The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
The Search for Wondla (by Tony DiTerlizzi of Spiderwick Chronicles fame) originally drew my eye because of the lush, art-noveau-inspired illustrations throughout the book. All the pictures of wacky aliens remind one of the first editions of the Wizard of Oz series from the early 20th century. There’s a good reason for that, but I won’t spoil it for you.
The plot itself is decent enough. Our heroine is Eva Nine, an 11-year-old girl who’s been raised by a caretaker robot in an underground bunker all her life. The story gets off to a slow start because Muthr, the robot, is as dull as plain toast. Things get much better around pg. 68, after Eva has left her bunker and met her first cool-looking alien, Rovender Kitt.
Eva, Rovender, and Muthr set out on a quest to find more members of the human race. On the way they find all sorts of strange creatures that are definitely not human. It turns out there’s good reason Muthr’s so stodgy at the beginning. She has a lot of character development to do over the book. Rovender, too, has his depths. I don’t think DiTerlizzi fully captured Eva’s 11-year-old mind, though. There’s nothing exactly wrong, but Eva ain’t no Lyra Silvertongue.
The Search for WondLa isn’t going to change the face of YA lit as we know it, but it was an enjoyable read.