This is a much better story than some of the novels for several reasons, but suffers from some of the same old weaknesses too. First plus: Cinder stays on Luna. It turns out watching her try to learn politics is much better than her trying to save the day as an action heroine. Iko is more interesting and relatable in that role. On the other hand, the gang does not get back together; instead, we see bits of each of them, some not enough.
The other great bit is Wolf and Scarlet, who were already my favorite pair, have 1 brief scene, and that cliff hanger with Wolf… I don’t tolerate romantic very well, but I may have audibly said ‘awwwww’. There had better be follow through on that. Thorne is less irritating than the novels, but he also has a fully functioning Cress with him until she gets sick, but then Iko’s there to take down the irritating factor. Jacin has virtually no part, although Winter makes a few appearances. I do wish there was more of her to establish what she’s actually like without the Lunar sickness.
I also like the plot being established and the focus on the damage done by previous rulers of Luna. I wish there had been more of Cinder’s council because some of those characters could be really interesting, and the threat from the modified man-wolves is on the one hand sympathetic, but still villainous because they refuse to listen to reason. It would have been nice to see a little more of Kai, and more of Scarlet and Wolf, but I get that world-building and plot setup needs to happen. But a little more characterization wouldn’t hurt.
The art took some getting used to; several of the characters look the same and the werewolves look like Bigfoot. The reason this bothers me a little is that it makes it hard for characters to visually show feelings, since they don’t have very personalized faces. One of the worst scenes, for reasons besides but including the art, was when Iko and Kinney confront each other. Kinney has a pretty sizable role in this thread of the story, but he’s like another Jacin. Setting up him and Iko for possible romance is not something I foresee and being a good idea. It seems too forced for one thing, and while the idea of Iko being an android but maybe somehow having feelings too might be interesting on a philosophical level, I wish there were a different way to explore that.