Ever since I was a child, I have been obsessed with space and even now, at the age of 21, I still have dreams about going to Mars – alas, I will never be able to afford that. So, I live my space-travelling fantasies through literature and Luna: New Moon (as you can probably guess) is set on the Moon so I knew instantly that I had to pick it up!
The Moon wants to kill you. She has a thousand ways to do it. The bitter cold of vacuum. The lethal sleet of radiation. Choking dust as old as the earth. Your weakening bones.
Or you could run out of money for water. Or air. Or simply run foul of one of the Five Dragons, the corporations that rule the Moon and control its vast resources.
But you stay, because the moon can make you richer than you can imagine.
Until a war breaks out…
The first thing that I feel like I should mention about this book is that there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of characters. McDonald provides us with a character list at the beginning of the book that spans five pages. FIVE. When I started reading the book, the number of characters was putting me off – keep referring back to the character list was interrupting my flow of reading and I was just losing motivation to finish it. I will admit, even when three-quarters of the way through, I was still referring to the character list.
Also, the chapters were long… So, so long… Like 40 pages long. I am one of those readers that love short chapters because I can’t just stop reading in the middle of a chapter, I have to finish it. So when it came to this book, sometimes I just had to stop reading in the middle of a chapter because it was getting too long.
“The world order was rotten. Diseased with social injustice, racism, sexism, inequality and bad gender politics.”
– Ian McDonald, Luna: New Moon
However, once you get past the character dumping at the beginning of the book, the plot starts to pick up and we are thrown into a world of lies, deceit, and power. Think Game of Thrones in space. There are families fighting for power, there are assassination attempts and there are marriages between families to try and keep the peace. I did really like the story line and I liked reading from many of the characters perspectives; the one that I especially enjoyed was reading from the perspective of Adriana Corta as she tells her life story to one of the women from the Sisterhood. As Adriana is telling her story, we learn about how society on the Moon came about, we learn about the history of the rival between the families and we are also given insight into the Corta family – which I found very interesting.
Another thing that I liked about this book was the fluidity of gender and sexuality. Men would wear makeup if they wanted to, they would wear dresses and heels if they felt like it, they would have a romance with another man… McDonald created the society that we should be living in now. In this book, there is an acceptance of everything. This book – from what I gathered and please correct me if I am wrong – focuses on people from Brazil, Portugal, Austrailia, Ghana… It was so good to read about people who weren’t from the UK, or the U.S.A – it was a breath of fresh air to see people from other countries represented.
Also… that ending. I’m not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. The last 100 pages just felt way too fast for me and even though it makes me interested to read the second book, I finished the book and I wasn’t quite sure what had happened in the end because it was so quick. I will be starting the second book in the next couple of days so hopefully, that will shed some light on what happened at the end of Luna: New Moon.
Overall, if you’re looking for a high sci-fi read that is compelling, then this is the book for you. McDonald has created such an elaborate society where everything is intertwined. The only things that put me off this book were the number of characters and the ending. So I give this book 3.5 stars. I’m quite excited to read the second book as I’m intrigued what will happen to the Moon and the civilisations on it. Keep your eyes peeled for my review of the second book! It will be coming very soon!