Series: The Lunar Chronicles, Wires and Nerve #1
Illustrator: Doug Holgate with Stephen Gilpin
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pub. Date: 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Wires and Nerve, by Marissa Meyer, is the latest installment in The Lunar Chronicles, featuring an android who tracks down rebel wolf-hybrid soldiers who are threatening the peace. I never read any of The Lunar Chronicles, but I knew Cinder was a Cinderella retelling, so I figured the graphic novel was another retelling but with superhero elements. Wrong. It’s more after-the-fact on the retellings as far as I can tell. Wires and Nerve is probably very good to fans of The Lunar Chronicles, but the visual narrative made the already cut-in-half story less interesting or complete.
While the art has a nice blue tone to make things more sci-fi and nighttime and it is overall well-drawn, very few of the panels are designed in such a way as to encourage the reader to pay attention to the art. I don’t know how to explain it. There is something about the art that encourages the reader to gloss over it in favor of the dialogue or narration. Facial expressions and actions aren’t doing much for driving the visual narrative.
Whatever struggles that happened in The Lunar Chronicles are over, and Cinder is Queen of Luna. She struck a tenuous peace with Earthens, but that peace is threatened by the previous, tyrannical queen’s soldiers still wreaking havoc. Iko is her android friend who decides to hunt down each wolf-hybrid soldier and get them rehabilitated.
Iko, who has a great fashion sense, feels like she’s losing her purpose, so she wants to go catch the people upsetting her friend’s rule. There’s a big scene showing this at the beginning, which gets the antagonists moving. Then there’s a whole lot of nothing happening with Cinder and getting healed up. Then another big scene happens to cause more problems, but it doesn’t feel like a turning point or major plot point.
There is also an undertone of Iko liking this guy who’s anti-android. I don’t get the basis of her attraction or interest in him, but maybe that is revealed in some earlier book of The Lunar Chronicles.
Meanwhile, Cinder is trying to change the entire structure of government. She seems pretty set on what she wants to do, but I don’t see anything really happening to her other than worrying about her friends. Nothing big happens with her.
Ultimately, not much happens through most of the book. It’s bad enough that the overarching narrative crosses two books and cuts this one off in the middle. It’s made worse by a lack of character development in any of the major characters and by a plot where very little happens or has major impact on the narrative. I acknowledge that I don’t know how the rest of the series goes to tell if this is a characteristic of the narrative or if I’m missing something that would explain it, but Wires and Nerve is not very good as a plot-driven or character-driven story.