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Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
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Luna: New Moon

by Ian McDonald

Series: Luna (1)

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3572243,851 (3.89)37
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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Interesting and original setting. Ok, not the setting per se (it's the Moon after all :P) but its cultural, social and political aspects, and to a lesser degree, the technology . Well developed characters. Good pace.
( )
  chaghi | Oct 15, 2018 |
3.5 stars, rounded up.

The comparisons for Luna: New Moon are seemingly endless: [b:Tai-Pan|42933|Tai-Pan (Asian Saga, #2)|James Clavell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1437266246s/42933.jpg|1755754], [b:Noble House|390711|Noble House (Asian Saga, #4)|James Clavell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1365185986s/390711.jpg|1486259], [b:A Game of Thrones|13496|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1436732693s/13496.jpg|1466917], [b:The Godfather|22034|The Godfather|Mario Puzo|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1394988109s/22034.jpg|266624], [b:Dune|234225|Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)|Frank Herbert|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434908555s/234225.jpg|3634639], [b:The Moon is a Harsh Mistress|16690|The Moon is a Harsh Mistress|Robert A. Heinlein|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348768309s/16690.jpg|1048525] (although instead of Heinlein's lunar utopia, Luna is a lunar dystopia). Just like these classics, the Mafia-styled families are doing all they can to increase their wealth and holdings at the expense of everyone else.

As in his book, [b:Brasyl|278281|Brasyl|Ian McDonald|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386925633s/278281.jpg|269900], which is set in a future South America, McDonald uses Brazilians as his main characters, but this time, they are mining the Moon for raw material. Luna is an in-depth tour inside the now-honeycombed Moon with the rich people living deeper under the surface (it’s safer) and the poorer people living closer to the surface, much riskier due to the solar radiation and hazardous lunar dust. The scenes set on the surface were among the best in the book.

Even though I see dozens of 4- and 5-stars reviews, I struggled to get into this book. I didn't connect with most of the characters, with the exception of Marina Calzaghe. She’s one of the first characters introduced, and is struggling to survive in an extremely harsh physical and economic environment. She’s a highly sympathetic character, but unfortunately, very little time is devoted to her story, which only occasionally pops in for an update. Most of the other characters are completely unsympathetic, simple cutthroats with no morals or purpose other than to grab more than the next guy.

The book constantly jumps from viewpoint to viewpoint of the sons and daughters of the Corta family. The thing that bothered me most is that while the Corta siblings are the ones we are supposed to care about, there is little in the story to make me want to care about them. I understand they are competing against each other for the family mining company, while attempting to protect each other from other competing families that want to destroy them, but they really had no redeemable characteristics that drew me to them.

As expected from this author, the world-building is spectacular, which actually increased my rating. McDonald really created an exceedingly harsh, believable world. It reminded me a lot of Los Angeles as depicted in the brilliant movie, Blade Runner.

The writing is interesting, especially considering that it is written in third-person present tense. That took some getting used to, but ultimately, the book is well-written and well-developed. If you enjoy complex storylines that employ mafia-style generational families and all that entails, this one is right up your alley. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 7, 2018 |
This is an ambitious novel (& I daresay it succeeds in much). I was intrigued with the colony on the moon and the houses who run it, the Five Dragons (Corta, Swan, Mackenzie, Asamoa & Gregoire). The world-building was quite well done and kept me hooked but I did feel that characterisation lacked a bit. That may be because there are so very many people who are introduced and cycle in and out with rapidity. I have to hand it to McDonald, the permanent exits he give these characters is vivid. Rachel Mackenzie was one of my favorites but there is so much going on with so many others, I can't say I was truly sad when she exited (honestly, it was one less person to keep track of in this huge cast). There was a thread of some sort of werewolf thing going on with Wagner Corta and I still don't understand it or have any idea where that's going. I'm not a fan of paranormal in my science fiction but I'm still open to this being important and necessary in the future.

Most of the novel was fairly quiet and there seemed a lot of information to take in with a set up to make sure the reader knows there are higher stakes coming and it builds to a fantastic end. I definitely will read the next. Recommended for anyone who loves a good multi-family saga in a science fiction setting. ( )
  anissaannalise | Feb 28, 2018 |
I ended up really liking this, even though the POV changes were kind of annoying at first. The plot ended up flowing really well and the characters were quite interesting. The concept of colonizing the moon was really cool and I liked how McDonald built up the world and made it as hard as it was. The concept of contract law was also really cool.
The plot moved a little slow, but was quite intriguing. The tech side of the world was quite fascinating as well. I enjoyed the descriptions given of the world built on the moon.

The characters were ruthless. It was interesting to see how characters had left Earth for the moon and then chose to stay and build their lives and families up from there. I liked Carlihnos and Marina, as well as Ariel's points of view. Lucasihno was a little annoying and a spoiled brat at points, but develops and grows towards the end of the novel.

Overall, great story arc and characters and I am intrigued to keep reading. ( )
  jdifelice | Jan 20, 2018 |
Luna: New Moon was marketed as “Game of Thrones set on the moon”, and that seemed pretty accurate to me. The Moon has finally been colonized, primarily by the Five Dragons, five powerful industrial families that are constantly battling for supremacy. We’re following the upstart Cortas, led by matriarch Adriana Corta, who’ve made a fortune mining Helium-3, but are finding that their ascension to Dragon stature comes with a whole bunch of complications.

There’s no one protagonist, as is the case with many of McDonald’s novels. We follow pretty much all of the Cortas, and some others, like Marina Calzaghe, a “Jo Moonbeam” (a recent arrival from Earth) who gets thoroughly tangled in the Cortas’ affairs. There doesn’t seem to be plot at first, we dive head first into the Cortas’ lives, what they do, who they love, their struggles with each other, but it’s all extremely compelling. We also learn more about the early days of the moon and its colonization through Adriana’s memoirs, which adds a lot of context to the story and is a lot of fun. There is plot though, and it all makes sense when it comes to fruition.

Some of the other highlights were the evolution of world/national culture (something McDonald specializes in), the development of interesting AI, and the brutal economics of living on the moon. My only complaint was that I didn’t realize that this was a duology until I reached the end and realized there was no way this story had ended. I’m looking forward to the sequel, though. CBS is also developing a TV show based on the books, which I really hope goes to series. ( )
1 vote kgodey | Apr 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Once the reader has oriented herself, she will shoot through the rest of the book – pages flying, hurtling towards a brilliantly tense and readable denouement. I turned the last page gasping to read the second volume of McDonald’s dyad, out next year.
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
In a white room on the edge of the Sinus Medio sit six naked teenagers.
Quotations
Then he realized that this was a subculture where everyone was a subculture.
The only beautiful thing on the moon is the people.
When you apply to go to the moon the LDC insists on a DNA test. If you plan on staying, if you plan on raising children, the LDC doesn’t want chronic genetic conditions showing up in later life, or in your descendants. My DNA is from all over Earth. Old World, New World ; Africa, eastern Mediterranean, western Mediterranean, Tupi, Japanese, Norwegian. I’m a planet in one woman.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it's being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon's ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon's near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon's newest "dragon," Adriana has wrested control of the Moon's Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family's new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana's five children must defend their mother's empire from her many enemies... and each other.
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"The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it's being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon's ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon's near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did. As the leader of the Moon's newest "dragon," Adriana has wrested control of the Moon's Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family's new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana's five children must defend their mother's empire from her many enemies... and each other"--… (more)

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