Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Published by Macmillan on 2016-02-02
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
I only read this series at the end of last year before Winter came out because so many people loved it and it was coming to an end so it seemed like the perfect time to get excited about it. I was looking forward to reading a new series and enjoying it but I did not expect to love the series. I don’t know why, maybe because of the hype, but I just hoped to like it and enjoy it all the way through. So I was completely blindsided when I completely fell in love with it! And then I didn’t even know there was a new book coming out until I was in the middle of Winter and I was so excited! Since I hadn’t read it along the way, I didn’t even realize there were novellas out for it. But I was just really excited that we’d get even a little bit more of characters that I’d grown to love. And now that I’ve read it, I can say that I love them even more. And I’m thrilled that we’ll get even more with the graphic novels coming out next year!! Seriously, if you guys haven’t started this series, do it now. Read them all the way through. The way these stories and characters connect in the bigger world of Earth and Luna is brilliant and the relationships they forge along the way are perfect. So read them.
Now for Stars Above, I’m going to do this review a little differently. Because they are all short stories, I’m going to just briefly review each story in the book. I won’t give spoilers in case you guys haven’t read this one yet but I can’t promise that the stories won’t give away parts of the previous books.
The Keeper: Honestly, it took me a few minutes after starting this one to completely remember who these characters were. Michelle is Scarlet’s grandmother, Luc is her dad, and Logan is the doctor. And I actually really liked this story. It takes place completely before any of the other books and tells Scarlet’s story of coming to live with her grandma and her grandma’s story of her early life and visiting Luna and meeting the doctor and then everything that happens after. I loved Michelle in Scarlet and was glad to have a chance to hear her story straight from her.
Glitches: Oh boy. This one was a little bit sad. This is a prequel to Cinder and is the story of how she comes to be with her new family in the Eastern Commonwealth. We see Adri, Peony, and Pearl’s reactions to Cinder and we get to see how they treated her right from the start. We also get to see the effects of Letumosis on the family and the country. It’s short but very powerful in seeing how Cinder was treated even as a brand new “family” member.
The Queen’s Army: Another emotional one. This is the prequel to Scarlet and introduces us to Ze’ev Kesley. AKA Wolf in Scarlet. But in this one he’s just a kid getting taken away from his family to be a part of Levana’s army. He has to learn how to survive within the army and his pack and move on from his family. It was easy to see Wolf in his younger form and hard to have to watch him go through those things as a kid.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Of course Thorne is a favorite so this one is bound to be good! And it was. Again, Thorne is easy to recognize in his younger self and easy to see how he became his older self. It was cute to see him flirting and trying to figure out how to save for his own ship. It was interesting to see his relationship with his parents and how that affected how we was later on. I really enjoyed Thorne in the series and appreciated this little glimpse into his earlier life.
After Sunshine Passes By: This is the prequel to Cress and was also kind of heartbreaking. I’m making it sound like these are all sad and they aren’t really but they also are. I know that doesn’t make sense but I guess I mean that they’re sad but not depressing. Because, if you’ve read the series, you know what comes of their stories, but the prequels are definitely sad. In this one we meet Cress as a young shell working under Sybil. We see how much she wants to please her but also how much more she wants to learn and do. And ultimately, we see how she ends up on the satellite. Alone. And sad. Ugh. Poor Cress. She just wants to be loved.
The Princess and the Guard: I don’t know if it’s because they join the group so late into the series or because they’re sort of their own element but Winter and Jacin still seem sort of separate from the rest of the group to me. This is the prequel to Winter and we really get to see their relationship when they were kids in this, much more than the very brief glimpse in Fairest and the mentions of it in Winter. It’s very moving how loyal and devoted they are to each other. And very sweet but it’s also difficult to see both of them giving up so much. Of course we know it turns out happy in the end but it’s painful watching Winter suffer through the Lunar sickness and watching Jacin choosing between two things he loves. But I thought this one actually ended on a very sweet note. I liked it a lot.
The Little Android: This is a retelling of the original (aka the non-Disney) version of The Little Mermaid but set in the world of this series. We meet all new characters but the focus of the story is on the android who is a little different than the other androids and exhibits behaviors similar to humans. Then she falls in love with one and the story follows along The Little Mermaid storyline but with clever changes. I really liked it but honestly not as much as the others because I really just wanted to read more about the characters I already love.
The Mechanic: This is the story of how Kai and Cinder meet but from Kai’s perspective. So we get to see what he was up to before coming to the market and what exactly he thought of Cinder and Iko when they first met. It was actually pretty cute. I’m not the biggest fan of Kai, sometimes I think he’s boring, but this was really enjoyable. And not sad at all! Just cute and a fun way to revisit the meeting of these two.
Something Old, Something New: THE ONE EVERYONE WANTS!! Yes, I skipped right to the wedding story! And no, it didn’t matter at all. I didn’t originally realize that the rest were all prequels so I was a little nervous but it was totally fine and I give all of you permission to do exactly the same thing. You won’t regret it. And then you can read it again when to get to the end of the book! I won’t say who got married in this story but I will say that it was absolutely perfect. I saw Marissa Meyer on tour for this book and she said this one was like “writing fanfiction for my own books” and I loved that description. It was so fun to see these characters all together for a celebration and not fighting or running away or separated. They were just a group of friends getting together and having a great time. And the way the story and wedding unfolded was absolutely perfect. I know I said that before, but it was. So amazing and such a feel good moment. A happily ever after for characters that really deserve it. I hope you guys will love it as much as I did!
Overall, this is definitely a book that will please The Lunar Chronicles fans. If you haven’t read those books, there’s really no reason to read these yet. I enjoyed having read the whole series first and going back to these but I suppose since they are prequels, so you could read them accordingly while reading the series. Just don’t read the epilogue (wedding) until the very end. You’ll definitely want to save the happy! I suppose you could read them in this order if you’re just starting the series: Glitches, Cinder, The Mechanic, The Queen’s Army, Scarlet, The Keeper, After Sunshine Passes by, Cress, Carswell’s Guide, The Princess and the Guard, Winter, and then Something Old, Something New. And The Little Android can be read whenever. But really, you can read them however you want. As a Lunar Chronicles fan, I’m glad I discovered the novellas and am thrilled that they’ve been released in this beautiful book! Now we just wait for the graphic novels…