These two novellas made me think of what Stephenie Meyer was considering doing with Midnight Sun, or what I felt like Midnight Sun might have been like. So basically, in the THE PRINCE, scenes from the THE SELECTION are written from Maxon's point of view. There are complete sections of dialogue that were copies from THE SELECTION and then his thoughts and POV are given in place of America's. The same for THE GUARD. Same exact scenes from THE ELITE, only from Aspen's POV. There are some scenes thrown in that are new, but not really that many, in my opinion. Still a good read, but not really necessary to the story. I think more could have been done with THE PRINCE by revealing what more of his "dates" with the selected girls were like. I would have liked to have seen more of what he felt emotionally as he got to know the girls, especially with how much we see America struggle with her feelings for both Maxon and Aspen. Did Maxon struggle? With what and whom? We already know that in THE ELITE he makes out with Celeste, does he make out with anyone else and how does he go from that to putting pressure on America to make a choice? Is he really interested and in love with America? Or is she just an intriguing toy and something new and different to amuse him. And what of Maxon's politics. What small, quiet ways is he affecting his country? What does he want for the country?
I think THE GUARD pretty much reassures the reader that Aspen is 100% for America. He is committed to her and will love her, regardless of what she chooses. He has finally found his place, he enjoys being a guard, and serving the monarchy, even if he doesn't agree with the politics.