Luna: Moon Rising – Ian McDonald

The final volume in Ian McDonald‘s Luna trilogy, Luna: Moon Rising (review copy from Gollancz), was one of the books I was most excited to read this year because I had loved the first two hard.  And it did not disappoint.

This is a book that is as red in tooth and claw as the first two volumes in the series.  With all the hallmark kidnapping, assassination and destruction we have come to know and love from this series.  Luna: Moon Rising focuses on two key plot threads.  A battle between Lucas and Ariel Corta for control of the Moon and custody of the injured Lucasinho.  And a debate about the future of the Moon colony itself.

This debate about the future of the Moon is a fascinating one.  Each competing vision of what the Moon could be is plausible and compelling: automated provision of resources for a starving Earth, solar-powered data-centre, or jumping off point to colonise the stars?  Whatever choice i made, it will have profound consequences for Earth, Moon and the future of the solar system.

But it is in the Corta v Corta battle that the novel has its heart.  Where the previous novels have shown us the conflict between the Five Dragons and the consequences of that for Lunar society, here we are treated to the divisions within families.  With the Cortas struggling to rebuild and reclaim after the cataclysmic events of earlier books, this is an extremely personal story.  And McDonald resolves it beautifully in a thrilling climax.

I won’t say more for fear of spoiling the book.  But if you had any doubts, read this glorious trilogy.

Goodreads rating: 5*

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