“Something is different this time…”
Oz and Gil get a pleasant reminder of their past, but their momentary inattention to Alice is the opportunity something dangerous has been waiting for.
Things start a little silly here to break up seriousness that is to come, and it proves wise as the majority of the volume is quite dark. This seems an important installment overall as there are a couple of potentially huge reveals (and associated maddening cliffhangers). The author is still balancing reveals and continued mysteries extremely well, continuing the more even pacing from last volume after a somewhat unbalanced start.
The growing suspense is well built and various characters’ differing agendas are starting to come up against each other in intriguing ways. Finer points of the growing mythology and name dropping are a little hard to track, but can be done with some reviewing of previous volumes and the careful foreshadowing that’s been laid in. The “Alice in Wonderland” ties jump right back to the forefront in major ways here after being somewhat subtler in volumes 2 and 3.
This finishes all I have to read of Pandora Hearts for now, but it’s really gaining momentum and I’m definitely planning on continuing at some point in the future.