A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Marjorie Liu's Monstress, collects six issues of the fantasy series written by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda. The book includes very disturbing images, harsh language, and is aimed at older readers. The many scenes of violence include deaths by gunfire, electrocution, stabbing, and being eaten by monsters. Nudity is depicted in a few panels.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
At the start of MONSTRESS: AWAKENING, 17-year-old Maika is sold as a slave, becoming a prisoner of a sect of deadly nuns who steal a powerful drug from the bodies of their young victims. She and a handful of potential victims escape, but there's no safe haven for them. Maika seeks to understand what happened to her mother, who disappeared years ago, and the trail of clues leads to encounters with winged warriors, human/animal hybrids, and perhaps even the Old Gods.
Is it any good?
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Monstress uses the tools of the comics medium to tell its story. Why are some stories better suited to an illustrated format, rather than simply prose on its own?
Most of the powerful characters are women. How might our own world be different if there were more female leaders?
What do you think of the violence in Monstress? Is it a fitting level for the story and the genre, or does it seem over-the top?
- Author: Marjorie Liu
- Illustrator: Sana Takeda
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: IMAGE
- Publication date: July 19, 2016
- Number of pages: 235
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: December 13, 2019
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