My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So the remarkable Marissa Meyer has graciously bestowed upon her legion of fans a beautiful anthology with a bonus story that told of the aftermath of Winter.
For those who couldn’t get enough of the Lunar cast, these stories shed light on these characters’ pasts.
The following chapters below are in order of how they appeared in Stars Above but they are not necessarily chronologically accurate in correspondence to the order of the novels.
This gives a deeper look into the impact of Scarlet and Cinder on Michelle Benoit’s life. Although she rarely showed up in Scarlet, she was a crucial person that safeguarded Cinder’s comatose body and sacrificed a normal, secure life in order to preserve Luna’s only hope. Scarlet is the centerpiece in this story because Michelle in a way was also the keeper of her granddaughter. Readers also get to understand Scarlet’s personality much better due to her unstable upbringing.
This picks up nearly right after The Keeper ends. I’m terrible dealing with sad stories so I went in reading this with dread because Cinder has had it pretty tough. I can tell you, her childhood was no picturesque rainbows and sunshine.
THE QUEEN’S ARMY
I actually read this right before I dived into Scarlet which is the perfect order to read in. This is a background story on Wolf and his transition from scraping out an impoverished living with his family to rising up the ranks of the mutated soldiers. I mourn the caring and kind boy that he used to be –not that he still isn’t kind or caring — but his internal battle for compassion, love, and survival was dreary and hard to look away from.
CARSWELL’S GUIDE TO BEING LUCKY
While the childhoods of the characters I’ve read so far have been mildly dismal, it seems like Carswell offers a fresh breath of air. He’s mischievous, carefree, and troublesome. This story is briefly mentioned near the end of Cress so it’s better to read the novel first as not to spoil the scene in there. Carswell is such a swoon-worthy character even as a kid who is partially misunderstood. But really, he did bring it on himself most of the time.
AFTER SUNSHINE PASSES BY
So what did I learn from this story? I learned that Cress is brilliant, resourceful, and very lonely. As a shell, she was already isolated from her family and the denizens of Luna. Aside from other shells who are resigned to their imprisonment, she wants more. But her ultimate confinement to a satellite makes me empathize with her more. Despite all these hardships, she is still a resilient character that eventually grows stronger from this experience.
THE PRINCESS AND THE GUARD
This is my personal favorite story because I shipped Jacin and Winter so hard. Their childhood memories are so sweet and their relationship is so intimate that it’s obvious they were meant to be together. As the story takes a darker turn, their times together is tainted by Queen Levana’s manipulations. But Jacin is loyal as ever and it’s heartening to see his determination and love for Winter throughout her tribulations and ultimate descent into madness.
THE LITTLE ANDROID
Only Cinder shows up in this story and it’s a minor part that doesn’t have anything to do with the main series. Based on The Little Mermaid, this story is another retelling that stays true to the original tale.
Kai meets Cinder and this is his point of view on it. *gasps* Automatically fangirls because they are the OTP of this whole series! Readers have got to admit that he is the least developed character in Cinder. We do not really get to know him that well which is why this story is a gem.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
So what happens after Winter? Well, Cinder has done what she has promised to do and now Earth and Luna are in a somewhat precarious alliance. It’s not that bad though because that’s where the ambassadors set in. The world is finally off on a better foot and a certain couple gets married. It was sappy but I admit I enjoyed reading it quite a lot.
So I’ve been noticing how well Marissa Meyer writes angst. Most of the stories in this anthology is filled with angst. For some reason, I’m a sucker for angst that ultimately is redeemed through a HEA. Yes, the power of love! Yet, I’m having mixed feelings for her standalone, Heartless, which is the origin of the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland. I’m afraid because you know how the life of the Queen of Hearts ends…