Friday, July 24, 2015

Fiction Friday (37)

Given everything that has been going on in my life these past few months, well not everything, mostly just the baby, but either way time has been in high demand and very short supply. One of the things that inevitably got lost in the shuffle was my time for reading. For years, I've reserved a little time before bed every night for that activity, but find myself often too exhausted to last more than a few pages. As things begin to grow more and more under control, I'm making more of an effort to engage in the single most important research activity for a writer. As a result, I finished reading the book I began back in April, one that I entered into with the best intentions to finish quickly because it was a story I'd been waiting for ever since I picked up The Search for WondLa a few years back. Though there's always a bit of sadness when a trilogy ends, the satisfaction almost always outweighs it. Enjoy. 

The Battle for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
(Simon & Schuster 2014)

The concluding book in the Middle Grade science fiction fantasy trilogy that follows a young girl as she traverses a troubling new world in peril is a fitting conclusion to the epic story. As with the first two offerings, this is a story of trusting those who are different than you and uniting under shared values and goals, despite clashes of tradition.

Picking up right where the last book left off, the opening chapter sets the tone for the entire story as Eva finds herself in imminent danger. There are very few moments of safety in the story as the war for control of Orbona rages between the humans and the new inhabitants, a war based on mistrust and misinformation. Eva has the unique position of being free of any ties binding her to one side or the other. Having recently "emerged" from her underground home, she has stepped into the middle of this conflict without feeling particularly attached to anyone but the few close friends she has made. She doesn't side with either the humans or the aliens, siding instead with the notion of peace and togetherness. Her detachment allows her to see things as they actually are, removed from the filters that too often blind the others. It's because of this that Eva is able to discover the truth that lies hidden under the surface and eventually expose the lies that have been guiding the events on her world.

Some point towards the end of the second book, it was clear that Eva would emerge as the hero who would save her home from repeating the horrible history that once devastated it in the past. This novel shows her stepping into that role, but not without making some mistakes, and not before much damage is done. Balancing a sense of reality with the fantasy is one thing the series has always done well, and nothing ever comes too easily for Eva. It is her belief in herself and her love of family and friends that always allows her sense of right to triumph over wrong.

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