Monday, July 16, 2018

Comic Review: The Music Box- Volume 1: Welcome to Pandorient by Carbone

The Music Box- Volume 1: Welcome to Pandorient By Carbone, Illustrated by Gjie
Publisher: Europe Comics
Release Date: June 20th, 2018
Format: Egalley, 60 pages
Source: Netgalley*
My Rating: 

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ 

For her eighth birthday, Nola receives a marvelous present: her late mother Annah’s music box. It has the most enchanting melody, and inside the globe… is that a little girl waving? And calling for help?! Before she knows it, Nola has shrunk down size, slipped through the keyhole, and entered the world of Pandorient, where even the most ordinary-looking citizens can have extraordinary powers—and where danger could lurk down every hallway. Nola must help her new friends save their mother from a mysterious malady—all the while making surprising discoveries about Annah’s past, and—maybe—her own future
The Music Box by Carbone is a cute, fast-paced comic for children that hints at how children understand and process grief. We start the story on Nola's birthday, where she and her father are still trying to deal with the passing of her mother. It's not explained how her mom died, but I don't think it's the point. The point, is that we get to see how death and grieving is processed in a child's mind. Nola gets a music box that was once her mother's and finds more than she bargained for. 

In her grief, Nola is clinging onto the memory of her mother, so she is very excited to have received this gift. She is also given a scarf that was her mother's favorite by a woman that shows up to visit her father. It's not really explained who the other woman is, so that part was kind of confusing, but the scarf plays apart in Nola letting go of her grief in the end of the novel. 

The music box, is not quite that, it's actually another world called Pandorient, where her mother had visited but never told her about. There Nola meets two siblings who need help because their mother is dying and they don't know why. It turns out their mother knew Nola mother, so Nola makes it her job to help the brother and sister figure out who has poisoned their mother and why. 

This is a cute story, but I think it works well because it writes about grief in a way children can understand. It treats death as a natural part of life, which I think is a really healthy way to look at things. I also really enjoyed the artwork in this one. It had some really saturated colors in it, and everything we saw in Pandorient seems so bright and beautiful. It really made this new world pop out of the page, since everything was so colorful and eye-catching.

If you are looking for a comic with a good message, or you just like to read about discovering micro-worlds, I recommend this one!

*I received a free egalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
Happy Reads Everyone!