My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: Tor Books
Summary: 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 just what Adriana Corta did.
As the leader of the Moon's newest "dragon," Adriana has wrested control of the Moon's Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family's new status. Now, in the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation-Corta Helio-confronted by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana's five children must defend their mother's empire from her many enemies... and each other.
This is an ambitious novel (& I daresay it succeeds in much). I was intrigued with the colony on the moon and the houses who run it, the Five Dragons (Corta, Swan, Mackenzie, Asamoah & Gregoire). The world-building was quite well done and kept me hooked but I did feel that characterisation lacked a bit. That may be because there are so very many people who are introduced and cycle in and out with rapidity. I have to hand it to McDonald, the permanent exits he gives these characters is vivid. Rachel Mackenzie was one of my favorites but there is so much going on with so many others, I can't say I was truly sad when she exited (honestly, it was one less person to keep track of in this huge cast). There was a thread of some sort of werewolf thing going on with Wagner Corta and I still don't understand it or have any idea where that's going. I'm not a fan of paranormal in my science fiction but I'm still open to this being important and necessary in the future.
Most of the novel was fairly quiet and there seemed a lot of information to take in with a set up to make sure the reader knows there are higher stakes coming and it builds to a fantastic end. I definitely will read the next. Recommended for anyone who loves a good multi-family saga in a science fiction setting.