A Masterful Collection of Short Stories | Review of ‘Stars Above’ (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5)

By Cynthia Ayala

Stars Above by Marissa MeyerFeiwel & Friends
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Feiwel & Friends

Stars Above explores the past and the present in nine short stories about Cinder and her comrades. How Cinder arrive in New Beijing, how Wolf became Wolf, and how Scarlet’s grandmother came into possession of Cinder. Together they tell enchanting stories in the world of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles

Published on February 2, 2016, by Feiwel & Friends, Stars Above by Marissa Meyer is a young adult short story collection with nine stories that bridge the past and the present together.

Collections are such tough novels to criticize because they are just that, collections. Each piece here in Stars Above is so different from the last, and they each offer something unique to the overall arc that creates Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. There is one piece that does stand out from the rest because it doesn’t involve any of the central characters from the series. Instead “The Little Android” is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” The similarities are so strong in the storytelling that when reading it, it’s hard not to think about “The Little Mermaid” but it’s also incredibly unique. It follows an android who wants to be human, an android who gets a new body without a voice box. Considering that Meyer already retold “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Snow White” and “Rapunzel,” adding one little mermaid into the mix completes the idea she was reaching for with her fairy tale renditions. Her use of language, of internal narrative gives the story a strong foothold into the world that is littered with fairy tales. It stood out, but it also fit in perfectly with all the rest of the stories.

As for the remainder of the stories they were background stories of the central characters. Fans of the series have the chance to learn more about some of their favorite characters and where they came from. Meyer gives the readers more depth to already full characters as she explores where they came from and how they became the heroes of the series. Each story has its own voice that resembles the character so well making each story stand out. Some are longer and stronger than others given the history of the characters, but even the happy ones just bring out this lightness, they bring out Meyer’s heart, and it’s plain to see why she chose to explore the characters’ backstories. These are fantastic characters and to give the readers just a little more about them before shutting the book on them, it fills the reader, it gives them this sense of lighthearted satisfaction to move on without lingering thoughts about where they came from, how they become who they became.

These are just wonderful stories to read because of Meyer’s love that is clearly imprinted onto the text. They each have substance, they each captivate the reader and give them more without boring them. This is just an incredible, breathtaking collection. (★★★★☆ | A)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Feb 2, 2016

Page count: 369pp

Age Range: 15 – 18

ISBN: 978-1-2500-9184-0

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

List Price:  $17.99

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