Do you ever buy a book without knowing what is it about, solely based on the fact the someone (you don’t even remember who) said it was good and you like the cover? Oh… Me neither… But if I *did* do that, it would go something like this:
“Hmmm… The Search for WondLa (Simon & Schuster). That sounds really familiar. Didn’t Anastasia Beaverhausen mention that this was really good? Or maybe she just said she wanted to read it. I like the cover. Weird animals, robots, and some girl who kind of reminds me of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Speaking of which. What is WondLa? Is it like Wonderland? Is this another new spin on Lewis Carroll? Maybe it is The Looking Glass Wars, sci-fi edition? Well, Tony DiTerlizzi is signing at the book festival, so I’ll go ahead and get it, and worry about what it is about later.”
Note that in none of this did I ever think to actually read the jacket and honestly, I don’t always read what a book is about before I pick it up. I like the surprise. Here is where I would like to tell you that The Search for WondLa is in no way related to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, despite my random thought process. When we open the book, we are introduced to Eva Nine, who appears to be, at age 12, the last human in the world. She lives with her caretaker robot, Muthr. Eva Nine desperately wants to leave their underground shelter, but Muthr won’t let her until she finishes her survival training. As one might expect in this situation, Eva Nine is thrust out of the nest too soon because their super secret underground home is attacked by a vicious monster hell bent on capturing Eva and blowing up everything in sight. She doesn’t even have time to grab her WondLa, which is a picture of another human walking with a robot. The only letters still visible at the top are WondLa. It is Eva’s only proof that other humans exist.
Thanks to some quick thinking on Muthr’s part, Eva is able to escape, but finds herself alone and ill prepared in the outside world for the first time ever. After some running and hiding and sleeping, Eva Nine wakes up in a moving tree, kind of like an Ent, but it doesn’t talk. It doesn’t take long to figure out that even though Eva has her Omnipod (an electronic device used to identify things around Eva), it doesn’t recognize any of the flora and fauna like it should.
Of course, she can’t get of so easy as waking up in a moving tree and prancing around the world looking for the existence of other humans without something bad happening. She quickly realizes that the outside world is a lot like Australia in that EVERY living thing around her is deadly and will kill her in seconds! And then…. Dun Dun Dun!!! Besteel, the evil jerk of a monster that destroyed Eva’s home captures her! What is a small child on her own to do in this situation? Outsmart the stupid beastie, save all of the other poor creatures it has captured, and befriend an alien named Rovender Kitt and a giant water bear named Otto that only communicates with her through her mind.
All kids of awesome follows like *****SPOILERS***** Rovender teller her she isn’t even on Earth! There is a queen who likes to take living specimens and freeze them to put on display in her museum, and there is a desert with remains of other humans! eek! Will Eva Nine learn what the WondLa is? Is Muthr ok? Do other humans even still exists?! Read the damn book because I am not going to tell you.
Let’s just say, I can’t wait for the second book in the series, A Hero for WondLa, set to release in May 2012. I will be first in line at my bookstore and up all night reading.