Title: The Search for Wondla
Author: Tony DiTerizzi
Publication Date: September 21st, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“Welcome to the real world, Mother Robot, a beautiful and dangerous place. Now you can truly begin to live.”
Eva Nine is a curious and sensitive twelve-year-old who has existed only in a subterranean home called Sanctuary, cared for by a robot named Muthr. Eva’s great desire is to go above ground, and her wish comes true, though not as she had imagined. On the surface, Eva goes in search of other humans–she has never met one–and soon meets both friend and foe.
I was completely engrossed in this book from the start. The characters, the world, the illustrations – all had me wanting to know and explore more.
The Search for Wondla is about a young human girl, Eva Nine, who is 12 years old and has been brought up in an underground sanctuary by her robot mother. She has never seen another human and knows nothing of the outside world and its beauty and dangers. Eva Nine’s house goes under siege by a a large monster-like hunter and everything she knows is destroyed. She must make her way in a new world and find where she came from and maybe make some interesting friends along the way.
I just loved this book. The first book is all about world-building and discovering this strange and mysterious land. Everything is new and dangerous. This book felt like Wizard of Oz meets Star Wars. My little fan girl heart was pretty pumped from the start really. This book is mainly a fantasy and adventure story mixed in with a few science-fiction elements. The genres mesh really well together and the the story was a fast quick read.
I think the strongest element this book has going for it is the detail to the world building. You feel like you are discovering everything right along with Eva Nine. You can feel the wonderment and fear as she’s figuring it out herself. I was 100% along for the journey with her. I loved Otto, the water bear – he was so sweet. I wouldn’t say he was deep character with all kinds of layers to discover but it was kind of nice that he was simple and safe. Another character we meet is named Rovee, he really wasn’t fleshed out at all till the end so he kind of seems to just be there for awhile to play the grumpy side character. By the end though, I felt like I knew him and his motivations and he became much more three dimensional for me overall. I think in the next book we will really see this character develop. Muther, the robot, was a pretty interesting character. I loved the idea of a robot trying to work through emotions and information, despite what her programming was telling
them. I wish they would’ve taken her storyline a little further, there was a ton of potential there. I know the book was already almost 500 pages, but I really think she could’ve used some more fleshing out. Eva Nine was a relatable and likable protagonist. I think most people will enjoy her character and she still has lots of room for growth. The villain of the story was a hunter named Beestal, he was alright. I thought he was going to be really scary because when we first meet him, he really seems to have no conscience. I found him to be a little one-dimensional in the end though and pretty much everyone else in the story interested me more.
I can’t talk about this book without talking about Tony DiTerrlizzi’s beautiful illustrations. They are through-out the book and they add such a wonderful element to the reading experience. You get to look at the author’s creations through their eyes and I was very happy for it. I wish more books would do this.
This book was’t flawless but I’m rating it five stars on pure enjoyment. I will be finishing the series. This book is very family friendly – would be a great book to read to any child probably about eight and over. I highly recommend this book and this is one where it really is worth the price of a hardcover – just for how nice it looks with the illustrations.