Monstress Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie LiuMonstress Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening

byMarjorie LiuBy (artist)Sana Takeda

Paperback | July 19, 2016

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Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in arichly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells thestory of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and whoshares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, aconnection that will transform them both and make them the target of both humanand otherworldly powers.

About theCreators:

New York Times bestselling andaward-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 atthe Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop. Ms. Liu's extensive work includes thebestselling "Astonishing X-Men" for Marvel Comics, which featured the gaywedding of X-Man Northstar and was subsequently nominated for a GLAAD MediaAward for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendercommunity. Prior to writing full-time, Liu was a lawyer. She currently residesin Boston.

Sana Takeda is an illustrator andcomic book artist who was born in Niigata, and now resides in Tokyo, Japan. Atage 20 she started out as a 3D CGI designer for SEGA, a Japanese video gamecompany, 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, andis an illustrator for trading card games in Japan.

Marjorie Liu is an American novelist, poet, comic book writer. She is a graduate of Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin law school. She is the author of the Dirk & Steele series, Hunter Kiss series. Her stand-alone novels are A Taste of Crimson: Crimson City, Book 2, and Xmen: Dark Mirror. She has written eight novellas...
Title:Monstress Volume 1: AwakeningFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 10.1 × 6.4 × 0.7 inPublished:July 19, 2016Publisher:Image ComicsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1632157098

ISBN - 13:9781632157096

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic start to the series. The artwork is stunning and is very reminiscent of anime. Love the cast of characters, falling all over the morality spectrum which I always love to see. The mythology of the world and plot still confuse me somewhat but I'm not surprised after hearing about the complexity of this series. Also, talking cats. Smart-ass, talking cats. I'm about it.
Date published: 2018-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Twisted It is brutal, may pull on some heartstrings, but it is a good start to a series. The art is very beautiful too.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous and Brutal The art in this graphic novel is stunning but also depicts brutality on a detailed level. The story and the world that was created is fascinating and a truly compelling read.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very powerful beginning Dark fantasy on the surface, this comic series deals with very difficult topics such as slavery, war, physical and psychological violence, but also the importance of love, friendship, hope (without being cheesy). It is a bit difficult to follow at first, as the reader is literally dropped into the universe of Monstress, but as the chapters progress things become more comprehensible, yet intriguing. This on-going series proves just how much can be done through world building. Takeda's art is stunning. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Steampunk fantasy! The world building was a little difficult to follow but it was a really intriguing story!
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read A decent storyline and stunning artwork.
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favourite Graphic Novel EVER!!! There are not enough stars to rate how much I love this graphic novel. Enough to say that it's my #1 favourite EVER. Epic, thrilling, and utterly unique in every sense of the word. Honestly, I don't know where to start the praise! The world is rich, engaging, and exciting. The story is complex and filled with twists. The villains are devious. The action is bloody and visceral. The monsters are nightmare-inducing. The main character is hard as nails and a force to be reckoned with. The side characters are layered and endearing, and in the case of one Corvin D'Oro, completely swoon-worthy. The writing is solid and will grab you from the very first page. Honestly, I can't praise this book enough. My only complaint was that it wasn't long enough. Literally, as soon as I finished it, I picked up the sequel because I need to know what happens next. There are no words to describe how much I adore MONSTRESS. It's something every horror fantasy fan needs to read ASAP. You will not be disappointed!
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great, but a bit slow, start to an intriguing new fantasy world! Can't wait for volume 2! Marjorie Liu is crafting a very beautiful world and Sana Takeda's jaw droppingly detailed artwork makes it all the more magical. It took me a while but I slowly grew to care for the characters and can't wait to start the next one!
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gotta have it! Amazing. Beautiful artwork. Never a dull moment!
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting The art is beautiful and the story is really cool
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gorgeous Artwork - Story Unfolding My colleague recommended this to me, and I was sold on the artwork alone! The story is dark, but focuses so much on female characters, which I loved. I often get left behind in world building and this was no exception. I did find it a little tough to follow along, but do think I'll get a better understanding as the series goes on. I'll definitely be picking up Book 2!
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from nice art great world created by the author, totally enthralling
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting look the story is really well-written, and the art is beautiful.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful art...Meandering Story A lot of people are lining up fawning over this book,and rightfully so. This has some of the most beautiful art I have seen in a while. So perfectly Japanese in style without going full Manga. Every page is like a painting. The story? that's where it starts to fall down for me. It has the POTENTIAL to be an amazing story but this volume contained half glimpses of the full plot and what was happening and too many story lines and characters with different motives. Just when we are figuring out who the bad guys are some more bad guys are thrown into the mix and then some MORE bad guys are thrown in. You can applaud Marjorie Liu's world-building BUT if it is so convoluted that you need a professor Cat explaining things at the end of each comic you probably have a) made too complicated a world and b) aren't good at building that world naturally through a story. And characters, some really interesting ones but again there are so many being thrown at us we don't really get an understanding of their motives or who they are. Even the main character, after 6 issues, is not really clear to me. Maika is the hero but I am not sure why I should be rooting for her. Even with the unclear story and wide array of characters I still enjoyed the read, I just didn't find myself rushing to pick it up the next day. Overall, I can see why people love this book but I need to see the story unfold more before I can be sure this story is going somewhere or if it will remain a tangled mess.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful! If you can visualize tendrils of your soul being drawn in by your favourite things what would those things be? For me, the tendrils are usually encompassed by villains, by characters who are not the hero to most but may be the hero to that 1% of us. Monstress brought out most of those characters and I couldn’t be any happier with this read. This story was rich with beautiful artwork, complicated character depth, and amazing storytelling.
Date published: 2017-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful A beautifully drawn, and coloured beginning to a story. I cannot wait to continue the series.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow tremendous Great start to an exciting and beautiful series.
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awe inspiring Books like this are priceless. I picked this up on a whim and was very surprised with the depth of the story line and the gorgeous art work. If you are a fantasy comic book fan, this book is not to be missed. Buy it, read it and enjoy!
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from CATS EVERYWHERE An interesting story, though a little complicated and not thoroughly explained at times. Loved the artwork. Appreciated the little cat lessons.
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I liked it I liked it but honestly Im still confused about whats going on. It was also kinda slow to get to the point.
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great first volume Can't wait to get more issues to see how this develops.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchanting Can't recommend this book enough. Great world building, well conceived characters and wonderful art.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the art is simply beautiful Monstress vol 1 is a great start. I love the world building so far with elements of steampunk and fantasy. The art just adds so much more to the series.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful The art is so, so, beautiful. Love the diversity in the characters. I'm not too attached to the main character, Maika, yet - she isn't the typical heroine (very dark, and a bit of a recluse). But I am excited to see how her character develops, and I love the plot and the art and will definitely read the next one.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gorgeous Gorgeous art and complex story. It is a bit hard to follow at times, but there is some amazing universe building done by the author. Can't wait for the next volume !
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Not at all what I was expecting, this was an amazing start to the series. Beautiful art, plenty of gore, awesome main character, deep worldbuilding.
Date published: 2017-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from highly recommend! Marjorie Liu is an incredible writer, and the art is some of the best I've ever seen!
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a creative and interesting read Absolutely love this! Read this for a class and it was definitely the type of book that i couldn't put down. Set in a matriarchal society, it deals with powerful subjects like feminism, slavery, human trafficking, and much more. I wont give away any spoilers, but if you're gonna buy a graphic novel, this is the ONE
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal I think this is Image Comics' new Saga. It's that good. The art is beautiful and complex, the story sinister and engaging, and the characters are endearing (especially Kippa). Can't recommend enough.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! bought for daughter... this is her review: I loved it! Super steampunk and cool! Kippa is so precious, I love how her and Ren add comic relief. It has a bit of blood, though, so probably not for younger kids.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Graphic Novel Pan-recommendation for fantasy & comic fans alike! Monstress is the best fantasy comic I've read since Gaiman's Sandman, and when Gaiman's opus gets tossed around you can be sure I'm not messing around. That's not to say that Monstress is the same type of book as Sandman, indeed, it is not. However, no other comic that I've read so meticulously crafts a believable fantasy world that will feel at home in hands that normally tote 600 page-plus fantasy tombs. I mean, the end-paper even has a world map. WHAT MORE THAN A WORLD MAP COULD A FANTASY FAN DESIRE? How about superb characterization, a compelling plot, pitch perfect plotting, and some of the most gorgeously detailed artwork I've seen all year? Maika Halfwolf, our lead, joins a long list of fantastical female badasses that populate fantasy novels. She's driven by a suitably mysterious past that is appropriately tied to the great mysteries the book presents in this first volume. She's vicious in her quest for vengeance and knowledge, but she is often taken out of her quest by demonstrations of innocence. Part of the joy of this graphic novel is the other characters you meet along the way, so I won't bother spoiling their compelling arrivals. Okay, okay, there's a one-eyed, eye patch-wearing, sword-wielding, warrior cat. But you'll get no more from me. The plot here is fantastic and is laid out in perfect fashion. Maika is sold into slavery due to her arcanic heritage, but this is all a ruse to get her closer to her desired targets. This story moves quickly from place to place, from character to character, and never once stagnates. There are questions about the world, quest, and characters that I'm dying to know, but the few answers we do get here are immensely satisfying. For each plot point that is advanced a new question is asked, be it personal, plot-oriented, or tied to the mythology itself. It was also a few issues in before I realized that the cast is all-female. The matriarchal society in the world of Monstress makes it feel fresh. A lot of people have described the book as heavily feminist, though it doesn't wear that identity as heavily as, say, Bitch Planet. Instead, Monstress makes its lead and her supporting cast entirely independent, interesting, and ruthless. Who says you need a dude to be a monster? These terrifying female villains definitely make for formidable foes and interesting foes. So kudos for making some awesome female leads. What's more, I'm really, really interested in what's going on in this world. I never knew what was coming next and I was entirely captivated by Sana Takeda's absolutely stunning artwork. Combining what seems like anime/manga-inspired style with western comics and the fantastical make for a book that feels like it should never, ever be drawn by another artist. Each page is so rich in detail that I entirely buy the world that Takeda and Liu are building. I was reminded of Fiona Staples' work on Saga because she and Takeda share the ability to bring each character to life with stunning full-page spreads in a way that could be done by no imitator. The art doesn't falter throughout this entire first volume. Just like a great fantasy series, this feels like book one in an extended series. Though enough questions are answered, there's so much more left to be revealed. Moreover, there is a fantastic concluding action sequence that feels immensely satisfying. In that way, Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening feels like it was written for the trade and doesn't necessitate waiting for subsequent volumes before diving in. The only downside is that there will be a long wait until the next volume arrives, but Liu and Takeda more than make the case for sticking with this series. This is highly recommended to comic fans, fantasy fans, and anyone looking for something new. It would make the perfect holiday gift, after all, it's only $10! I can't wait for the next volume, it'll be a buy-on-sight purchase.
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Start to a Promising Series I pretty much picked this title up on the cover alone, it had such a unique style that was hard to ignore. This title is much more than a pretty face though, it creates intricate worlds and has such wicked cool characters that one can't help but enjoy every aspect of it. I also thoroughly enjoy that the bulk of the cast is female, yet the books doesn't beat you over the head with that like some shows do when they have a female cast. The dialogue and art is dedicated to making interesting and real characters. And again the art style is fabulous, it's so detailed and represents a fun mash up between western and eastern art styles. Highly recommend and can't wait for the next!
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful art I initially bought this for the cover art and the title but once I began to read it I could not put it down. The story is captivating and the art is so beautiful, I couldn't help but linger on most pages to take it all in. If you are a fan of Saga or Fables this should definitely be added to your collection. I can't wait to read more! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous in Every Way The characters and story along with the artwork instantly make you wish the entire story was already published. An immersive story with a fascinating main character and a land where everyone has an objective. All I can say is read read read! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Monstrously captivating! "Monstress" has gorgeous illustrations that mixes western comic and eastern manga styles set in a mostly sepia tone with flourishes of colour, an elaborate fantasy world that is steeped in magic and mystery which empowers it to be so dark and diverse, and some kick-ass female characters in a matriarchal society that is not all it seems. A monstrous start to a new series, one which I'm very intrigued to see where it goes!
Date published: 2016-10-04

Editorial Reviews

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER--“world-building on a scale rare inmainstream comics”