Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Book Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Stars Above – Marissa Meyer

*Warning – may contain spoilers*
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
First published: 2016
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 369

Blurb:    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 a special bonus excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hears form Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

History of my copy: I picked up Stars Above a couple months back. After falling head over heels in love with The Lunar Chronicles, I just knew I had to buy it!

As with a few of my other recent reviews, I finished Stars Above nearly two months ago but have only just got around to doing the review. This is my last review of a book from over a month ago, I've finally caught up!
Usually with short stories, I take a while to read them as I treat each story individually but, in this case, I read it pretty quick because it was so good!
I hadn’t read any of the stories before I got the collection. I also didn’t read the Heartless extract – it would only make me yearn for the book even more!

The Keeper: Although this story took me a while to get into, I ended up rather enjoying it. I had a huge amount of respect for Michele Benoit for taking Cinder in, but never really thought about the impact it would have had on her life. It was really nice seeing a little Scarlet too! Overall, this story was a good one, adding a good amount of background to The Lunar Chronicles.

Glitches: Oh my gosh this story was amazing and heart-breaking at the same time! It was awesome to see Cinder being introduced to her new family and to see her friendship with Peony develop from the beginning. However, it was clear that Adri was never going to accept her. The moment when Garan discovered he had letumosis was devastating! However, the best part of this short story was Iko! Cinder putting Iko back together! Cinder and Iko uniting! Ah I love Iko!

The Queen’s Army: As Wolf is one of my least favourite characters, I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. Finding out how he transitioned from man to wolf, and how he reached the post of alpha was actually the kind of back story I needed to appreciate him a lot more.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: In contrast to the previous story, I was a little disappointed by this one. Thorne is one of my favourite characters from The Lunar Chronicles, but whilst he still felt like the same character, the younger version just didn’t quite feel right. I’m glad the story was included but, on the other hand, I wouldn’t have been bothered if it wasn’t included in Stars Above.

After Sunshine Passes By: This story broke my heart. Here we read about Cress and how she became to be the Queen’s spy. The way the Lunars treat shells is horrid and honestly, poor little Cress deserved so much more. I loved this story, especially as Cress is one of my favourite characters, and it gives a really good glimpse into how lonely her life must have been.

The Princess and the Guard: Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the pairing (I love them and they work really well, but they aren’t my favourite), I really adored this story. Seeing their friendship develop, with hints of a romance between them, was something truly magical. It was also really interesting watching Winter grow as a person, and seeing how events influenced her usage, or rather lack of usage, of her gift. This story really helped emphasise Levana’s terror and was a brilliant back story to the main series.

The Little Android: This miniature story, which I’m assuming is based on The Little Mermaid judging by the name, isn’t about any of the characters in The Lunar Chronicles. Despite that, I kinda enjoyed it and it was nice reading about some other things that happen in the universe. It shows just how human and emotional androids can be (just like Iko!) and certainly makes you think twice about whether they should be treated like humans or not.

The Mechanic: Cinder and Kai’s first meeting. From Kai’s point of view. Do I even need to say anymore?! I absolutely adored this scene, and seeing it from Kai’s perspective only made it better! It was great to see what they both thought of each other from the start and ohmygosh I want to read the whole series from Kai’s viewpoint!

Something Old, Something New: Something borrowed, something blue. The topic of this story is obvious from the title – someone is getting married! Unfortunately for me, it was my least favourite couple, Scarlet and Wolf. Despite that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable story! Winter and Jacin could have had a beautifully fairy-tale wedding, Kai and Cinder could have had a glorious royal one, and dear god, the feels from a Cress and Thorne wedding!!! Alas, we settle for the rustic, homely wedding of Scarlet and Wolf, an event that turns out rather adorable. What I did appreciate is that, due to being the least extravagant of the pairings, this wedding was small and allowed the reader to focus on the main characters of the story. In addition to this, the ending has a completely swoon-worthy proposal, but I’ll leave you to find out who it’s between!

To read or not to read: Read. I 100% recommend Stars Above to any fan of The Lunar Chronicles. (And everyone else, but fully recommend reading the main series first). As you may know, I’m not a huge fan of short stories but, as with every other story she writes, Meyer pulls it off amazingly and creates a great anthology of tales that delve you even deeper into the futuristic world that she has created.

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