Stars Above

Stars Above


Title: Stars Above

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Release Date: February 2nd 2016

Rating:

Five Stars

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 Keeper

“Over the last week the princess had been transformed from the mutilated child Michelle had been keeping watch over to a cyborg with metal plating and a complicated software system integrated with her brain.”

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.

Glitches

Adri rubbed her hands together. “Good. I hope you’ll let me know if you need anything. We’re glad to share our home with you, knowing what you’ve been through.”
Cinder licked her lips, thinking to say thank you again, but then a small orange light flickered in her optobionics and she found herself frowning. This was something new and she had no idea what it meant.
Maybe it was a sign of a brain malfunction. Maybe this was a glitch.

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

“The threatening look the thaumaturge pinned on him wasn’t necessary. Z never wanted to be back on this exam table. He never wanted another needle beneath his skin. He never wanted to wake up with fur on his face and eyes that had no humanity behind them.
The queen was making a different kind of soldier, and he had already decided that he would be one of them.”

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

“Already, he was moving on to the next goal, the next dream, the next obstacle. Carswell grinned, just to the point where it started to hurt and rubbed a thumb over his tie tack.
For luck.”

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

“She was leaving Luna. Leaving Luna. Never in all her dreams has she thought that she, a lowly forgotten shell, would have the chance to see life beyond Luna’s protective biodomes.
But here she was, only nine years old and setting off on her first, great adventure.”

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

“That was the first of the hallucinations.
They kept coming.
They got worse.
Hungry beasts crawled out of the shadows in the night, scratching at the floor beneath her bed.
Bodies hung from the chandeliers over the tables in the dining hall.
A necklace of jewels would tighten around her neck, strangling her.”

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

“Then she would buy a new body that didn’t rebel every time she walked, and she would return the locket that contained the whole galaxy to Dataran and explain everything to him. She would tell him that something in his smile had changed her, back when it shouldn’t have been possible for her to be changed. She would tell him that she was the one who had saved his life, because something about him made her unpredictable, and maybe dangerous, and she couldn’t exist in a world with him.”

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.

The Mechanic

“The knot in his chest loosened, just a little. Linh Cinder was going to solve this problem. He knew it. She was going to fix Nainsi, and then he would be able to retrieve the lost information about the princess. He would find Selene and, for the first time in generations, Earth would have a true ally in Luna.
He was optimistic as he left the weekly market behind. More optimistic than he had been in weeks.
That mechanic was going to change everything.”

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

“I think that when every person in this room looks at Ze’ev and Scarlet, they don’t see a Lunar and an Earthen. We don’t see an agenda or two people trying to make a statement. I think we see two people who were lucky enough to find each other in this vast universe, and they weren’t going to let any boundaries of distance or race or even physiological tampering get in the way of a happy life together.”

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.

“Thank you. I thought it would be nice to look up at the night sky with you besides me for once, rather than just wishing you were besides me.”
Cinder felt a pang of guilt for being so flippant before, when the truth was…
“I do that too,” she said. “I’ll look out at the stars and pretend you’re with me, or wonder if you’re looking at the same constellations that I am, maybe at that same moment.”

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.

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20 thoughts on “Stars Above

  1. Hey, I only just found this post now, and there’s some stuff I wanted to mention (a lot of this is stuff I talked about in my own Stars Above post, but I wanted to talk about them with you too).
    In Glitches I loved the scene where Cinder and Peony play dress up.
    The Queen’s Army – Do you have any idea why he was referred to as Z?
    Also, I really would’ve liked to see what Ran was like before the tampering.
    Personally, I loved Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky
    I adored The Princess and the Guard, but especially the game they play at the beginning, and the fact that we get to see more about how Winter got her scars.
    I like The Little Android better as a short story.
    As for what you said at the end of your commentary on Something Old, Something New – I couldn’t agree more. Tbh, what I want more than anything is a book of short stories about all of the main ships’ weddings, and just a little about their children (you know; how many, what their names are…) ^^”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s all right, I love this series so I more than welcome a chance to talk more about it! 😀
      That was such a cute scene, honestly I loved seeing more from Cinder’s childhood in New Beijing.
      I think the Z comes from his real name, I can’t remember of the top of my head what it was but it definitely began with Z. And yeah I would have liked to see more of Ran too.
      Thorne is still my favourite character, his short story just made me more sure of that than before!
      Winter is also such an amazing character, and I loved seeing more about her childhood because she obviously went through so much that couldn’t really be expanded on in her book. I liked The Little Android as a short story too, I can’t imagine how it would have worked as a full length novel.
      Yep, basically I don’t think we’re ever going to be happy unless we have the characters autobiographies detailing their lives from birth to death! I need more of them all! 😀

      Like

      1. I guess. Makes me wonder who calls him that, though. It just seemed a bit random, and I feel like it should’ve been explained.
        Unrelated: I would pay good money to see the look on Adri and Pearl’s faces when Cinder and Kai announce their engagement xD

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Marissa Meyer is one of my all-time favourite authors. Her writing and storytelling are brilliant, and while some people have said the first book starts kind of slow stick with the series because it definitely gets better, by the time you reach the last book you won’t want it to ever end 😀
      I really hope you enjoy the series, you’ll have to let me know what you think when you’ve finished Cinder, I really hope you like it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely!!! I’m tearing through Sarah J Mass’s series at the moment. So far so good – haven’t put the book down yet so that’s always a good sign!
        I truly CANNOT wait to start Meyer’s books.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohh, Sarah J Maas is next on my to-read list, there are just a couple of books I need to get through first!
        It’s always a good sign when your so excited to read a new series. Meyer is an amazing author, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy the Lunar Chronicles 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Especially when it’s a series so many other people have loved. It gives you high expectations but you know the books are probably going to be really good!
        I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Throne of Glass series so I’d definitely be interested to hear your take on the series when you’ve finished it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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