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Book Pick
of the Month

January 15
New reviews in
The Book Nook,
Illustrated Corner
Odds and Ends and
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Updated Convention Listings and
Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Luna: New Moon
by Ian McDonald
Tor, $27.99, 392pp
Published: September 2015

In this story, the Moon has been colonized.  It is ‘owned’ by four families – the Dragons.  Part of the book is the reminiscences of the head of the fifth Dragon family – the upstarts.  Ariana Corta came to the moon to make a lot of money to save her family back on Earth.  She worked for one of the Dragon families until the day she suddenly saw something that no one else had seen:  an opportunity to found her own dynasty.  But the things she had to do to insure her success and future made her no end of enemies. 

The majority of the story takes place when Ariana is in her 80’s with five children and her past mistakes and enemies all coming to roost.  The point of view changes rather rapidly between each of the Cortas and a young woman, newly come to the Moon, who finds herself in the middle of everything and more than a little in love with one of the family.

The voice of the story is a little off-putting at first for one who is most comfortable with third person narrative.  It’s sort of first person but a bit different.  There is also internal dialogue but it isn’t italicized to recognize it as such.  The pace always felt a bit like a train; fast but not always smooth. The plot was interesting:  many attacks on the Cortas while they dart about trying to figure out who is doing what to whom.  There are a lot of politics and romancing going on, not unlike any other royal or dynastic manipulations.  Some might compare to Game of Thrones but it wouldn’t be accurate.  There was more comparison to be made with Dune.  But that’s really all there is to the plot:  who is trying to bring down the Cortas?  It’s the worldbuilding that really made the book work for me.  I was fascinated with the mental images from the story. I liked the characters but never really felt connected to any of them.  I felt more like an observer in this story than immersed in it.  I can recommend it as a good science fiction story about the moon. ~~  Catherine Book

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