Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu Graphic Novel Review

Title: Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Genre: Graphic Novels, Fantasy, SciFi
Illustrators: Sana Takeda, Rus Wooten
Publisher: Image Comics
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

*please note that this graphic novel has mature content and not recommended for children

I finally picked up this beauty of a graphic novel and let me tell you that the hype surrounding this one is all worth it! Filled with steampunk elements, witches, darkness, and monsters, this graphic novel is one that I would highly recommend.


Monstress follows the story of a teenage girl, Maika Halfwolf. Maika is trying to find answers to her questions in regards to her past and her mother. She is also struggling with a monster that lives within her who has massive power. Maika Halfwolf is trying to fight the monster within, while still trying to keep some of her humanity. In search of her past, she is also being hunted and maybe the answers she’s been looking for is closer than she thinks.


I really enjoyed Monstress, the artwork is stunning and there is a lot of dialogue. Usually, graphic novels take me less than a day to read but since this one had a lot of heavy reading material, it took me about two days. I loved how detailed the art is, I think that is also why I took long to read it because I found myself slowly absorbing at each piece.

Monstress1_PreviewPage2Image obtained by the publisher’s website

This graphic novel is rich with elements that I previously mentioned. I felt that although it had all the elements of steampunk, witches, darkness, and monsters, there was balance. We have the Arcanics who are everything opposite of Humans & Witches. Some Arcanics are half animal/half human, some animals who can speak with special abilities, etc.

The world is already built and set once you open to the first page, which I find to be the norm for comics/graphic novels. I enjoyed how at the end of each comic section, there was a page filled with lessons on the culture of this world. So although the world is already set, we get to know how a lot of the culture came to be with the Arcanics and Humans.

We get glimpses of Maika’s past. Therefore, we get a lot of Maika’s life within the pages. I’m a big fan of past and present when done well and I thought it was executed okay here. Some times the author didn’t let us know when we were in the past. So I found myself a little confused at times.

We meet a lot of characters in this graphic novel due to the extended plot which is why this part will be kept short. Some of my favorite characters were Kippa (little fox) and Master Ren (cat with 3 tails who talks). These two were cute and hilarious. I loved when Master Ren made references to poets (in their world) and poetry. He has dark humor. Kippa is a child human/fox and his innocence throughout this graphic novel was comforting and admirable.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel but the reason why I bumped it down a star was because I wasn’t surprised with where the plot was going. I guessed a lot of what was going to happen with the plot and certain characters. I still want to read the next one though.

have you read this or plan on to? what were your thoughts? let’s chat in the comments!

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Blue is the Warmest Color – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Blue is the Warmest Color
Author: Julie Maroh
Genre: Graphic Novel, LGTBQ+
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars



Synopsis from Goodreads:

Originally published in French as Le bleu est une couleur chaude, Blue is the Warmest Color is a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.

First published in French by Belgium’s Glénat, the book has won several awards, including the Audience Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, Europe’s largest. The film Blue Is the Warmest Color won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

My Emotional Status At The Moment:



Once you finish the first three pages, you will literally be like:


This story was so beautifully done. I can’t say written because it didn’t have a lot of words but the pictures/artwork spoke for itself and said the story. It’s a story about two girls: Emma with the blue hair who knows very well that she is lesbian and is outright about it, and Clementine, who is still figuring herself out but falls for the girl with the blue hair.

Clementine has such a hard time accepting her own sexuality because of what was taught to her. Her parents being both homophobe and teaching her that love between gays is wrong so it’s embedded in her head. She thinks that what she feels for Emma is wrong and not correct. We see the battle she faces internally and socially amongst peers in school.

In the beginning Clementine has a hard time vocalizing her feelings towards Emma. I loved that nothing was fast paced in this graphic novel, although it is short but I saw time pass. I saw how both characters grew and matured. We followed the time frame from teenager to adulthood.

This graphic novel was packed with raw emotions and I was so hooked from page 1. I would highly recommend this book. Not only do we see someone who is on the road of discovering herself. We see what is going on around Clementine when it comes to school and home. Some politics are even including. We also see cheating and how that may affect a person.

Here is a photo of the artwork:


I wanted to keep this review short because I think it’s a graphic novel that everyone should read and experience. Have you read this? What were your thoughts?

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Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1
Author: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrators: David W. Mack, Michael Gaydos, Bill Sienkiewicz
Publishing Company: MAX Comics
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars




Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Jessica Jones. Once upon a time, she was a costumed super hero…but not a very good one. Her powers were unremarkable compared to the amazing abilities of the costumed icons that populate the Marvel Universe. In a city of Marvels, Jessica Jones never found her niche. Now a chain-smoking, self-destructive alcoholic with a mean inferiority complex, Jones is the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations – a small, private-investigative firm specializing in superhuman cases. When she uncovers the potentially explosive secret of one hero’s true identity, Jessica’s life immediately becomes expendable. But her wit, charm and intelligence just may help her survive through another day. COLLECTING: Alias 1-9

My Initial Thoughts Right After I Finished:


My Thoughts Now That It’s Been A Few Hours Since I Finished:

Before I get into the review I would like to say that this graphic novel should be read by ages 17+

This starts off with some kick-ass action! In the beginning I was comparing it to the Netflix show which I love. However, I had to tell myself to stop the comparisons and enjoy the story for what it is. And I am so happy I did that! (I also learned that the Netflix show kind of develops from later volumes which I look forward to reading)



While reading this, I felt that I could relate to Jessica in a way. Her emotions, the way she doesn’t want to talk about things, she goes about her day with a “it is what it is” type of attitude. She used to be apart of the Avengers and then hung up her suit (and that is all I am going to say because I want to avoid spoilers). This is when she stays with her human name, Jessica Jones, and tries to simply move on with her life. However, with the new cases opening up in her office makes it seems like she can’t get away from her once before superhero days. I liked that this isn’t your typical superhero story.

I liked the art and the different styles of reading each page.



Jessica Jones is set in New York City and I definitely got the NYC feel, even with the language from the characters. I feel like some people might find it offensive but as a New Yorker myself, we just become accustomed to hearing certain words and know people mean no harm by them.

I definitely will be reading the other volumes because there are so many questions that need answers.