Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening

Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening


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2018 Eisner Award winner, Best

2018 Eisner Award winner, Best
Painter/Multimedia Artist

2018 Eisner
Award winner, Best Continuing Series

Eisner Award winner, Best Publication for

2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Cover

2018 Harvey Award winner, Book of the Year

2018 Hugo Award winner, Best
Graphic Story

2018 British Fantasy Award winner, Best Comic/Graphic Novel

2016, 2015 Entertainment Weekly's The Best Comic Books of the

2018, Newsweek's Best Comic
Books of the Year

2018, The Washington
10 Best Graphic Novels of the

2018, Barnes & Noble's Best Books of the Year

2018, YALSA's Great Graphic
Novels for Teens

2018, Thrillist's
Best Comics & Graphic Novels of the

2018, Powell's Best Science-Fiction,
Fantasy, Horror, and Graphic Novels of the

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.

About the

New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books.
She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop. Ms. Liu's extensive work includes the bestselling "Astonishing X-Men" for Marvel Comics, which featured the gay wedding of X-Man Northstar and was subsequently nominated for a GLAAD Media
Award for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Prior to writing full-time, Liu was a lawyer. She currently resides in Boston.

Sana Takeda is an illustrator and comic book artist who was born in Niigata, and now resides in Tokyo, Japan. At age 20 she started out as a 3D CGI designer for SEGA, a Japanese video game company, and became a freelance artist when she was 25. She is still an artist,
and has worked on titles such as "X-23" and "Ms. Marvel" for Marvel Comics, and is an illustrator for trading card games in Japan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632157096
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication date: 07/19/2016
Series: Monstress Series , #1
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 34,968
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

Customer Reviews

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Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved is now my favorite graphic novel.
MichelleKenneth 7 months ago
Wow. This was amazing. From the artwork to the was absolutely amazing. Beyond the fact that this is written and drawn by women, or the fact that the heroine is a woman...there are hardly any men in this graphic novel. This is a world where women are the ones in power. Men take a very minor role in this. They are the intelligent ones, the warriors, the leaders and the goddesses. And ironically, they can be much more crueler and more powerful than men. There are cats that can talk. I believe they call themselves poets. There are half animals/half humans. And there's our hero. I don't know what she is, but she carries something inside of her that can destroy the entire world. This was such an amazing graphic novel, I ordered the next 3 after I finished the first one. Marjorie Liu can count me in as a fan now. This series is EXCELLENT.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Takeda's artwork is breathtaking, with a level of density usually reserved for covers or one offs present on each and every page. I can't imagine how she does it. The story is equally dense, which may be intimidating for some readers but trust me, just dive in. You will love it.
caitlinwhetten More than 1 year ago
First graphic novel I've ever read and I loved it. The Asian-inspired art is gorgeous, creepy and so full of detail. The story is violent and gore-y, but also has talking cats in it, including one that looks like a badass Wilford Brimley. I wasn't always entirely sure what was going on. The story just drops you in running and tries to fill you in on the backstory through history lessons given by a cat at the end of each chapter. I could follow the basic plot, but the political backstory was hard to follow for me. However, even when I felt lost, I was completely enjoying the ride. I really like the characters and the brutal, brutal world that Liu has created and I'm excited to read more in the series.
Sean_From_OHIO More than 1 year ago
Liu and Takeda create an epic world that is so beautiful and tragic. Liu's story is pretty amazing with the drawback being that it has so many elements its hard to keep up with them for an opening chapter. She draws readers in with a pretty incredible main character who is dealing with inner demons, literally. Takeda's work is stunning here. The world they create is large and daring with twists and turns. Overall, a very good fantasy jam!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ready to purchase the next volume!
TheKnightsWhoSayBook More than 1 year ago
Awesome world created in this story. Maika is a bit of a hard character to connect with at first but I was really invested by the end and I definitely need to read the sequel. Especially liked how many female characters there were. Less excited by the amount of blood and gore, but that's a personal opinion. You should just be aware that it's very intense at some parts.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Good volume.
ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
A teenage girl searching for answers on her mother’s death and the horror that is transforming her mind and body. Once you get into this graphic novel, which might take a little bit, the characters are likeable and some horrible. They make you feel the way you should which terror, fear and a little hope for our main character. The art is good reminds me of anime and manga. Only thing it is the type anime manga art I dislike. I am not a fan of the gory, and bloody art. Maybe that is because in high school art class we watched the anime Akira over and over. It was really gross and that is how I found some of the art. It’s really great art just not a fan of the theme. I read this because I heard good things about it and Neil Gaiman had a good quote about it. I will probably read volume two to find out what happens. Once I got through the beginning which is a little vague in storytelling wise but starts to come together at the end. Still worth a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went to my comic seller and told him I needed something new to read. I said it had to be an intriguing story with beatiful art work. He handed me Monstess. I flipped it open to a couple of pages then laid on the counter and paid. Best decision! This books reads as beatifully as it looks. Just got vol. 2 and am equally impressed.
bookslayer_Reads More than 1 year ago
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 fierce 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! The images were highly detailed and so vibrant, they seemed to jump right off the page. As I said, the plot was amazing, but to me, the artwork is what made the story. 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!
Yzabel More than 1 year ago
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.] Actually, I received the first 6 parts, now gathered in this volume, so I thought I might as well review everything at once. The 6 books are a blend between “traditional” comics and manga, especially in the themes and graphic style. I found the art gorgeous—the cover got me interested even before I read what the book was about—with its seinen-style style softened in parts with rougher lines, and the way it pictures a civilisation both refined and savage, through the auction and the Cumaea, on a backdrop of war with “monsters” (the arcanics). The Cumaea reminded me of a kind of medieval-flavoured order of “nuns” who hunt and capture monsters to perform cruel scientific experiments on them. Also, characters reminiscent of eastern folklore, like the kitsune-type child, coexist with more “western” characters (the little cyclops or angel-winged kid). Said art remains impressive throughout the whole volume, able to convey both harshness and a certain softness: gorgeous landscapes, expressive characters, and creepy features when it comes to the more monstrous parts. (It seemed slightly darker in issue 5, and I’m not sure if it’s on purpose or a matter of different inks, but I find it’s quite fitting, reflecting the way the story is evolving (towards darker revelations and purposes).) The first part follows Maika, a fierce young woman who looks but isn’t human, as she’s “bought” by a Cumaea nun and brought into their compound. Gifted with a strange power she cannot fully control, Maika is looking for answers, and isn’t shy about dirtying her hands to get them. The reader is also introduced here to a few other characters, some who will likely appear in other issues, and others who probably won’t… but I suspect their shadow won’t vanish as easily, and we’ll still hear about them. In the second part, we get to discover the world outside, and not through a couple of flashbacks only. While Maika and the little kitsune manage to find a friendly woman to help them travel, the Cumaea’s badass and ruthless leadership is unveiled some more… and the world itself is not the least ruthless of all, what’s with the war still looming over its inhabitants. Not to mention the various uses of lilium. Part 3 highlights the gruesome truths of the world (that “mountain” on the last two pages…), among which what’s hiding within Maika. Literally, may I add. The monster is revealing itself, and it is scary. Yet at the same time, beauty remains in that world, too: in its landscapes, in the costumes (Maika in her simple dress tends to make one forget the Cumaea’s clothes), in the wonders it may also contain. Kippa the cute fox-kid also plays more of a role, discarding an opportunity for running away to behave bravely instead. It may not seem much, but… but that kid is cute, and a little cuteness is not unwelcome in that world. Read full review here:
PaulAllard More than 1 year ago
Fantasy tale involving magic and strange creatures In a world of magic at war between the Arcanics and the Humans, Maika is taken by the Cumaea, a rival race and alies to the Humans. She also has powers which seem to work intermittently and over which she may not have much control. A monster ends up inside of her, trying to get out and do unspeakable harm. Meanwhile the various factions are all trying to find her and deal with her in a variety of ways. Beautifully illustrated with a lot of detail, this collection is interesting in that it constructs a fantasy world with many features. Because there is so much of it, it is not always clear but some sporadic explanations are included. Enjoyable and complicated.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
The first thing that drew me to this book was the beautiful artwork - so detailed, brilliant color scheme, and that art deco style lush with gorgeous costumes, headgear and slight manga-like influences. The story revolves around Maika, who is an Archanic out to infiltrate the Cumean nuns of the human federation, who enslave and capture Archanics for their parts. She wants to find out the events of a decade ago, when a horrific battle had left both sides shocked and scrambling for a truce. She herself is afraid of the monster lurking within her, which has now awakened, and searching for answers is leading her into all sorts of danger. More fantasy than alternate history or steampunk, the story unfolds in parts, which might be a bit confusing in the start when you don't have knowledge of the world, but at mid-way point when the world structure falls into place, it is worth it. Maika's struggles as a creature feared by everyone, but her own fearlessness about the ancient monster within her is something to watch. The world also is rendered in shades of reality - with bigotry, apartheid and propaganda playing a vital role in the progression of the plot. I would advise caution - though it has a teenage protagonist, there are scenes of gore, and brutality. Both sides of the collision have their own rules and their own evils, but there is also goodness in some. In conclusion, I am in awe of how this world and its characters were created and rendered. Received a free galley from Image Comics, via Edelweiss and Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review