Monstress Book One

Monstress Book One

2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Writer2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Painter/Multimedia Artist2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Continuing Series2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Publication for Teens2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Cover Artist2018 Harvey Award winner, Book of the Year2018 Hugo Award winner, Best Graphic Story2018 British Fantasy Award winner, Best Comic/Graphic N...

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Title:Monstress Book One
Author:Marjorie M. Liu
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Monstress Book One Reviews

  • Pop Bop

    A Monster-sized Volume

    "Monstress" is one of the most talked about and most awarded series of the last four years, and for good reason. As the female centric response, of sorts, to phenoms like "Game of Thrones", (or, maybe even moreso, "Wheel of Time"), it is epic high fantasy at its finest. And all of that makes this Book a special treat.

    The first eighteen issues of "Monstress" have been collected and published in three separate volumes. But this book comprises all eighteen of those issues, whi

    A Monster-sized Volume

    "Monstress" is one of the most talked about and most awarded series of the last four years, and for good reason. As the female centric response, of sorts, to phenoms like "Game of Thrones", (or, maybe even moreso, "Wheel of Time"), it is epic high fantasy at its finest. And all of that makes this Book a special treat.

    The first eighteen issues of "Monstress" have been collected and published in three separate volumes. But this book comprises all eighteen of those issues, which means you can start here and bring yourself completely into and up to date on the "Monstress" tale. Starting with the Issue #19 that came out in January 2019 there's a new story arc out there, but this Book will give you a complete standalone understanding of the characters and the world that have caught readers' attention.

    I'd come across an issue of "Monstress" here and there, but never got into it because this isn't a series you can just drop in on, at least not for me. Happily, this Book gives you the opportunity to start at the beginning and really immerse yourself in the "Monstress" world. For what it's worth, in addition to a glossary at the end of the book, if you search "Monstress Wiki" you'll find a Fandom site that describes each character, the world background, and the overall plot and action of the series. I read the first hundred pages of this Book, then went to Fandom to firm up my understanding of who was who and what was going on, and that approach was very rewarding.

    Anyway, once you get into it, this is a real page turner. It's violent, the characters are merciless, the arcana is fascinating. While there's a lot of content the action is fast paced and the plot just screams along. There isn't much monologuing and almost no info dumps by the characters, (which is why the Fandom site is helpful for people who don't like being in the dark or missing details). You basically learn what you need to know more or less when you need to know it, and the author always plays fair when it comes to doling out info. (As a bonus, every few chapters there's a two page "lecture" from a Cat Professor, which provides very useful deep background info.)

    And make no mistake, this is epic fantasy. It's set in a big and layered world of magic and ancient power and witchcraft. Lots of secrets and mysteries from the past inform the present, and ancient entities walk the lands. Our heroine is young, with a complicated backstory, an uncertain future, an indeterminate quest, and lots of unresolved issues. Much has been made of the fact that all of the important characters are women, but heroes are heroes and if they come with subtext, all the better. Hey, there's a monstrous demon, a funny cat, at least five different races, and not one character wears a chain mail bikini.

    On top of that the art is wonderful. It's a bit art deco, but realistic. Characters and big action scenes are often exaggerated for effect, but not in a cartoony or Pow!, Wham!, sort of way. Lots of the big spreads could be framed and hung next to some Maxfield Parrish pieces, without looking at all out of place, (and not just because both have a lot of "girls on rocks"). There is great attention to detail in many of the interior scenes and the characters often look like they could just walk off the page. This is great stuff.

    So, hooray for this massive, loaded, and generous collection. Monstrous.

    (Please note that I had a chance to read a free ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  • Drew

    These books always caught my eye in the comic shop, and from time to time I would pick it up and flip through, admiring the art, thinking “what is this? Some kind of animal-hybrid thing where people talk about stuff and the art is really cool?”

    I don’t know how I managed to miss all of the violence and darkness in this book by flipping through individual issues. This book is amazingly dark, combining elements of Lovecraftian gods, kaiju, bloody gruesome war, and yes, animal people.

    This book coll

    These books always caught my eye in the comic shop, and from time to time I would pick it up and flip through, admiring the art, thinking “what is this? Some kind of animal-hybrid thing where people talk about stuff and the art is really cool?”

    I don’t know how I managed to miss all of the violence and darkness in this book by flipping through individual issues. This book is amazingly dark, combining elements of Lovecraftian gods, kaiju, bloody gruesome war, and yes, animal people.

    This book collected the first 18 issues and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who thinks any of the above might be interesting. The artwork is phenomenal, too, and really stands out among modern comics.

    Once I got into this, I really liked it. I haven’t been so engrossed in a comic series in awhile.

  • Roxanna

    Best comic book I've read until now!!!

    Great story and amazing art. I loved it. Can't wait for book 2!!!

  • Brian S

    OVERALL RATING: 5 stars (9 out of 10)

    Art: 5 stars

    Writing Style/Quality: 5 stars

    Plot: 4 stars

    Pacing: 4 stars

    Characterization: 4 stars

    World Building: 5 stars

  • Sophie

    If this isn't the next big budget/Hollywood fantasy hit, I'll eat my hat. (I don't wear hats, but! :P) I was interested in this for a while, since the art is gorgeous and reminds me of Final Fantasy illustrations, and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.

    If this isn't the next big budget/Hollywood fantasy hit, I'll eat my hat. (I don't wear hats, but! :P) I was interested in this for a while, since the art is gorgeous and reminds me of Final Fantasy illustrations, and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. But the story is just as gorgeous, drawing on the author's experiences with her Chinese grandparents surviving war, but filtered through an eldritch, steampunk-esque lens. There's also LGBT rep, which is always great surprise, and a society that's matriarchal, instead of patriarchal. Maika's experiences are painful and painfully relatable for anyone who feels "monstrously" other. I can't wait to stay current on this series as it comes out!

    My only critique would be the dense lore/cast of characters that can get a bit confusing, but this is somewhat remedied with a glossary/maps at the back.

  • Laya White

    It’s amazing. I love that it’s a matriarchy without all of the stereotypes people associate with that word. I love the story and how it twists and turns and moves in ways you don’t expect. I love the cats, naturally.

    I can’t wait for Volume 4.

  • Sara Q

    Gorgeous!!

  • Michael

    This graphic novel series is the best while I was reading the bind up of volumes 1-3 I could not put it down I was at the edge of my seat. I loved the characters, the world building, the antagonists, the plot twists and above all the monsters. I wish I had volume 4 in my hands right now!!😢

  • Relstuart

    Very much enjoyed this one. High fantasy with an engaging story and great art.

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