Monstress Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

You might think that a fantasy story set in a matriarchal world about a half-magical, teenage girl protagonist created by two women would be sweet and full of good-humored girl power. “Monstress” is not that. Writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda have brought to life a gritty, no holds barred, deeply emotional story of survival in gorgeous, occasionally bloody detail. According to Liu one of the key themes is, “What does it take to hold on to one’s humanity when you’re forced to suffer the long, continuous, dehumanizing experience of war?” The main character, Maika, survives not only war, but enslavement, the loss of her mother and friends, and the loss of her left arm that is slowly being consumed by a demon (or is it?) that also lives inside her. Award-winning “Monstress” grapples with feminism, racism, exploitation, addiction, and confronting one’s inner demons (figurative and literal) with a raw energy that is irresistible. Collected volumes I and II are currently available. Volume III will be out in August 2018. (It’s going to be a long wait…)

–Crysta Coburn is a desk clerk with the Ann Arbor District Library, freelance writer, editor, author, and volunteer with the Ann Arbor Book Society

Featured in June 2018 newsletter