Awakening by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda


Title: Awakening
Author: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Series: Monstress #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Graphic novels, Steampunk
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: image
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Let us hope that will be enough to bring down this wild child.

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Set in an alternatie world of art deco beauty and steampunk horror, Monstress tells the epic story of Maika Halfwolf, a teenage survivor of a cataclysmic war between humans and their hated enemies, the Arcanics. In the face of oppression and terrible danger, Maika is both hunter and hunted, searching for answers about her mysterious past as those who seek to use her remain just one step behind… and all the while, the monster within begins to awaken…


This is my first ever hardcore graphic novel. And, although it was seriously enjoyable, it was also a little twisted. A little confronting. And a little bit addictive.

I’ve read a few graphic novels before, but they are always an addition to a novel series. So the introduction and personification of the main character has already occurred. As has the world, and most the rules by which they live. To read a graphic novel that must do all of this from the outset with pictures was an interesting experience, and did I mention confusing? I think that this is one of those stories that the more times I look through it and read it, the more I’m going to notice about it.

I loved the imagery that was used in this graphic novel. It was a great mixture of anime-style drawings and what I imagine the world of steampunk would look like. There was a lot of violence in this, but it was beautifully, and a little disgustingly drawn. The emotions that are shown throughout the piece are great drivers of the story, and I can’t wait to read the next volume in this series.

 <- The Chosen ReviewThe Blood Review ->
Image source: Booktopia

17 thoughts on “Awakening by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

  1. The thing I’ve always enjoyed about graphic novels is how they change our perspective. In one of my most memorable classes, we read the Odyssey then Tank Girl: the Odyssey and compared the instances of gore in both, to see if one had significantly more than the other. They were equal, and yet Tank Girl seemed so much more brutal and was definitely a bit off-putting at times. Being someone who for a very long time did not really read manga/graphic novels/comics, and who now loves all of it, I find it amazing how skilled these writers are, and intriguing how different it is to be a writer of novels versus a writer of something like Monstress. Wonderful review, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recently read one of Marjorie Liu’s novellas. And yes, although it seemed less violent, truly thinking about it…. They were probably the same. I had never sat down and really considered it though. 🙂
      I also just admire that she can write so well in both mediums.

      Liked by 1 person

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