There is a city overrun by every type of wild dog, where mysterious machines pump out meat daily for their hungry mouths, where the only protection from dog-eating hulkers is an elite pack of painted dogs.
Everyone has always had enough food. That is what Mhumhi, a young painted dog, has grown up believing. But Mhumhi is not a member of the elite pack- as a infant, he was stolen by a domestic dog and integrated into an unlikely litter of all different species. He has grown up half in hiding with his adoptive siblings- a bush dog, a dhole, and a Simien wolf.
When their adoptive mother disappears, Mhumhi seeks her out. He finds instead that the last adoptees she brought into their motley family are not dogs at all, but rather a pair of young hulkers. Without the pack’s protection, they will surely be killed by the painted dogs- for there have been a rash of disappearances lately, and the culprit is no dog…
Mhumhi only sets out to protect the two small hulkers, but in doing so he begins to uncover not just his mother’s secrets, but the dark backbone of the entire city.