Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.
This series caught my eye when I saw the review on Starburst magazine and when I saw the words ‘Steampunk Horror’ I was sold. So I decided to buy it not knowing what to expect and when I read I was blown away.
The art itself is absolutely gorgeous. You can see how intricate and detailed the designs are. From the decor to the clothes to the monsters.The colour scheme is very dark and gritty that suits very well with the atmosphere of the story, it doesn’t look flat and the artist obviously thinks very carefully about the perspective on each panel of the illustrations.
The story however does take a while to understand what is going on. It starts off with Maika giving herself as a slave in the city of Zamora to look for answers about her mother and what happened in her past. And it does get confusing as a lot of things happened, goes from one location to another and trying to memorize lots of different characters. But once you get into it you will become hooked and want to know more and what is going to happen. It doesn’t help that there is a cliffhanger at the end.
I feel like it is a little too early to judge the characters. In my first impression it seems like all the characters are trying to survive through the war between humans and the arcanics (creatures with non human features), especially the arcanics who ends up being slaves to humans in Zamora.
The main protagonist we follow is a girl called Maika Halfwolf. She has alot of pent up frustration. She had forgotten about her past and wanting to find out what happened to her mother. She deliberately became Sophia’s slave and managed to get out of prison with her new companion Kippa, a little fox girl. She met with Sophia’s mother and became possession of an unknown mask that caused her to awaken a monster inside her. So naturally she became some kind of a chosen one that possibly has some connection between arcanic and human which is very interesting but seems like she has got a Harry Potter syndrome. A teenager who has a huge amount of responsibilities and pressure because she might be a chosen one but again it is still too early to tell.
I did enjoy this graphic novel and will definitely read the second comic of the series once I get it.
I will give it 4.5/5 Stars
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Happy Reading! 😀