The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

A few weeks ago, while perusing book lists for new titles to read I stumbled upon a goldmine! 18 Book to Read if You Loved Red Rising! Anyone who frequents my blog knows of my love for Red Rising, as such diving head first into this list I was excited to have already read thirteen of them.  While I loved, and whole heartedly agreed with almost all of the thirteen, there were several glaring omissions such as Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. In the upcoming Critiquing Chemist posts, you’ll find a slew of the remaining novels from this list as they were all promptly added to my library list.  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the 1967 Hugo Winner, was the first of the novels I picked from this set of recommendations, and let me be the first to say I couldn’t stop listening!  Heinlein, masterfully creates a world set in the far future in which the moon is inhabited by individuals banished from Earth. Weaving together various concepts such as artificial intelligence, revolution, space travel, and politics, Heinlein leaves the reader guessing throughout as to the direction this fast paced plot is headed.  Interspersed throughout this innovative novel are some rather long winded reflections and monologues on the aforementioned topics, especially once artificial intelligence starts playing a key role.  Can you imagine trying to explain humor to a computer, specifically a joke that is routinely entertaining in contrast to one that should only be used once?  Regardless, while these long soliloquies can border on the tedious, more often than not they offered much fodder for further reflection. Overall, I cried, laughed, pondered and puzzled throughout The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which delightfully transports readers on a wild futuristic lunar adventure.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • The largest overwhelming question was what happened to Mike? How did he ‘die’? Is he still in the computer system?  Did he purposely go away in the end?
  • What would have happened in Mike had stayed? How would have the Moon relied on him?
  • I loved the unique character of the Mannie! He was amazingly realistic, slightly naive and dare I say cynical. While all of the characters were well developed, Mike and Mannie were in a league of their own.
  • What made Wyoming change her mind about not having a monogamous relationship?
  • The fight scenes on the Moon were brutal! Even though they were out gunned and out skilled, the Lunars were such bad ass fighters. Other scenes were just as dramatically described from Mannie sneaking to and his time on Earth, to the taking over of Luna.
  • Did Stu ever make his money back on his Lunar investment?
  • It was interesting that many hints were given as to the Lunar revolution being successful from the beginning and throughout the book.  It took a bit of the suspense out because the reader knew what was going to happen just not how it was going to play out.



  1. I have this one on the ports fer plunder list and the red rising series too. Hmmm lets look at the rest of the 18. I read ready player one, ender’s game, hunger games, the maze runner, game of thrones, leviathan wakes, steelheart, wool, legend, artemis, and (sadly) throne of glass. I want to read bone clocks, altered carbon, and perhaps red mars. I have no urge to read the red queen, an ember in the ashes, or cinder. I very much look forward to yer reviews of the rest of the 17!
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahoy Captain! You need to stop whatever you’re currently reading and pick up Red Rising! You won’t be disappointed.

      I hadn’t read Wool, Steelheart, Red Mars or Leviathan Wakes, but had read all the rest. Legend and Red Queen are absolutely the worst. You’ll like Altered Carbon and Bone Clocks. Ember in the Ashes is actually a pretty entertaining read.

      I’m surprised by Throne of Glass. Did you only read the first one? I barely had the patience for the first one but the series got better and better and better with each subsequent installment.


  2. I read this one for a college class that involved a multitude of dystopian/utopian novels and short stories. Definitely stuck with me, and my professor’s unwavering certainty that we will be overtaken by AI has left a lasting impact on my paranoia, too 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was cleaning up a USB drive and my Calibre library and came across ~ 30+ audiobooks with ebooks by Robert A. Heinlein. I binged on him when I was in my 20s. While “checking” the audio quality of Door Into Summer…. it was over 6 hours before I quit “checking”. Gave it 4 of 5 but it was easily 4.5. With my Swiss Cheese memory I’ll be enjoying them all again in the future. Finished Wild Seed by Octavia Butler today. 5 stars.

    Liked by 1 person

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