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Hunger Makes the Wolf

(The Ghost Wolves #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  707 ratings  ·  176 reviews
The strange planet known as Tanegawa’s World is owned by TransRifts Inc, the company with the absolute monopoly on interstellar travel. Hob landed there ten years ago, a penniless orphan left behind by a rift ship. She was taken in by Nick Ravani and quickly became a member of his mercenary biker troop, the Ghost Wolves.

Ten years later, she discovers the body of Nick’s bro
Paperback, 462 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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A recent discussion had me saying that there really isn't much new under the story sun. This is old news, but as always, what I look for are the stories that feel different and more inclusive, or at least bring a new angle to an old plot. Somehow, this tracked across my radar, and somehow, I was in a fierce enough mood that a one-eyed biker woman with a grudge seemed set at my current speed. The idea of an outlaw woman fighting the giant company with her discovered power is often an teasingly at ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
In-depth review at

The plot of Hunger Makes the Wolf follows Hob Ravani, member of a biker gang called the Ghost Wolves and adopted daughter of Nick Ravani, the Wolves leader. When Nick’s brother is found dead, long simmering tensions between the planet’s (called Tanegawa’s World) ore miners and the massive corporation that treats them little better than slaves boil to the surface. The Ghost Wolves, always a muscle for hire outfit, are drawn in to the conf
K.J. Charles
What a fantastic riot of a book. Biker space witches! Set on a semi-Wild West world that's basically owned by an unaccountable corporation. Hob is a tough-as-nails witch and member of a mercenary biker gang that gets pulled into world-changing events. Mag, her friend, starts off as a damsel in distress and then finds the hell out of her feet. Strong women setting out to kick arse and take names with the aid of a mysterious man called the Bone Collector who turns to stone occasionally. as you do. ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Imagine a grittier, more cynical, anti-corporate version of Anne McCaffrey's 'Crystal Singer' series?

Tanegawa's World is a company town. TransRift runs the mines, and interstellar government is very, very far away. In essence, TransRift IS the government, and operates without oversight - a situation unlikely to change, since interstellar travel depends on TransRift. Little of the profits of this monopoly are seen by the colonists of Tanegawa's, who are downtrodden and exploited. Lately, 'trouble
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A young woman in an outlaw motorcycle gang works against the secretive and evil corporation that controls the mining world where they live.

TransRift is a shadowy corporation with a monopoly over interstellar travel and in a position that allows it to nearly ignore government and government regulation. One of several worlds controlled by TransRift, Tanegawa's World is a company town writ large with all primary industries on the world controlled by the company. TransRift also controls all travel t
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I didn't love this but I do think it has good potential as series. The world is intriguing. This was definitely a first book and I ended up with a lot of questions. So I'm curious to see where this is going. ...more
Michael Underwood
It's like Dune but with biker gangs instead of desert nomads. Sharp writing, compelling characters, and a great dose of far-future anti-authoritarianism. If you need a book to get you psyched up about kicking ass, this is your jam. ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, this was sure a surprise! I mean, solid reviews by many of my Goodreads compatriots is always a good sign, but while I was certain I would like it, I truly didn’t expect to enjoy Hunger Makes the Wolf anywhere near as much as I did. Channeling the concept and spirit of Firefly/Serenity, if not the (TV network mandated) innocence, coupled with some wild elemental magic, makes for a rollicking adventure that is satisfyingly violent, frequently surprising, and constantly evolving. And I got t ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantasy Review Barn

"You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt."

Scavengers in the air tip off three people biking across the vast desert of the planet on their way home. Hob draws the short straw and checks out the body finding someone she knows well. When a body is found out in the dunes of Tanegawa’s World there is no real secret as to how it arrived there; the corporation TransRift runs everything on the planet and unofficial deaths are not uncommon. Bu
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I just posted a review in which I complained about the "western" feel of the book, which isn't generally my cup of tea. Now here's another book with the same sort of setting, yet I really enjoyed it! What won me over?

For one, there wasn't as much soul-searching angst in this book. Hob, one of our two main characters, isn't much of one for navel-gazing. She's focused on the job at hand and on survival. She's got to be,
Rhode PVD
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bought this book months ago, but never quite got to it because motorcycle gangs in a futuristic desert sounded too damn Mad Maxish, and nah. Then it turned up on a few 10 Best lists at year end, so I thought what the heck.

Wow. You guys this was awesome. I’m still at that near wordless delight stage. AWESOME.

First of all it’s not at all what I’d imagined from the blurb. No motorcycle fetishes, and the bad guys are often believable, everyday people. Plus the towns are recognizable towns with work
Carolyn F.
Miners and farmers try to survive on a company planet with the changes the planet does to them. And the company tries to stamp out the changes. The ending with the Bone Collector wasn't my favorite. And I'm not sure what I think about Rollins and Coyote. But overall I liked most of the book. 3-1/2 stars. ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I'm rounding down only because the pacing dragged a bit for my tastes. This is a very fun space western, and I admit I have a weakness for that particular blend. The world building was interesting if not terribly in-depth. The magic was subtle but enjoyable. And I appreciated how the bulk of the plot and world building centered around the plight of the "little guy" versus an exploitative mega-corporation. The Weatherman was a nice dash of creepy. The Bone Collector was my favorite par ...more
Chris Berko
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.8 rounded up. For the most part it was a solid four star read that I had to deduct the .2 from because the ending was rushed. Each character was unique and had their own voices and while the smaller things had the potential to get lost in the immensity of the story, I felt like there was enough day-to-day stuff and realistic background material to make me really care about what was happening to everyone, if that makes any sense. Like I said, the story was pretty much globe-spanning and it is a ...more
I’m not sure how to describe Hunger Makes the Wolf. It definitely had a Dune (far future, desert planet, science fiction) feel and maybe a feeling of Molly Tanzer’s Vermillion mixed in, but at the same time I was definitely thinking Mad Max through parts of it. The story follows two women – Hob and Mags. Hob is our main character and the bulk of the story

follows her but I feel like Mags was just as important in the long run. Hob is a member of a mercenary style biker gang on the desert, mining
I’m not sure how I found this book, but I’m so glad that I did. It’s a kick ass science fiction story with a great world and two female leads who are both strong in their own way.

Tanegawa’s World is a company planet, controlled by TransRifts Inc, which has a monopoly on interstellar travel. Those blacklisted by the corporation tend to wind up dead. Yet some resist the might of TransRifts. Hob’s a Ghost Wolf, a mercenary biker troop that does what TransRifts won’t. They’ve run under the radar of
Laura (crofteereader)
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one was a fun ride. It starts out rather confusing with a good number of characters, two different timelines, and lots of politics (mostly personal but also corporate). But Wells brilliantly increases stake and scope at each step in a way that is both logical and fresh, bringing in new characters, new information, and new skills with ease and import. While the book is relatively thick, there's not any space wasted, with each glimpse of other characters providing something more to the plot.

A solid action-packed series starter that gets bigger in scope as it moves forward. A great combination of sci-fi and witches set in a backwater planet. Two absolute lady bosses in charge and hey, props to my favorite character not ending up dead. Lastly, no romance and pretty sure one of the main lady characters is queer.

Review to come...err soon.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It's one of those that you read, then realize partway through that it's a book you've been waiting for without knowing it. Character-driven, but the plot weaves through the interrelationship of systems - relationships, family, organizations, religion, artificial manmade systems, the natural systems of alien places.

I initially stumbled on the dialect, but as Hob swept me along that fell to the background. I hope that this is the beginning of a series, because I want so m
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I immediately took to Hob Ravani. I’ll admit it might have been initially due to the cocky attitude, motorcycle, and eye-patch, but it turns out that there is much more to her than that. She is fiercely loyal to her friends and will gladly do anything for them. Her adopted father, Nick, is a cantankerous old so and so, but he looks after his own. He has a strong sense of justice and if he sees something wrong he’ll fix it. He has instilled that same sense of morality in Hob. The downtrodden of T ...more
This novel took me by surprise! It’s a sci-fi that seamlessly blends in Western and frontier elements with its technology, as well as a smattering of elemental magic (explained as a “contamination”) and a “fuck the man” ideology. It’s a lot of fun!

The setting is intriguing from the start – a colonized world controlled by a greedy and unscrupulous company that controls the production sectors of the world by keeping them impoverished and almost pre-industrial in technology. I’m not going to explai
Hunger Makes the Wolf surprised me with how good it was. I think I was expecting a fun, quick space adventure read, but this story is so much more than that.

There is magic (space witches!), a rebellion of mistreated workers against the company that controls the planet, a woman learning to be a leader, and I think there are hints of a possible romance?

The main character, Hob Ravani, is a member of a gang of mercenaries who roam around their desert planet on motorcycles. They do odd jobs for mon
Bridget Mckinney
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I read quite a few debut novels and had a cool half dozen on my reading list for the first three months of 2017, but Alex Wells’ Hunger Makes the Wolf was the one I was most looking forward to in the first quarter of this year. I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint. While it may lack some of the great depth and the high level of craft of some of the other debuts I’ve read so far this year, Hunger Makes the Wolf more than makes up for it in other areas. It’s a well-conceived, smartly plotte ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libby, sf_fantasy
This book is SO GOOD!!! The world building is top notch, the pacing just exactly right. Found family feels abound, and who doesn’t want to hang with a badass motorcycle gang on a planet with mysterious “magic”??!?! I cannot WAIT to read the sequel!
Review originally posted at

Alex Wells is a new-to-me author. I found them in a Twitter thread of book recommendations. I’ll be honest. I have no idea what about this author, and/or book, caught my eye to make me go look them up. I wasn’t looking for new books to read, as my TBR is never-ending. Anyway, I’m so glad I stumbled upon them. I really enjoyed this first book in The Ghost Wolves series.

Hunger Makes the Wolf is set on a different and harsh planet. It follows two main
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick review:
Wow!!! Amazing world building, kicka**e heroine (sort of), excellent science fiction, even some grounded magic realism fantasy, great ideas, companies vs workers (sort of)…..
Wow!!! In case it wasn’t clear, WOW!!!!
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
A science fiction novel invloving biker gangs, low magic and a sort of Dune/western vibe. Definitely started very well, and the 2 separate stories became 1. From here the pace for me slowed down a little. The story wasnt the most original. However, the characters were fun and there seemed to be enough resolution plus story left to continue for a series. It read really easily, and was more on the simple science fiction side of novels.
A.C. Wise
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Hunger Makes the Wolf, Acks immediately drops readers into a world that feels lived in, with characters whose lives extend beyond the page. By the time we meet Hob Ravani, she already has a strange encounter with a phoenix in her past, and is imbued with witchy power she doesn’t fully understand. She also has a fall from grace in her past, which has left her clawing her way back up to a respected position within the Ghost Wolves, the mercenary biker gang that makes up half of her adopted fami ...more
Elle Maruska
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Seriously. SERIOUSLY! My 2018 reading has started with a GIANT AMAZING BANG.

I picked this book up on a whim and I'm so glad I did. This book is EVERYTHING I LOVE all at once, a SciFi/Western/Fantasy romp through a strange and fascinating world where labor, politics, bandits, technology, and found family all intersect.

Hob, the MC, is AMAZING. She is a powerful, reckless woman who never once demeans other women. She has a deep and abiding friendship with another
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9780857666444 4 16 Mar 12, 2018 06:20PM  

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Alex Wells is a writer, geologist, and sharp-dressed sir. They’ve had short stories in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Daily Science Fiction, Shimmer, and more. They are an active member of SFWA, the Northern Colorado Writer’s Workshop, and Codex.

Alex loves movies, nerdy things, cats, and writing, and blog about all this and more depending on my mood. They are also a host on the Skiffy and Fanty pod

Other books in the series

The Ghost Wolves (2 books)
  • Blood Binds the Pack (The Ghost Wolves, #2)

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