Wires and Nerve: The Lunar Chronicles Series, Vol. 1

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Wires and Nerve: The Lunar Chronicles Series, Vol. 1 Book Poster Image
Tough female droid fuels fun Lunar Chronicles graphic novel.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

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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.

Positive Messages

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.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Out of fierce loyalty to the queen, Iko, a droid, takes on the bad guys all by herself. She surprises herself with her own bravery. Carswell Thorne also shows his bravery, to the surprise of his disapproving parents. Two main characters -- Iko and Princess Winter -- appear African-American, though one is a droid and the other is from Luna.


Fights mostly between a droid and mutant wolf-human hybrids with martial arts, tranquilizer guns, knives, and a sword. The hybrids are mildly injured and mostly tranquilized, and the droid is stabbed and has her wires cut. A recap of the rest of the series at the beginning is more violent, talking of and showing bodies strewn on a battlefield and the hybrids hunting and killing humans for sport. Talk of a disease outbreak eradicated with the delivery of medicine and how Queen Selene's sister died from the disease.


Some kissing.


"Hell" a few times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Champagne flutes on a tray at a gala and in adults' hands.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStudiousStudent October 31, 2017

Great Addition to the Series

I'm a huge fun of the Lunar Chronicles series, and I was so excited to get this book back in January. I thought it was an excellent book. Definitely a must... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySALLY JO October 21, 2017


Yes, that's right. Our very own Iko has her own story to tell after the revolution (see Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter). The whole idea of it us just amazi... Continue reading

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love graphic novels and science fiction

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