The Battle for WondLa: The Search for WondLa, Book 3 Book Poster Image

The Battle for WondLa: The Search for WondLa, Book 3

(i)

 

Predictable but thoughtful ending to sci-fi trilogy.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The Battle for WondLa encourages serious thinking on the nature of truth, forgiveness, and personal bias. Mankind's place in cosmic history and relationship with nature are central themes that will give philosophically minded readers much to ponder. Evolution -- and how humanity may influence it -- is also a key part of the story.

 

Positive messages

Kindness and generosity are often repaid, as Eva finds creatures willing to help her based on how she's treated them, or their loved ones, in the past. She realizes truth is rarely black-and-white, and it's important to speak your own truth and respect that others may see things differently. Similarly, family means different things to different people, and even those who have done wicked things may find love and compassion among family.

 

Positive role models

Eva uses communication to promote peace: She listens to the forest, tries to help creatures see each other's truths, and works to bring different factions together in understanding. She's loyal to her adopted family -- knowing that Rovender will be worried, she courts danger to assure him she's OK. Hailey and his people decide to help the evacuated humans adjust to life on their own. Rovender, his father, and other leaders make brave choices to serve the greater good.

 

Violence

Danger is constant on Orbona. Ferocious beasts, deadly birds, and carnivorous plants threaten careless travelers, and Eva and Hailey are always alert for enemies. A warship is intentionally crashed into a city to sow confusion and kick-start the planned extermination of humans. An alien recounts slaughtering an entire menagerie to try to prove himself to his violent family. As war erupts, Eva sees bodies of slain civilians, including children. The alien Loroc eats his enemies and incorporates their abilities in a stomach-turning scene. Several characters die: Most are enemies, but one is an emotionally resonant and important figure.

 

Sex

There's an occasional brief kiss, but the tone is platonic.

Language

An alien word -- "sheesa" -- stands in as a mild curse word.

 

Consumerism

Illustrations in the book can be used online for an interactive map and a game, both of which require a free software download. 

 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some aliens drink liquor, and there's a reference to an alien who had overindulged.

 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Battle for WondLa is the final book in the WondLa trilogy, and is best read as part of the series: It doesn't succeed as a stand-alone book. There's some unsettling violence, including an alien who eats his vanquished enemies, and deadly plants and animals. Mankind's stewardship of the planet and ability to adapt to changing circumstances is a central thread in a narrative with a strong environmental focus. 

 

What's the story?

After fleeing the human city and its leader, Cadmus Pryde, Eva Nine is on the run with Hailey, hiding from both aliens and humans. She heads out to find Zin, an alien she hopes will help stop his treacherous brother, Loroc. Her quest puts her and those she loves most in grave danger, but they step forward bravely to help Eva try to bring peace among the aliens and humans battling over Orbona's future.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

THE BATTLE FOR WONDLA starts very slowly, but the pace picks up once Eva and Hailey finally get to the ruins of New York City. Eva has newfound maturity and patience to go along with her ability to communicate with the flora and fauna of Orbona: She's evolved into a quietly powerful hero. The best moments of the story focus on Eva's close relationship with Rovender Kitt, whom she sees as a father, and to other animals she embraces as her "herd" or "flock," underscoring themes of finding connection and community across differences.

Like the earlier books in the series, the writing isn't nearly as rich or compelling as author Tony DiTerlizzi's imaginative full-page illustrations. Fans will enjoy the Orbonian alphabet and map at the back of the book, and a lengthy glossary will help readers decode the technology and terminology of Orbona. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the idea of respecting Orbona as a second-chance planet for both the recently arrived aliens and long-concealed humans. How is that theme relevant to life on Earth today?

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  • What does Antiquus mean when he speaks of "their truth" and says "truths can change"?  

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  • Why are sci-fi stories set on a future, barely recognizable Earth so compelling?

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Book details

Author:Tony DiTerlizzi
Illustrator:Tony DiTerlizzi
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great girl role models, Space and aliens
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:May 6, 2014
Number of pages:496
Publisher's recommended age(s):10 - 18
Available on:Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of The Battle for WondLa: The Search for WondLa, Book 3 was written by

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