Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen by Marjorie M. Liu

Are you ready for volume 5? It comes out on October 6, 2020.

4/5 stars.
ebook, 176 pages.
Read July 15, 2020 to July 21, 2020.

Well, at least I don’t have to wait long for the next volume in this awesome series as it looks like the fifth volume is set to come out next week. Perfect timing.

Maika, joined by Covin, is trying to reunite with Kippa. In this volume, you learn more about Kippa’s back story and to see that there is a lot more to Kippa than you first gathered. In looking for Kippa, Maika meets someone unexpected, someone, she never thought she’d meet that she has a personal connection with. The scheming that this particular individual has done while the impending war is building is alarming to Maika and needless to say, she isn’t overly thrilled about her connection to them. Maika is finally starting to get some of the answers that she seeks and as a reader, you are also starting to get a bigger picture of the issues that she is dealing with and the bigger scope of the war that is ready to implode.

Somehow things have managed to get even more convoluted in this volume than the last two and I really struggled to keep up with everything that was going on. I think a reread of the four volumes before tackling the fifth one will help me better grasp everything this time around. With that said, I still rated this volume high because the story and artwork are still immensely captivating even if I’m not sure of what was going on sometimes. Kippa’s story was the best section of this novel in my opinion as her character really became more dynamic in this volume and I’m looking forward to seeing how she continues to progress.

Overall, a great series and a must-read for any graphic novel lovers or fantasy lovers.

Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie M. Liu

“What happened once, will happen again…but in a different form. To become a future-teller, one needs only to study history.”

4/5 stars.
ebook, 196 pages.
Read on July 12, 2020.

The cryptic saga continues in Monstress Vol. 3. I read this in one sitting but I slightly regret doing so and may place this volume on my re-read list. 

This particular volume focuses heavily on the Old Gods, which as we’ve learned from previous volumes is what the entity that lives within Maika and his name is Zinn. Zinn betrayed the Shaman Empress, of which Maika is believed to be connected to and much of the plot focuses on this lore. As a reader, you somewhat expect to get more information on what is starting to unfold but the you’re often left with more questions as some aspects of the the lore and plot are quite cryptic.

Further, the Cumea and the Dusk Court are both out looking for Maika because of her connections with the Old Gods, and an impending war between the two sides looms again.  Maika and Kippa finds themselves in a city called Pontus, in which we learn that the city managed to stay safe during the last war due to a piece of armor that shielded the city. Unfortunately it is broken and knowing that a war is likely occur soon, Maika gets recruited by the city to help repair it. Kippa leaves and goes her own way shortly after this occurrence leaving Maika wondering about her connections to the people around her and how she has lived in survival mode for so long. Maika also comes to learn that she is not the only one with an Old God inside of her…

There is a lot to take in with this volume, it’s almost overwhelming, even more so than the first two volumes. However, it’s hard to complain when the artwork is so stunning and details such a visceral picture. Even though the lore is expansive in this volume, as a reader you start to really piece all the histories together to get a firmer grasp on this story and setting. I am looking forward to what awaits in the next volume. 


Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu

I went head first into this volume with high expectations, thankfully I had no reason to be concerned.

4/5 stars.
ebook, 156 pages.
Read from July 10, 2020 to July 14, 2020.

After quickly devouring the first volume, I went head first into this volume with high expectations, thankfully I had no reason to be concerned.

After attempting to control the demon-being within her, Maika has sacrificed the remaining parts of her arm but without much luck. In the previous volume, Maika believes she has extracted revenge for the death of her mother and then decides to continue down the path to see what her mother knew about this demon that is living inside of her and the Arcanic symbol she bares. With the help of a relative and some new found pirate friends Maika is able to travel to the dangerous Isle of Bones. She comes to learn about the power a Shamanic Empress that had once terrified Arcanics and humans a like, a power which is still being sought…

For the first time, you start to get a glimpse past Maika’s hard and unmoving exterior and being to see the trauma that she has endured. You get brief glimpses in to Maika’s past and family life with the story slowly builds. It is difficult to watch how Maika treats the young Kippa, who is a gentle and giving character who started following Maika in the last volume after being rescued from slavery. Maika is cruel and in all appearances indifferent to Kippa, even though deep down she cares. Maika is likely mirroring the relationship with er mother and is afraid to make deep connections and friendships.

This volume is a slow burner that leaves you wanting to jump right into the next volume (which I did). The only issue I had with this volume was the same as the first volume, you’re literally drowning in lore. It’s great but it is difficult to take in at times.