The way that Ian McDonald flawlessly adapts his writing to the relevant culture and country at hand is ingenious, and he showcases this perfectly in his much-lauded previous work.
In Luna: New Moon though, McDonald has clearly perfected this skill. He exhibits an inherent ability to wide range of them together.
More impressively, he does all this while switching seamlessly between the perspectives of members of the Five Dragons – the ruling corporations of the Moon.
It’s not a flashy piece of science fiction; there are no lasers, alien species or gratuitous amounts of spaceships. There is only the truth that the Moon is truly brutal, where everything is for sale or contracted.
The price of air changes daily, like the stock market, and there is an overarching fear of death lingering through each of the characters going beyond the dread of running out of oxygen.
This is the power struggle of the Five Dragons that runs deep into conflicts within each family itself – among the Cortas of Corta Helio, the Mackenzies of Mackenzie Metals and so on – cementing the harshness of the Moon.
McDonald has done well here to delve into so many members of each family without being overly confusing. It’s an intimidating character list at first, and frankly we found some of the secondary characters a bit monotonous.
But that aside, McDonald certainly shows off the well-developed Cortas to illustrate his knack for creating dynamic human relationships that encompass the whole Moon.
Luna: New Moon is a world that has been intricately woven together by its author. It’s compelling and thought-provoking, and all without relying on overbearing sci-fi clichés. Brilliantly done.