Title: The Blood
Author: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Series: Monstress #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Graphic novels, Steampunk
Format: Graphic novel
5th sentence, 74th page: Oh, no.
Maika Halfwolf is on the run from a coalition of forces determined to control or destroy the powerful Monstrum that lives beneath her skin. But Maika still has a mission of her own: to discover the secrets of her late mother, Moriko.
In this second volume of MONSTRESS, collecting issues 7 – 12, Maika’s quest takes her to the pirate-controlled city of Thyria and across the sea to the mysterious Isle of Bones. It is a journey that will force Maika to reevaluate her past, present, and future, and contemplate whether there’s anyone, or anything, she can truly trust – including her own body.
I enjoyed this more than volume one of the Monstress series. Awakening was a great introduction, it was incredibly violent. And it was weirdly beautiful (especially considering the violence). But The Blood had a storyline that I found much more engaging, and a lot simpler to follow.
There was a lot more light in the panels of this novel – it acted as a brilliant counterpoint to Maika’s memories and internal conversations with the Monstrum. It also highlights the potential hope for the future, against the dark backdrop of her past. All interwoven in such beautifully illustrated panels that I frequently found myself stopping and staring at the pages, unable to move on until I had absorbed every minute detail.
The complexity of this picture story still makes me feel as though I have probably missed a lot in this reading. And I’m going to need to read it a few more times to really let the tale sink in. But, something about The Blood helped me to understand Maika’s world in a lot more detail than Awakening. Now to wait until the next volume is released…