From the back cover:
Serah remembers everything from the day Cocoon fell. She remembers waking up from her long sleep and learning the truth of the crystal pillar that saved everyone. Most of all, she remembers her joyful reunion with Snow and Lightning - and setting out on a new journey with the two she loves most at her side.
So why isn’t that how it happened?
This novel is a collection of five short stories that take place between Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2. It also includes a quick guide at the beginning with pictures and brief summaries of the key figures and locations featured in these stories. Even still, these stories are meant to serve as a supplement to the story told in the games, so they feel incomplete on their own. Most of the stories focus on the efforts to rebuild and survive in the new world that was created from the fall of Cocoon. An entire short story is dedicated to the new politics that will be established in this new world. Another story focuses on a character’s tragic past, which you should already know if you have played the game before. I enjoyed the story that focuses on the events directly following the ending of the first game. I felt like too much was skipped when only playing the games, and this story added a lot of detail to a part I felt was rushed over before.
Overall, I’m not sure who this novel is intended for. I’m a big fan of the game, but felt like most of the stories didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Someone who hasn’t played the games can follow along thanks to the data logs at the beginning, but may not have much investment in the world and its characters. Perhaps this is intended for readers that have played Final Fantasy XIII, but have yet to play the sequel? This novel may help such a reader see if they want to continue the story and jump into the time-travelling sequel.