Home ReviewsGraphic Novels Graphic Novel Review: Monstress Vol. 1: The Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

Graphic Novel Review: Monstress Vol. 1: The Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Monstress Vol.1: The Awakening

Graphic Novel Review: Monstress Vol. 1: The Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
by Marjorie M. Liu
Series: Monstress #1
Also in this series: Monstress Vol. 2
Published by Image Comics
on July 19th 2016
Genres: Graphic Novels
Pages: 192
Format: Print
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Stars



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.

Graphic Novel Series


In a quest to find more Steampunk related graphic novels, the love for them all started because of Lady Mechanika, I stumbled across Monstress. Fantastical creatures, magic, and witches all bundled up into a wonderfully gritty artwork in the style mashup between Art Deco and Steampunk.

It’s a somewhat complex story of a war between two classes: that of the Arcanics and humans. The Arcanics are treated like slaves and are experimented on and killed. Their mutated appearances the bane of the humans. As the story unfolds it is known that they are half god and half human. Certainly a mythological aspect going on as well. However, all that backstory could seem a bit confusing at times, but it is such an enthralling read. I loved all the characters and their dynamics, even the evil ones. But it was truly the Arcanics that I really felt for. Some of them were so cute.

Some of the cuteness includes: Talking 3 tailed cats, sword fighting 3 tailed cats, little talking hybrid fox girls, and little history lessons throughout the story that explains things to the reader. Gotta love professor Tam Tam.

Monstress tam tam

Maika, the main character, has that aloofness to her that might make it seem hard to like, but her situation has hardened her to those around her. She fights an inner battle with the “montser” that she is, and it will be interesting where that will lead her eventually. I really enjoyed this complex story and look forward the to next volume.

Do you read Graphic Novels? If, so which ones?

About Marjorie M. Liu

Marjorie M. Liu author photo

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and novelist, whose paranormal romance and urban fantasy series have made her a New York Times Bestselling author. She writes for Marvel Comics, including Dark Wolverine (with Daniel Way), Black Widow, X-23 -- and most recently, Astonishing X-Men, which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for its "outstanding representation of the LGBT Community". Marjorie divides her time between Boston, Indiana, and Beijing, China.

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Aleen @ Lampshade Readerherding catsKristen @ Metaphors and MoonlightMary KirklandEvelina @ AvalinahsBooks Recent comment authors

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herding cats

That sounds pretty fun. Great cover, too

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

I’ve heard great things about this one, glad you enjoyed it! I find that things like complex backstory can be confusing in GNs just cuz of the format, but usually they make more sense over time. But wait, are those cats eating chocolate covered mice???

Mary Kirkland

I haven’t read this but now that I’ve read your review I feel bad for the Arcanics.

Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

The artwork in this one was BRILLIANT 🙂 and the cats, omg! Loved that so much.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

This looks good. Do you read from left to right with these? I enjoy steampunk stories as well Aleen.

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