Reviews for Search for Wondla


Booklist Reviews 2010 September #1
"Eva Nine has lived all her 12 years in an underground bunker, tended by a robot named Muthr and entirely unaware of the world outside. She finally gets her chance to see that world when she flees a fierce hunter beast looking to capture her for display in his Queen's museum. Drawing on classic otherworlds from Oz to Tatooine, DiTerlizzi imagines a dizzying array of fantastical creatures: walking, bird-chomping trees; enormous hopping water bears; and terrible, stabbing praying-mantis thingies, to name a few. The story mostly involves Eva coming face-to-face with them much as the reader does, with complete unfamiliarity and wonderment. DiTerlizzi packs the book full of handsome, dual-toned artwork that will help readers visualize some of the more complicated imagery, and a companion Web site makes use of a computer's webcam and augmented reality technology to create one of the niftier online experiences in the growing ranks of multiplatform books. Readers paying attention won't be too shocked by the final twist, but there are still plenty of unanswered questions for the next book." Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
After the destruction of her mechanized Sanctuary, robot-reared Eva Nine searches for other humans. Gray-green geometric illustrations are effective in supporting the story of Eva's quest, putting plenty of emotion into her eyes. A cliffhanger ending may heighten readers' anticipation of future installments. In the meantime, they can interact online with "Augmented Reality" maps of Eva's journey. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 August #2
What's the difference between an absorbing adventure and a disappointing effort? Since it's in the mind of the reader, some may welcome DiTerlizzi's latest with open arms. Others will be frustrated that awkward word choices, inconsistent voice, lengthy descriptions and a heavy-handed environmental agenda obscure the author's usually inventive imagination and squander the appeal of the frankly beautiful, carefully designed illustrations. All of the elements for a fascinating tale are here: the solitary child, Eva Nine, apparently the only human in the world; trusty companions (Eva's robot Muthr, Rovender Kitt, an alien blue creature who is utterly charming but decidedly adult in his concerns and back story, and Otto, an animal who communicates telepathically with Eva); a quest (to search for other signs of human life and discover the meaning of a mysterious scrap of paper); and, of course, a brutish villain, Besteel, who threatens them all with capture and death. Unfortunately, while the sprawling plot offers plenty of action, stilted language distances readers, the final reveal is utterly clichéd and the shameless cliffhanger is more likely to exasperate than entice. (Science fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 August #4

Spiderwick Chronicles coauthor DiTerlizzi introduces 12-year-old Eva Nine, who lives centuries in the future and is trying to discover whether she is the last human being on an alien world, in this series launch. After a hunter forces her out of Sanctuary--where she's been raised by a robot, Muthr--she finds a hostile world like nothing she has learned about or trained for. She makes friends, including a wanderer named Rovender and a telepathic "water horse" she calls Otto, but also finds unexpected enemies. While there is less imaginative variety than in the Spiderwick books, and the world does not seem as fully envisioned, there is still wonder aplenty in this tense, chase-filled journey to engage young readers, plus twists for adult fans of Twilight Zone-styled stories. The bond between Eva and her friends is well drawn, and Otto, happily, is more than just a human in alien form. DiTerlizzi's evocative, detailed pen illustrations (not all seen by PW), which have a retro Star Wars vibe, and interactive maps online, unlocked via Augmented Reality, contribute to a sense of adventure as Eva dives into the unknown. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 August

Gr 5-8--Twelve-year-old Eva Nine is being raised by Muthr, a pale blue robot who is loving and maternal (she speaks in the sweet, unflappable tones of a 1950s sit-com mom), in an underground home on the planet Orbona. When a marauder destroys her home, she leaves Sanctuary in a quest to find other humans like herself. Aboveground she finds a fantastic and frightening world populated by malevolent wandering trees, a giant beast who is pursuing her, nasty sand-snipers, and more. With the aid of Rovender, a lanky blue creature with backward-bending knees, and Otto, a giant water bear with whom she can communicate telepathically, Eva faces many dangers, including capture by a taxidermist who wants to skin her in order to create a living fossil for display. This first book in the series concludes with her arrival at her destination in the ancient city of ruins. The abundant illustrations, drawn in a flat, two-tone style, are lush and enhance readers' understanding of this unique universe. In addition, augmented reality is used in three places. By holding up the page from the book to a webcam, an interactive map appears on the screen. Readers can watch as the landscape where Eva Nine is traveling unfolds. DiTerlizzi is pushing the envelope in his latest work, nearly creating a new format that combines a traditional novel with a graphic novel and with the interactivity of the computer. Yet, beneath this impressive package lies a theme readers will easily relate to: the need to belong, to connect, to figure out one's place in the world. The novel's ending is a stunning shocker that will leave kids frantically awaiting the next installment.--Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

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