Gone Rogue: Wires and Nerve, Vol. 2: The Lunar Chronicles Series

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Gone Rogue: Wires and Nerve, Vol. 2: The Lunar Chronicles Series Book Poster Image
Graphic novel series ender has both action and depth.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Imagines a future world on the moon (Luna) and Earth. Readers can compare the future worlds here with what they imagine. Also, a bit about monarchies vs. democracies as a queen tries to persuade her council to make the change. Some talk about nature vs. nurture.

Positive Messages

Like Vol. 1, friendship and loyalty inspire heroism. Also explores what it means to live with discrimination and defy stereotypes. Here, we're talking mostly about a droid's experience in a world of humans, but the concept can be applied more broadly. In this installment, Cinder, a cyborg says, "I know what it's like to be constantly heralded as someone less than human. To be looked at as a freak. A science experiment. But ultimately it's our actions that turn us into monsters. Just as our actions determine our humanity."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Iko, an android, grapples with her identity and origins here, but doesn't let it defeat her. She remains a loyal and respected friend and a brave fighter. Kinney goes from discriminating against Iko because of ignorance to truly caring for her. Two main characters -- Iko and Princess Winter -- appear African American, though one is a droid and the other is from Luna. The Emperor, Cinder's love interest, is Asian.

Violence

Fights mostly with mutant wolf-human hybrids using martial arts, guns, knives, and swords. Some hybrids are killed, some injured, some taken prisoner. Androids are stabbed and torn apart with limbs flying. One has its memory chip smashed. Humans are knocked out, tied up, and threatened with dismemberment. A syringed drug knocks a woman out. Violent moments from the rest of the series recounted. One image shows a hybrid eating a severed human arm. A trip to a mausoleum shows how young people died from a now-controlled disease outbreak. Cinder visits her sister there and recalls her death and the loss of her ashes.

Sex

Some kisses and flirting.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine glasses spotted at a ball.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gone Rogue is the second and last of two graphic novels planned in Marissa Meyer's best-selling Lunar Chronicles series. This mini-series takes place after the final battle in the fourth book, Winter. The first book, Wires and Nerve, includes a quick recap of the main series before the title page. So, in theory, those who haven't read anything before could keep up, but it won't be easy. There are too many characters and their shared history to keep track of. Iko, an android, is the main character here. She and her friends fight against mutant wolf-human hybrids with martial arts, guns, knives, and swords. Some hybrids are killed, some injured, some taken prisoner. Androids are stabbed and torn apart with limbs flying. One has its memory chip smashed. Humans are knocked out, tied up, and threatened with dismemberment. The rest of the mature content doesn't go beyond romantic kisses and flirting and some wine glasses shown at a ball. As in Vol. 1, friendship and loyalty inspire heroism. The book also explores what it means to live with discrimination and defy stereotypes. Here, we're talking mostly about a droid's experience in a world of humans, but the concept can be applied more broadly.

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What's the story?

In GONE ROGUE, Wolf and Scarlet are on the farm in France when they have unwelcome visitors: Alpha Steele and his pack of wolf-human hybrids. Steele is combining forces with every hybrid like Wolf left on Earth to terrorize the world. He won't stop until Queen Selene forces her Lunar scientists to reverse the surgeries that stripped them of their humanity. Wolf joins his ranks, leaving Scarlet behind to tell Queen Selene -- aka her friend Cinder -- what Steele is planning. Of course there's no way to change the hybrids back, no matter what they believe. When Cinder heads to Earth for a special peace festival and gala in New Beijing, she's sure she'll be targeted by Steele. But they get to Winter first. At her news studio appearance as the Lunar Ambassador to Earth, she's kidnapped and held for ransom.

Is it any good?

This series ender combines sci-fi action with a depth of character development you normally don't expect from graphic novels. It will definitely appeal to fans of the Lunar Chronicles series, even those who normally don't read graphic novels. Iko is the narrator and main character in Gone Rogue. In many scenes she's fighting the bad guys with real skill. In just as many scenes, she contemplates her identity, as an android possessing so many human traits and emotions. Even the main bad guy, between raids and ambushes, has some depth. You can see why he longs to have his humanity back and why he doesn't trust his government.

The illustrations by Stephen Gilpin (who's known more for younger kid fare), show both the inner and outer struggles of the characters as well. Fights with hordes of mutants and androids and soulful glances get the same quality of attention.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Iko's identity struggles in Gone Rogue. What gives her humanity? How do some try to take that away from her?

  • In one scene, the limbs of androids are flying everywhere. It's visually as violent, but do you view it differently? Why or why not?

  • Iko took the lead in this short graphic novel series. Who else in the Lunar Chronicles world would you like to see narrate their own graphic novels?

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