The Search for Wondla
By Tony DiTerlizzi, read by Teri Hatcher
Published 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Eva Nine has lived all her life in the Sanctuary with Muthr - the robot that raised her. But one night, her world is turned upside down and she is catapulted into the world above. Soon Eva Nine is on a quest to find other humans - though no one is sure there are any others. She meets a variety of creatures along the way, though not all friendly. Will Eva Nine find what she's looking for?
I'm sort of on the fence about this one. I remember when it was first released and how cool it looked. I listened to the audio version so I missed out on all the pictures, which does make me a little sad (I often found myself wondering what each creature actually looked like) because I love DiTerlizzi's illustration style. I wasn't really sure what to expect with the book - it has some fairy tale/classic fantasy elements, but it's also pretty heavy on the science fiction. I guess, ultimately, it doesn't matter how we classify the book - it shouldn't change our enjoyment of it. Anyway, back to the real topic at hand. I adored Eva Nine and her companions - Rovinder and Otto (apologies if their names are not spelled properly, I did listen to the book instead of read). Each one was full of such personality. I liked DiTerlizzi's descriptions of the world he's created, though at times it made the story drag a little. I liked finding out little bits of the puzzle along with Eva; it made the story more present. I actually really enjoyed the ending (she goes to a library, guys, come on!) and of course, the cliffhanger that actually really made me want to read the next book in the series (often, I only read the next book because I feel like I should). There were times when I got bored with what was happening and when things seemed a little redundant - how many times does a character need to be captured only to escape again? Overall, though, I think this is a book with high appeal, especially for children who are looking for an epic fantasy/sci-fi book to tackle.
I'd also like to note that I had some extreme hesitations when I realized the book was narrated by Teri Hatcher. I have nothing against her, just sometimes it can be jarring to listen to a book narrated by an actor. I mean, there are people who do nothing but read audiobooks for a reason. Having finished the book, I'm immensely regretful that I had any doubts about her. Hatcher does an absolutely brilliant job with this audiobook, narrating things that I'm not even sure how they must have looked on paper. This greatly enhanced my experience of listening to this book. I would definitely listen to the second title if she narrates it as well.