SYNOPSIS: A collection of short stories that tell of events prior to Cinder, Kia, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Winter, and Jacin coming together to defeat Queen Levana. Plus a special bonus wedding!
I now officially have no more Lunar Chronicles stories to read and that makes me very sad. However, this short story collection is everything that I wanted it to be (I even almost cried twice)! I’m just going to give a few thoughts on each short story one by one starting with Michelle and Scarlet Benoit’s story, “The Keeper”. I loved getting to see Granny Benoit in action because it confirmed that she really is an awesome lady. I enjoyed getting to see her and Scarlet interact some and it was nice to learn how she became known as a “crazy old lady” to the townsfolk. You can really see where all of Scarlet’s good qualities come from just by seeing Michelle interact with the people of her past and taking care of Princess Selene. The best part (in my opinion) was learning that she gave Selene her new name. It really helped to connect this woman we don’t get to know very long to everything that happened in the series.
The next story is a prequel to Cinder called “Glitches”. It tells of how Cinder came to live with the Linh family and it was the first story that I almost cried while reading. I loved that we got to see how Cinder became the person that she is in Cinder and it made me so happy to know that Peony loved her from the very beginning. I also felt that some of Pearl’s anger and bitterness towards Cinder got a little justified after reading this story, but not enough to where her actions were excusable. I really enjoyed getting to see the Linh family all together for one last time and you could really feel how much they loved each other. I also liked how Cinder’s feeling of otherness was acknowledged and how hard she tried to fit in. My favorite part was when she finished putting together Iko and they met for the first time!
The third story is “The Queen’s Army” and it’s about how Ze’ev became Wolf. I loved getting to see how Wolf became Alpha of his pack and just the overall training that went into Queen Levana’s elite task force. I also feel like I know Ran better as a character especially in comparison to his older brother. It was interesting to see Wolf’s thought process and his small acts of defiance that he never allowed to be taken away. I think the absolute best part is that Wolf has always had a capacity to love with his whole heart and that was something genetic modifications could never take away!
“Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky” is probably my favorite because it really just reinforces everything that I love about Thorne. I loved seeing a thirteen-year-old Thorne smooth talk his way out of trouble, but we also see glimpses of the kind-hearted, brave hero that he will grow up to be. My favorite (and also the most infuriating) thing about him is that he is incapable of seeing the good in himself and always manages to find a way to twist something good that he did into a selfish act. It was also interesting to see his family life because we don’t really get to see much of his life prior to him stealing the Rampion. I just love that it was always going to be a Rampion that he wanted and he was able to make his dreams come true.
Cress’s story “After Sunshine Passes” tells of how she ends up in the satellite. I love that Cress has always had a wild imagination and I love how she is able to create fun worlds for herself to inhabit while trying to make it into society. I love how she always thinks the best is about to happen even when it never has. It really reminded me of how much she grew over the course of her hero’s journey. It also reinforced how awful Sybil Mira is and I can’t believe that she said so many awful things to an eight-year-old girl! My favorite part was Cress’s tiny act of defiance by singing the song that has her name in it. Even though she wasn’t in a defiant place it really helped to show that one day she would be so so brave.
I’m a little sad that “The Princess and the Guard” didn’t have a Jacin POV, but I still enjoyed the story. I loved seeing Winter and Jacin grow up together and I loved that the story had a full circle story. It was also fascinating to learn about Winter’s Lunar gift. The only thing we know about her in the main stories is that she doesn’t use her gift and that made her go crazy, but I was surprised to learn that if she chose to use her gift then she probably would’ve been more powerful than Levana. I loved watching Winter choose kindness over manipulation and how she was constantly learning. I think the running theme in all these short stories are small acts of defiance leading all our heroes to become the people they are at the time of the revolution and I love that Winter continuously defied Levana even when it brought harm to herself. My favorite part was anytime Jacin comforted Winter because it’s ridiculous how they both never realized that the other one was in love with them!
“The Little Android” is a retelling of The Little Mermaid and it is important to note that it is the original Hans Christian Anderson tale and not the Disney version so it is very sad! As always I enjoyed how Meyer takes the key elements of the fairy tale and also disguises them into this science fiction world. I loved how Mech6.0 (later Star) was always questioning her emotions and how what she wanted even more than the love of Dataran was to see the stars up close. I also enjoyed that Cinder has a little cameo! It was also cool that the girl that Dataran was really in love with, Miko, was able to connect with Star because I don’t remember the Little Mermaid and the prince’s true love ever interacting in the original tale. Miko was such a sweet and thoughtful character and I loved how she befriended Star. I also like how Star would feel jealous, but thought it was wrong of her to have such feelings and never really acted on them. This is yet another wonderful retelling!
“The Mechanic” is Cinder and Kai’s first meeting from Kai’s POV. I love how it wasn’t really love at first sight, but both of them realized that their relationship was going to be important from the first meeting. I also enjoyed how both of them slightly misread the other’s expressions (they really are meant to be). I feel like this story didn’t really add much to what we already know about Kai and his character, but it was fun to see what he thought of Cinder when he first saw her!
“Something Old, Something New” is the second story that almost made me cry because the wedding was so perfect! I loved how everyone came together to make this moment special and how everyone had a specific job to do. Even Jacin enjoyed himself (and apparently he is great at flower arrangement)! I love how even though they no longer spend 24/7 on the Rampion together when they all gather it’s like nothing changed at all. I love how we got to see small changes since the end of Winter, but at the same time they are still the friends I came to love. It was everything that I wanted when I heard that there was going to be a wedding. Perfection, perfection, perfection!
This is just a great collection of stories and if you haven’t read them yet and you love The Lunar Chronicles you really should!