Iko’s post-LUNAR CHRONICLES adventure comes to a sweet end in WIRES AND NERVE Volume 2!
Marissa Meyer‘s Gone Rogue picks up shortly after the events of the original Wires and Nerve graphic novel, in which Iko’s mission to hunt down Levana’s rogue wolf soldiers wreaking havoc on Earth leads to a showdown with Alpha Lysander Steele, who’s unifying the Lunar army leftovers against both Earth and Luna. He means to rage on until Queen Selene (aka Cinder) presents them with a cure for their genetic mutations, except there’s one problem: There is no cure. The sequel takes places in the days leading up to the New Beijing Peace Festival, a massive celebration of the war’s end and Cinder’s first visit to Earth as the Lunar queen– also, the most likely time that Lysander Steele will strike against them.
Once again, the story largely follows Iko (with some important asides) and she remains feisty and charming. Even better, we dive more into her mysterious big personality for an android and get a little more insight into what makes her so unique. The details revealed aren’t particularly ground-shaking on their own, but add in some heartwarming flashbacks and Iko’s very… well, human reaction to it all, and it added compelling depth to a character that works for her rather than against. Her love/hate relationship with Lunar soldier and reluctant babysitter of sorts Liam Kinney continues to be a highlight, especially as we see the two learn a few things from each other this time around. I also loved Iko’s friendship with Liam’s sister, Tressa, who is exclusive to the graphic novelizations.
If you read The Lunar Chronicles, you know things never go too smoothly for this group, and Gone Rogue is no exception. Allegiances are tested as Lysander Steele’s big bad legion openly terrorizes Earth and everyone Cinder loves. But this team is no stranger to a tough situation and their solutions just keep getting more creative. Overall, the story arc never gets super heavy and doesn’t require a lot of emotional investment (though it will hook your heart in short blips,) but it’s not meant to be. It’s a quick, amusing read and– if you’ve just come out of a more devastating book– a great palate cleanser. If you’re reading this for enjoyment, then that’s what you’ll find.
On the artistic side, Stephen Gilpin takes over for Douglas Holgate, who created the art and character looks in the first graphic novel. He does a great job maintaining Holgate’s style, but he also had some unique touches that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. For me, Gilpin was much more successful in getting the perfect facial expression, but he occasionally played with angles in odd ways, particularly with a close up from under chin that made the characters look like their jawlines disappeared. There’s a general sketch style for the graphic novel that doesn’t require constant detail, but a few panels felt a little too much like a rough draft in the distanced wide shots. I’m by no means an art expert, so I’m willing to look past it.
There’s something to be said for characters you’ve followed and become attached to for several books, and The Lunar Chronicles characters are some of our favorites. This adventure isn’t as intense the novels, but thoroughly enjoyable!
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS
Wires and Nerve Vol. 2: Gone Rogue hits bookshelves on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. You can preorder now via Amazon!
Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.
And to show he’s serious, Steele is taking hostages.
Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin all feature in this epic new battle. But it is Iko who must face her deepest fears when she uncovers the truth about her own unusual programming.