The Search for WondLa Book Review

The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

Eva Nine lives in an underground Sanctuary with her caregiver robot, Muthr. Eva dreams of being able to go outside, to search for other humans. When an invader destroys her home and Eva is forced to escape, she finds that the world is nothing like she was taught, and the search for others like herself will lead her into situations far more dangerous than any of Muthr's training sessions.

I have to admit that sometimes I do judge books by their covers, and when I saw this cover I was so sure that it was a fantasy with talking animals so I avoided it, for talking animals are definitely not my favorite element in any kind of book. So you should have seen the look on my face when I realized this was in fact a middle grade dystopian sci-fi, one of my absolute all-time favorite genres. I was even more surprised to discover how absolutely fabulous it is.

Eva Nine is wonderfully drawn character, both literally and figuratively. Her wonder and vulnerability mixed with her deep loneliness and desperate need to have a family makes her an endearing and enduring character. The world building here is brilliant, another planet where trees walk, whales fly, and beings with technology seek out animals and artifacts for their museums. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and if there is ever a moment where the reader is unclear as to what a character looks like, they are quickly revealed.

Tony DiTerlizzi does have a bit of a adjective obsession, sometimes spending a bit more time with his descriptions than I prefer, but it is a small thing in an otherwise wonderful sci-fi.