Graphic Novel Review: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening

Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda, Rus Wooton
Series: Monstress #1
Published by Image Comics on July 19th 2016
Pages: 202

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.


Monstress blew me away. I love graphic novels and read quite a few of them each month, but by far my mind is still stuck in the world of Monstress. The graphics and storytelling in this graphic novel are phenomenal. It throws you right into the story of a girl who is being sold into slavery but you can tell she is there for a reason. The world is vicious and dark and mayhem quickly ensues, with fighting and gruesome deaths. The world is rich with darkness and I’m not even sure our main character is even in the right of her actions – as she seems possessed by something inside of her.

The character designs are beautiful and I love the blend of colors on each page. I felt completely drawn in and couldn’t put down this first volume for long. I want to know what will happen next, to learn more background on each character and to find out what the monster is inside of her and how it came to be.


A gorgeous and stunning novel, full of action, intrigue, and a world full of evil and darkness. Definitely an adult graphic novel, brimming with violence and not for younger readers.


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