Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyers

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #4.5
Genre: Sci-Fi/Romance/Retellings/Anthology
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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.

So, how much would you hate me if I said that I think I'm over the Lunar Chronicles? Because, honestly, I was excited for this book when I bought it, but really, I feel little towards it. But, let's talk about the stories individually.

The Keeper
This tells the story of Princess Selene first arriving at the Benoit farm and, also, Scarlet's first several years there.

I was actually super excited for this story - only one in this collection that I was more excited for - but I was really bored/disappointed with it. I feel that it adds so little to the story. Everything was already pretty well explained in the other books and I feel that this added nothing to the story. (Truthfully, I would have much rather read about Michelle when she was still a pilot. That would have been awesome!)
Stars: 2

The story of Cinder's first couple of weeks at the Linh house.

Peony's great. Beyond that, I really didn't like this story. Cinder has always been my least favorite of the main girls in this series and…I really never felt any curiosity as to what her early time at the Linh house was like. Although, I now have several questions, such as: if they were hurting for money, why didn't Adri get a job instead of complaining about it? If they were already behind their rent, how could they still be living there five years later? If money was so important, why didn't Pearl get a job, too? (And, really, why's Adri such a bitch?)
Stars: 2

The Queen's Army
This is the story of the queen's army. LOL. No, it's the story of a young Wolf in the queen's army.

While I did find it interesting, I also found it super depressing. And, it was bad enough what happened to Wolf in Winter, but reading this made it take on a whole new level of horrifying. So, if you wanted to make me feel disgusted and angry, good job!
Stars: 1

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky
This is a story about…hmm…Really, I'm not sure what is was supposed to be about. I guess, Thorne and what he was like as a young teen. In short: a burgeoning con artist.

I gotta admit, this isn't exactly the most flattering look at Thorne - but even in the books, he had his fair share of flaws. I did find it entertaining though, and interesting because I don't remember ever reading anything about his parents - so it was nice to see what they were like as well as his life growing up. But, really, what was the purpose of this story?
Stars: 3

After Sunshine Passes By
This is the story of Cress' arrival at her satellite.

…I fail to see the point of this story. I mean, yeah, pint-sized Cress is cute - just like I long suspected she would be - but nothing about this makes me think this story needed to be told. Really, I feel that the only reason this story was in here was because of something like 'everyone else has one so Cress needs one too.' (It also doesn't escape my note that this is one of the two shortest stories in here.) I just don't see how this story adds anything and, to me, this is not something that I ever thought needed to be expanded on.
Stars: 2

The Princess and the Guard
A story of young Winter and Jacin and how/why Winter quit using glamour.

Now this is what short stories are supposed to be! Finally, one of these stories took something that was actually interesting and expanded on it. Sure, most of this was alluded to during the books, but there was so much more to the story. And this was a tale that actually had plot not one that just read like a 'deleted scene.' (I seriously wish Winter had had more of this.)
Stars: 4 (Definitely my favorite story of this collection!)

The Little Android
A retelling of The Little Mermaid set in the Lunar Chronicles universe.

This is quite an interesting story. I especially love the way certain key aspects of the fairytale makes it's way into this updated version. And I do think there were some interesting choices made in telling the tale. However, I just didn't really enjoy it much,
Stars: 2

The Mechanic
Cinder and Kai's first meeting from the prince's perspective.

I actually found myself enjoying this story a lot more than I expected to - though I don't know why I was suspicious of this story to begin with. I actually like extras that show the same scene from a different perspective and I also like Kai. He's pretty far from my favorite of the guys - in fact, he's probably my least favorite between the four main guys - but there's something so compelling about him. I like his determination and his insecurity and this story showcases both aptly.
Stars: 3

Something Old, Something New
The so called 'wedding of the century'.

I think what I like about this story the most is how it really could be any of the couples getting married. Admittedly, I don't really like it when a YA series ends with a wedding or a proposal, but this…wasn't as bad as I expected. (And then we had the proposal at the end that still causes me problems.)
Stars: 4 (Really, 3 ½ but I'm feeling generous.)

All in all, this was really a mixed bag for me, as most anthologies are. I really think that most of these stories added nothing to the Lunar Chronicles world - though for me, it was definitely worth it to read The Princess and the Guard.

My biggest problem is that most of these stories just expand on things that we were already told about in the books. Most of these stories don't add an new information and very little new knowledge. I would have much prefered this collection if it had covered either people or events that weren't already explained quite so well in the series.