Spiderwick Chronicles coauthor DiTerlizzi introduces 12-year-old Eva Nine, who lives centuries in the future and is trying to discover whether she is the last human being on an alien world, in this series launch. After a hunter forces her out of Sanctuary--where she's been raised by a robot, Muthr--she finds a hostile world like nothing she has learned about or trained for. She makes friends, including a wanderer named Rovender and a telepathic "water horse" she calls Otto, but also finds unexpected enemies. While there is less imaginative variety than in the Spiderwick books, and the world does not seem as fully envisioned, there is still wonder aplenty in this tense, chase-filled journey to engage young readers, plus twists for adult fans of Twilight Zone-styled stories. The bond between Eva and her friends is well drawn, and Otto, happily, is more than just a human in alien form. DiTerlizzi's evocative, detailed pen illustrations (not all seen by PW), which have a retro Star Wars vibe, and interactive maps online, unlocked via Augmented Reality, contribute to a sense of adventure as Eva dives into the unknown. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Gr 5-8--Twelve-year-old Eva Nine has spent her entire life raised by Muthr, a robot, in an underground compound on planet Orbona in the first book in Tony DiTerlizzi's dazzling fantasy series. When their Sanctuary is attacked by an evil hunter, Eva must venture above ground. On her search to find other humans, she meets a blue creature named Rovender. There are many perils in this strange land of trees that eat birds, giant water bears, and horrible sand snipers. With Rovender's aid, Eva Nine reunites with Muthr and communicates telepathically with a young water bear she rescues. This suspenseful fantasy ends on a very shocking note, leaving listeners wishing that the sequel was already available. This dazzling fantasy is superbly narrated by actress Teri Hatcher. She changes tone and timbre as she voices the many fantastical creatures and different languages, completely drawing listeners in with superb pacing. She completely draws in the listener with superb pacing. The book's artwork helps readers visualize the unique environment and can be accessed from the CDs with a computer and webcam. However, DiTerlizzi's writing is so visual and Hatcher is such an excellent narrator that listeners really don't need to consult the illustrations. Listeners will eagerly await the next installment.--B. Allison Gray, Santa Barbara Public Library System, CA[Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 5-8--Twelve-year-old Eva Nine is being raised by Muthr, a pale blue robot who is loving and maternal (she speaks in the sweet, unflappable tones of a 1950s sit-com mom), in an underground home on the planet Orbona. When a marauder destroys her home, she leaves Sanctuary in a quest to find other humans like herself. Aboveground she finds a fantastic and frightening world populated by malevolent wandering trees, a giant beast who is pursuing her, nasty sand-snipers, and more. With the aid of Rovender, a lanky blue creature with backward-bending knees, and Otto, a giant water bear with whom she can communicate telepathically, Eva faces many dangers, including capture by a taxidermist who wants to skin her in order to create a living fossil for display. This first book in the series concludes with her arrival at her destination in the ancient city of ruins. The abundant illustrations, drawn in a flat, two-tone style, are lush and enhance readers' understanding of this unique universe. In addition, augmented reality is used in three places. By holding up the page from the book to a webcam, an interactive map appears on the screen. Readers can watch as the landscape where Eva Nine is traveling unfolds. DiTerlizzi is pushing the envelope in his latest work, nearly creating a new format that combines a traditional novel with a graphic novel and with the interactivity of the computer. Yet, beneath this impressive package lies a theme readers will easily relate to: the need to belong, to connect, to figure out one's place in the world. The novel's ending is a stunning shocker that will leave kids frantically awaiting the next installment.--Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME[Page 98]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.