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Never Enough Bookshelves MONSTRESS Volume 1

So I’m clearly WAY BEHIND on this blog, as well as my Goodreads challenge for the year. The wedding in April basically killed all most my productivity in both March and April, but I think I’m finally feeling my brain get back in gear again. With that happening, I managed to finish my most recently started read this weekend: the fantastically dark and twisted and GORGEOUSLY illustrated MONSTRESS volume 1 “Awakening” by author Marjorie M. Liu and artist Sana Takeda.

BTW, it is book number 4 on my 2017 Diversity Bingo Card for “SFF with a disabled character” due to the main character having an amputated arm (the reason for that amputation and the amputations of several other minor characters being some of the particularly dark and twisted elements on this tale).

So this graphic novel was just stunning and completely captivating. I’d been recommended it by a friend almost a year ago & now having finally gotten around to the first volume, I have no idea why I waited so long. The art is simply spectacular, and the story line has delicious twists and turns with grey morality and complicated character motivations all over the place.

The character designs were really intriguing for me, too, with everything from the fashion styles that clearly delineate the Cumaea (witch sects) from the general citizenry, and the different forms of the Arcana (magical creatures), to the almost awkward blend of human and animal in the half-breeds who are mostly enslaved by the Cumaea thus far. Also the background of the mythos and the wars that have preceded current events and are likely to break out again and the Cumaea’s creepy technology and just… Gah everything about this story kept me intrigued and second guessing the characters and plot.

Honestly, y'all, I have a hard time articulating all the reasons I loved this volume. Let's just leave it at if you’re looking for a graphic novel to both feast your eyes and your readerly mind on, this is definitely one I’d recommend! Now to just wait for the second volume to show up in my mail box!

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