Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection (The Lunar Chronicles)

Marissa Meyer
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 six stories - two 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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-05-07
Stars Above is a collection of novellas that are mostly prequel stories to the characters in The Lunar Chronicles. The first story, The Keeper, follows the back story of Scarlet, Cinder & Michelle Benoit. We learn how Scarlet came to live with her grandmother Michelle and that her father was a terrible one. We also get the story of how Cinder came to be on earth and taken care of by Michelle. The second story, Glitches, follows Cinder more after she leaves Michelle’s home and goes to live with her stepmother Adri and her two stepsisters, Peony and Pearl. Cinder doesn’t feel that she fits in with her new family but we learn of how she became a mechanic when she takes on her first project of fixing up Iko. The third story, The Queen’s Army, follows Wolf’s story of how he came to be in the Queen’s army. We see him rise up to Alpha in his pack and when his brother Ran joins his pack as well. The next story, Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky, obviously follows Thorne Carswell when he is younger and in school. In the book Cress we learn of how he helped a young girl in his class, Kate Fallow, get her portscreen back from some bullies and this novella dives more into that story. The next story, After Sunshine Passes By, is the story of Cress and how Sybil picked her to go to the satellite to spy on Earth. This one is probably the shortest novella out of them all and I thought that it was the least important since we already knew that Cress was very good at technology and hacking. So her being picked to go to this satellite was no surprise. The next story, The Princess and the Guard, follows Winter and Jacin. We learn the story of why Winter decided to stop using her Lunar powers and her first stages of Lunar sickness. Jacin is there for her the entire time and we see them grow up together as very close friends and Winter admitting to herself that she loves him. The next story, The Little Android, is the only story that is not told in The Lunar Chronicles. It follows a completely new character, Star, who is an android. If I’m not mistaken, this seemed to be a sort of retelling of The Little Mermaid. Star gets an escort-droid body from Cinder, but it has no voice box and she’s in love with Dataran, a human. She gets a job with him as an electrician so that she can work close to him but she does not want him to know that she is an android. The next story, The Mechanic, follows Kai and Cinder. This was definitely a pointless story in my opinion. It’s the same story in Cinder when Kai takes his android, Nainsi, to Cinder to be fixed but it’s from Kai’s perspective. It was totally unnecessary and I did not learn anything from the story that I did not already know. The last story, Something Old, Something New, was probably my favorite of the novellas. This is an epilogue of some time later after Winter. The crew gets back all together for the wedding of Scarlet and Wolf and I absolutely loved it! Overall, I think that these novellas were really cute and it was nice to read some short stories on the characters again, but by no means is it necessary to read these to get the full story. But I definitely recommend it to fans of The Lunar Chronicles, if you are looking to read more on these characters.
Reviewed: 2017-12-07
As read/reviewed in STARS ABOVE: This was such a lovely way to kick off this collection of stories! I know that STARS ABOVE is an anthology of some previously released stories and some new ones and I loved that it started off with a new one! I believe these go in chronological order according to the Lunar Chronicles time line (that would make sense) so it was awesome to see even more backstory before GLITCHES. Without giving away spoilers, THE KEEPER mainly tells the story Michelle Benoit and when Scarlet first permanently locates to her grandmother's house. It spans about seven years from when Scarlet is six until she is thirteen. I loved this added backstory and extra knowledge! It was also fun to see how Scarlet acquired some of her trademarks like her hoodie... and gun.

Merged review:

As read/reviewed in STARS ABOVE: This epilogue was absolutely PERFECT. It was everything I could have dreamed of and just filled my heart with so much happiness. I had several guesses for who was getting married but this actually wasn't the first wedding I expected but it was of course, absolutely perfect. I truly teared up during the ceremony because it was just so lovely and I've become so invested in these characters throughout the series. It was also so wonderful just to see everyone all together again and NOT in grave peril! Their friendships are truly touching and I just love this crew and I always will. What a fabulous way to close out the series.

Merged review:

As read/reviewed in STARS ABOVE: Awwww, I feel so bad for Cress! I do love how really everyone is getting their own back stories here... But I'm also anxious for the epilogue!!! Ahem. Anyway, this was another new one and we see little nine-year-old Cress, as we learn from the books, heading off to her satellite. Most of this has already been laid out in CRESS but it was very touching to see it directly from Cress's POV. Sybil is heartless, as always, and I just felt so bad when Cress got left there for the first time! Nine is YOUNG. The little song in here was quite delightful and that's where this story gets its name.

Merged review:

As to read/reviewed in STARS ABOVE: I think this was the longest novella so far and I absolutely loved it! Obviously this is the story of Winter and Jacin, their childhood together, and the events mostly lead up to WINTER. We find out exactly how Winter got her scars and witness the specific event, learn more about her decision not to use her Lunar gift, and more about the incident that led tot hat decision. I also fell even more in love with Jacin. I LOVE his protectiveness of Winter and I think a big part of that is because they've also always had a good friendship... and you know how much I love best-friend-to-more stories! He also has some pretty smooth moments. I was so glad to see more of him and even more of Winter's and Jacin's friendship/relationship. Absolutely touching.

Merged review:

As read/reviewed in STARS ABOVE: "The mechanic that was going to change everything"... Little did he know! This story was just plain adorable. It's Kai and Cinder's first meeting from Kai's point of view and I just loved his instant attraction to Cinder not in spite of but because she was different from the other girls that usually fawn over him. You know me, I love a good tomboy and it's always great to see a character appreciate a tomboy and love her for who she is! This was just adorable to see and I love how many little things are slipped in there that made me think of the rest of the series and smirk. Just you wait, kids!

Merged review:

Completed 2/2/16: All the stars in the galaxy!

THE KEEPER: This was such a lovely way to kick off this collection of stories! I know that STARS ABOVE is an anthology of some previously released stories and some new ones and I loved that it started off with a new one! I believe these go in chronological order according to the Lunar Chronicles time line (that would make sense) so it was awesome to see even more backstory before GLITCHES. Without giving away spoilers, THE KEEPER mainly tells the story Michelle Benoit and when Scarlet first permanently locates to her grandmother's house. It spans about seven years from when Scarlet is six until she is thirteen. I loved this added backstory and extra knowledge! It was also fun to see how Scarlet acquired some of her trademarks like her hoodie... and gun.

GLITCHES: This isn't a new story (I first read it on Tor.com a few years back) but I wanted to read all of the stories, no matter if they were old or new. This one really tugs at my heartstrings! It's the story of when Cinder first arrived at the Linh residence and (among other things), my heart just breaks for her. She didn't choose to be a cyborg and she's categorized as inhuman just because has some robotic limbs and enhanced abilities. I always love learning more about Cinder... And I'm reminded again how awful Adri is.

THE QUEEN'S ARMY: This is another story that I've already read thanks to its release on Tor.com! It's definitely a much different experience reading it now than when I first had. I feel like my first read, I didn't really know this was about Wolf somehow? Maybe I didn't know his real name until later and then it dawned on me... Either way, obviously I have everyone's full stories now so I am quite aware! Again, this is another situation -- like THE KEEPER -- where knowing what I know from WINTER (and the rest of the series), my heart just goes out to these characters even more. I feel so bad for Ze'ev and what was done to him and it's wild to see the beginning of his story and what leads him to his job with the Queen's army and ultimately, how he ends up with Scarlet. Quick and enjoyable.

CARSWELL'S GUIDE TO BEING LUCKY: This story doesn't quite bowl me over, which is funny because it's Throrne! I think I want more sarcasm and humor whereas this shows more of his natural charm (also endearing but not as snarky and funny). I do like this story though! It shows a nice soft side of Thorne that even he didn't know he possessed. I love his obsession with Rampions. I feel for him and his relationship with his parents. His background really sets him up for the person he becomes (or I suppose it's a good backstory from what we already know of "Captain" Carswell Thorne)! Very endearing and lovely.

AFTER SUNSHINE PASSES BY: Awwww, I feel so bad for Cress! I do love how really everyone is getting their own back stories here... But I'm also anxious for the epilogue!!! Ahem. Anyway, this was another new one and we see little nine-year-old Cress, as we learn from the books, heading off to her satellite. Most of this has already been laid out in CRESS but it was very touching to see it directly from Cress's POV. Sybil is heartless, as always, and I just felt so bad when Cress got left there for the first time! Nine is YOUNG. The little song in here was quite delightful and that's where this story gets its name.

THE PRINCESS AND THE GUARD: I think this was the longest novella so far and I absolutely loved it! Obviously this is the story of Winter and Jacin, their childhood together, and the events mostly lead up to WINTER. We find out exactly how Winter got her scars and witness the specific event, learn more about her decision not to use her Lunar gift, and more about the incident that led tot hat decision. I also fell even more in love with Jacin. I LOVE his protectiveness of Winter and I think a big part of that is because they've also always had a good friendship... and you know how much I love best-friend-to-more stories! He also has some pretty smooth moments. I was so glad to see more of him and even more of Winter's and Jacin's friendship/relationship. Absolutely touching.

THE LITTLE ANDROID: This had even more Little Mermaid parallels than I remember! Maybe I was looking for the more thoroughly this time now that I knew how the story went. Still not quite my favorite, possibly because the main focus isn't one of the main characters though we do see mention of Kai and an actual appearance of Cinder herself. I think I would have liked a longer story so we could enjoy more plot! But isn't that always my request with short stories from my favorite authors!?

THE MECHANIC: "The mechanic that was going to change everything"... Little did he know! This story was just plain adorable. It's Kai and Cinder's first meeting from Kai's point of view and I just loved his instant attraction to Cinder not in spite of but because she was different from the other girls that usually fawn over him. You know me, I love a good tomboy and it's always great to see a character appreciate a tomboy and love her for who she is! This was just adorable to see and I love how many little things are slipped in there that made me think of the rest of the series and smirk. Just you wait, kids!

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: This epilogue was absolutely PERFECT. It was everything I could have dreamed of and just filled my heart with so much happiness. I had several guesses for who was getting married but this actually wasn't the first wedding I expected but it was of course, absolutely perfect. I truly teared up during the ceremony because it was just so lovely and I've become so invested in these characters throughout the series. It was also so wonderful just to see everyone all together again and NOT in grave peril! Their friendships are truly touching and I just love this crew and I always will. What a fabulous way to close out the series.
Reviewed: 2016-07-26
Although I have read half of these short stories before, I really enjoyed the new ones. This is honestly one of my absolute favorite YA series and I wish she would just keep writing more and more. A bit disappointed about whose wedding it was, but it gave me enough that I didn't mind. I wish this wasn't the last thing she wrote about them. I would recommend this series to anyone really.
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