Title: Stars Above
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
The enchantment continues…
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories – and secrets – that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With nine stories – five of which have never before been published – and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.
The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch…
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess.
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century…
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
The very first story in this anthology goes all the way back to Cinder’s first arrival on Earth, when she was still Princess Selene and still recovering from the fire. The Keeper shows us, through Michelle Benoit’s eyes, the broken Princess as she hides under her barn. She agrees to shelter Cinder until Logan can come back for her, but when her granddaughter Scarlet arrives to live with her Michelle has to be very careful about what she reveals to her granddaughter of the Luna fugitive she’s hiding.
I really enjoyed this short story; it was one of the never-before-released stories and it was nice being able to see more about Michelle and Scarlet relationship as well as Cinder’s life when she was still recovering from the fire.
I had read this short story before but it was one I enjoyed just as much reading it the second time around. Chronologically following on from The Keeper Cinder is now a cyborg, travelling with her new adoptive father back to New Beijing to meet her new family. She tries to fit in but it’s hard when there is such distrust for cyborgs; and while Garan knows the truth about her, Cinder’s new mother, Adri, doesn’t.
There were parts of this story that were so sad to read; the scene where Cinder sees the orange light flicker in her eyes that tells her, even before she fully realises it, when someone is lying, and the scene where Garan is taken away after he catches the plague. But there were parts that were wonderful; seeing the origin of Cinder’s relationship with Iko.
The Queen’s Army
I always thought Wolf was one of the more mysterious characters in The Lunar Chronicles books. We knew a little about him in Scarlet, and in Winter we saw more of his family and his home, but we never knew much about his life in between. The Queen’s Army shows us those years, from the moment the Thaumaturge’s showed up at his house one night to the day he became and Alpha and was chosen for the mission on Earth.
Life wasn’t easy for Wolf but he was determined. After losing his Luna gift and seeing the monsters the Queen was creating Wolf became determined to do whatever he needed to to ensure he didn’t become one of them.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky
This wasn’t my favourite short story in this novella I’m sad to say. I do love Carswell Thorne but this story was too short for me to get into it, it was more a short glimpse of Thorne’s life before. We see his tense relationship with his parents, his desire to fly away even at a young age, his knack for getting into trouble, and his heart of gold that really shines through in Cress.
I did enjoy seeing more of Thorne than what we learnt about him in The Lunar Chronicles, the Cadet who got kicked out of the academy and stole a Rampion ship. Instead we saw the boy who worked a little every day, cheating and scheming, to escape from a life he didn’t want.
After Sunshine Passes By
This story was one of my favourites. I loved Cress when we first met her in her story in The Lunar Chronicles series, and seeing her at such a young age, the age where Sybil Mira takes her to the satellite and leaves her there was heartbreaking to read. Even as a child Cress escapes into her memory, creating fantasies to make her harsh life bearable, and her wonder at seeing space outside of Luna, of seeing anything outside the tunnels where she grew up, was lovely to read.
I wouldn’t say Cress was my favourite character in The Lunar Chronicles but this short story made me love her even more than I already did.
The Princess and the Guard
Aside from Something Old, Something New this was one of my most anticipated reads in this book. I loved Winter and was eager to learn more about her. The story spans Winter’s life throughout everything that defined her character; we see the day she used her glamour to save a maid’s life, the day her father died, and the day she decided to no longer use her gift, to give into the Lunar sickness. And though it all we see Jacin at her side, protecting her even when he has to give up his dream of becoming a doctor to watch over her.
The Little Android
Although this story didn’t focus on any of the main character from The Lunar Chronicles it did feature one of them for a short scene. The Little Mermaid is not my favourite fairy tale but I loved how Marissa Meyer used to original tale to inspire her own story and her own characters. She stays true to the original story only instead of a mermaid on land we have an android pretending to be human, instead of a prince drowning in the sea we have an engineer who falls into a vat of oil.
The love story was both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, and while I would have loved to see Marissa Meyer turn this into a full length novel I enjoyed this short story just as much.
This story was another favourite of mine; the moment Kai met Cinder for the first time, shown through his eyes instead of hers. It’s only a short scene but it shows us his thoughts and emotions from the very first time he sees Cinder at her stall, and the hope he feels when she agrees to help fix his android. Even though he may not know it at the time Kai was right when he thought Cinder would change everything.
Something Old, Something New
This was easily my most anticipated release in this novella, and probably most people’s as well. Obviously everyone had theories about which couple was finally getting married, I thought it would be Cinder and Kai, and even though it wasn’t my favourite couple I wasn’t disappointed when I found out who was tying the knot. Scarlet and Wolf have struggled through so much, both separately and together, and their happily ever after was well deserved. Their wedding was beautiful and it was great being able to catch up with all of the characters after the events of Winter, to see where their lives go once the revolution on Luna was over.
Every scene between Kai and Cinder was a favourite of mine but the very last scene beat them all, and left me desperate for another novella about their lives after the end of Something Old, Something New.
The Lunar Chronicles is my all-time favourite series, and this novella was a must for me as soon as I found out it was being released. After Winter ended I jumped at a chance to be able to go back and re-visit all my favourite characters, to follow them on their journeys that led them to Luna and to see how their lives turned after the revolution was over.
What did you think of Stars Above? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.