by Marjorie Liu
Edited by Jennifer M. Smith
Cover Artist: Sana Takeda
Review by Gayle Surrette
Image Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: B017715FQI
Date: 04 November 2015
The art for Monstress is absolutely beautiful--highly ornate with an Asian/Art Deco feel or Art Deco/Asian feel to it in places (see the cover image for a taste of this lavish artwork). However, the art juxtaposed against the text of the story is very disturbing. The story by itself would be horrific but with the art carrying some of the details of the story, the horror sneaks up on the reader as they begin to notice the details.
The story takes place in a world where some people want power and don't care who they destroy to gain that power. Torture and cannibalism are not off the table if power can be had by it's use. This is definitely a story for mature readers.
Maika had once been a slave and lost part of her left arm, but she's willing to chance slavery again if she can take revenge on the woman who killed her family. At the slave auction, a woman demands the auction house donate several of the items (Maika, a fox cub child, a cyclopean child, and one other) to her and those she represents.
This fits in with Maika's plan because it gets her closer to the person she wishes to kill. Once Maika is moved to the holding cells, the reader gets to understand the full horror that these witches are responsible for, and why Maika wishes so strongly for revenge.
There's plenty of action as Maika plans to escape and exact her revenge while freeing the other slaves for a diversion. In the end, there's still more to be done and Maika has gained some allies. There's some mysteries still unexplained that hopefully will be explained in upcoming issues.