THE LUNAR CHRONICLES graphic novel offers up a new fantastical adventure with old favorites!
We’ll start this review with an admission: We haven’t read a graphic novel since the Dark Ages. It’s not that we never enjoyed the medium– in fact, we’ve relished in graphic novels, comics, and their storylines plenty– but as we got older, we became readers who enjoyed interpreting text with our own imaginations. When we got the chance to dive back into the world of Marissa Meyer’s beloved series The Lunar Chronicles through the new graphic novel Wires and Nerve, we couldn’t pass it up. And we definitely were not disappointed!
Wires and Nerve isn’t just an illustrated adaptation of The Lunar Chronicles, which is a trend for other big YA novels. It’s a wholly original storyline that takes place after the end of The Lunar Chronicles novels and focuses on new antagonists that rise up after the war: Levana’s rogue wolf soldiers abandoned on Earth. As the title certainly suggests, our main protagonist is Iko the android. Iko was always equal parts humor, heart, and enthusiasm, so following her as she becomes a wolf-hunting, Earth-saving badass is an absolute delight. Of course, the more human side of her “defective personality chip” is also explored, giving the character plenty of range and vulnerability.
Though the story prominently focuses on Iko in ways the series didn’t, there’s still plenty of our other favorite characters from the series. Iko is still a loyal friend to Cinder, who has taken up the mantle as Queen of Luna, but struggles with her royal obligations and changes she wants to bring forward. When Iko isn’t around, Cinder still has the support of Earthen ambassador Winter and her loyal guard, Jacin. And when Iko is hunting around the Earth, she’s traveling in style with some help from Cress, Thorne, and the good ol’ Rampion. There are interactions with other favorites like Scarlet, Wolf, Kai, as well as the really fun reappearance of the Kinney siblings, minor characters from Luna who played a small but important role in Winter.
Now to the unusual part for us: The artwork! This tale is told through character dialogue, a bit of narration, and lots and lots of art by Douglas Holgate, who has quite a few credits to his name. The artist did a great job, creating a vibrant world within a limited color palate and really bringing out the individual feelings and personalities of the characters in each drawing. The illustrations are also used to tell some parts of the story that the dialogue doesn’t. We paused plenty of times just to look more closely at a panel and take in the little details. It also make it a super quick, carefree read– We devoured the book in one sitting.
But the ease of the format was also a minor problem for us: Yes, this book is super fun and we got all aflutter seeing our favorites back together again, but we just didn’t invest in the characters and the story quite as much as we would have in a full-length novel. It’s a minor quibble, at best, because we’re still happily on board for Volume #2 when it hits shelves, reportedly sometime in 2018.
RATING: 4.25 OUT OF 5 STARS
In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.