I definitely give publisher Angry Robot credit for pushing boundaries and going out on a limb and publishing works that don’t always fit nicely into the perceptions of sci-fi. But lately their catalog is starting to look a lot alike, with rogue, tough characters who are misfits taking on big business or politicians or an entire world.
This particular take features “Hob” – a tough, female biker on a distant planet – somewhere in the middle of nowhere. While space travel clearly had been achieved by human-kind, this planet produces a dust/ash that prohibits much electronic communication, and so there’s a very isolated feel to the communities here. And with that isolation comes the opportunistic sort. Hob rides with a gang of outlaws (essentially) who provide ‘protection’ for the “Company.” But one day, the brother of the gang’s leader is found murdered and there needs to be some revenge! Adding to the unrest is a sense of “witchiness.” Hob may be a bit ‘Witchy’ herself, but no one likes to talk about it so it’s hard for Hob (and the reader) to learn more about what it means.
The writing itself was just fine – nothing outstanding or particularly memorable – but I constantly had the feeling that I’d read all this before. Nothing seemed very original. Maybe a mash-up of a lot of different popular tropes. But still, it felt like a rehash. I looked through the list of Angry Robot books I’ve read and this reminds me a lot of their own Windswept series by Adam Rakunas but from a slightly different perspective.
The world-building here didn’t work. Why does it have to be some distant planet? That happens to resemble the Old West of the United States with some technological advances?
Alternating points of view in alternating chapters makes it a bit rough to read and it slowed me down unnecessarily, which made the whole book move slowly for me.
I was really hoping for something original and engrossing, but that’s not quite what I got.
Looking for a good book? Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells is recognizable sci-fi – so recognizable that you won’t quite realize you are reading a new book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Hunger Makes the Wolf
author: Alex Wells
series: Hob #1
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 326 pages