Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda “Monstress” (Image, 2016)
Wow. This was intense.
It opens with a slave auction, then soon goes to human experimentation. Grim indeed.
But it is also so beautiful, and the world so deeply rendered.
Marjorie Liu has created a deep, well crafted world of witches and exotic beings who are at war. She drops the reader into the world rather than explaining anything. We make discoveries along the way.
The art is absolutely gorgeous. The closest approximation I have seen is Emma Rios’ work on Pretty Deadly. Intricate and complex. Delicate and beautiful. Perhaps it is just the palate, but the art here feels more Asian or Filipino.
This is not a book or kids, or for someone looking for a light read. There are heavy themes and grim story elements.
This is sure to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
I found that I respected it more than I enjoyed it. YMMV.