Forget Dystopian, the Future is a Fairytale

Stars Above is a collection of short companion stories to The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Let me preface my review of this book by a review of the original series itself, focusing on the first book of the series in order to avoid spoilers.

Marissa Meyer outdid herself with this futuristic fairytale world. The first installment of the YA series, Cinder, immediately hooked me with its main character, derivative of course of Cinderella, and the future world she inhabits. Cinder is a cyborg, a part machine-part human young woman who also happens to be the best mechanic in the whole country (New Beijing). Cinder is a strong young woman, who is good at her job, a job which might, in today’s society, be classified as masculine. However, in this futuristic world such gender stereotypes have apparently disappeared, and while it is still a patriarchal society, Cinder is not at all discriminated against because of her gender. But she does still face discrimination on account of her being a cyborg. Her job eventually leads her into an adventure as she embarks on a quest to save Earth from a crazy, power-hungry lunar queen, and a global pandemic.

The second installment, Scarlet, features a spunky farm-girl—derivative of Little Red Riding Hood—and there is of course, a wolf or two involved. And naturally, Scarlet eventually teams up with Cinder on their quest.

The third book, Cress, debuts a Rapunzel-like young woman who lives in a satellite and works for the evil moon queen. As she joins the team, this fairytale mashup only gets more interesting.

To finish off the series Winter (in Winter), the step-daughter of the evil queen, joins up with Cinder and the gang in an epic finale.

Overall, I felt this was a refreshing YA series—futuristic but not dystopian (thank goodness). The characters were all a bit idealistic, lovable, and unique. By the end of the first book I’d fallen in love with Cinder, Iko, and Prince Kai. And while I love all of the books, my favorites are as follows: 1.Scarlet 2.Winter 3.Cinder 4.Cress. I should also note that Meyers published another side novel called Fairest that focused on the evil queen’s perspective. While Meyers did an excellent job and I would unreservedly recommend it, I will not be reviewing this novel in this post.

Now we get to Stars Above, the most recent addition to the series. This book is a compilation of short stories that illuminate different aspects of the main characters. While I do not normally care for many short stories, this book blew me away. Surprisingly I could not put it down. Each short story left me wanting more. Meyer’s writing is simple, and yet draws the reader in easily. This is an excellent read for all of The Lunar Chronicles fans out there. (Note: if you haven’t yet read any of the other books yet, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one).