Book Review: Moon Rising (Luna #3) by Ian McDonald

I’ll apologize, I haven’t been posting consistently.  To be honest, I haven’t been reading a whole lot.  Last year by April I’d probably read 25-30 books.  This year I’ve read 23 things, 3 of which were graphic novels and 5 of which were short fiction pieces.  I have a feeling I won’t make it to my usual goal of 100 books this year, and that’s okay.

I’ve been working on my own novel- which I’ve just about completed a second draft of, and I’m so excited to be putting finishing touches on it.  It’s more or less become my second child (third if we’re counting the dog).  On a side note, if any of my wonderful book buddies would be interested in beta reading even a portion of it, let me know!

Anyway, onto this week’s review: Moon Rising (Luna #3) by Ian McDonald.

Luna Moon Rising Ian McDonald

Rating:  ★★★★

The Cortas are the most egocentric, narcissistic, arrogant – outright weird – pack of fucks I have ever met.

These books have come up a few times on this blog, particularly in my Top Ten Tuesday posts, because it’s one of my favorite series.  It’s epic on the scale of Game of Thrones, gory on the scale of Stephen King, clever on the scale of Kaz Brekker, and diverse to boot.  I recommend this series every chance I get.

But that isn’t to say the books aren’t without their flaws.  There are definitely some things I would have liked tightened up.  The primary one being the amount of reading between the lines that’s needed to fully grasp these books.  I happened to read this with buddies, who were wonderfully patient with me, and I like to think I would have understood better if my time wasn’t so stretched and I could really sit down and pay attention, but the truth is you have to infer quite a bit of information from these books.  I had to re-read things a few times to figure out what I was witnessing.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m really not that reader.  I like books that make me think about life, current events, philosophy, religion you name it, but I’d prefer if the events of the book are pretty straight forward.  This isn’t something I detract a lot of points for, because readers deserve to have books that challenge them.  (As an aside- another beloved series, Terra Ignota is written a lot like this.  Maybe it’s something I like more than I think I do.)

The second thing I would have changed is that, reading this, I felt like a lot of information was purposefully withheld from readers in the earlier books just to make them more suspenseful.  That does annoy me.  One example is Wagner and his “lycanthropy”.  It does finally get an explanation in this book but the explanation was so simple that the big reveal felt very anticlimactic.

Finally, there were some characters whose storylines I hadn’t really invested in in books one and two because their storylines take awhile to get ramped up and they never really felt like the focus.  Those storylines get some pretty thrilling conclusions in book three and I was cursing myself the whole time for not paying better attention to them.  Likewise, I found myself missing some of the characters who were more important players early on and sort of faded to the background here.

But in the end, these books are some of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read.  The world building is solid, and it’s never told in boring info dumps.  It throws you head first into this dark, ugly world with little more than a short dictionary to guide you.  The characters are whole and three dimensional, motivated by their own desires, with unique voices.  They’re colorful and vibrant and pop off the page.  I adore the “heroes”.  I love the justice dispensed to the villains.  I read the last 150 pages almost all in one sitting because the conclusion was so perfect, I couldn’t look away for even a moment.

I’m sad it’s over, but I’m excited to jump into another McDonald book knowing what he’s capable of, and even more thrilled by the possibility of a new series to sink my teeth into.  Perhaps most telling, is that I’m sincerely looking forward to re-reading them all when I have more time on my hands.

And every second I am away from them, it kills me.

Luna: Moon Rising can be purchased on Amazon here.

This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on LovelyAudiobooks.info

14 thoughts on “Book Review: Moon Rising (Luna #3) by Ian McDonald

    • Please do! It’s funny because the whole series is a 5 Stars, undisputed favorite for me, but none of the individual books were more than 4 (for a lot of the reasons I stated above). I think it’s the size and scope and world building that makes the sum greater than its parts. If you do get to carve out some time for them, I think they would best be read all together.

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  1. Sounds like is pretty awesome, in spite of the issues you mentioned. I’ve seen this series around and I have to say, those covers always catch my interest and make me want to know more! I’ll have to tackle this series at some point.

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    • They are so awesome! I adore this series and the conclusion was perfect. I’m already looking forward to re-reading them and that’s saying something because I honestly don’t do re-reads.

      As for the cover art- it’s don’t by Victor Mosquera who also did the cover art for another beloved series, Terra Ignota by Ada Palmer. He’s a brilliant artist and I love poking around on his website: http://www.victormosquera.com/#/aver/

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  2. Visiting via Book Review Link-up and following 🙂
    I’ve been thinking of picking up New Moon for a while, but it’s been one of those that I keep on my “To Read” list. After your review, I’m really wanting to start the series!

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    • I hope you start it soon! I do have the review for the first book up on my index too if you wanted to check it out.

      McDonald is also releasing a Luna novella later this year and I can’t wait!! I hope you love the series as much as I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Month in Review: April 2019 | Hamlets & Hyperspace

  4. Until I encountered your review – I was blissfully unaware that another book had come out in this series and as I loved the first two books, I MUST get hold of this. Thank you for a cracking review:))

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  5. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite books of the past decade | Hamlets & Hyperspace

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