No Spoiler Review- Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening

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I just love it when a book lives up to all the hype surrounding it, and Monstress delivered this and then some. Hands down, this story has the best worldbuilding I have ever seen in comic form. It’s a beautiful blend of magic and horror from beginning to end.

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“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.” Goodreads

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Between Marjorie M. Liu’s dark and intriguing writing, and Sana Takeda’s consistently gorgeous and impeccably detailed artwork, it’s hard NOT to fall in love with Monstress. The only reasons I can imagine anyone complaining would be if:

A.) They get squeamish over blood and violence.

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B.) They’re offended by cuss words, and when cats are the ones uttering said cuss words.

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Or C.) They don’t like monsters. Or ghosts. Or the ghosts of monstrous gods.

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Another thing I really enjoyed about Monstress were the characters. Maika (the main character) has seen some shit in her seventeen years of life. She had to become tough to live through the things she’s been through. She has scars both mentally and physically that prove her to be a survivor. The world she lives in is not kind, with war, slavery, and murderous and power-hungry witch-nuns only providing a taste of the dangers that has left most of the population wounded and desperate no matter what “side” they are on. Also, if you are seeking a story that represents strong women, this one’s for you. I mean the pages are literally filled with them. Unlike most stories where male characters tend to vastly outnumber the female characters, Monstress actually flips this concept.

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This is the sort of story that slowly unravels with time, but not in a way that ever leaves the reader bored. It simply has layers. Layers upon layers. Like onions. And ogres. (You’re damn right I just made a Shrek reference there.)

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This first volume did a great job at introducing the readers to the world, characters, and story, but it definitely leaves us with questions. Which is honestly just fine with me because I am really looking forward to reading more when volume 2 comes out this summer! 🙂 Definitely a 5/5 star beginning to what will no doubt be an incredibly epic story.

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17 thoughts on “No Spoiler Review- Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening”

  1. This has been on my TBR list for a while! Now that I know there are cursing cats, I HAVE to bump it up. Of course I have two other graphic novels already in my possession that I should get through before I buy any more *grumble* I fell in love with the aesthetic of it right away, and knowing more of what it’s about is even better. Whoohoo matriarchal parallel universes 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There just isn’t ever enough time in the day. lol Hopefully you can find some time to squeeze ’em in though. 😀 At least they’re usually pretty quick reads. I usually devour them in one sitting (sometimes two if it is late at night).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s what I’m thinking! I know they’re quick reads, so what I might do is do every other between my one physical, fantasy/fiction book! I already have one planned for up next, but after that, I think I’ll dive into Saga.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. lol Oh, no! I’m glad then that I put a warning about it possibly making people squeamish. I’d hate to talk something up without warning anyone about the gory parts and them get grossed out to the point of feeling sick or something. It was definitely a good read though! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

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