Sunday, October 7, 2012

MG Book Review: The Search for WondLa, by Tony DiTerlizzi

General Information
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Year of publication:  2010
# of chapters:  42
# of pages:  477
Genre: Science Fiction
Next book in the series:  A Hero for WondLa (2012)

Plot summary (from website):
When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-old girl is forced to flee above ground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist, because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.” Tony DiTerlizzi honors traditional children’s literature in this totally original space age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child’s wish for a place to belong.

Positive Points
The author, Tony DiTerlizzi, is also the co-author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, which I enjoyed reading very much. From the start, I knew I was reading a talented writer, and it made it easier for me to get into the story. I love his writing style. I could just sit back and enjoy the book, knowing it was well-written.

This book has everything a good sci-fi book should have: aliens, robots, flying vessels, high tech devices, ... And it's written in a way young readers (and non-sci-fi readers like me) can easily understand. It also has enough similarities with our world to be able to relate with it.

The characters are unique and well-developed. My favorite is Rovender Kitt. He speaks a different language, and I can't understand a word what he's saying, but his personality really comes through in the way he talks and acts. Luckily, his dialogue gets translated by a device at some point in the story, and is written in plain English from then on. Very well done. Other characters have heavy accents. I'm always nervous with strong accents or dialects, remembering how hard it was to read Gone With the Wind, but the author's way of showing their accents and intonations made it easy to read and understand.

Negative Points
I don't normally read sci-fi, and this book was long to read. 477 pages! I prefer shorter books. It took me forever to finish it. It's not really a negative point in itself, because the story was engaging and kept me interested from beginning to end, and I understand that sci-fi and fantasy books are normally longer than average. It's more a personal preference. If I had been a sci-fi fan, I would have been delighted it was so long. I couldn't find anything else negative to say. So I'm still giving this book a five-star rating.

What makes this book unique
Everything! The characters: a human child called Eva Nine; Muthr, a robot raising her; Rovender... hard to describe Rovender in a few words; a mind-reading giant pill bug; a villain with a loud humming weapon; and many others. The settings: Eva Nine's futurist station, including a holographic chamber; the planet she's exploring, which could be earth, but maybe not. The dialogues: Rovender's foreign language; Besteel's strong accent; Otto's thoughts transmitted to Eva Nine. The whole book was like nothing I've ever read before.

Overall Impression
Great read! I'm glad I've won that book on Akoss's blog. My thirteen-year-old son also enjoyed reading it. And now I want to read some parts again, to learn from this wonderful author's talent and apply it to my own writing.

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:

1 comment:

Akoss said...

I'm so happy you loved it. I have the second book on my xmas wish list. :)
And you are SO RIGHT about Rovender.

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