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A Hero for WondLa

Review

A Hero for WondLa

When readers left Eva Nine, the intrepid heroine of Tony DiTerlizzi’s action-packed novel THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA, she had just laid eyes on another human for the first time. This fast-paced sequel begins with her and the young pilot, Hailey Turner, heading for the city of New Attica where Eva hopes she will finally live happily among her own kind. 

"Of course, A HERO FOR WONDLA is full of DiTerlizzi’s dreamy comic-esque drawings, which provide compelling visuals of the story’s strange characters.... this is a fun and dynamic read that will leave readers clamoring for more of Eva Nine as she tries to save the inhabitants of a planet that is never quite what it seems and find a place for herself in the world."

It should come as no surprise to those familiar with Eva’s story that her arrival in New Attica is dramatic and dangerous. The city is bustling with energy and humans, but after she is separated from her companion and protector, the blue-skinned and faithful Cærulean alien Rovender Kitt, she notices that humans are the only ones in the city. At first, she is too charmed to pay much attention to the lack of diversity. She immediately draws the attention of the smooth-talking leader, Cadmus Pryde, and his silly daughter, Gen. She tries hard to fit in with Gen and her friends, but intuitively realizes that something is wrong in New Attica. With the prophecy of a soothsayer still in her head, she begins to trust her instincts and question the intentions of Cadmus and the life she would lead there.

Eva’s decision not to do as the New Atticans would have her do begins a frantic and exciting race to help prevent war and destruction as Cadmus prepares to march against innocent and peaceful settlements on their shared planet Orbona. Rovender and the giant water bear Otto are still by her side, but Eva is not sure she can trust Hailey ever again. And, even as she mourns the loss of Muthr, the robot who raised her for the first 12 years of her life, she meets her biological sister, Eva Eight, and must wrestle with the conflicting feelings their reunion generates.

As the story unfolds, we learn more and more about Eva: her history, the history of humans on Orbona, and the role she is to play in the future of the planet. She encounters creatures helpful and dangerous, and must balance her desire for human companionship with the innate morals she holds dear. Along the way, her friendship with Rovender becomes deeper, and we learn why he too wanders without others of his kind.

A HERO FOR WONDLA is just as thrilling and inventive as its predecessor. DiTerlizzi spends more time moving characters in and out of seemingly impossible and perilous situations than he does developing their interior lives. Still, the novel is more nuanced and emotionally rich than the first installment as Eva deals with the challenges that have met her since she was forced from the Sanctuary that was her home for so long. Now we see her growing into something more than a hero: a visionary and potential peacemaker, maybe even a world changer. 

Of course, A HERO FOR WONDLA is full of DiTerlizzi’s dreamy comic-esque drawings, which provide compelling visuals of the story’s strange characters. The book can also interact with online Augmented Reality components (“WondLa Vision”). But even without the interactive features, this is a fun and dynamic read that will leave readers clamoring for more of Eva Nine as she tries to save the inhabitants of a planet that is never quite what it seems and find a place for herself in the world.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on August 25, 2012

A Hero for WondLa
by Tony DiTerlizzi

  • Publication Date: July 9, 2013
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 10+
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416983139
  • ISBN-13: 9781416983132