Review: Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells

Hunger Makes the Wolf
By Alex Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I saw this book blurbed as Sons of Anarchy meets Dune, I knew it was a must-read title for me. Although I haven't yet read Dune, I love what I've seen of Sons of Anarchy, and the concept of biker gangs on an alien desert world jonesing for revenge is more than enough to pique my interest.

Happily, Alex Wells delivers the goods in Hunger Makes the Wolf. This book is filled to the brim with things I dig, and set my fanboy klaxons ringing early on - this sucker is chock full of influences like Firefly, Deadwood (sadly, with far less creative cussing, but if Wells brings in an Al Swearengen type for the next book, that sucker could become an instant literary classic in my eyes), in addition to the aforementioned Sons of Anarchy, set on Tatooine and given a good dash of corporate mystery, downtrodden laborers, and a wee bit of fantasy magic to spiff things up all the more.

After discovering the body of her adopted Uncle Phil lying dead in the desert, his back riddled with bullet holes, the one-eyed female biker Hob is intent on revenge. Wells charges up the aftermath of this discovery with some terrific personal relationships between Hob, Phil's daughter, Mag, and the surly (and also one-eyed) Old Nick Ravani, the leader of the biker gang and Phil's brother. After attacking a corporate facility and exacting some good, old-fashioned Wild West justice, the corporate owners of Tanegawa launch a literal witch-hunt to find Hob and rid the world of its witches.

Wells has built a world of layers upon layers with Hunger Makes the Wolf, but it's all so expertly done that I can't find fault with any of it. Although this book makes for a wonderful stand-alone, it seems set to kick-off a mighty big series, and a whole galaxy's worth of exploration to be done in the volumes ahead. I want to know more about the mysterious Weathermen and the ins and outs of the corporate giant, TransRifts Inc., and what's happening on some of the other colony worlds in between Earth and Tanegawa's world. I want to live in this universe for a little bit longer and really get into the nitty-gritty of it all. And, mostly, I just want to hang out with Hob and the crew of Ghost Wolves as they carry out more hired gun runs and a couple more train jobs, and upset the precarious balance between the planet's hardscrabble miners and the bureaucratic crew pits that run them.

Hunger Makes the Wolf is a great bit of sci-fi with a dash of fantasy, all cleverly disguised as a brutal, kick-ass western. I want more!

[Note: I received an advanced copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.]

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Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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