About the Book

Title: Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5)
Published: 2016

Cover Story: Crowning Glory
The Best: “Something Old, Something New”
The Saddest: “The Little Android,” “After Sunshine Passes By”
The Meatiest: “The Princess and the Guard”
Bonus Factor: Old Friends
Break Glass In Case Of: Nostalgia, Case of the Mondays

Danger, Will Robinson! Stars Above is a collection of short stories set in the Lunar Chronicles universe. If you have not read the main series–CinderScarletCressFairest and Winter—you might want to turn away now. There won’t be major spoilers in this review, but you probably won’t appreciate these stories if you aren’t familiar with the rest of the series.

Cover Story: Crowning Glory

I’m not entirely sure who’s crown this is supposed to be, but it’s pretty—and the cover certainly goes nicely with the rest of the series.

The Deal:

Stars Above is a collection of nine short stories expanding on the characters and the universe of the Lunar Chronicles series. Six of the stories are prequels that give readers a glimpse into the early lives of most of the series’ the main characters, one shows a first meeting through Kai’s eyes, one is series-adjacent, and one is an epilogue about a wedding.

The Best: “Something Old, Something New”

The only story in the book that takes place post-Winter, “Something Old, Something New” tells of the first time Cinder and the rest of the gang—Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Winter, Jacin and Iko—have gotten together in a couple of years. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling as I read it, and as the characters I love so much caught up with each other. And although the wedding in the story might not be the one a lot of us were expecting, it was absolutely adorable.

The Saddest: “The Little Android,” “After Sunshine Passes By”

“The Little Android” is the only story in the bunch that doesn’t feature any of the series’ known characters. It’s, obviously, based on the tale of The Little Mermaid, but it doesn’t have a very happy ending (unlike the Disney version). It’s an interesting look at the world outside of the main series plotline, however.

“After Sunshine Passes By” tells the tale of how Cress came to be in the satellite the crew finds her in. It’s hard to read about such a sweet soul being manipulated and used, particularly when it happens at such a young age.

The Meatiest: “The Princess and the Guard”

Most of the stories in Stars Above are quite brief, and only give small glimpses into the early lives of the characters they’re about. “The Princess and the Guard,” however, is quite a bit longer, and gives more insight into the relationships of the characters it’s about. (Which is good, considering it’s about Winter and Jacin, and they were the last two to be introduced, meaning there wasn’t much time to focus on them.)

Bonus Factor: Old Friends

While reading Winter, I dreaded the series coming to an end, mostly because I feared how much I’d miss reading about the characters and their adventures. True, Stars Above is 90% prequel and 10% epilogue, meaning that we get to know more about the characters’ pasts than their “presents,” but I couldn’t help but love spending bonus time with them.

Break Glass In Case Of: Nostalgia, Case of the Mondays

Reading most of the stories in Stars Above felt like revisiting memories. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be pulling out “Something Old, Something New” frequently when I’m in need of a smile.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a manuscript of this book from Feiwel & Friends, and then bought a copy with my own money (so that I could have a complete set of hardcovers). I got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Stars Above is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.