Monstress Volume 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu

 

This is the story of Maika Halfwolf, a seventeen year old orphan that sets out to either save the continent or at least her people. There are a lot of politics involved among the four species, and they are all either vying for power and genocide of the "other" or trying to survive during and after a war. The setting is early 1900s Asia (no specific country) and is populated by diverse groups. The artwork is beautiful and intricate Art Deco - I loved the artwork. I also liked how steampunk and horror were mixed into the story.

 

My main problem with the story is in how it is told. It is very non-linear - and I hate that type of story telling. It is so disjointed and there are too many plotlines and characters to follow. Flashbacks are used a lot, which just adds to the confusion and doesn't answer any questions. Then there are the "lectures" given by one of the species (the cats) at the end of four issues (this trade contains issues 1-6) that are major info dumps done in info-graph form, although there isn't a whole lot in these lectures to give the reader more information than the story is already providing. There wasn't any humor, even a snarky throw away line, to lighten the mood.

 

I am not going to bother reading further into the series.