Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu (Writer), Sana Takeda (Artist), Rus Wooton (Letterer, Designer)

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Readalong for the BooktubeSFF Awards which is being hosted by Adriana from Perpetual Pages, Chelsea from TheReadingOutlaw, Samantha from Novels and Nonsense, Connor from Connor O’Brien, Elizabeth from Books and Pieces, Kaitlin from Kitty G, Sam from Thoughts on Tomes, Elena from Elena Reads Books, and Thomas from SFF180!

I loved absolutely everything about this graphic novel. To date, it is by far the best graphic novel I have ever read, and even surpasses my love for Saga. I am completely blown away, and will count down the days until Vol. 2 releases (June 6th, 2017).

This story follows a seventeen year old girl named Maika, whose story starts out where she is being sold as a slave. The reader will immediately notice that Maika has a very strange tattoo of an eye on her chest, and she is missing an arm. Yet, it becomes very clear very early that Maika is much stronger than what she seems.

Maika is struggling to hold in her monster, while also trying to get answers from her past. With the help of an adorable little half-fox and a poet cat, Maika is on a journey to discover herself, her past, and what’s truly inside of her, all while she carries a very mysterious and sought after item.

In this world there are five races:
Humans – Like you and me.
Ancients – Immortal, animal-like rulers with an immense amount of power.
Cats – Much like people, can speak and fight, but much more adorable.
Old Gods – Little to no knowledge of them.
Areanics – Half-breeds.

Also in this world, there are factions at war:
The Federation – Humans, who just hate magic users and refuse to let them live and breed. These humans will take Arcanics and make them slaves to do whatever terrible things they wish.
Arcanics – Magic users, who are sort of hybrids of the Ancients. Also, two powerful courts, the Dawn Court and the Dusk Court, have risen up to defend against the Cumaea.
Cumaea – Witch-like people that use Arcanic’s body parts to make Lillium.

People in this world will use a drug like substance called Lillium for power, regeneration, and in some cases, resurrection. Between the war and the use of this magical substance, this world is also now aware of things much bigger than the Federation and Arcanics.

This graphic novel is not only bigger than most bind-ups, but it has significantly more writing than most graphic novels, too! You receive a lot, and I do mean a lot, of information and very quickly. This really worked for me, because it became way more of an immersion, while also reading closer to a book. Yet, I can understand how this would be a different reading experience for some, so I felt the need to bring it up.

The story is so brilliant and impactful. I can already tell I’m going to be thinking about this world for such a long time, because this is the type of story that just sticks with you, while festering in your heart. I truly love everything about this.

The art was so magnificent and I found myself constantly just staring at some pages in disbelief that a human created it. This art also brought very many tears to my eyes very many times, constantly evoking so much pure emotion from me. On top of having an amazing story, it is the best art I’ve ever seen in a comic, ever.

Trigger warnings for human trafficking, slavery, child brutality, and many other dark themes that are in the violence and gore vein. This is a dark story, and it doesn’t shy away from that darkness or its brutality.

I loved everything about this graphic novel: the story, the characters, the art, the representation, everything. I honestly cannot see any graphic work ever beating this. I am in awe and my thoughts probably aren’t even coherent, but this is something unique and special. Please give this comic series a try if you haven’t already.

I swear to you with my entire soul, this is nothing short of a masterpiece. This is maybe even a once in a lifetime masterpiece. I never put graphic novels on my “best of the year” list, but I think this is the year I make an exception for Monstress.

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12 thoughts on “Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu (Writer), Sana Takeda (Artist), Rus Wooton (Letterer, Designer)

  1. Wow, this sounds awesome, and the artwork is beautiful. I’ve literally never read a graphic novel before, but I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for this at the bookstore and try and snag a copy. I think I’d probably like that it has a bit more writing than I guess graphic novels normally have (?) just because it might help me transition from books into it a bit easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m still so enthralled just thinking about this! I see a lot of people saying it’s too info-dump, but it’s because there is so much more writing, which was something I absolutely loved! Ahhhh, this was so perfect, Bentley! I hope you love it if you try it! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

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