Monstress | Volume One: Awakening by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda
“I wanted to write about girls and monsters, which has been a theme of mine from almost the start of my career — girls and giant monsters, and the supernatural,” bestselling author Marjorie Liu told The Hollywood Reporter in a 2015 interview. “I wanted to tell a story about war, and surviving war — and I wanted to set it all in an alternate Asia.”
But before you dare start, take my advice and read Liu’s endnote on the inside of the back cover first. I promise: the illuminating revelations – about grandparents who survived a war in China, about “racial conflict and its antecedent: hatred,” about the monstrousness within us all – will noticeably enhance the vision of “a battered girl” who stood alone, waiting for the chance to tell her story. Exquisite and gruesome. Gorgeous and shocking. Inspiring and terrifying. Monstress is all that and more.
Meet Maika Halfwolf. Yes, she’s survived war – albeit barely. With what strength she has, she protects and rescues those smaller and weaker. She’s also a ruthless killer when she needs to be. She wants her missing mother. For now, her only companions are a toddler fox and a two-tailed cat. Where she once had a left arm, she carries a many-eyed monster with an insatiable blood-lust. She’s not always in control of the rest of her body, much less her soul. Her power might be limitless. Her secrets have slaughtered many, and might be the death of her still …
The latest epic creation from Liu – prodigiously bestselling author of novels (“Dirk & Steele” series, “Hunter Kiss” series) and comics (Astonishing X-Men, Dark Wolverine, Han Solo) – is a multi-layered, multi-faceted exploration of what happens when familiar labels like good and evil, family or enemy, friend or foe, become indistinguishable, and just plain undependable. Japanese artist Sana Takeda, who previously made lavish art of Liu’s X-23 for Marvel Comics, amplifies that visual magic here to produce a sumptuous, opulent graphic feast. Your hands are gonna wanna keep turning the pages to see what happens, but your eyeballs will need to fight your fingers to take in every dazzling detail.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult