Warning: Read The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi before reading this post. That is all.
I read the first book in Tony DiTerlizzi’s WondLa series a little over a year ago. The second book, A Hero for WondLa, was released in May, and one of my summer reading goals was to finish this book so that I could share it with my students when we return to school in the fall…which is NEXT WEEK! (Cue the back-to-school nightmares and anxiety attacks.) Anyway, I finished the book early this afternoon, and, like The Search for WondLa, this second book is a fantastic journey that will appeal to readers from age 9 to 90.
A Hero for WondLa has elements of fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian fiction. This book in particular seems to be a brilliant hybrid of Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, The Hunger Games, Alice in Wonderland, and Avatar. The main character is a strong female who rises above her circumstances and uses her wits and, more importantly, her compassion to save herself and those she cares about. But will it be enough to save an entire planet? Let’s find out…
Eva Nine, having traversed the treacherous wilderness of Orbona and experienced the loss of her dear Muthr, is on the verge of yet another adventure. She’s being taken to New Attica, a human city, where Eva is sure she’ll find the sense of home that she’s always longed for. Her trusted alien companion, Rovender Kitt, accompanies her, and he immediately senses that something about this journey is a little “off.” But Eva is too excited about meeting other humans, so she ignores his warnings and heads to New Attica to become part of this seemingly utopian society. But all is not as it seems in New Attica. Eva feels no sense of belonging in this strange city (which is a lot like the Capitol in The Hunger Games), and she soon learns that the city’s leader, Cadmus Pryde, has iron control of the city and all of its citizens…and he wants to control Eva as well.
With the help of some old and new friends–and one relative she never knew existed–Eva Nine escapes this city and its mysterious leader. While she’s leaving New Attica, though, Eva learns of a plot to take over the whole of Orbona (the planet we know as Earth). Cadmus Pryde wants to expand his rule and destroy all traces of alien life on the planet. Eva can’t let that happen. But what can one thirteen-year-old girl possibly do to prevent war?
As it turns out, quite a bit. Eva’s ability to commune with the creatures around her–and her tendency to see the best in everyone–might just be what the world needs to combat the terror that is coming. For she has something that her enemies do not. Eva Nine is pure of heart, and that may be the best “weapon” she can use to save the wild, beautiful planet she loves from certain destruction. Will it be easy? No. Will lives be lost or forever changed? Absolutely. Will it be worth all of the sacrifices in the end? We’ll just have to wait and see…
I’ll admit that, like The Search for WondLa, it took me a little while to get into this book. (It probably would have helped if I’d read them back-to-back instead of over a year apart.) Once I did, though, I found A Hero for WondLa to be a delightful book, and I’m hoping I can use it to get more of my female students interested in science fiction. The main character is awesome, and I truly enjoyed seeing how she grew and matured as the story progressed. I know she’ll be even stronger in the third book.
I’m not sure when the third book in this trilogy will be released…or even what the title will be. But I am sure that Eva Nine and Tony DiTerlizzi will be taking readers on yet another fantastic adventure!
If you’d like to learn more about this wonderful series, I strongly urge you to visit http://wondla.com/home/. This is a phenomenal website and even includes an interactive component (WondLa-vision). You can also follow author Tony DiTerlizzi on Twitter @TonyDiTerlizzi.