Synopsis: In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.
Review: 2/5 stars
There was, like…never even a question of whether or not I was going to read this book.
I read The Lunar Chronicles way before I became the harsh, bitter, cynical acid raindrop of a reviewer you see before you now, so you may want to take the following statement with a grain or so of salt, but: I really loved that series. I’m too scared to reread the books, because I’m 97% certain they won’t hold up, but I recall them with some degree of fondness. I cited it as my favorite series for a while before realizing that was, no question, not even a little bit true.
Still, I loved them. So of course I’m cursed to forever pick up any addition to that series forever. Marissa Meyer has me on the hook, and unless I begin that formidable reread and it turns out to be as massive a disappointment as I suspect, upon that hook I will remain.
I didn’t, like, love this book. I didn’t even like it. I found it pretty eh. Will I pick up the sequel? Indubitably. (How long is this series? I’m scared. So is my wallet.)
That being said, I read it in a sitting and didn’t hate it. And it’s the little things like that you’re grateful for when your reading year is progressing like mine. (By which I mean, very behind on my reading challenge + giving out one star ratings like it’s my job.)
Let’s get into it.
For starters…I don’t like the art very much. It’s VERY cartoonish, which is cute, but all the characters look exactly the same. They just have slightly different hairstyles. And it’s weird for the caption to be all “this is the most beautiful girl in the galaxy” while the picture is of a head with a glorified smiley face on it. Too mean? It’s not bad. It’s just not my cup of tea…and I’d argue not the right choice for a story like this. But that’s just my opinion. (I say, as if everything I ever write on this blog is anything more than my dumb opinions.)
The characters just felt dull. If I’m remembering the original books in The Lunar Chronicles correctly, the characters are vibrant! They’re funny and amusing and it’s cool to get to follow them around. Well, not Scarlet. Or Wolf. Or Cinder and Kai, most of the time. (My god, why did I love those books so much?) But Cress and Thorne usually guarantee a good time. And Iko is a funny little thing.
I’d argue Iko is the most true to my memory of her of the bunch, but even she is toned down. Thorne is VERY different. I swear I can feel the author trying to recapture Thorne’s voice, and just…not getting there. It’s upsetting. All the characters become so flat. And that definitely wasn’t a problem in the original series.
Plot-wise, this wasn’t terrible. I was a bit bored, but that’s fair – this is the setting-up of what is supposed to be a series, maybe? We follow Iko as she’s trying to capture the wolf soldiers leftover from a past storyline in hiding on Earth. Every once in awhile we meet up with another member of the gang. It’s fine.
But then some tough wolf guy is like, oh, I don’t think so! I’m going to kill all of you and get all the other remaining wolf people on my side. Oooooh, not that simple, bitches!
Here’s the thing, though – and hear me out on this – I’m kind of on Professor Wolfdude’s side.
He’s all, “Hey, you guys…this is kind of f*cked. Like, we were made into wolf people against our will, which was straight torturous, and then enslaved and forced to kill people. And guys, it’s not even our faults that we now thirst for human flesh. And now the new queen, who’s supposed to be all nice, is just capturing us? And like, killing us if we maybe don’t want to go back to the place where a ton of bad shit happened to us? Nah. I’m not into it.”
And Iko’s response is pretty much “You’re wrong ahhhh! I’ll kill you harder now!” So I’m not even rooting for the intended people here. But I digress.
Other than that…oh yeah! The romance this series prides itself upon. Every single character is matched up with another character – HETEROSEXUALLY, GUYS. If you were worried about LGBTQ people getting representation here, DON’T. It’s like 1794 but in space.
What was I saying? Right. So the relationships are boring here. The narrator just tells us we should think they’re cute, in the hopes that we do. But I’m rebellious and quirky and cool, so it’s not that easy, Meyer!
Also, I am against the new love interest introduced here, Liam x Iko, with everything that I am. Liam inherently believes that Iko is incapable of emotion and that robots shouldn’t have rights, and we’re supposed to be like, aw! Cute! That’s not the same thing as hate to love. I would make a comparison here, but it would be toeing the line at best and clearly something is off with me today so I’m just going to wrap this up.
Even though this book had problems, I didn’t hate it. I kind of disliked it and found it to be a disappointment, but disappointed is my go to emotion now, baby!
Wow, this review is truly a ride. Sorry about that. I’m a total mess.
Bottom line: I read this in a sitting and didn’t despise it with every cell in my body, so it’s getting two stars. But man, this book was somethin’.