Monday, April 11, 2016

Stars Above

by Marissa Meyer

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Short stories starring the delightful ensemble of characters you loved from the Lunar Chronicles (CinderScarletCress, and Winter).
  • Backstory! Alternative viewpoints! Weddings!

And Why You Might Not:
  • You've got to be a fan of the Lunar Chronicles to enjoy this. For the most part, there's no point without that, I think.
  • I think most stories could be more tightly written, in terms of view point and theme. I find this quite essential in short stories, so if you do too, you might not enjoy these.

Thoughts: I think it's cool that books like this can exist. That the extra scenes that really don't fit in the books themselves can still be read by the fans who would love them, and not just cut out forever--wasted and tragic. Basically, it's like having a lovely and official author-written fanfiction collection. I love it, and I wish more people did that sort of thing.

But I didn't actually enjoy the stories themselves much. I'm not sure if it's because my tastes have changes recently (which I think they have, although that much?), or because they were mostly about characters I was less interested in (though that didn't seem to bother me too much with Cinder), or because I wasn't in the right mood (always a possibility), or because they weren't actually that well written (though they don't seem that different than the main series).
Maybe it's just that the style was not to my taste--I know that I like short stories that are pointed and impactful. These were more...meandering, for the most part. They might switch viewpoints several times, which I could tolerate (though not always enjoy) in the novels, but disliked here. Or they might be about a wedding, from one person's point of view, but with more emphasis on catching up on all the characters than any particular theme. (This was the most fanfiction-like story of all of them.)

I like to think that it's because of these reasons, and not only because I'm terribly biased towards "Captain" Thorne, that "Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky" was my favourite story. There was a pretty consistent theme and focus from the title to the last sentence. (Note: I think "The Little Android" had some of these attributes too, but it annoyed me in it's fuzziness in AI sentience development.)

So basically: huge fans of the series will love it, I didn't because I'm not a big enough fan and the style bored me.

Grade: 2 stars

If You Like This, You Might Also Like:
  • I think people should read more original fairytales. Plus these stories (and the series in general) are based off a delightful mix of the Disney version and the generally weird or tragic originals. Try Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book, The Red Fairy Book, etc. (all the colours).
  • Gratuitous Epilogue by Andrea K. Höst. In case anyone who read the Touchstone trilogy (awesome series) didn't know about it. The last story, "Something Old, Something New" reminded me of it in it's wedding and character-catch-up and general fluffiness.

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