AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Most Wanted
Set before 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', here we meet Han and Qi'ra as teenagers struggling to survive amid Corellia's criminal underworld. Rivals for advancement within the White Worm gang, Han and Qi'ra are forced to work together when the mission they are both sent on goes horribly awry. With help from the Rodian Tsuulo, the three of them slowly learned the benefits of having true friends as they evade vicious pirates, rival gangs and the Empire itself.
I didn't like the movie 'Solo', which for me was an absolute car-crash of poor storytelling decisions (the worst of which was that Han gets assigned his iconic surname whilst filling out a form) and just an overall sense of boring predictability. As such I was reluctant to read this tie-in YA novel but, since its set before all of the stupid plot points featured in the film, I nevertheless decided to give it a go. It turned out to be pretty enjoyable, in a way that the movie failed to.
What makes this book is the alternating POV of the two main characters, which allows us to really get a sense of not only how they each operate but also what their core values are. Han is a master of improvisation and uses his charisma to make friends and useful contacts wherever he goes. Qi'ra on the other hand is a consummate planner and has a great eye for details and an appreciation of the finer things in life. As they go from wary rivals to reluctant allies to firm friends we get a strong sense of the impending tragedy of their relationship due to the fact that Han is far more open and seeking only freedom, whilst Qi'ra is more guarded and always looking for what gives her a practical advantage. For all that I didn't like 'Solo', I can at least now say that I have a much better sense of the two main characters than I did before (although my bible for Han's early adventures will always be A. C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy).
This isn't an epic Star Wars novel but it is an enjoyable underworld adventure and, as far as I'm concerned, far outstrips the lacklustre movie it ties-into. Also, as an old EU fan, I'm happy that this book doesn't trample the old continuity beyond my ability to reconcile.
4 out of 5