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Not So Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder

Rae Carson’s Most Wanted is a prequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story that gives a little backstory to the movie.

Not So Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder

BOOK REPORT for Most Wanted by Rae Carson

Cover Story: Movie Poster
BFF Charms: Eventually, Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: A Star War
Bonus Factor: Star Wars
Factor: Solo
Relationship Status: Fling

Cover Story: Movie Poster

This is definitely a movie tie-in cover, but I appreciate that the cover designer tried to make it a little more artistic than your standard poster repackage.

The Deal:

Han and Qi’ra are two of the best and brightest White Worms—an underground crime syndicate run by the vicious Lady Proxima—who just so happen to be vying for the same job. When Lady Proxima gives them both separate secret missions, they’re not entirely surprised to find that they’re connected when both go sideways, and they end up on the run together.

The two must put their talents and street smarts to good use, and their mistrust of each other aside, to figure out how to get out of a giant mess that wasn’t entirely of their own making.

BFF Charm: Eventually, Meh

Although I found Han kind of meh in Most Wanted, knowing who he grows up to be totally tainted my opinion of him. Young Han is sweet, and there are shades of the scruffy looking nerf herder we all know and love, but he was much more innocent and naive than I would have expected. He needs a few more life experiences behind him to make him that snarky, overly confident, “bad guy” with the heart of gold.

I found Most Wanted’s Qi’ra more engaging than the one we met in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and getting to know her through her POV made her a more well-rounded character. But she still doesn’t interest me all that much; although we got some, Carson didn’t give us enough of her backstory or her reasons for doing/thinking the way she did to make her feel more than a means to an end.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

I don’t know how much time there is in between Most Wanted and Solo: A Star Wars Story, but it cemented my belief that there wasn’t really a romantic relationship between Han and Qi’ra; that the relationship, and the feelings, were maybe more in Han’s head. Although the two each have “there’s something there that wasn’t there before” moments, it feels forced.

Talky Talk: A Star War

Most Wanted is a prequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story that gives backstory to the relationship between Han Solo and Qi’ra, and explains a bit more about Han Solo’s young adulthood. But although the story was fun, it didn’t feel like I was reading a story about Han Solo; rather, it felt like a book about a random, non-movie Star Wars character. (And my enjoyment of the book was tainted by my feelings about the movie; more on that below.)

I honestly think I would have liked it better had the book been an extension of the universe in the eyes of a secondary or previously unknown character; it would have been a great look at Han’s childhood home and created a good amount of world building for Han without actually having to involve him.

Bonus Factor: Star Wars

Since I was an actual YA, I’ve loved reading the books that expand the Star Wars universe. I just can’t get enough of the 'verse, and I love learning more about the people and worlds we only get brief glimpses of in the franchise’s movies.

Factor: Solo

As much as I wanted to be, I wasn’t really a fan of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and my biggest complaint was Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of one of my favorite characters of all time.* Having seen the movie before reading Most Wanted, I couldn’t get his look or voice out of my head, which tainted the story slightly.

*Happy to chat about this in the comments. I had an, uh, unusual reaction to his portrayal that kind of ruined my film experience and, in turn, my book enjoyment.

Relationship Status: Fling

We had an exciting time of things, Book, but I’m not sure we’re compatible for the long run. Plus, I know your future, and you’ve got a lot to look forward to—with or without me.

Literary Matchmaking:

  

● If you’re itching to know more about other Star Wars characters when they were actual YAs, you can get to know teenage Leia in Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray.

● Want to read more about scoundrels participating in heists (and sometimes running for their lives)? Check out Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and the sequel Crooked Kingdom.

● And if you—like me—are interested in reading more from the Star Wars universe but don’t need the book to include the Big Names, try Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars.

 

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book with my own money, and got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Most Wanted is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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