Parents' Guide to

Monstress, Book 1

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Girl seeks revenge in compelling graphic novel fantasy.

Monstress, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Do not trust the site's review on this one!

I'm shocked by how careless commonsensemedia's review of the series is. First of all, within the first issue, several naked children, after having been sold as slaves, are brutally decapitated and then dismembered. There's a graphic depiction of their organs being removed to be eaten by a witch, and most disturbingly, the characters engaging in the violence do so extraordinarily casually. The main opponent in the first issue has been cutting off the limbs of a living child to eat and the child pleads with her not to cut off any more of his body parts. She calls him a "whiner." It's extremely reminiscent of the most violent scenes in Sin City. A prison guard brags about raping prisoners with a tazing baton and plans to do the same to the main character and the small children with her. I can't imagine what made the reviews on this site ignore all of this, but this graphic novel series is shockingly inappropriate for even most teenagers. Additionally, in my opinion, the story is not particularly compelling and rides on shock value. The story only develops in small drips in between ruthless violence. The book's ONE redeeming feature is the beautiful art by Sana Takeda. She somehow manages to soften the violence by vaguely blurring some of the worst brutality, but unfortunately, the descriptiveness of the wording makes it impossible for her to cushion the story.

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Sometimes reading comics is a case of sink-or-swim, and this complex and intricate fantasy saga plunges readers in the middle of the action with little preparation. In Monstress: Awakening, clues to how this world works are scattered hither and yon, and it's up to the reader to collect them and put them in the proper order. Marjorie Liu's writing is tough and vivid, inventively plotted and well paced. Equally compelling is Sana Takeda's gorgeously painted illustrations, which mix the traditions of both European comics and Japanese manga. Monstress makes readers work hard, but the payoff is worth it. Awakening only gets the ball rolling, so readers should prepare to dive into at least three more collections.

Book Details

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