Friday, February 5, 2016

Title: Stars Above
Author: Marissa Meyer
Narrator(s): Rebecca Soler
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, a collection of short stories
Length: 9 hrs 58 mins
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Source: purchased hardcover for shelf and audiobook for immediate immersion =)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

--

The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

I'd read a couple of these short stories previously, but I am beyond excited to have them all together in one collection, especially with some new stories, too! I'll be getting a copy of this book signed tomorrow at the Stars Above tour stop here in North Texas tomorrow, but I couldn't wait to read it, so I downloaded the audiobook earlier this week. =)


The Keeper - 4 stars
If you've read the Lunar Chronicles in full, you'll already know how Cinder and Scarlet's paths came to cross. But this story does more to add to Scarlet's grandmother's backstory than to either of the girls'. And from it, you can determine that Scarlet is basically the spitting image of her grand-mère, personality-wise, anyway. It is because of Michelle Benoit that Scarlet is so prepared for what's to come...

Glitches - 4 stars (originally reviewed 12/2/12)
Short and sweet, this prequel story shows us Cinder's introduction to her new family and not only her reaction but their reaction to her. I think it was pretty evident in Cinder that Adri was not happy with Cinder's addition to her family, but Glitches presents a little more background as to why.

I thought it was rather endearing to see how Cinder was acclimating not only to her new role in a family that mostly objected to her presence but also to her new status as a cyborg. She can't remember the accident or much of anything of her life before coming to New Beijing, but it's obvious to her how very different she is now. I loved Cinder's character in the first full-length novel in this series, and it hurts my heart to see how her situation in that novel came about.

The Queen's Army - 4 stars (originally reviewed 12/2/12)
I would be fine if we never encountered the Lunar queen again in this series, but I know that's not going to happen. Having the ability to compel others to bend to one's will makes a person a very worthy adversary, and so I know we have much more of Levana's presence to tolerate. Though, I do hope she gets her comeuppance, especially now that I know the full extent of the atrocities she is willing to commit.

I did like the introduction to Z in this short story, and I hope that his character is featured prominently in the upcoming Scarlet. Possibly as Wolf? Scarlet is a retelling of Red Riding Hood, so it would make sense. And after reading this short story, it seems totally possible that Z becomes known as Wolf, who is described in the synopsis of Scarlet as "a street fighter" who "clearly has a few dark secrets of his own".

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky - 5 stars
Oh, I just knew Carswell Thorne was a good guy, even when he pretended he was just that rakish guy who got by on his good looks and charm. Sure, his scams are criminal -- criminal but funny -- even as a teenager, but Cress isn't the only girl he played knight-in-shining-armor to her damsel-in-distress for. Thorne has long been my favorite character in this series, and I could honestly read a whole other series based on his exploits alone. A ne'er-do-well who's actually a swoonworthy rogue with a heart of gold? YES, PLEASE.

After Sunshine Passes By - 4 stars
*sniff* I think Cress' backstory was probably the hardest to get through. I mean, none of the heroines of the Lunar Chronicles has had an easy go of it, but Cress is just so isolated and...sad. And to see her at nine years old, cast off and unwanted, left to man a satellite ON HER OWN. I knew Sybil was a monster, but she is just. So. HEARTLESS. The song was sweet, though. o_O

The Princess and the Guard - 5 stars
I'll admit, I was very intrigued to see how Winter and Jacin fared through their childhoods into young adulthood on Luna, and I was not disappointed. I loved getting a peek at Winter before she stopped using her Lunar gift and succumbed to the crazy. And Jacin was as devoted in those early days as we find him later in the series, though definitely a little more easy-going. Of course, becoming part of the Royal Guard changes a man, especially when the queen is Levana. Even so, this story was full of the feels and left me even more enamored of the friends-to-more couple from Winter.

The Little Android - 4 stars
I think I started reading this one when it was up on Wattpad, but I definitely don't remember finishing because I would remember THE SADS. I mean, that's some serious heartbreak right there. And I feel like this short story stays truer to the text of the original tale than any of the other characters arcs. Which is probably why it's so devastatingly brutal: the original fairy tales were not the bearers of sunshine and rainbows that the Disney versions are.

The Mechanic - 4 stars
I'm not always sure I'm going to like getting another character's perspective on a scene I've already read, but this short and sweet story of Cinder and Kai's first meeting from Kai's point-of-view is adorable. I always wondered what made Kai come back himself and ask Cinder to the ball...what intrigued him so much about Cinder. And now I know and love his character a little bit more now. Not that I didn't like him before...he just wasn't my first choice for Cinder. :P

Something Old, Something New - 5 stars
Wow. This story made it all worth it. I like to pretend I'm an unfeeling monster sometimes, but I was seriously tearing up while listening to this one. And it wasn't even necessarily who was getting married, but just the fact that the gang's all together again and doing what they do best: being there for each other. I've really loved going on adventure after adventure (or dangerous mission after dangerous mission, if we want to get technical), and I'm really going to miss this cast of characters. I'm supremely glad that Marissa Meyer decided to give them this send-off...they deserve it as much as her readers do.


From my previous reviews of the audiobooks, just in case you needed further convincing: Sooo worth it to hear Rebecca Soler bring these characters to life again. I don't think I'd like these books half as much if it weren't for her narration. That's a lie. I'd still love them, but it just wouldn't be as much fun because I wouldn't make Cinder sound as feisty in my head, Kai wouldn't seem nearly as regal, Scarlet wouldn't have that slight French accent, and Thorne, well, okay, Captain Carswell Thorne will always be that swoonworthy rogue. But you get the picture. Some audiobooks are just books that are being read to you via some unknown narrator, but the Lunar Chronicles on audio is like having a movie going inside your head. It's impossible not to put yourself in the story, to imagine everything as it's happening and hope for the best right along with the rest of the crew. Rebecca Soler's narration of this series is pure magic, and just. So. Much. Fun.

Stars Above features some old stories and some new ones and backstories galore, plus a sneak peak at the author's new stand-alone, Heartless. And it's worth every penny. I'm dragging my husband to the signing and I was telling him about the series, how the author rewrites favorite fairy tales and then weaves them so that each heroine is a apart of the others' stories, and he was quite intrigued. I'm sure his agreeing to go with me had nothing to do with the Thai food I promised him afterward. ;0) This will be my first time meeting the author and I am SO VERY EXCITED!!!

GIF it to me straight:




About the author:

Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.

Find Marissa:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads | Pinterest



7 comments:

  1. I can't wait to get my hands on this book and I so much agree. This series is so worth the read and the listen on audiobooks. I am in love with this series and the audiobooks make it even better. Sad to see its over.

    This book looks great. all the backstories. I am not usually into the novellas. Trying to be... this one i can't wait for though.

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  2. I think I'm the last person on earth who hasn't read these books, lol! I need to get on it. =)

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  3. I want to read this one too. I'm glad that all of the novellas are together because I'm lazy and don't want to have to get them all separately. Have fun at the signing and enjoy your Thai food!

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  4. Sigh. I feel the same way. Please, Ms. Meyer, give us more?

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