Book Reviews

Luna Moon Rising – Ian McDonald #bookreview

I received this book from the publishers in return for an honest review. This book review contains spoilers, read on at your own risk!

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It feels like I have waited forever for this book to appear and now it is finally here I am not sure if I am ready for it to be over. I once said this is Game of Thrones in space and after finishing this book in a matter of days, I can say hand, on heart I was wrong – this series is everything and so much more.

We begin our journey on the Sea of Fecundity with the transportation of Lucashino, hanging between life, death and life after death. What would have been a straightforward transport before is turned into a battleground with everyone fighting for control of the son of the Eagle of the Moon. Where before air and water were currency, now his life is and who ever holds it holds the future to the moon. With the Joe Moonbeams trying to seize control, can the inhabitants of the moon work together to preserve their way of life or will it be lost forever?

Ahhh! When this book arrived on my doorstep that’s all I had to say about it. As it’s been a while since the previous book, Luna Wolf Moon, I was grateful for the introduction. That being said, for anyone who hasn’t read the previous two books this recap is not enough. This is definitely a book which needs to be read as part of the series and not only for continuity.

The moon is a violent place and this is made abundantly clear throughout all three books, only the fittest, strongest and smartest can survive; but the ending of the book is a culmination of all three books and to understand the full implications is has to be read in order.

Also, the emotional impact would be lost. Having watched these characters grow and flourish into what may appear self-centred people, it is only by reading their struggles do we realise how much they care about the moon and preserving their way of life. Granted, while they may not care about everybody on the moon, this is a view of the upper-class society trying to ensure that it is a way of life that is open to all who want to experience it. It is nothing like that on Earth, they are a separate society, a separate power and they demand to be recognised.

Just like the Starks of Winterfell, we all knew the Corta’s of the Moon would be the focus point in this book, no, this series. Ever since the beginning we have been leading up to the final showdown; Corta vs Corta. Who will reign supreme, Ariel or Lucas? Ariel is a total badass and while Lucas is a bit of a prick, he’s a prick who is caught between a rock and a hard place, again, granted, he put himself there but he knows how this needs to end and so does Ariel. The question is can they both make it happen?

Of course, there is more than one family on the Moon; the Suns, the Mackenzies, the Vorontsovs and the Asamoahs, but their numbers have dropped significantly since the first book. Regardless, their power and influence still makes them players, it is just unfortunate that their power is less than it was.

The character development, the world building and the storytelling are out of this world. This is a series for fans of Game of Thrones and of epic science fiction and I cannot recommend it enough. There’s a lot of technical jargon but it’s based on the moon, what else do you expect?

A lot of books fall down at the final hurdle, the ending, and this ending may not be for everyone but having poured my all into this series when reading it, it was the perfect ending for me. Not every ending needs to be happy and not every ending needs violence, the ending just needs to be consistent and Ian McDonald clearly knew that he was doing when he was writing it and if he didn’t, he has still managed to blend the perfect mix of blood, gore and politics into this epic novel.

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