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Monstress is a captivating graphic novel

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening

By Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Image Comics

Graphic Novels, SciFi & Fantasy

Pub Date: 19 July 2016


Monstress is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel set in a fantasy version of 1900s Asia. The world is in conflict. Magical beings on one side and humans on the other. The conflict emerged after the discovery that lilium, which could be taken from dead Arcanics, not only could enhance human mental and physical powers, it also possessed amazing regenerative abilities. The result - the large scale targeting of Arcanics. Maika Halfwolf is an Arcanic in search for those responsible for her mother's death and the suffering she has undergone. Maika possesses a unique connection to a monster of immense power and hunger. As she struggles to retain her humanity, she is hunted by Marium and Arcanics alike. The world is matriarchal, and few of the characters are male. The "monster" had a very lovecraftian feel - all tentacles, ancient power and hunger. I also liked how cats play an important role as necromancers, advisors and even assassins.

Beautiful illustrations, a richly imagined world, a Lovecraftian monster, an intriguing heroine and cats - Monstress has a lot to offer readers. As Monstress has a lot of graphic violence, I would not recommend it for younger readers.


I received a copy of Monstress from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers

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