Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu

Monstress, volume 1: Awakening book cover

Three out of five stars. Compelling and original, I highly recommend this to any comics fan for its unique contribution to the format. Marjorie Liu is doing world-building in this fantasy graphic epic that parallels fantasy non-graphic masters such as George R.R. Martin and Mercedes Lackey. The reader is thrust immediately into a fully realized world with a complex history. The action-packed, quick-paced story is centered on Maika, a teenage android that appears human and has a mysterious past. The reader learns more and more about who Maika is and what her fate might be as Maika learns these things herself. Chapters typically end with a brief “lecture” further orienting the reader to the world. This may be the first comic I’ve ever read with virtually zero white or male characters – all are female and mostly of Asian descent. The artwork is amazing and utilizes steampunk and manga influences to create a distinct, virtuoso style. I give it three stars because some of the panel layouts were clunky making it hard to follow the action sequences, and intricate world-building is not always my favorite as I find it confuses me.

Back to Book Reviews