Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Plot Summary:
Oz is turning fifteen, which means his coming of age ceremony is approaching. What should have been an important moment in a young man's life, the Baskervilles interrupted his ceremony to punish him and send him into the Abyss. Although Oz has no idea what he is being punished for, he is rescued by a girl named Alice who has immense power, but needs a to form a contract with someone in order to release that power. What Oz doesn't realize that the legend he has grown up with is true and that the Abyss is filled with dangerous creatures known as chains who are waiting for the perfect prey in order to escape. For Alice, her mission is to forge a contract with Oz in order to gather the memories she lost a long time ago, but, her plans are alterered when she and Oz are recruited by members of Pandora. Led by Sharon Rainsworth, Xerxes Break, and the mysterious Raven (who looks a lot like Oz's friend, Gilbert), Oz and Alice are rescued from the Path that was opened by Oz's pocket watch, which happens to contain one of Alice's long lost memories. When asked to joined Pandora, Oz and Alice aren't sure, but one thing they do want is answers. Why is Oz being punished? Why were Alice's memories erased? What is Pandora? As the group moves through the country, solving mysteries and crimes committed by chains, the answers lie with those who know the truth, could lead to ending that readers may not be prepared for.


Critical Evaluation:
I absolutely love the artwork in this series! Not only are the characters super cute, but the monsters are super ugly and creepy. As for the storyline, it's an interesting premise where a clueless boy is thrown into the midst of a secret battle between humans, spirits, and chains. However, when Oz is sentenced to a life in the Abyss for no reason (other than being), we learn that he could be the offspring of the devil himself! The question is: why doesn't Oz know and why is Pandora recruiting a potentially dangerous ally? As readers progress in the series, they learn that everyone in this organization cannot be trusted because not only do they have their own agendas, they are hiding some pretty heavy secrets; hence, why the group is called Pandora. I will admit that I am intrigued by the idea that this series is loosely based on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland; the Abyss is Alice's Rabbit Hole and, when at full power, she turns in the Bloddy Rabbit, and is later retrieved from the Rabbit Hole by a dude who talks to a doll on his shoulder. Basically, this series is full of madness that is not only unthinkable, but scary as well. I am not sure what to expect in the latest volume, but I am sure excited about it!

Information about the Author:
According to Wikipedia:
Jun Mochizuki (望月 淳 Mochizuki Jun?, born December 22 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese manga artist, best known for creating the manga series Pandora Hearts.

Genre:
Teen Fantasy Manga

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up
 
Books Similar to Pandora Hearts:

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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