Book 1 cover

Paperback edition cover.

The Search for WondLa is a children's science fiction fantasy novel by Tony DiTerlizzi published in 2010. It is

the first book of the WondLa series. The website dedicated to the book has an innovative section which interacts with the book's illustrations via webcam.

Synopsis Edit

Eva Nine had never seen the actual sun before, or walked outdoors. In fact, she had never even seen another living person in all twelve years of her life. That changes when a marauding huntsman destroys her underground home and sends her fleeing for her life. She is desperate to find someone else who is like her, and a single clue gives her hope: a crumbling picture of a girl, a robot, an adult, and the word "WondLa". 

Plot summary Edit

Eva Nine has reached the age of 12 living her whole life in an underground Sanctuary. She has been raised by a robot named "Muthr" (Multi-Utility Task Help Robot 06), and knows only of the outside world through holograms and a small piece of cardboard inscribed with the fragmented words "Wond" and "La." When the facility is attacked by a large creature named Besteel, she is forced to leave Muthr behind and flee her home. Upon seeing the outside world for the first time she remarks that it is nothing like the holographic simulations she'd been brought up on, encountering many dangerous and alien species of plants and animals that her omnipod fails to identify.

After another encounter with Besteel and meeting an alien named Rovender Kitt and a large behemoth Otto (identified as a giant tardigrade by the omnipod), Eva reunites with Muthr in the demolished Sanctuary and convinces the Sanctuary computer to allow the robot to escort her to the next underground Sanctuary. When they find it abandoned they convince Rovender to lead them to the royal city of Solas.

The group has several more encounters with Besteel and other aliens, in which Eva is nearly embalmed for display at the royal museum. While in the museum she learns that the life forms of this planet (called "Orbona" by its natives) arrived long ago on a dead world that they "reawakened" for their own use. She also discovers many ancient human artifacts and learns of a ruined human civilization beyond a dangerous desert.

Eva, Muthr, Rovender, and Otto cross the desert to discover the remains of an ancient human city buried under the sands. Besteel soon arrives and attacks, severely damaging Muthr. Eva then uses her Omnipod to attract several deadly Sand Snipers that kill Besteel and drag him beneath the sand. Muthr, unable to be repaired, dies shortly afterwards, and when the remaining characters tunnel into one of the buried buildings they discover that it was once the New York Public Library, meaning Orbona was once Earth. The still-functioning library computer identifies the cardboard "WondLa" as the cover of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," by L. Frank Baum, and that her own planet died, and was awakened. This is how it became Orbona.

In the epilogue, a human boy named Hailey Turner swoops down from the sky in an airship named the Bijou and informs Eva that he is there to take her home.