Second time through! This is a collection of short stories to fill in the backstory of each of the main characters. They were all good, though this time through I just re-listened to the last two short stories: “The Mechanic,” a retelling of Cinder and Kai’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective (which was sooo sweet!), and “Stars Above,” the epilogue short story that wraps up what happens to each of them after the end of “Winter.” I have to say, while most stories just end right after the resolution of the main conflict, when you invest so much into a set of characters, you really want that epilogue, even if it doesn’t contain any conflict. This one didn’t, exactly–there was a bit of minor conflict, since it was Scarlet and Wolf’s wedding and due to their fame, it attracted the paparazzi. The conflict was how to give them the wedding of their dreams, even if it required a bit of improvisation. But I was grinning the entire time… SUCH a satisfying ending. I had been a little disappointed that (spoiler alert!) when Kai sort of semi-proposed to Cinder at the end of “Winter,” she put him off like she wasn’t ready yet. Even though she was 16 and clearly that’s a little young for marriage, so it was appropriate for her to do so… I am SO glad that we got that moment at the end of “Stars Above”! This was the true fairy tale, happily-ever-after that the entire series has led us to crave. And the peasants rejoice!
My rating: **** 1/2