Pandora Hearts: Volume 1

Jun Mochizuki, Author . Yen $10.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-316-07607-4

A sharp eye can find many literary references in this exciting fantasy manga. Oz, the main character, is turning 15 and is all set to be part of a ceremony, only to be dragged into a hellish place called the Abyss, for reasons he doesn't know. Previously, he was a rambunctious rich boy who didn't treat his servants well, but the Abyss is supposed to only take the worst of the worst. In this dark and disturbing world he meets a girl named Alice, whom he may or may not be able to trust, but who might be the only way out. The title clearly references Pandora from Greek mythology, while names, images, and characters play up their resemblances to the works of L. Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll (there are also allusions to Dante and Japanese mythology). Mochizuki's work, along with being creepy and hard to put down, slips in plenty of education along with his ornate, Goth art. With its mystery, symbolism and action-packed storyline, Oz's story will catch the attention of diverse readers. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 12/21/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
Prebound-Glued - 192 pages - 978-0-606-31638-5
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