Most Wanted – Rae Carson

Synopsis: Set before the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story! Han and Qi’ra don’t have a lot in common other than not having a lot. They’re street kids on the industrial planet Corellia, doing whatever it takes to get by, dreaming of something more. They each jump at a chance to prove themselves in the perilous world of Corellia’s criminal underbelly, only to discover they are on the same mission for the same unscrupulous boss. When the job goes disastrously wrong, Han and Qi’ra are on the run–from pirates, a droid crime syndicate, the Empire, and their boss–and will have to learn to trust each other if they are going to survive.

“Han was in space. He could hardly believe it. He’d always thought it would be dark and black. Instead it was as bright as day, and he could see everything from the hull of the shuttle to Qi’ra’s face to Corellia’s nearest moon in bright relief and perfect detail. The planet grew distant, becoming a tiny shining dot. Unlike the planet, the sun Corell didn’t seem any smaller from here, just whiter. Maybe brighter. Space, it turned out, was huge. A man could have a lot of room all to himself out here.” 

Most Wanted takes place shortly before the standalone film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is Qi’ra & Han’s backstory, which further expands upon their relationship. It adds some much-needed depth into their dynamic, before setting up where we find them in Solo. Although, I was expecting more of their romance & not just how they became friends. If I’m looking at the timeline (& I am) they didn’t actually know each other for long before Solo. I guess that surprises me more than anything, because I had assumed they had known one another for years. It felt like they did in the movie!

Han & Qi’ra live in the sewers of Corellia & are both in contention for a promotion within the White Worms, Lady Proxima’s gang. Along with Tsuulo & Rebolt, they have the best chance of getting promoted to Head. Lady Proxima sends Han & Qi’ra on different assignments, with the promise that whoever completes their respective task will gain the title of Head of the White Worms. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned in Star Wars & they end up on the run. With a data cube. Dodging certain death. Because why not!

“When you had nothing, your secrets were everything.”

Most Wanted enhances the story of Solo, but it falls a bit short in the overall execution for me. The prose was somewhat janky, the dialogue felt *quite* young at times & although there is a ton of action throughout this, it was lacking excitement. This had a similar vibe to Lost Stars, but the emotional impact was desperately missing for me. I did enjoy the world-building. It was interesting to see the underworld of Corellia & just how rough the streets were that Han grew up on.

I liked it, didn’t love it.

Solo the movie, however? That I loved. FIGHT ME!!

-Holly

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