Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Hero for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

Premise: Eva Nine and Rovender Kitt have finally made it to the human village. However, as Rovender suspected, things are not quite as utopian as they seem. The leader of the humans, Cadmus Pryde, is secretly building an army of robots!

Title: A Hero for WondLa
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi
Length: 437 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Book 2 in the WondLa trilogy
Content appropriate for: Grades 4-10

3 adjectives that describe this book: complex, adventurous, intense

This sequel refuses to stay in any pre-established genre box. Where book 1, The Search for WondLa, was pretty firmly in the "adventures on another planet" category, this book flirts with dystopia, alien battles, and creepy spiritual creatures. Somehow, Tony DiTerlizzi makes all of these pieces fit together seamlessly.

I really enjoyed how the story of Eva Nine has grown more complex. Eva's character is really evolving and her world has grown from the tiny Sanctuary to a world of dangerous inter-species politics. At first I thought DiTerlizzi was going to spend most of the book in the human city of New Attica and that it would take a while for Eva to see that something's not right. That would have been okay (dystopian future cities are awfully interesting), but I was worried that it would be too slow. Luckily DiTerlizzi gets us through this portion of the story quickly, while managing to build a satisfyingly disturbing "utopia." The pacing was perfect and the technology was intriguing and creepy.

The real focus of the series continues to be Eva's growth. Though some of the new characters, Hailey and Eight, really irritated me, Eva remained true and strong. One of my pet peeves is when female protagonists hit the whiny stage (usually in book 2). While Eva had a short period of trying to "fit in," it didn't last long and the experience just made her stronger.

Once again, the artwork is fantastic. Here are a few teaser shots:

I'm anxious to see how DiTerlizzi concludes this trilogy, especially now that he's introduced some pseudo-magical powers and a god-like Mother Nature creature.

Our review of Book 1, The Search for WondLa, is here. And don't forget to visit to find out more about the trilogy, see more incredible illustrations, and enjoy interactive offerings.

4 stars

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