Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda is a graphic novel I have wanted to read since I first heard of it over a year ago. I patiently waited for a physical volume to be released because my library didn’t get the electronic releases as they came out and I’m so glad I waited and could binge the whole first volume all at once. This novel is everything I hoped with gorgeous art, a terrifying but amazing world, and dark but strong characters. There are also a few jokes and happy moments to make things better :D.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Monstress from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Monstress: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda (Monstress Vol #1)
Published by Image Comics on Nov. 4th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Page Length: 72 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.
- I pretty much only read full color graphic novels, but I was impressed that the inner illustrations for Monstress are just as beautiful and finely detailed as the cover. These are “I want a poster of this background” kind of illustrations. And since the world is full of half animal beings, really detailed illustrations do a wonderful job at bringing such strange sights to life!
- The world of Monstress is fascinating and one that you will be eager to learn more about. There are old gods that drift through the world as phantoms mysteriously, there are immortals with half animal, half human bodies, and there is a war between those immortals and the humans that are trying to harvest their body parts to be used for magic….
- The main character is missing her left arm at the elbow (probably due to a human cutting it off to use for its magic properties….) and while in her normal life she has prosthetics, in this story she is without them for the most part. I am not missing an arm, but I think that this disability was portrayed really well. Maika uses her stump to fight and manipulate objects the best that she can and she certainly doesn’t let it slow her down.
- This is definitely a very dark story, but there are some lovely funny moments to keep things bearable! There are adorable children with animal parts like little ears and tails and there are snarky jokes between the secondary characters and Maika as she is trying to figure things out. It’s not all grim!
- But most importantly, there are talking cats! One of the races in this world are talking cats that are regarded suspiciously by humans but have their entire own culture. There are interludes of a prestigious cat scholar telling her pupils about the world’s origins while doing silly things like baking. Plus, Maika has a cat friend who is responsible for much of the snark along the way ;-).
- If you have a problem seeing adorable children and innocents suffer horribly, this might not be the story for you. The bad guys get what is coming to them, but that doesn’t make it any better when you see all the children that have had limbs amputated to be used for their magic. It’s definitely hard to read at times.
- There is a lot of gore, though you would probably expect that. Not too much nudity/sex though, so you might be able to read this in public depending on what you want people to think about you….
Monstress is a marvelous new series that you’ll want to read in one sitting, I know I did! If you enjoy grimdark with a bit of humor and kick ass female characters, this is the book for you. I’m always on the hunt for awesome fantasy graphic novels with gorgeous art, so I’m very happy to have a new series to wait impatiently for!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.