Reading Level: Older Teen
Length: 192 pages
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 4th volume in the Pandora Hearts series
Rating: 4/5 stars
“As Oz Vessalius and his valet, Gilbert, are reunited with their dear Uncle Oscar, they fail to notice an alienated Alice lost in thought stumbling right into the lurking Xerxes Break. Before Alice can take heed of Break’s warning of a trap set by the Cheshire Cat — a powerful, extraordinary chain — she and Break are spirited away to Cheshire’s lair, where both danger and fragments of Alice’s past reside. With Sharon’s help, Oz and Gil find a way to enter the sealed dimension of memories, but not only do their allies await them there, so too does the man from Alice’s earlier memory! Does he hold the key to the truth about Oz’s “sin”?”
This Pandora Hearts series has been an interesting one for me. There are some things about it I really love and some things that aren’t done all that well. In the end though I think I love the creativity and content enough that I end up enjoying these even though I find them somewhat difficult and confusing to follow.
It all starts with Gilbert and his need to find his awesome hat…. From there things quickly get complicated as Alice finds herself lured into the Cheshire Cat’s domain. Break ends up in the trap with her and things get a bit complicated.
I absolutely loved the addition of the Cheshire Cat chain. He was awesome and I hope we see more of him. I also really continue to enjoy Alice, Break, Oz, and Gil. They are all interesting characters with complex pasts.
I am struggling a bit with following the story at points. A lot of these characters are starting to look similar and I am really having to pay attention to costume detail to keep track of who is who. The story jumps around a lot in tone; going from silly to darkly dangerous in a heartbeat. This is interesting but also makes things a bit tougher to follow.
I am still enjoying this crazy world and the wonderfully complex characters; however I do wish that the story was a bit easier to follow and that the characters were more easily distinguishable from one another.
Overall this was a great addition to the Pandora Hearts series. I love some of the new characters and the way this ties in with the traditional Alice in Wonderland story. I do with the story was a bit easier to follow though. I plan on reading the next couple books in this series to see if things start to make a bit more sense to me.