Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells
If you’ve ever thought, “You know what Dune needed more of? More magic and a biker gang!” then this book was written for you. If you are looking for your next stick-it-to-the-corporation space opera rebellion, this book is also for you.
During a routine run through the desert, the gun-toting and chain-smoking biker Hob discovers the bullet-ridden body of her leader’s brother. The dead man’s daughter is still missing, and all the signs point to TransRifts Inc., the company that has the entire planet in a stranglehold. So begins a story of biker gang meets post-apocalyptic desert planet with a dash of Dune and a pinch of X-men.
It is a story of small-time miner towns on the edge of subsistence facing off against an all-powerful mega-corporation that controls all space travel. It’s also a story of an angry protagonist coming into her own as a fighter and a leader. We also get some fantastic side plots: the rebel-leader in training, the corporate spy in deep cover, the ancient nameless bonewitch, the second-in-command dying in the desert.
Anyone who’s read Dune will immediately spot the connections, from the engineered rift-jumping Weathermen to the unique substance found on the planet and absorbed by the locals, giving them preternatural powers. Still, the story similarities are mostly in this framework, rather than the actual narrative or details. Hunger Makes the Wolf focuses more on the rebellion from the bottom, rather than the coming of a savior. While Dune centered around a princeling leading a rebellion to regain his rightful place (because let’s face it, Paul wouldn’t have cared one whit about the exploited underclasses if he hadn’t been chucked out into the sands as part of a failed coup attempt), this story begins with people who have been born into the life of subsistence under the uncaring and tyrannical thumb of the company.
That said, I don’t want to make you think it’s all about the proletariat or the woke classes rising up against the man. The story is a fast-paced space opera, tied together with the characters’ struggles, adventures, and mishaps.
Book provided for review by the publisher.
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