Monstress: Book One

Image. Jul. 2019. 528p. ISBN 9781534312326. $49.99; ebk. ISBN 9781534315297. Rated: Teen+. FANTASY
Haunted by her past, Maika Halfwolf seeks the truth about her mother and herself. Pursued by witches for her power as an Arcanic, Maika is also fighting against the eldritch monster within that threatens to consume her. Eisner Award–winning Liu’s (Tiger Eye) expansive world, built by the stories of complicated, diverse, and strong women, rivals that of J.R.R. Tolkien and grows in complexity as Maika continues on her journey. Hugo Award–winning Takeda’s (Drain) intricate, modern artwork features manga and steampunk elements and never misses a detail, complementing Liu’s winding narrative. Emotions of anger, grief, and injustice experienced by Maika, as well as her allies and enemies, are palpable, as the various characters are caught in the trajectory on the outbreak of war. This oversized hardcover edition collects Issues 1–18 of the acclaimed series.
VERDICT Liu and Takeda combine steampunk and Lovecraftian-like eldritch horror in a world resembling an early 20th-century matriarchal Asia. Recommended for older teens and adults for mature language and content, and for fans of Tolkien and George R.R. Martin seeking to be immersed in a new fantasy epic.

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