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New Moon

(Luna #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  6,962 ratings  ·  1,095 reviews
The Moon wants to kill you.

Maybe it will kill you when the per diem for your allotted food, water, and air runs out, just before you hit paydirt. Maybe it will kill you when you are trapped between the reigning corporations-the Five Dragons-in a foolish gamble against a futuristic feudal society. On the Moon, you must fight for every inch you want to gain. And that is jus
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Tor Books (first published September 17th 2015)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,962 ratings  ·  1,095 reviews

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Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All right! What an ending! I won't spoil it, but it's one hell of a satisfying ride.

As I read it, I kept saying to myself, "Damn! This was MADE for HBO. (Or Showtime.) This could be done Brilliantly as a well-funded high-quality production. Hell, this would be even better than GoT, and not only because it's SF instead of F! It's full of glitz, sex, the weight of history, capitalism, and tradition, not to mention all the sprinkling of assassinations and attempted assassinations to liven the party
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

If you can imagine the Starks and Lannisters as two rival families with competing mining operations on the moon, I daresay the situation might look a lot like the plot of Luna: New Moon. I can’t remember the last time I read a sci-fi novel featuring a richer and more compelling premise, and I am also amazed that the characters are all so developed and well-defined. Where do I even begin when it comes to the many things I
Tamora Pierce
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, sf
When my assistant brought this book home as part of her grad school semester reading, I thought I'd give it a try, remembering how much I liked the author's RIVER OF GODS a couple of years ago. Now I have to say that McDonald is one of the best world builders I've ever read.

This is about the colonization of the moon by industrial entrepreneurs who supply an energy-short Earth where jobs for human beings are scarce and expensive higher education is needed for anyone to get ahead. The cast of char
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza-pie...That’s amore!"

Dean Martin certainly sang how we see the the moon here on Earth. It’s a brilliant light in the night sky that is the symbol of romance as well as a tantalizing beacon of wonder and discovery that inspired one the greatest scientific and engineering achievements in human history. However, that’s looking at it from a distance. On closer examination it’s a lifeless hunk of rock in a vacuum that is irradiated constantly by the sun. A
Brilliant!! I devoured this book over a few days, skipping television and movie options to just immerse myself into the low gravity. I'm still depressurizing.

I've seen this book called "Game of Thrones in Space", and I'd have to say not so much. Only in the sense that it would make a fantastic series on HBO which would compare. I've also seen it compared to "Dallas", and there is a bit of that, but the most accurate comparison is easily The Godfather. That book/movie's sense of family and surviv
Allison Hurd
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: man-author, scifi
I feel like this book was good, but that it missed several opportunities for greatness. It's very obviously the set up book for the series, stuffed full of world-building and explaining the who's who of Luna. The end was fascinating, but the rest just felt...pedestrian, which is surprising given the concept.

CONTENT WARNING: (list of topics) (view spoiler)

Things that were awesome:

-The world. Or I guess moon? The concept of the tunnels, du
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
"The might and magic of money is not what it allows you to own; it is what it allows you to be. Money is freedom."

Truer words were never spoken. People left Earth looking for a new kind of freedom and frontier, not wanting to be constrained by old ideas. On the moon, anything goes, for a price: offer, acceptance and consideration. The only law is the law of contract, enforced by courts and if necessary in bloody trials by combat. In effect, everything is freely available, but nothing comes witho
Liam || Books 'n Beards
Reread March 2017 - Still fantastic.

“Nothing tells you that you are not on Earth anymore than exhaling at one price and inhaling at another.”

This is easily my book of the year - and so late! Truly, it is the most well-written, intriguing, believable, unique science fiction I have read in a long time, let alone this year - and it is an absolute roller coaster to boot.

Luna: New Moon (the first in a duology!!! Hooray for short and sweet series! Now a trilogy, damn and blast) follows the
Paul O'Neill
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read all my reviews at

The moon has a cold heart.

For me, this was a frustratingly great read which should have received a full five stars. However, due to the many, many mistakes I had to lower my rating.

Hailed the “Game of Domes”, the story follows one of the five dynasties, or ‘Dragons’, who control the moon. We follow all members of the Corta family, and some others, through their various political, financial and romantic challenges.

McDonald ci
Jan 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi, arc, dnf
DNF at 31%

I gave it a shot but boy did I not get along with this book. From the off I had no idea of what was happening up to about 10%. Then things sort of slotted into place and I was with it, but by about 25% I lost all interest. I read what could only be a handful of pages last night before deciding to listen to my audiobook in bed which never happens. This was a sign that I wasn’t into this book whatsoever and made me realise that it was time to call it quits.

There are some good ideas here
Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)
DNF at 59%

"Game Of Thrones" on the Moon.



"Luna" it's not a Space Opera, it's Space Telenovela. There is soooo much drama on the Moon that it can blow you away from more than one episode of "Black Mirror". Everyone here is a bad guy (or gal). They plot evil schemes even if they are taking a shit. Sex, killing, bodies exploding, dresses from the 1950s, parties, architecture, rich people, reminiscences about life on Earth, multiple lovers, space equipment weren't enough for
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This one is hard for me to evaluate. I did not click with the story at all for a good third of the book, although the last third was pretty fantastic. The tech was brilliantly imagined and I appreciated how well thought out the science was (to my untrained eye). I loved some of the characters. Where I didn't enjoy it was exactly why many have loved it - the much acclaimed grittiness just didn't do it for me. Many of the societal structures McDonald imagines, especially the endless parties, didn' ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was confusing, too fast paced and encompassed too many points of view to be really absorbed by the readers . Nonetheless the story of families feuding agains each other for power is a classic tale that can be enjoyed by almost everyone, and to its core , this book was exactly that, the only difference is that the it happens on the moon in a futuristic society. There are things I had against this book, the use of graphic scenes when there were none needed , the speed in which you were e ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
What a fantastic beginning to a series. I've seen other reviewers call it 'Game of Thrones on the moon', and others mention the Godfather movies, and yes, that's about right. HBO/Netflix, someone, anyone, should be all over this.

The cast is diverse, and I absolutely loved all of them. They're well developed, with amazing arcs, and McDonald put a lot of care and effort into the world building. The pace never slows; not a dull moment in this book.

Now, I won't lie, this book took a lot of effort. D
It looks like it's the new fad to compare any book that has as much as two camps squabbling to Game of Thrones, and if said rival camps happen to be families jockeying for power political or economic, then even better. This marketing trick not only has become old too fast but is also rather counterproductive: it creates high expectations in readers who get the comparison even if they're familiar only with the show, paving the way for disappointment, and does a disservice to both the old product ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, wishlist
Ugh! What a cliff hanger! I’m dying over here. Warning: don’t pick this up until your prepared to commit to both books. (Aaaanndd... apparently the third is due out this year.)

I keep seeing this describes as Game of Thrones in space. I sort of get it? But I also don’t. It’s like Capone vs O’Banion in space. Except instead of bootlegging they’re fighting about Helium-3 and turf. They have dazzling parties and beautiful clothes. They’re wealthy. Their lives are always in danger.

We follow the story
review on reread - 2017 (before reading volume 2)

Looking at the review below from my first read on the book in 2015 shows once again how much the act of reading and appreciating a book is subjective, depending on desire, mood, experience as a reader and even factors like reading it because it is new and everyone else is reading it rather than actually really wanting to read it so to speak, familiarity etc; this time for example I really loved it - it helped that I once went through it so the mix
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 dynasty-building-stars

I loved the writing style it was rich and visual and forced me to slow down. Some reviews praised the second half and its faster plot, but I prefered the earlier half. I thought the style best suited the introduction of the large cast of characters and the dusty, claustrophobic, over populated world they inhabit. It includes some of my favourite scifi tech to date. I might not mind swapping my privacy for something as helpful as a "familiar". Also kudos for gender dive
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, rounded up.

The comparisons for Luna: New Moon are seemingly endless: Tai-Pan, Noble House, A Game of Thrones, The Godfather, Dune, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (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, Brasyl, which is set in a future South America, McDonald uses Brazilians as his main characters
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, politics
It's a strange thing, that occasionally it takes a whole lot of time to read a book that I really, really like. I'm not sure if it is because these books are not what you might call "a page-turner", them being slow paced, full of details and intrigues, or is it because I subconsciously tend to read them slowly, savoring every moment and every line like having an expensive, well matured drink in your bar - you don't down them in a single gulp or even worse, mix it with cola and pour on the rocks. ...more
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A dynastic tale of powerful families that owes something to both the Medicis and Dallas as well as a healthy dose of Game of Thrones.

The Cortas are the newest of the Five Dragons, the most powerful and wealthy entrepreneur families of the fledgling moon civilization. They live in a delicate balance of power within the family itself and with the other great families, including the Corta's main rival, the MacKenzies. The story follows three generations of the Cortas as their matriarch readies hers
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of this author. I don't like everything he writes, but some of his books really shine. For example, I thought River of Gods was very good, and Desolation Road just wasn't. This book is as good as River of Gods, and its structure is similar.

Writing was good: dialog, descriptive and action scenes. Frankly, its top notch for contemporary science fiction. I even thought the pr0n-y scenes were good. The characters in this book posed a problem to me like I had with War and Peace. There are a
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a 4.5 for me. I really enjoyed this one. It's a bit complicated because there are a lot of characters and you'll need to refer back to the cast of characters and glossary section pretty often, but once you figure things out it gets much better.

I am really tired of reading reviews that call this Game of Thrones in space. Books about powerful families fighting each other were around long before GoT (plus the GoT books go downhill pretty fast after the first few - people mistake liking the
The Captain
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy me mateys! Grab your grog! Here be book 1 of the seventh installment of the 3 Bells trilogy showcase. Arrrr!!!

luna: new moon (Ian McDonald)

Damn. That was me first thought upon finishing this truly excellent book. I know this review won’t do it justice but I ended up loving this. I was instantly engrossed by the beginning of this novel and the wicked cool right-of-passage event. But then I became a tad worried because the POVs started jumping around quite a bit and there weren’t chapter brea
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
...I have pretty much enjoyed everything I have read by McDonald and this novel is no exception. His exuberant writing style from his earlier novels has been tempered a bit, making his more recent books a bit more accessible. Luna: New Moon is a book that walks the fine line between exuberance and discipline both in the plot and linguistically. It is a book of sharp contrasts. Life and death are so close together that there is almost nothing between them. The moon can kill you in seconds and thi ...more
The summarization of 'Game of Thrones on the Moon' is...fucking perfect.

This is a highly complex story with a vast cast of characters (you will want to use that dramatis personae in the front) that is filled with murderous politics, complicated dynastic mechanics, good old fashioned vendettas, betrayals, and the most egalitarian sexual dynamics I've ever seen. And it's all taking place on the Moon which suffuses the entire story with an extra dimension very like Dune had. I found myself stopping
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Well, I finally see what all the fuss is about. It's like a soap opera of The Godfather with a lot of sex and violence.

The writing: 5+ stars. Everything was exceptionally well done; pacing, plot, prose. The whole thing was so consistently excellent that I figure he had to have done 40-50 rewrites.

The plot: This was the weakest point for me, and I do mean me specifically. Mafia stories are not something that I typically enjoy outside of the Godfather trio. The soap opera was a bit much for me al
Surprisingly great. The first 30% of the book is mostly about the setting and character intro (lots of them) with not much plot. I really struggled at first but Goodreads saved me from DNFing the book - thanks G33z3r for telling me the book gets much better. If the first half took me more than a week, I only spent three days to finish the rest.

If you like cutthroat politics, cool near-future techs, interesting mix of cultures (the moon has its own culture), space exploration, man vs. harsh/unfo
Tudor Ciocarlie
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-my-best-of
This is a cross between the War of the Roses and the Godfather I&II that has a great Game of Thrones flavor, but if Martin uses the same old European setting, McDonald creates a wonderful future moon with a well thought and extremely rich texture; and the last third absolutely rocks. Can't wait to read the next volume. ...more
This was a quick, exciting read to be sure. I enjoyed all of the subplots and most of the characters. It had little substance, and read more like an action thriller than anything, but some well-written, fast-reading sci fi pulp is something I don't turn my nose up at! Especially not when it's done with skill. ...more
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Ian Neil McDonald was born in 1960 in Manchester, England, to an Irish mother and a Scottish father. He moved with his family to Northern Ireland in 1965. He used to live in a house built in the back garden of C. S. Lewis’s childhood home but has since moved to central Belfast, where he now lives, exploring interests like cats, contemplative religion, bonsai, bicycles, and comic-book collecting. H ...more

Other books in the series

Luna (4 books)
  • Wolf Moon (Luna, #2)
  • Moon Rising (Luna, #3)
  • The Falls: A Luna Story

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