Welcome to Book Reviews. In this series I will look to review any canon books that come out in the Star Wars galaxy. I am no expert in book critic or expert in writing (as you may be able to tell), so this is very much from a fan’s point of view. I will generally try to give a quick idea of what the story is about but avoid any spoilers. In each review, I will also try to point out a few “Moments in Canon” – moments that link into the wider canon and references to other canon stories – and also give my opinion if it is worth reading. Today I will be looking at Rae Carson’s Most Wanted.
Set around a year before the opening of Solo: A Star Wars Story, this young-adult novel tells the story of how a mission for Lady Proxima that goes wrong leads Han and Qi’ra to get to know each other and become close while working for the White Worms.
“Your plan is going to work,” Han assured her.
He really hoped her plan was going to work.
The story is shown from the point of view of both Han and Qi’ra, allowing us to see how their thoughts and feelings change as they get deeper into their mission and go from rivals to friends.
As someone who enjoyed the characters of Han and Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story there was plenty I found familiar in the characters here. Han has that brash confidence and big mouth, but he also has the ability to improvise and get him and his friends out of a bad situation. Qi’ra meanwhile is much more analytical and a great planner and while she initially seems quite haughty, she mellows and comes to appreciate what her friends bring to the table. The third main character in this story is Tsuulo, who again brings his own benefits to the group due to his technical ability, and while he is initially almost being dragged along by the other 2, he becomes an important and willing part of the trio in his own right.
Han always trusted his instincts. They’d kept him alive more than once.
I really enjoy how these characters see their motivations and opinions change as the story goes on. Not only do they appreciate each other more and start to see each other as a team rather than rivals, Qi’ra is forced to realise that the White Worms and Lady Proxima may not be the good life it initially seems, while Han gets his love of space when leaving Corellia for the first time – I loved how he initially wanted to be a street racer and this experience effectively upgrades his dream to become a pilot instead and see the galaxy.
In terms of the story, I really enjoyed it. While it did not have galactic stakes as large as many of the books (although as Han and Qi’ra’s lives were at stake I’m sure they would disagree at the lack of stakes), I felt that this story did a great job of feeling like a story in the criminal underworld, which at its heart it is. The work of Han to develop contacts around Coronet City to help him leave the White Worms – Tool may have been my favourite character introduced in this story and would have likely made my Top 10 Droids list had I read this story at the time – ends up being critical as it helps him survive when things initially go wrong and the burgeoning friendship and teamwork between him, Qi’ra and Tsuulo in an environment they know well make sense that they could have success despite going up against the Kaldana Syndicate, the White Worms and the Empire. I enjoyed the motivations of each different faction, including the enmity between the Droid Gotra and Kaldana Syndicate, while the introduction of The Engineer was a great way to progress the story while also bring in tension among the group as Qi’ra is tempted to go with her.
There were billions of stars there, maybe more, and he wanted to see them all.
While looking back a lot of the plot makes sense in how it plays out, I never felt while reading that could fully predict what would happen next, other than knowing Han and Qi’ra would survive given the story’s place in the timeline.
I liked the tone of the book as, due to the characters being in their teens, it did not feel too young for an older reader like myself, while also not being too heavy for younger readers.
As a fan of Han Solo (both the Harrison Ford and Alden Ehrenreich versions), this story gets a thumbs up from me!
Should I Read It?
Cause was just a fancy word for war, and war always got people killed, often innocent people.
If you enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story and that portrayal of Han, then I think you will enjoy this book. However as there is very little beyond the story of Han and Qi’ra, you can probably consider this one to miss if you were not a fan of that film or their characters.
Moments in Canon
- The Silo, which Lady Proxima mentions Qi’ra was rescued from, is revealed to be a work camp filled with orphans and ran by some of the nastiest people on Corellia
- Han goes into space for the first time
- The White Worms use humans for above ground work as it is cheaper than getting enviro-suits for all of the Grindalid members
- The White Worms are shown to be financially inferior to both the Droid Gotra and Kaldana Syndicate
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it? Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…