Monday 11 July 2016

Review! (Graphic Novel Edition!) - Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening

Title: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening

Author: Marjorie M Liu

Artist: Sana Takeda

Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Series: Monstress (#1-6)

Release Date: 19 July

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book via Edelweiss. Edelweiss provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.

I'd heard a little about this series, and saw the cover and was like: oh, I'll try that.



In a matriarchal alternate-1900s-Asia, there are the humans (including the witches,) and there are the Arcanics. (Which hopefully I've spelt right.)

They don't like each other very much.

Maika Halfwolf is an Arcanic... and maybe something a little more.

And between the crazy-a*s witch-nuns, the broody isolationist Arcanic upper-classes, the Arcanic slave camps, and the thing that keeps literally coming out of her, Maika is facing just a few challenges...

Best bits:


Ok, let me explain: this is an intricate art-deco inspired fantasy world with TALKING CATS and monsters.

The artwork is beautiful, the characters are complex, the plot is poignant.

And the little fox-girl is the most adorable freaking thing and I want to rescue her and hug her and adopt her as my little fox-daughter...

(Sorry. My fangirl is showing.)

In all seriousness though - this book is incredible. Rich and detailed doesn't even begin to explain it to you.

Just trust me, if you like fantasy and/or graphic novels, then you need to read this book.

The depth of this fantasy world, it's history, it's people, is stunning.

And Maika, as a flawed but undoubtedly butt-kicking protagonist, is incredible. I love her.

Everything is exceptionally intricate - down to the detailing on Maika's prosthetic arm. Honestly, the intricacy is... breath-taking. That's the only way to describe it.

Not so great bits:

This book is all about the violence. And the gore. And children being brutally killed.

So yeah, a heads-up on that one.

Oh and there's swearing, and some brief nudity... which I'm guessing won't bother you if the violence doesn't.

Other than that? Honestly? Can't think of anything bad to say about this book. I'm not kidding. It's THAT good.


This book is... wow. Just wow.

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  1. This books sounds amazing, haha! Talking CATS and monsters?? Who thought of this. Not a fan of child murder in books, but sometimes it can fit the aesthetic and feel of the book??? I'm OK with violence and nudity, but I start to get a little worried about the point of it all when there's child murder involved.

    1. It's not overly-gratuitous, but it is shocking - because it's meant to be. One of the main themes is the inhumanity of the supposedly human people - particularly the witch-nuns; so there's a bit of a holocaust-vibe to how the Arcanic children are treated. It's done well but isn't afraid of the odd brutal jolt!

  2. I wasn't interested in this before, but you've convinced me I should give it a try! It does look like it would have gorgeous art. I'll see if Hoopla has it :-)


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