Title: Stars Above
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: young adult, sci-fi, fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Some of these short stories have spoilers from the series. If you haven’t read The Lunar Chronicles yet, I wouldn’t read this review.
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…
(This synopsis is from Goodreads.)
There are several short stories in this book, so I’m going to review and rate them individually one by one. The rating you saw at the beginning of the post is pretty much an average of all the ratings. A few of these novellas have spoilers from the original series, so I’ll indicate that at the beginning of each mini-review.
Starting off with the first novella!
The Keeper [spoilers!]
4 / 5 spaceships
This short story is a combination of the backstories of both Scarlet and her grandmother. It starts off talking about her grandmother, Michelle, and how she came to know the Lunar doctor (Logan) who will eventually entrust her with Princess Selene for eight-ish years. It also covers how Scarlet became so close to her grandmother.
Overall, the story was very sweet, and you couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for Michelle and Scarlet as they try to overcome the difficulties of their relationships and keeping secrets.
4 / 5 wires
This is about Cinder meeting her family for the first time. It explains Adri’s hatred toward her and how she became close to Peony. It also explains how she became a mechanic. This all happens before the events of the first book of TLC, Cinder.
Although it wasn’t necessary to read in order to understand the main series, I thought it was cool to see how Cinder developed the relationships that she did within her family because the author sort of glazed over the details in the first book. I don’t blame her. I think it would be pretty boring if Marissa Meyer had to explain why Cinder was good friends with Peony and not with her stepmother and other stepsister, Pearl. It was implied, and that was good enough for the story to move on. However, I’m glad she wrote this story for her fans because it helps us understand how exactly they got to that point before the events of Cinder.
The Queen’s Army
3.5 / 5 wolves
While the first two short stories were about Scarlet’s and Cinder’s backstories, respectively, this one is about Ze’ev’s (a.k.a. Wolf) backstory and how he became mutated.
Compared to rest of the stories, I found Wolf’s story to be… sort of boring. It wasn’t THAT boring, but between building emotional relationships and hiding important people, this one fell a little flat for me. That being said, it’s not a bad novella at all. Also, he was 12 when he was mutated. TWELVE. If this was another ploy to get the reader to realize how crazy and evil Levana is, then it worked.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky
4 / 5 Rampions
As the title suggests, this novella is about Captain Carswell Thorne when he was a teen. It’s just about him being a charmer and a hustler (something he never really loses as he grows older), and you get to know more about his family.
You realize as you read this book that he would be an awesome salesman. He’s sneaky, and you’d have to watch out for him because he’s slick as an oiled snake. That being said, you could tell he’s hiding his pain about his unemotional parents behind a facade of swagger, and you get caught between the feeling of wanting to give him a hug but also not wanting to touch him because he’ll definitely swindle you out of all your savings.
After Sunshine Passes By
3 / 5 hackers
This novella is Cress’s backstory and how she ends up in solitude.
Like Wolf’s story, this one fell flat. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that interesting either. It was cool to learn a little more about Cress, but it didn’t add too much to her character. I don’t have much more to say about it because it was such a short story.
The Princess and the Guard
4 / 5 Lunars
As the title suggests, this is about Winter (the princess) and Jace (the guard). It’s basically about Winter before the events of TLC.
I liked this one. We don’t really get to meet Winter until the last book of the series, and this goes more in depth into her relationship with not only Jace but Levana. We also get to see how she got the scars on her face and why. In the short time span, you get to see her grow up and mature, learning more about her powers and her stepmother.
The Little Android
4.5 / 5 stars
This is a play on The Little Mermaid. It takes place in the same universe as TLC, but none of the original characters are in it. It’s about this android who is self-aware (sort of like Iko) who falls in love with a mechanic. The story follows the android’s journey to try and get the mechanic to understand her feelings for him.
I liked this one because it doesn’t really end with a happy ending. I feel like it’s more reminiscent of the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen than Disney’s adaptation. You get to feel how trapped the android is inside its body, and its yearning to be where the people are. Just a warning, the ending is bittersweet.
4 / 5 screwdrivers
The Mechanic takes place during the beginning of Cinder. It was the moment that Prince Kai meets Cinder for the first time, but in his perspective.
Reading books in other characters’ points of view is one of my favorite things to do. Jennifer L. Armentrout does this a lot with her characters (writing short stories or even full books in the POV of a different character), and I live for that stuff. Seeing Kai’s first impression of Cinder was a little treat, and it’s fun to see the start of a little romance blooming.
Something Old, Something New [spoilers!]
4.5 / 5 rings
It takes place after the events of Winter, and the old crew gets back together to throw a private wedding between Scarlet and Ze’ev (Wolf). The press is freaking out because it’s the first time a Lunar and an Earthen is marrying.
This was the last novella in the whole book, and to me, it couldn’t have been in a better place. This story feels like the grande finale, the “happily ever after” moment, not just for Scarlet and Ze’ev, but also for the other characters. It catches the reader up on where the characters have been since the events of Winter, and it’s good to see that they all have their own form of a happy ending.
I give this short story collection 4 / 5 unicorn horns. If you liked The Lunar Chronicles, you’re going to get a kick out Marissa Meyer’s short stories.
Until next time….
I have had this book on my shelf for FOREVER. I was debating on giving it up, but seeing your positive reviews I might just have to pick it up sooner rather than later!
Great review xo
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If you liked The Lunar Chronicles, then Stars Above is definitely worth a read! I hope you like it as much as I do if you decide to pick it up! ❤
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I loved The Lunar Chronicles – I may have to do a reread of them all again. Just to relive it hahah
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