Book Review: The Menace from Farside by Ian McDonald

The Menace From Farside by Ian McDonald

Rating:  ★★★

This is probably the most disappointing book in the Luna universe.  I’m not sorry I read it, because I do adore the world McDonald has created on the moon, but if you came here looking for more Cortas and McKenzies, you’re going to be disappointed.

Instead, The Menace from Farside introduces a new familial set up, ring marriages, and we follow the misadventure of a few young adults on a mission to capture a selfie with the first footprint left on the moon by Neil Armstrong, which they mutually agreed would be a perfect wedding gift for the newest couple to enter the ring marriage.

The main character in this story is Cariad Corcoran.  She’s envious of her new sister-by-marriage from Farside, Sidibe, who is tall and beautiful and brave.  While she was described as not immediately loathsome by some of the buddies I read this with, I also did not find her to be a likable character either.  She’s petty and tends to make bad choices.

The entire book is similar to one of the opening scenes in New Moon, the moon run with Lucasinho.  It also vaguely reminded me of scenes in Wolf Moon where Luna and Lucasinho are forced to cross the moon’s surface, without any of the tension that made those scenes so great.  I simply hadn’t been given the time to care about these characters the way I cared about Luna and Lucas.

I will say I loved the writing here.  The Luna books are written with a very distinct style and feel, cutting and cold and beautiful all at once, and that style continues in The Menace from Farside.  There were some passages beautiful enough that made me stop and re-read.

So, although it’s not my favorite entry, it’s decently priced and can be read in the span of a day.  If you decide to skip it, you aren’t missing anything.  The Menace from Farside released on November 12, 2019 and can be found on GoodReads or Amazon.


20 thoughts on “Book Review: The Menace from Farside by Ian McDonald

    • No worries! It wasn’t bad and not a huge time suck. I might have been able to appreciate it more if I wasn’t expecting more Luna. I thought it was going to be a distant cousin of the Cortas or something.


    • Definitely! You could even read this first if you wanted too. I didn’t see anything that would spoil that series for you without knowing the context of the lines. Then you could see if you like the writing and such.

      I guess the only thing I would warn is that the characters in the full series are a huge improvement over these, so if you tried this, I wouldn’t judge the others on it.


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