REVIEW // Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu

Title_ Monstress Vol. 1_ The Awakening


Title: Monstress (Volume 1: The Awakening)
Author: Marjorie M. Liu (Illustrator: Sana Tadeka)
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Edition: Kindle (192 pages)
Publisher: Image (July 13, 2016)
Date Read: 2/18/2017

Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository


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.


*Warning: Graphic images ahead…

Wow! How have I been missing out on this awesomeness all this time? Having never before read a graphic novel, I was unsure what to expect from Monstress. Going in… I was hesitant. Coming out… I was in love. In love with graphic novels! Why did I wait so long, you may ask. Well, for whatever reason, I never really thought I could get into a graphic novel. I never knew what kind of amazing experience they could bring about. But I know now, and I’m super grateful I decided to pick this one up.

Monstress is a historical fantasy story set in Asia, with a bad ass Maika Halfwolf as our main character who is attempting to fight the connection she has with a powerful, evil being. That plot? Boy, that plot was intriguing. I found myself fully engrossed in the storyline. Liu definitely developed an imaginative creation that allows you to feel as though you’re a part of the story yourself.


The characters were all developed nicely, as well. I think the fact that this was a graphic novel helped with getting to know the characters on a personal level, as well as growing an emotional attachment to them. Being able to visualize and see them on the page, and watch their emotions and actions, was an incredible experience for me. There were so many characters that were just plain adorable… like Little Fox. I loved her cute little face! And I loved how Maika looked out for those around her. She was fierce and strong, but also soft and caring at the same time.


What I adored most about Monstress was the artwork. Absolutely phenomenal! As I said, the plot was amazing, but to me, the artwork is what made the story. The images were highly detailed and so vibrant, they seemed to jump right off the page. I have to give props to the talented artist who did such a wonderful job bringing this novel to life. I was enthralled… literally stopping to stare at the drawings for a while before being able to move on to the next page.


This was a very “graphic” novel. And when I say “graphic”, I mean not suitable for younger readers, or readers who are easily offended. The reason I say this is because there are many graphic and gory scenes, as well as profane language. This didn’t bother me, personally… but it may upset or bother someone else. So I just wanted to give a heads up on that aspect of the story. If this were a movie, it’d be rated R, for sure.


Monstress was without a doubt a five star read for me, and my absolute favorite read of February (possibly my favorite so far this year!) This was a brilliant start to the series, and I’m looking forward to continuing on with Volume 2. I’m sure it will be just as amazing as its predecessor. If you’re into graphic novels, or even if you aren’t!, I highly recommend this one. As long as you’re ok with the violence and language, grab a copy of this now!

Rating: untitled-design-12

Goodreads Review


65 thoughts on “REVIEW // Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu

    1. Thanks, Vic! I can’t make up my mind whether I wanna count it as my favorite so far this year because I reread HP and of course, that’s my ultimate favorite! But I didn’t know if I wanted to count rereads or not. Lol. Soooo… not counting rereads, this was definitely my favorite read so far this year!! Hope you try it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HP, ah yes. Between you and me, I’ve only ever read one HP book… and I don’t remember which one. *gulp* That was approx. 19 years ago so either Book 1 or Book 2. I will be giving Monstress a try.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So glad you liked it. I love seeing positive reviews of this comic. It’s was one of my favs last year. Great story and illustrations and I love the inspiration for the story as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I bought the Kindle edition through Amazon. Didn’t have any negative affect on reading it by reading the ebook, either. Which was surprising. But the ebook version has all the pictures just like a comic. Set up exactly the same! So I’ll be reading lots more graphic novels and comics now that I know I can read it on my iPad the same as if I read the physical copy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Danielle!! Read this! I know, KNOW, you will enjoy it! And I couldn’t post the review without giving y’all a little taste of the action and artwork. It’s so beautiful! I would literally stay on the same page for a while, staring at the mesmerizing images. It had me hooked, for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. I learned awhile ago that any form of medium is exactly that, capable of telling any kind of story that can be dreamed up. Movies, television, audiobooks, audio performances, stage plays, musicals, cartoons, anime, novels, short stories, poems, songs, games, miniseries, comics, graphic novels… you name it, I love it! 🙂

    Of course, that came after a LOT of exploration and experience, so I can appreciate the experience of discovering something brand new like this. It can depend a lot on exactly what our first experience is, though, so I am now intrigued by this Monstress story. Hmmmm… I shall have to put it on my To Read List! 😀

    Any thoughts of what your next venture might be, or are you looking for suggestions? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re exactly right! And I think you should absolutely add this to your TBR! As far as graphic novels go, I was thinking about going with either Ms. Marvel, or maybe The Vision, next. Possibly even Rat Queens. I’m not sure yet… but always looking for recommendations! Send ’em my way if you have any. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm… I was wondering what suggestions you might like, but from the looks of Monstress, Ms. Marvel, and Rat Queens, I’d say if you can enjoy that so much, then I can toss a few suggestions your way! 🙂

        Let’s see…

        (and here begins the process where I am rummaging through my brain and tossing out random suggestions just to see what sticks)

        I don’t particularly like the movie version, but the original Watchmen graphic novel is pretty good. I recently came across the Runaways, by Marvel comics, featuring a collection of kids who discover their parents are supervillains, and I am hooked on that one. You might enjoy the various Marvel crossover compilations, and I especially liked Civil War and World War Hulk, myself, but, then I have no idea how familiar you are with all the superheroes they have. …and I have a dozen other titles all trying to snag my attention right now, so I’ll leave it at that before I end up listing everything in DC and Marvel and more, LOL. 😛

        Liked by 2 people

  3. This is amazing.
    The closest thing to this I have seen is ‘Rat Queens’.
    Language does not bother me, but graphic violence can be difficult to handle. The quality of this work may be enough for me to put my squeamishness aside.
    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Icky. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve come across this GN sooo many times, and while I’ve read a few GNs in the past and enjoyed every one of them, I’ve been hesitant to give Monstress a go. My bad, it seems. Great review and going by how everything was just perfect in the Monstress (profanity included) I should really get this one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice! I’m even more excited to read this now thanks to your great review! 🙂
    Luckily I already own a copy. Just gotta set aside some time to read it now. The art looks so stunning, glad to hear the story and characters are just as good!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an amazing review Megan. I haven’t read many graphic novels but the ones I had I really enjoyed (I finished Wires and Nerve today which is only the second graphic novel I’ve picked up, but it was amazing). I definitely need to add more to my to-read list and this is definitely going to be one of them.
    I am already completely in love with the artwork and need to see more of it than the pictures you posted, and of course it sounds like an amazing story as well which is always good to see! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Beth! It was amazing! If you love the photos I posted, you’ll really love the rest, if you decide to read Monstress. Wires and Nerve I’ve never heard of, so I’ll have to check it out. I think next I’ll either read Ms. Marvel or The Vision. Maybe Rat Queens… I don’t know yet! There’s so many graphic novels I wanna read now! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! Oh that sounds great, definitely going to add this to my to-read list in that case. Wires and Nerve is part of the TLC series but it was a brilliant story, and I have Ms Marvel on my to-read list as well, I hope you enjoy that one! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m officially adding this to my TBR! It sounds like something I would enjoy and that artwork is gorgeous. 😍 I definitely need to read some GNs this year because it’s been way too long since I last read one. Great review as always, Megan! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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