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Blood Binds the Pack by Alex Wells. Book Review

January 21, 2018

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Tanegawa is a planet under TransRift Inc’s tight control, and no one is going to challenge their authority. At this very moment they are searching for the source of power which enables their modified human horrors, the Weathermen, to make interstellar travel possible. The company has no interest in the future of the planet, let alone their exploited miners who toil to generate the company’s wealth.

But they haven’t banked on Hob Ravani and her rag tag band of misfits, the Ghost Wolves, who have become part of the growing resistance. Along with her ‘sister’ Mag’s miner collective, the planet is ready for a major battle between the oppressors and the oppressed.

As Shige Rollins returns to the planet with the most advanced model of Weatherman, Mr Yellow, things are about to get very complicated.

Blood Binds the Pack is the type of sequel where you wish you had read the first novel, Hunger Makes the Wolf. This is not because Blood Binds the Pack doesn’t work well as a standalone book, but more because you feel you’ve missed out on another damn good read.

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This is the type of world viewers of Deadwood or Firefly would find familiar, both in terms of frontier towns, the people inhabiting them, and the chosen few who live privileged lives, cossetted by every convenience advanced technology has to offer.

The book has a solid plot, but running through the whole narrative is an excellent cast of fully developed characters. Alex Wells has taken stereotypes from westerns and high-action sci-fi thrillers, playing with them in a thoughtful and very entertaining way. The result is a group of intriguing protagonists who in isolation can hold their own in a busy storyline, yet interact and network with other characters in interesting ways.

The relationship between the two lead female protagonists has been well thought out. Hob is the tough guy of the two, Mags the gentler, more thoughtful and strategic (although put her back up against the wall and watch her come out fighting). My favourite is probably Ghost Wolves member, Coyote, a violent man with an intriguing past and rather gruesome dietary requirements, yet he is soon knocked into obedience by Hob through her sheer force of character and acerbic rhetoric.

Make no mistake this is an action-packed thriller, but it also explores (through the sci-fi/fantasy medium) issues of those who seek equality and justice from those who control in an impossible situation.

Blood Binds the Pack was courtesy of Angry Robot via NetGalley

 

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One Comment
  1. This will be added to my ever growing list of books to read. Good review thanks.

    https://yesmoreblogs.wordpress.com/

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