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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Wires and Nerve: Wires and Nerve Vol 1" by Marissa Meyer Art by Douglas Holgate (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Read FBC's review of Cinder (Lunar Chronicles 1) Here
Read FBC's review of Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles 2) Here
Read FBC's review of Cress (Lunar Chronicles 3) Here
Read FBC's review of Fairest (Lunar Chronicles 3.5) Here
Red FBC's review of Winter (Lunar Chronicles 4) Here

OVERVIEW: In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure -- with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.

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

FORMAT: Wires and Nerve: Vol 1 is a YA sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel based on The Lunar Chronicles. It takes place shortly after the events in Winter. The plot focuses mainly on Iko and features adventure and a bit of romance.

Wires and Nerve: Vol 1 stands at 240 pages. It was published by Feiwel & Friends on January 31, 2017.

ANALYSIS: While I wasn't in the whole fan girl club surrounding the Lunar Chronicles, I enjoyed it enough to want to follow up with it when I heard there was going to be a graphic novel spin-off. I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't have super high expectations, but I wasn't thinking this would be a total flop. What I got was definitely a different, yet surprisingly pleasant, experience.

Wires and Nerve follows the lovely and very charismatic android, Iko. Iko sets out on a mission to rid Earth of the remaining wolf-hybrid soldiers that ignored the call to come back. While on the mission, Iko has a 'come to the light' moment and starts questioning who she is as an android and why she is starting to feel things she never felt before. She is also confronted with the fact that the world is extremely narrow-minded and views her as simply a computer with a personality chip and nothing more.

Iko was probably my favorite character from the Lunar Chronicles. She was funny, outgoing, loyal, and so filled with personality and spunk that she just jumped out of the book. It was a lot of fun to be able to dig deeper and really see Iko shine.

It did take a little while to adjust to the graphic novel format. Partly because a lot – almost all – of the characters were nothing like I pictured them in my head. This wasn't the fault of the author or even the artist, but it had a bit of a disorienting effect on me. It wore off as I continued to read and got comfortable with the characters, but the first part was a bit of a shock to the system.

There was a lot that I enjoyed in Wires and Nerve, but there was a lot that didn't feel right to me. I'll start with what I loved.

I loved the way it seemed like an effortless transition from the books to the graphic novel. Some time has passed, but not a lot. It can sometimes be difficult for books to make this transition, but I think Wires and Nerve did an excellent job. There were plot elements that carried over from the series, yet it felt like it was its own story.

That leads me to one of the downsides – the time spent reliving the past. There seemed to be a lot of time spent reminding readers about what happened in the series of books. This happens in books and it isn't such a big deal, but there was limited time in the graphic novel. It was frustrating to spend so much time looking back and having so many reminders about what happened as opposed to focusing on moving forward.

While other characters, Cinder, Kai, Cress, Thorne, Scarlet, Kinney, Wolf and Winter, are a part of the story, they are pretty much background characters. Cress and Thorne do play a considerable role in the novel, as does Winter and Kinney, but the other characters have very brief camo appearances in the book. In a way it felt like some of these characters (Kai) were just shoved into the novel to give them an appearance and it didn't really fit with the story.

That leads me to my other issue – Thorne. Thorne and Iko were probably my favorite characters in the Lunar Chronicles. Iko is kept the same, but Thorne seems to have had a huge character/personality change. In the novel he came across as cocky, confident and just a character I enjoyed. That changed in Wires and Nerve. In this graphic novel he just doesn't feel right. He feels emo-ish, whiney, or pouty or something. I can't put my finger on it.

Overall, I think it was a well done graphic novel. I wasn't super in love with it, but it was enjoyable. I really think super fans of the series will enjoy seeing their beloved characters brought to life in graphic novel format. However, I think there is a potential for disappointment. Readers going into the novel expecting another Lunar novel could face disappointment. The novel, due to its main focus on Iko, has a very different vibe to it and while there is danger, there isn't the sense of impending doom and urgency that was present in Lunar Chronicle books.

In the end, I was satisfied. It took a while to adjust to the visual representation of characters and even the detailed drawings of actual places, but once that settled down, I was able to enjoy the story. I do look forward to seeing more of Iko and watching her grow as a character.



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