Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

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Photo courtesy of http://www.goodreads.com

Monstress is one of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels that I’ve ever seen. It’s the story of a young girl who is captured into slavery. As she breaks out, she discovers not only a dark secret hidden within her but also that a number of different groups desire her knowledge and abilities…at any cost. Can she trust anyone – including herself?

I think it’s goes without saying that I really loved this graphic novel. It’s absolutely stunning to look at and has a really captivating narrative. I loved the mixture of dark, DC, western style comics with a manga style twist. The level of detail is astounding and adds so much to the overall narrative. I do find that sometimes comics are easy to skip through but with Monstress I found myself spending hours pouring over the graphics.

I really enjoyed the way that the comic was very much female centric, with lots of strong women from various different factions. I also loved the way that the broader themes of friendship, betrayal, desire, hunger, bravery and greed were defined. The story manages to encompass all positive and negative traits of what it is to be human – even when dealing with characters who are anything but. 

Some of the old tropes are there – dreams, monsters, a mask, a journey with a forbidden object, a hapless friend whose bravery saves the day etc. However, it’s done really well, as its quite a complicated story with lots of different groups all fighting it out, deceiving each other and crossing sides to fulfil their own ends.

Also, as Neil Gaiman points out – some of the best cats in comics.

I really want to know what happens next. I will definitely continue to read this series, if only for the exceptional artwork. Stunning.

Rating: 9/10

I read this book as part of the Popsugar reading challenge 2017 #22 read a steampunk novel.

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