Hi! So this review will be for two things, instead of one. Luckily for you (or maybe me) they are related. Awhile ago, around the time that Mr. DiTerlizzi posted on his blog about the sketchbooks for The Search for WondLa (only available to people who showed up on the WondLaful tour, if I remember correctly), I posted on my other blog about it. This post was more of a pity-party, seeing as I myself would not have been able to go to any of the places where he’d be appearing. Imagine my surprise when he used the contact form I’d set up to e-mail me  and told me that if I gave him my address he’d send me one of these sketchbooks!

The Search for WondLa sketchbook: title page

Oh my.... *faint*

Of course, having this on the inside only served to make me even more anxious than I had originally been about the publishing of the actual book. Until then though, I could look through the sketchbook and I could pretend to know everything about the characters when talking about them to other people. Sometimes I can be a little… odd, with my behavior :D The sketchbook went almost everywhere with me for awhile, until I remembered that it could possibly be torn or damaged by something like water or food, so I hid it in my shelf safely, between two art books by John Howe. From there, I’d pull it out and read it in my room, before carefully returning it. Did I mention that I would tell my friends about it and almost immediately after that I’d start telling them how I got it and that Mr. DiTerlizzi’s signature was inside, thanking me for being a fan?

Rovender Kitt sketches

I love all the designs that were made for Rovender.

The blurriness of this picture is unfortunate but I can’t seem to keep myself completely still when taking pictures. After awhile, I had to do other things and thus couldn’t bring out the sketchbook that often. Recently, as I said in my post “The Search is OverNa,” I acquired a copy, thanks to my Aunt, Miss Kitty (thank you once again). I couldn’t read it that night, seeing as I was watching Tomb Raider with Grandma but the next morning around ten I picked it up. The previous night, I had promised to put aside all other items on my list of books that I was currently working through and I did. With lots of interruptions, I couldn’t finish it within three hours at the most like I usually would with few distractions but I did get it finished that day. My Aunt couldn’t believe I’d finished it so fast and we talked about what WondLa was, which we both found to be delightful!

 

I adore the artwork in this book!

Rating: 5/5

Reason: The concept was simply delicious, and the artwork (with how it conveyed the mood of the scene so well) was excellent! The characters were very believable to me and the description of the world Eva is going through is astounding.

If my reason didn’t make you think I’m totally in love with the story, then maybe the fact that I was already hugging it to my chest and cackling madly before I’d even read it will inform you. I had read an eighty page preview on iBooks but I have to say the digital format does not hold a candle to having a physical copy of the book in your hands. The illustrations look better on paper, too. If you have read the summary for the book then you will know that Eva lives with the robot Muthr, and that their lives are disrupted when a bounty hunter by the name of Besteel comes and breaks into their underground home called a Sanctuary. Eva escapes up a vent in the kitchen but Muthr is caught by Besteel. For awhile, we don’t know what has happened to Muthr because Eva is the main focus.

Eva checks her Omnipod for messages, and finds one from Muthr, who tells her to get as far away as possible then signal another Sanctuary. Eva does not wait though, and sends out the distress signal while she is still very near where the vent comes up. This allows her to see the intruder (Besteel) when he comes up. Unfortunately for her, Besteel somehow figures out exactly what tree she’s hiding behind and shoots it with his sonic boomrod. A chase scene follows this and Eva eventually climbs up a tree. Besteel circles around its base for awhile until she throws a nutriment pellet to create a distraction. This works, and Besteel shoots off in the direction of the sound. Eva spends the night in the tree, and in the morning when she wakes up, she finds that she’s not in the forest anymore, and strange birds are around her.

The tree she’s on is moving, so she climbs off. In the distance, she sees weeping-willow like trees eating the birds, which her Omnipod can’t seem to identify. Which is odd, because it has all knowledge that mankind has in it, and its identicapture feature should be able to tell her what anything is. Of course, she believes she is on Earth, just like Muthr believes. When wandering around, she comes across another Sanctuary. This one is quite obviously abandoned. She calls down and a flock of flying crabs come out, which are promptly eaten by a whale. Eva initiates a LifeScan on the Ominpod, and it identifies some sort of life form, however, it can’t tell if it’s human or robot. This life form turns out to be my favorite character: Rovender Kitt.

After taking her Omnipod and going back inside the Sanctuary, Eva goes off on her own and gets stuck in some sticky plant, which he comes and rescues her from. Most unfortunately, Besteel finds them and captures them. Or maybe not unfortunately, seeing as this led to Eva meeting (and bonding with) Otto, and getting to understand Rovender, through use of a transcoder. Of course, at first she thought that he was trying to kill her with the ‘dust’ coming out of it, but it actually allows her to understand him and vice versa. I thought this idea was particularly cool, because I like the idea of tiny machines that can translate things for you. Now if only I actually had one…

The escape from the camp was harrowing, seeing as I kept on tensing whenever it seemed like Besteel was going to get them, or that they weren’t going to make it. Actually, that encompasses the whole scene. After they escaped the camp and Eva got the transcoder, they camped. The next day, they headed back to Eva’s Sanctuary to check on Muthr. They find her in a swimming pool, missing her battery. After she repairs herself, and Eva gets the Sanctuary to release Muthr from her duties (namely, staying there for all eternity) they leave. Reluctantly, Rovender agrees to help them get to Solas to see if they can find any clues about what happened to the other humans. Of course, Otto accompanies them.

Other than the reasons I gave for the five star rating, I think that I have to say that what Orbona and WondLa actually turned out to be is what made me love it so much. That, and Rovender and Muthr’s occasionally non-too-cordial interactions. Needless to say, I’d recommend this to everyone, as long as they won’t get too disturbed by what happens to a water bear in the taxidermist’s place in Solas. Because that was, I have to admit, a little creepy, and made me become a bit of a wet rag, just like part of the ending of the book.

The Search for WondLa: original drawings

The original illustrations. I absolutely adore Otto's!

Thank you to Mr. DiTerlizzi, who gave me the sketchbook, to my Aunt, who purchased the book for me! Life is good!!

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