mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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The Wonderful Robot of Oz. (83)

The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi.

The Vault Dweller failed.
The Chosen One found no GECK.
No Lone Wanderer.

Eva Nine (EVA-9) lives in a bunker under the ground studying & preparing to one day leave her shelter. Her only companion for her entire life has been Muthr (M.U.T.H.R), her robot caretaker. Events of course conspire, & in short order Eva is thrust out into a world with nothing but her omnipod & smart clothes. The world isn't anything like what she expects-- the forests move, for instance, & none of the animals are anything she nor her omnipod recognize. The only thing Eva has to go off of is a picture of a smiling girl, an adult, & their robot & the charred remains of words "Wond...La." So off she goes, collecting a giant insectoid jumping creature along the way-- something like a tardigrade Appa from Avatar: the Last Airbender-- & the alien Rovender Kitt, self described as "an old creature in a new world." They are forced to flee the creature hunting them, digging in deeper into the world before rescuing Muthr, & a hover-car, & well perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm a little surprised at how long it took me to realize that this was a book about Oz & not Narnia. It clearly aims at being a modern faerie tale, & it strikes the mark. The illustrations are beautiful-- you'll recall Tony DiTerlizzi appearing on my Visual Influence Map. I was a little sad to see no mention of Dungeons & Dragons in his author bio. Obviously I'm a big old gaming nerd at heart, & I'll always think of him as the quintessential & defining illustrator for Planescape. I quite enjoyed this, but then, I knew I would-- it is written for a slightly older market than the Spiderwick books, which allows DiTerlizzi more room for drama, for consequences, & well-- affords him around 475 pages in length to spool out his story. I mentioned Dungeons & Dragons, & so it shouldn't come as any surprise that DiTerlizzi has ample skills at worldbuilding. Curiouser & curiouser! The "twist" of the book is baldly transparent, but then, it is an engaging twist. Watching Eva Nine move through the stages of revelation is a lot of fun. One last note: the book uses "Augmented Reality" to provide online extras; I'm always curious about this sort of thing, so I checked it out. Sort of fun, but like most extra content, it just isn't there yet. Still, it is neat to see the future creeping up. Almost interactive maps!

Tags: books, diterlizzi, haiku, photos, wondla

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