I am so excited to talk a bit more about the Lunar Chronicles today! I didn’t think it was possible to love the Lunar Chronicles more after Winter. But Marissa Meyer has done it again. Star Above fits perfectly into the Lunar Chronicles canon and gives some much needed beautiful beginnings and endings to the stories and characters we love.
A few initial thoughts:
- Thank you, Marissa Meyer for publishing this only 3 months after the final book!
- I bought this book because it had an epilogue to Winter. While I loved Winter, I wanted a wedding! And I loved this one!
- I was surprised how much I loved the other stories in addition to the wedding. We get to see the beginnings of every protagonist in the series and learn more about where they come from, why they act in certain ways, and what they care about.
- It’s hard to pick a favorite story. Seriously.
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer is a short story collection within the world of the Lunar Chronicles. We get more background on (or at least more emotion from) each of the main characters–Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Winter, and Jacin. Each story follows one of these characters through a past experience that leads them to where we first meet them in the original series. And we get to meet a few new friends along the way. The climactic chapter takes place after the events in Winter–and was, again, my most anticipated chapter of the collection.
I have not read many short story collections, but I enjoyed the fast pace of this one. Each story follows a completely different character at a different time in their life. So we get short snippets of our favorite characters’ pasts. I loved having questions answered from the original series like when did Princess Winter fall in love with Jacin? How did Wolf become an Alpha? How did Cinder end up in New Beijing? And was Carswell Thorne always so charismatic? We get answers to all these questions and more–all within the style of Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. These stories just fit.
I want to talk briefly about some of my favorite chapters:
- The Princess and the Guard: I had a hard time getting excited about Winter and Jacin as a couple in Winter. I think that was mostly because we don’t get a lot of background on them or their love story. This chapter did more than give us background on how they fell in love. It illustrates Winter’s transformation into the princess we meet in the series and why she acts the way she does. I also appreciated the background on Jacin’s decision to become a palace guard. I love that he wasn’t forced into it, but chose to give up his career as a doctor to stay with Winter. This story teaches me that everyone deserves a choice, not manipulation.
- The Little Android: This story surprised me! It honestly took me several pages before I realized I was reading an adaptation of The Little Mermaid. As always, Meyer’s adaptation is so cleverly done! From the android falling in love with a human, to her saving Datarn, to her new “body” without a voice, this story is clever and exciting. It draws on the original fairy tale with unique twists only Meyer can create. I love that it connects to the series with Star’s encounter with Cinder at her mechanic’s booth. This story teaches me that love means giving up everything for someone else and that the universe is so much more extensive that we imagine.
- Something Old, Something New: I was so excited to read this story! Again, I loved everything about this chapter. It’s not often we get to see our favorite characters after the adventures end. I loved that everyone was in love and happy and successful–and still their same (sometimes ridiculous) selves. And I loved that this was Scarlet and Wolf’s wedding on the farm–an impromptu, perfectly decorated, beautiful wedding with those they love. Throughout the series, Scarlet and Wolf don’t get the spotlight as much. They deserved it here. But somehow it just got better as Cinder shows Kai the hanger where she was kept as a child, and he shows her the stars (together instead of apart). Then he gets down on one knee. And she finally says yes! I have been waiting for this happily ever after since Kai came to Cinder’s booth in the market and smiled. This story story teaches me that true love is real and so is happily ever after.
That final story (and perhaps the entire series) is best summed up in a line from Kai’s speech at the wedding:
“This relationship has . . . everything to do with our shared human need to find someone who will care for us as much as we care for them. To find a partner who complements us and teaches us. Who makes us stronger. Who makes us want to be our best possible self.”
Stars Above, page 356
This is why I love the Lunar Chronicles.
And … because they teach that deep, strengthening love is real and desirable. Because good triumphs over evil. Because friendship creates belonging and safety. Because they make me laugh, gasp, and sigh. Because the characters will always have a special place in my heart.
Have you read Stars Above yet? What did you think?