Monstress : Review


Title: Monstress

Writer: Marjorie Liu , Illustrator: Sana Takeda

Published: March 2016

Length:  72 pages

Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley


First of all, there’s something to be said about the contribution of art style and choice of colour tones to a comic! I’m not an expert in art and I won’t pretend to be but as a reader I am able to identify when the art adds something to the story! I think that Monstress really demonstrates just how much these artistical aspects bring to the  story. Here’s the synopsis:
‘ 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.’

(I know that this synopsis doesn’t give much away but I actually prefer it like that! I think you should just go ahead and read this comic!)

This review is JUST for the first issue, but I’m going to hold off reviewing the other issues and just review volume 1 as a whole. The basic premise of the story (from what I’ve gathered) is that there was a war between humans and other creatures.  Some of these ‘creature’s include realllllyyy cutteeee little hybrids of humans and foxes or other animals. Honestly they were so cute! Post-war the humans have the upper hand and are basically the ruling species. That’s as far as I’m  willing to risk in terms of explanations, the rest you’ll have to find out for yourselves!

World building:  Whenever a writer includes flashbacks in their story I immediately appreciate them! This is a high fantasy story, and you can tell from the first issue that you’re going to have to read on to discover and understand this fictional world on a deeper level. Having said that, there were flashbacks in this comic that kind of filled the reader in, or provided them with enough information to be able to follow the story! Again the art style and tone of colours played a huge role in the portrayal of this world! HOWEVER, I did feel like this issue was a little all over the place, it is way longer than first issues tend to be. But I felt like the structure was a bit off, we were hopping from place to place and it got a bit jarring.

Characters: Surprisingly the focus on the main character came at the end of this issue. We have the typical protagonist who possesses a power she doesn’t fully understand or know how to use. Accompanied with this usually we have a story of self discovery so I’ll be looking forward to learning more about our main character! One thing I appreciated  is the diversity of the characters, this is a purely fictional world and it’s always refreshing to see that writers choose to use a cast that is more representative.

Connecting with the main character is essential to successfully engaging the reader, in my opinion. I feel like I can do this better when my first pages reading about the character don’t include them in intense scenes . That is the case in this comic and I think because of that I haven’t been able to really immerse myself into the story, I feel like I haven’t gotten to know the character well know to know what she experiences in certain situations.

All in all it was , very intriguing and engaging and unique in in its premise. We see from the first issue that this story and it’s characters has a lot of depth to it, and one I’m definitely going to carry on reading! I would recommend this to probably anyone, but in particular if you have an interest in fantasy, you’ll love this !

15 thoughts on “Monstress : Review

      1. If you’re into reading about feminism, try Bitch Planet. If you want to read about working as a waitress in a crazy diner, try Easy Over by Mimi Pond. If you want to read about helping aging parents, check out Tangles by Sarah Leavitt or Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast. If you want something funny, read The Rabbi’s Cat by Johann Sfar or Step Aside, Pops! by Kate Beaton. An excellent YA book would be This One Summer by the Tamaki cousins. I have lots of recs! If any sound interesting, let me know and I will send you a link to my review.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I really enjoyed the first issue of Monstress, and am definitely looking forward to hearing the rest. I found the world-building excellent and super disturbing. I’m hoping that the future issues build on the interesting spiritual and magical tones of this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought the art here was gorgeous, but it’s good to see the story looks very interesting as well. I never end up buying many comic books, largely because they’re so expensive, but I may have to pick this one up at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: