foxhound is gone, Fink executes his plan to free the five serial killers on Gaia so he can steal her ship. Foxhound is shocked to learn that the Marrower has entered the pacifist group’s home.

Sean M. Tirman fills Hounds of Gaia with science fiction, espionage, world dominance, serial killers, and a mercenary with an AI as her sidekick. The views of several characters kept my attention fully invested in each page. Foxhound’s reliance on Mailman shows her effort to address her self-imposed isolation as a mercenary. She even tampers with the programming so the AI speaks to her with motherly affection. The step-by-step way the Marrower executed victims was like a dance. Witnessing the speed and efficiency of the Marrower’s attacks was easy to imagine. The unpredictable plot builds suspense from start to finish. The clues that something intense and foreboding is coming are subtle, but every action scene is full of vivid detail. “That actions are all we have to measure one another by, as words bear no weight,” was a recurring theme imparted by the Organic Humanists. The cliffhanger ending left me eager to read the sequel. Fans of science fiction involving technological progression and adventure will find Hounds of Gaia appealing.