Monday, August 1, 2016

Monstress by Marjorie Liu

This comic had me from the words "alternate matriarchal 1900s Asia". Ok, so the matriarchal thing wasn't the deal-breaker, but the word "Asia" was. I love it whenever Asia features as an influence. While this isn't wholly Asian, there are more than enough Asian influences to keep me happy.

Monstress follow Maika Halfwolf, an Arcanic teenage girl with something living inside her. After breaking free from a Cumaea (just know that the Cumaea would happily hunt the Arcanic people like her), she goes on the run with a cute little fox-girl called Kippa and a two-tailed cat called Master Ren. This volume contains the first six issues of the comic, and provides a comprehensive opening.

Kippa was the star of the show (at least for me). I know Maika is the main character, but Kippa is just so innocent and cute. She lightens the story, and I really, really hope she stays a central character for a long, long time.

And I don't need to talk about the world building, because it's amazing and the art is gorgeous. In this volume, we've only started to explore the world, so I'm sure there's a lot more that will be revealed in the later issues.

I read this in parts (in its separate issues), so I'm not sure how things would look in the end, but the copy I read was very much one issue of comic + extra content (letters, fanart, etc). I do hope that the finished volume has all the comics together, and all the bonus content at the end, rather than just putting the issues together.

Oh, and I'm actually quite curious - is this more or less violent that Tokyo Ghoul? My friend was saying that Tokyo Ghoul was too violent for me, but if Monstress is on the same level (and trust me, it's violent. You do not want to give this to kids or younger teens), then I should be able to read it.

Basically, if you're into gorgeous art, interesting characters and a world that isn't based completely on the West, you're going to love this. It does, however, contain a lot of explicit violence (and bad language - I assume that despite being Asian, they all speak English and so have normal English curse words, which is peculiar but oh well), so I wouldn't recommend it to younger readers or those with weak stomachs.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.


  1. I can see from the cover that the art in this one must be gorgeous. This sounds really good!

    1. It is! But it's also very dark (and violent), so be warned!


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