Cover of Wires and Nerve, Volume 1, featuring a woman wearing a red hood and a group of angry wolf men

About the Book

Title: Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1)
Published: 2017
Series: Wires and Nerve
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: Comic Ominous
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Talky Talk: Refocused
Arty Art: Shades of Blue
Bonus Factors: Moar Lunar Chronicles, Badassery, Inclusivity
Anti-Bonus Factor: Volume 1
Relationship Status: I’ve Missed You

Cover Story: Comic Ominous

Both the look on Iko’s face and the crowd of angry wolfmen in front of those burning buildings make me think this isn’t going to be an easy story, and that all is not as well as we might hope post-Lunar Chronicles. (Change doesn’t come easy!)

On a more aesthetic note, this cover is a departure from the covers of the novels but still fits in with its rich, dark tones and pops of red.

The Deal:

Cinder’s in her proper place on the Lunar throne, the letumosis outbreak is under control, and there’s peace between Earth and Luna. Kai’s ruling from New Beijing; Cress and Thorne are traveling the world providing the letumosis antidote to those in need; Scarlet and Wolf are back on Scarlet’s farm; Winter and Jacen are serving as Lunar ambassadors. Everyone’s happily ever after is at hand.

Unless you take into account the rogue genetically engineered wolf-hybrid soldiers who remained on Earth when Cinder took control from Queen Levana. Soldiers who are getting antsy, and causing the tenuous peace between Luna and Earth to wobble.

While everyone’s busy with other things, Iko takes it upon herself to track the packs down and prove her worth in the process. Little did she know that both things might be easier said than done.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

Iko’s personality is sometimes grating—her tendency to get a little over the top when it comes to talking about how dreamy Kai is or how gorgeous a pair of shoes are verges on stereotype territory—but she’s unwaveringly loyal and always a true friend. And I honestly believe that this isn’t just because she’s “programmed” to be so. Her personality is loud and proud, and everyone needs a friend who’s willing to tell you straight whether you look in those jeans.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

I had a feeling that there was something more than pure hatred going on between Iko and [REDACTED] in Winter, and am pleased to see that my inkling was correct. I’m certain that things will get more swoony in future volumes of Wires and Nerve, but for now the anticipation is excellent.

Talky Talk: Refocused

Wires and Nerve doesn’t stray from familiar Lunar Chronicles territory, even though it’s a graphic novel. Marissa Meyer’s writing is still strong, her characters well-rounded and witty. In this format, however, we’re “told” less about the story and are asked to rely on the art for information about the action and settings.

And although Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Winter, and Jacin (as well as other secondary characters from the novels) have roles, Wires and Nerve focuses more on Iko’s tale. Her character growth from quirky robot sidekick to fully formed character in the Lunar Chronicles was one of the best examples of Meyer’s gift for showing character growth; she goes a step further in this graphic novel series, making Iko a true main character (and valued hero!) in her own right.

Arty Art: Shades of Blue

Page via Macmillan

No, I’m not talking about that TV show starring JLo. The colors of the art in Wires and Nerve are limited to black, blue and white. I’ve read comics that are solely in black and white, and those that are in full color, but I don’t know that I’ve ever read one that uses such limited tones. I really like the choice, however, and the many shades of blue artist Doug Holgate used gives a good depth to each panel and works well for the story’s diversity of character races and locations.

Bonus Factor: Moar Lunar Chronicles

I had major TEABS when I read the last words of Winter, the fourth (fifth, if you include the Fairest novella) book in the Lunar Chronicles series. The pain eased a little when I read Stars Above, the collection of in-universe short stories, but that only lasted so long. I love Meyer’s characters with a passion and am so grateful to be able to revisit their universe once more.

Bonus Factor: Badassery

Charlize Theron as Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road holds a gun a stares fiercely just off camera

Anyone who’s read any of the Lunar Chronicles books knows what badasses the main female characters are, but it wasn’t really clear how well Iko could hold her own amongst that crowd until Wires and Nerve. Girl becomes a secret agent and hunts down dangerous, deadly soldiers by herself. Stone cold.

Bonus Factor: Inclusivity

Faces of all different races, ethnicities and genders.

Iko, being that she’s an android, struggles with the prejudices of people who don’t realize that she’s more than just her programming. People see her as having a “faulty” or “glitchy” personality, rather than seeing her as a true individual. This topic of seeing past people’s exteriors, although it’s presented in Wires and Nerve in a science fiction wrapper, is timely and extremely important. I applaud Meyer for making it a point of discussion for both the characters and the readers.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Volume 1

Stack of YA book series

What do you mean we have to wait to read more? I understand it’s part of the graphic novel format, but it felt like I’d only just begun reading and then the book was at its end.

Relationship Status: I’ve Missed You

It was wonderful catching up with you and your characters, Book. There was a brief period of time in which I thought we were calling it quits, but I’m so glad that I was wrong. I can’t wait until we get together again.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Feiwel and Friends, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.