A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wires and Nerve is the first of two graphic novels planned in Marissa Meyer's best-selling Lunar Chronicles series. The story takes place after the final battle in the fourth book, Winter. Wires and Nerve includes a quick recap of the main series before the title page. So, in theory, those who haven't read anything in the series before could keep up, but it won't be easy. After references to the big, bloody battle at the end of Winter, the violent content here is much milder. Mostly Iko the droid fights wolf-human hybrids with martial arts, tranquilizer guns, and knives. One hybrid wields a sword. The droid, Iko, lives with a lot of discrimination. As a droid she's supposed to be obedient and docile. Despite that, she feels loyalty and is a fierce protector of her friends. She's even up for a little romance.
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What's the story?
In WIRES AND NERVE, not long after the end of the big Lunar war that brought Queen Selene (Cinder) to the throne, more trouble is afoot. The wolf-human hybrids that evil Queen Levana smuggled onto Earth have gone rogue, living secretly around the globe and killing humans in packs. Cinder feels responsible for getting them back to Luna and rehabilitating them but doesn't know how to do it. Enter her loyal droid Iko. With some martial arts butt-kicking and a tranquilizer gun, she corrals many of the hybrids. But with each covert raid, a few always get away. One escapee in particular, Alpha Steele, proves to be a much bigger threat than all the rest. He insists that Queen Selene can reverse the hybrids' mutations but doesn't want to. And his way to get revenge against her: target all of Selene's friends, starting with Thorne and Cress.
Is it any good?
Here's another fun way to enter the sci-fi fairy tale world of the Lunar Chronicles series: through the butt-kicking, fashion-forward adventures of Cinder's best droid-friend, Iko. Her loyalty to her friends and determination to prove everyone wrong about droids -- they don't have to be obedient, docile servants -- pushes Iko to brave new places. Really, rooting for Iko is akin to rooting for feminism. Not many graphic novels head in that direction.
For readers hoping for glimpses of their old friends from the series. don't worry -- they're all in Wires and Nerve, especially Cinder, Thorne, and Cress. Artist Doug Holgate has a lot of characters to juggle and manages to make them all unique and full of personality. In the style of most graphic novels, a big "To Be Continued" is slapped on the end, leaving much unresolved, including a reunion between Cinder and Kai after some buildup. It's a disappointment but also an assurance that Lunar Chronicles fans will be scrambling for Volume 2.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the art in Wires and Nerve. If you've read the other books in the Lunar Chronicles series, were the characters how you pictured them? Was Luna how you pictured it?
How is writing for graphic novels different? Do the story and characters feel as complex?
Will you keep reading the Lunar Chronicles? Why, or why not?
- Author: Marissa Meyer
- Illustrator: Douglas Holgate
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
- Publication date: January 31, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 240
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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