Reading, Reviews

Stars Above – stella review

Foreword:

We actually read Stars Above by Marissa Meyer in April of 2022 and, despite our immediate debrief together, Willow waited for three months before Lauren wrote her blog review! We can forgive her since she was busy planning her July wedding; congratulations, by the way, it was great. It looks like our reading plan for 2022 might also be the plan for 2023 as well…

Willow

This is a collection of short stories that expand on past memories of the Lunar characters. Each memory is mentioned in the main series (apart from two), which makes each story feel like familiar ground. It deepens the world we know and love and often casts a new angle on something we thought we understood.

Carswel, for example. In the main series, he tells Cress that he has always been selfish at the expense of others. Every misdeed was, truly, an ugly act of theft or betrayal, but when we visit one of Carswel’s escapades in Stars Above, it’s apparent that he hasn’t always been morally depraved, even if he’s come to believe otherwise. It’s also quite simply a delight to see his winning charisma even as a teenager.

Seeing Peony as a young child, and alive, was heartbreaking. I very much enjoyed glimpsing the family dynamic – I’ve always struggled to understand how Garren and Audrey could be married. While this is still strange to me, I appreciated seeing more of the family while they were all alive and through Cinder’s eyes. Poor Cinder. Her newly awakened life and entry into the family is tragic, made more so by Peony being the CUTEST BUTTON.

Finally, the wedding between Wolf and Scarlet was delightful. Top ten. Sign me up for my wedding to be just the same. The banter between the ladies was *chef’s kiss* authentic, funny, and charming. The men were given a wedding task that really warmed me heart-cockles. It captured the joy and mush we never got to indulge in with the main series. I loved every moment.

My only two complaints (and Lauren’s as well tbf). One: I wanted to see the grand wedding between Kai and Cinder! *crying baby noise*

Two: one story is completely irrelevant to the Lunar characters. It’s a retelling of The Little Mermaid. At first, both Lauren and I excitedly expected a story about Iko. But it turned into a story that didn’t make a lot of sense. Nice concept, but…we had a lot of holes to pick, sorry. ^^;;

Anyway. We both agreed that we would buy anything else set in the Lunar Chronicles canon immediately and without question, including beautifully illustrated editions like the Harry Potter reprints. Hint, hint.

Lauren

Stars Above, definition:

  1. A splendid book by Marissa Meyer
  2. An expression of exasperation at how long it has taken Lauren to write her review

The time it has taken us to review this book might suggest we weren’t that into it.  But we were very much into it, very much indeed. In fact, I was sat on a worryingly damp seat on a rather pungent and very noisy underground train next to a man who was consuming bodily solids from his nostrils (he was), and I was actually ANNOYED to have to get off at my stop because it would mean I’d have to stop reading. If that isn’t a recommendation for this book, I don’t know what is.

My favourite was Wolf’s story, The Queen’s Army (that’s the one I was reading when I didn’t want to get off the train). It was so tense, and I had forgotten that the Wolf we read about in Scarlet doesn’t get on with his brother and suddenly remembered and realised we were going to find out why.

It was so long ago that I read it I don’t have anything detailed to say other than I loved it, I didn’t really understand the should-have-been-IKO story, and if there was another book of back stories, I would definitely read it. But, next up we’re making a start on Devil in the Device, the follow up to The Goddess In the Machine. Let’s hope we ship it.

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