Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald
Release date: 23 March 2017
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review contains major, earth-shattering spoilers for the first book, Luna: New Moon, but is spoiler-free for Luna: Wolf Moon. If you haven’t read the first book, you’ve been warned!
After the destruction of Corta Helio, nothing will be the same. Scattered across the moon’s cities and beyond, the surviving members of the Corta family fight for survival as they are hunted by their enemies. From Lucas, who is planning an impossible journey to save the company, to Ariel and Marina, who have fallen so far so fast, The stakes are raised as war comes to the moon.
Luna: New Moon was a revelation for me. Beautiful and brutal, it was an incredible and unique work of science fiction filled with complex characters in a complex world. Wolf Moon manages to feel like a direct continuation of the same book — it is just as elegantly written as its predecessor. It picks up immediately after the horrible events of New Moon and then leaps forward eighteen months. The narrative follows the remaining Cortas and members of the now Four Dragons much as it did before — the story jumps from person to person in what can feel like vignettes that are strung together in the end. Much like in the first book, the strongest storylines follow Lucas and Ariel Corta, however some of the more minor members of the Corta family get their moment to shine. Wager gets some serious character development and McDonald explains and develops the concept of the wolves a little more. I was incredibly apprehensive about the idea of the wolves in New Moon, however they make a lot more sense now and are a fascinating component to the story. Robson — the one I honestly kept forgetting about — gets a good story arc in this book. Lucashino grows up a lot, and it’s about time. We even get a new character that I am so excited about and absolutely cannot wait to learn more about.
There is so much more depth to the other Dragons and powerful people in Wolf Moon as well. We see the plotting, the underhandedness, and the turmoil of the families as they struggle to deal with the consequences of New Moon. The Mackenzies get a spotlight here and it’s fascinating to see how they react to the changing political situation around them. I really love the complicated politics of the moon that McDonald captures in these novels. The rules are so unfamiliar, yet they make sense. We find out more about the founding of the lunar government and laws it upholds, as well as the situation back on Earth.
Everything changes in Wolf Moon. It manages to be incredibly satisfying, yet leaves the reader with more questions that need to be answered. If you’re a fan of New Moon, you’ll love its sequel.
A quick note, my advice for reading both New Moon and Wolf Moon is to avoid the e-book version if you can. The glossary of terms in the back is so much more accessible in the physical copy and I found myself referring to it often.