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 … Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.
So since this book is made completely up of short stories, I figured I’d do the review for it a little differently. Each short story gets it’s own short review. Enjoy!
Michelle had been caring for the princess for almost two years, and the regular ministrations had become second nature. Just another chore to check off her daily list. Feed the animals. Gather the eggs. Milk the cow. Check the princess’s diagnostics and adjust the tank’s fluid levels as needed.
“The Keeper” is the first short story in Stars Above, and I really enjoyed it. In Scarlet we hardly got to meet Scarlet’s grandmére, Michelle, though it was clear that Scarlet loved her something fierce. And we also got to see how she took Cinder in when she was still only Princess Selene. (Not to mention meeting Logan, Scarlet’s grandfather). Michelle was a strong woman who loved her military career and loved her family even more (although her son was tough to love). This was a nice peek into her life that we knew so little about besides her strong will (which clearly Scarlet inherited). Many of the empty gaps Cinder had about her past were filled between Fairest and being adopted by the Linh family were filled in this short story, and it was nice to see how they got her from a mangled 3 year old to a fully-functioning 11 year old cyborg.
He kissed his daughters on the tops of their heads, then stood, keeping a firm grip on their hands. “Would you like to meet your new sister?” he asked, turning back to face the hover. He seemed surprised at the empty pathway behind him. “Come on out, Cinder.”
Eek. This one brought back so many emotions. Mostly, it brought back the sadness I felt over Peony’s untimely death. Peony was the only nice person to Cinder in the Linh family (of course we’ll never know how things might have turned out if Garan lived) and she always treated her like she was an equal.
In “Glitches” we get to see how Cinder started off with many things: her handiness, her family, and Iko (!). This featured three of my favorite characters even if one doesn’t make it completely through the first book.
The queen was making a different kind of soldier, and he had already decided that he would be one of them.
The “Queen’s Army” really showed how dark Levana was in creating the soldiers like Wolf (or Z in this short story) and how twisted the thaumaturges and doctors were in assisting her in creating these soldiers.
After Wolf underwent his surgery to change him he decided he never wanted to be manipulated like that again. Which made me feel for him all that much more with everything that happened in Winter. We also get to see why Ran was always so quick to ignore Wolf despite the fact they are brothers. It was a nice peek into one of my favorite characters (I honestly don’t think I have a least favorite character in this series) past and how he came to be where he was in Scarlet.
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.
I don’t know how Marissa Meyer had me swooning over a thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne. Over the last (almost) year I have forgotten how much I love Thorne. He’s incredibly charming and he has been that way since the beginning.
Little teenage Thorne was busy dreaming of Rampions and becoming a Captain. And I loved reading about just him. He was easily my favorite character addition in Scarlet and he can swoon or charm anyone into doing exactly what he wants. Even me.
After Sunshine Passes By
Sweet Crescent Moon, up in the sky,
You sing your song so sweetly after sunshine passes by.
This was yet another short story that helped showcase how horrible the government of Luna was to its citizens. Any shells were “killed” but really used to donate blood for an unknown cause.
“After Sunshine Passes By” shows how Cress got up in her little satellite home. A horrible, little pod of isolation. Even from the start she was just as imaginative before her, in my opinion, craziness hit. But she only was a little childlike and crazy in the books because she grew up in a small isolated space. I’m currently trying to fight back my urges to re-read this series.
The Princess and the Guard
He would hold her and let her cry, and it was during one of these embraces when Winter realized with all the force and clarity of a solar flare –
She was in love with him. She had always, always been in love with him.
Jacin and Winter’s romance in Winter was always sweet and innocent and seemingly all on Winter’s side. Here, we get to see how Winter came to decide to never, ever use her lunar powers (even when Levana is actually taking a knife to her face) and the relationship she had with Jacin B.G. (before guard).
Winter is such a sweet character who wants to help people and people love her because she is innocent (in a loose sense of the word) and earned their trust by simply being kind. Unfortunately her step-mother is Levana and Levana is pretty much the origin of evil and dark and twisty. Maybe it’s the fact that the short story was told over a period of four years or maybe I just delved deep enough into it to get lost long enough, but this short story felt like more than a 50 page story. It felt as real as any of the full length novels and it reeled me in just as much. I loved reading about how much Jacin and Winter care for each other even when it was just on a friendship basis. Seriously, I’m fighting back the urge to go back and read Winter.
The Little Android
She could not stand to be lost to the darkness forever, when there was still a whole universe she’d never seen.
I think this is the only short story to not revolve around characters of the Lunar Chronicles. Rather, Cinder makes a cameo and it’s about an android who has a similar problem with her personality chip to Iko that makes her behave as more human than robot. It was a cute spin-off with a twist ending that I wasn’t sure where it would go.
That mechanic was going to change everything.
All I can really say about this short story is… CINDER AND KAI EMOTIONS!!!
This is literally Kai and Cinder meeting for the first time at the marketplace from Kai’s POV. My favorite OTP. My favorite scene. My favorite everything because Kai and Cinder!! Also Kai getting thrown off by how he liked Cinder??? Bonus! Love, love, loved it because I have missed those two more than I knew.
Something Old, Something Blue
It wasn’t until that moment, seeing Kai’s smile and being wrapped up in his arms – both of them ignoring the fact that the world was watching – that she realized he was the home she’d been missing.
After reading the official epilogue to The Lunar Chronicles I really feel like the door has closed on this series. And I will miss these characters so much. No one can bring a smile to my face quite like this ragtag team of characters.
It was so nice to be able to catch up with them almost two years after Winter. Also, I won’t say who got married but it was definitely a cute wedding. And an even cuter ending (*screaming as cry and eat my feelings*). I wish this series could go on forever and ever, but all good things must end and this was one of the best series I have read to date.
One thing is for sure, Marissa Meyer has me hooked around her finger and I cannot wait to get my hands on Heartless.
(5000/5 for that epilogue though)