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Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven

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Maika has spent most of her life learning how to fight, but how will she fare when the only way to save her life...is to make friends? Collects issues 13-18 of the Hugo Award and British Fantasy Award series.


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Maika has spent most of her life learning how to fight, but how will she fare when the only way to save her life...is to make friends? Collects issues 13-18 of the Hugo Award and British Fantasy Award series.

30 review for Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars The art is gorgeous, but there just wasn't enough clarity in the plot for me to love-love this volume. Everything that basically everyone says or thinks in Haven is annoyingly cryptic, and/or just when it seems they're about to answer a question, they stop and let their sentence trail off. It got to the point that I wanted to shake the characters and yell at them to say what they mean. Or, at the very least, finish what they were saying! Maika was having these 'conversations' with Tuya in 3.5 stars The art is gorgeous, but there just wasn't enough clarity in the plot for me to love-love this volume. Everything that basically everyone says or thinks in Haven is annoyingly cryptic, and/or just when it seems they're about to answer a question, they stop and let their sentence trail off. It got to the point that I wanted to shake the characters and yell at them to say what they mean. Or, at the very least, finish what they were saying! Maika was having these 'conversations' with Tuya in her head. Kind of like waking dreams? Or maybe she was actually asleep and they were real dreams - I don't remember. <--because it was somewhat confusing as to whether or not they were coming from Tuya or just Maika's subconscious. I guess the point is that the reader can decide, but with everything else being all woo-woo-mystical, I didn't appreciate having one more thing that wasn't concrete. And there was too much mythos for me to absorb when it came to gods vs Ancients vs Arcanics vs Cumaea vs Cats vs...whatever else lives in that universe. I'm trying to keep up, but this isn't the sort of thing that I do well unless it is fully explained. <--which is why the ambiguous storytelling bothers me so much. However, I'm still interested in seeing how this all pans out. Plus, that art is just too lush and detailed to miss out on. Also, Kippa. Gotta find out what happens to that kid!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Love the characters in these books! Mel 🖤🐺🐾

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Vol. 1: Awakening ★★★★★ Vol. 2: The Blood ★★★★★ Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    In a lot of ways, this third volume of Monstress is better than all the rest. But why? Didn't I love the death of Halfwolf's mother or the island or horrors in the second? Of course I did! But this third volume is all kinds of great reveals and a wonderful new location that I actually love. I have an investment here. Oh, and god battles kick major butt. :) The understory is getting SWEET, the conflicts are ramping up great, and war is here! Not just rumors of war or rememberings of past atrocities, In a lot of ways, this third volume of Monstress is better than all the rest. But why? Didn't I love the death of Halfwolf's mother or the island or horrors in the second? Of course I did! But this third volume is all kinds of great reveals and a wonderful new location that I actually love. I have an investment here. Oh, and god battles kick major butt. :) The understory is getting SWEET, the conflicts are ramping up great, and war is here! Not just rumors of war or rememberings of past atrocities, but an all-out gala event of bloodshed under the watchful eye of an escaped tentacular god. :) Fun! :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    I still don't really follow what's going on in this story. It moves fast and doesn't really connect dots and yet it still draws me in and fascinates me. It is a violent and interesting story who horrible horrors happen and people back stab each other. It does not seem like a very nice world. It's very cut-throat. We are on a voyage going to some island looking for a mask I think, or pieces of a mask. We learn more about the thing Inside Maika. I do love the little foxgirl. She is my favorite cha I still don't really follow what's going on in this story. It moves fast and doesn't really connect dots and yet it still draws me in and fascinates me. It is a violent and interesting story who horrible horrors happen and people back stab each other. It does not seem like a very nice world. It's very cut-throat. We are on a voyage going to some island looking for a mask I think, or pieces of a mask. We learn more about the thing Inside Maika. I do love the little foxgirl. She is my favorite character. I also don't understand what is going on with the cats. There was only a little of that story thread in the story and I assume it will be explored more in the next volume. We glimpse a little bit of the history of the Blood in Maika and the thing inside her. We still don't know much, of course, but we now know a little more. The art is fresh and amazing still and a lot keeps happening, even if I'm not sure what is really going on. I'm still interested in the story and will hang in there for more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Manisha

    Actual review: 3.5 There's something wrong when I love the artwork more than the story. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous! It is the best I've seen in graphic novels. It's intricate, delicate, with a lot of detail. The story, however, lacks a good background for understanding. Recently, I've found myself disappointed in graphic novels with a high fantasy story, and it could be that it's a format that doesn't work for me. There is just something lacking in reading a high fantasy story in this for Actual review: 3.5 There's something wrong when I love the artwork more than the story. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous! It is the best I've seen in graphic novels. It's intricate, delicate, with a lot of detail. The story, however, lacks a good background for understanding. Recently, I've found myself disappointed in graphic novels with a high fantasy story, and it could be that it's a format that doesn't work for me. There is just something lacking in reading a high fantasy story in this format. Usually, it's the world building. In this case, because the artwork is detailed, I think the character backgrounds, their histories and motivations are a bit lacking. We are thrust into this action-packed fight at the beginning of the series and now it has waned to include new players with their own motivations. The story has become confusing with too many new elements thrown in and not enough answers. I hope the next edition is better. And let us not forget how adorable Kippa is.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    4.5 stars. First 2 volumes where on tip to get 5 stars but quite there. Volume 3 goes slightly over that threshold and gets 5 stars. What I like about volume 3 the most is that we see character development in Zinn. He is no longer shapeless Lovecraftian horror (he is not even horror for that matter) but an actual character. Illustrations are still one of prettiest I seen.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    From Bitch Planet to Lumberjanes to Monstress, the idea in many girl/woman-centric comics in the present time would seem to be depicting a world with as few men as possible. And if you watched any of the recent Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearings, it may have crossed your mind to envision this kind of future, too: How can we get rid of all these vicious, aging mean-spirited representatives of the patriarchy that is destroying women and the planet? The tones differ; Bitch Planet (for adult women) is snarky From Bitch Planet to Lumberjanes to Monstress, the idea in many girl/woman-centric comics in the present time would seem to be depicting a world with as few men as possible. And if you watched any of the recent Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearings, it may have crossed your mind to envision this kind of future, too: How can we get rid of all these vicious, aging mean-spirited representatives of the patriarchy that is destroying women and the planet? The tones differ; Bitch Planet (for adult women) is snarky and funny and profane; Lumberjanes (for young readers) is funny and sweet, and Monstress is intense and violent and lovely, ranging from cute fox girls and talking kitties to steely murderous women who all look like models (and when DO they take the time to do their hair to look like that?!). All three are All Girl Power, All the Time; Bitch Planet is connected to current political landscape; Lumberjanes is, well, set in a summer camp, and Monstress is a complex fantasy set in a medieval landscape. Men are basically peripheral in all of them. The third volume of Monstress comes on the heels of the recent 2018 Eisner Awards, where it won for best continuing series, best publication for teens, best painter/multimedia artist (Sana Takeda, who also does wildly populat Ms. Marvel with Willow Wilson), best cover artist and best writer. The main impressions I have is that 1) first and foremost it is gorgeously illustrated, atmospheric, from cute and cartoony to sleek to horrific and majestic; 2) it is, given all the pretty pictures, surprisingly profane (though this doesn’t bother me in the least, just noting); 3) it is violent and 4) I have no idea how all the various factions and dimensions work, maybe in part because I am just not much of a High Fantasy reader. There are periodic “lecture experts” from Professor Tam Tam, a history, who is supposed to help us make sense of it all, but I need more help, really So in volume 3 we finally get a Big War so we get to see how Takeda handles action (thought we already know she knows how to do bloody violence). And as with many such stories, after all the death and the world is saved, we understand that family and friendship are what makes the world go ‘round. The rest of it? Well, I am still reading! For my own taste and tolerance of multiple swirling levels of fantasy, I would say 3.5, which I round up because of the Beauty which gets ten stars, and because some very real action happens and some stuff gets resolved and because of the main girl character and Girl Power, yay.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    if you need a refresher on the plot of this series, I would totally recommend reading Melanie's two fantastically detailed wrap-ups!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim Dyer

    I am still really enjoying this series. The art is still beautiful - some of the best that I have ever seen in a graphic novel - and I adore the world-building and principal cast. However, I am starting to feel as though there is something lacking. Now that we are three volumes into the series, I would expect it to be building to something. Yet, there isn't a clear sense of that. The world is still deep and immersive, but that lack of focus makes me sometimes feel lost. I also sometimes struggle I am still really enjoying this series. The art is still beautiful - some of the best that I have ever seen in a graphic novel - and I adore the world-building and principal cast. However, I am starting to feel as though there is something lacking. Now that we are three volumes into the series, I would expect it to be building to something. Yet, there isn't a clear sense of that. The world is still deep and immersive, but that lack of focus makes me sometimes feel lost. I also sometimes struggle to identify the secondary cast. Some of the female characters in particular look very similar, and so I find that I sometimes get them mixed up. However, I still love them. The large cast is dominated by strong female characters, particularly those in positions of power. And that's just great. So, I will be certainly picking up the next trade but I do hope the series finds its focus soon. It would be a shame to waste such wonderful characters and gorgeous art on a weak plot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    4.5 Why would you do this Marjorie Liu?! THAT WAS EVIL AND I NEED VOLUME 4!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina Ye

    Ehm, dear author, HOW DARE YOU

  13. 5 out of 5

    daisy

    THAT COVER ART! I'm so, so excited for this - pre-ordered my copy last week, August can't get here fast enough tbh!! 4.5 + RTC later! I don't think I've read a graphic novel series with more gorgeous art than this one, it's absolutely stunning. The character designs are some of my all-time faves from any series tbqh. One tiny somewhat spoilery thing I have to mention: (view spoiler)[One of the 'villains' has a tiny Pomeranian-looking dog and every time it appeared in a panel where said villain was v THAT COVER ART! I'm so, so excited for this - pre-ordered my copy last week, August can't get here fast enough tbh!! 4.5 + RTC later! I don't think I've read a graphic novel series with more gorgeous art than this one, it's absolutely stunning. The character designs are some of my all-time faves from any series tbqh. One tiny somewhat spoilery thing I have to mention: (view spoiler)[One of the 'villains' has a tiny Pomeranian-looking dog and every time it appeared in a panel where said villain was viciously attacking someone... I lost my shit. Look into the face of evil. Bet that dog is the real evil mastermind here. (hide spoiler)] Waiting for volume 4 is gonna suck : (

  14. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    This series is amazing and I still love it dearly, but it's just getting to the point where I often have no idea what is going on and I'm not sure if that's on me or the author [or maybe a bit of both]. And there's a thing in the front of each volume that has character descriptions but it's of the characters that you DEFINITELY already know who they are [Maika, Ren, etc] whereas I'm trying to remember all these 500 side characters who all look vaguely alike and are all apparently up to something This series is amazing and I still love it dearly, but it's just getting to the point where I often have no idea what is going on and I'm not sure if that's on me or the author [or maybe a bit of both]. And there's a thing in the front of each volume that has character descriptions but it's of the characters that you DEFINITELY already know who they are [Maika, Ren, etc] whereas I'm trying to remember all these 500 side characters who all look vaguely alike and are all apparently up to something sinister. I still love the world and the art and just Maika as a character in general, but I'm starting to lose the thread of the overall plot so I hope it becomes more coherent soon. I think many comic writers lose sight of the fact that often their readers haven't picked up a title in over 6 months [since the last volume] so they kind of need a bit of a refresher a lot of the time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ewa

    To quote the poets... holy fucking shit...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    honestly the art in this series doesn't make up for the fact that like 99% of the time I have no idea wtf is going on. Not going to continue.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    So this series continues to be absolutely beautiful to look at. I can't get over the perfect blend of traditional art and manga styles. Its something that seems like it absolutely should not work and yet it does. Its like they know right where to draw the line between too cartoony and cutesy and absurd levels of hyper violence and you get this almost entirely new kind of graphic story telling. But...I'd like the story to start moving just a bit. As book three begins the Arcanics (magical creature So this series continues to be absolutely beautiful to look at. I can't get over the perfect blend of traditional art and manga styles. Its something that seems like it absolutely should not work and yet it does. Its like they know right where to draw the line between too cartoony and cutesy and absurd levels of hyper violence and you get this almost entirely new kind of graphic story telling. But...I'd like the story to start moving just a bit. As book three begins the Arcanics (magical creatures descended from animal spirits who sometimes look pretty human and sometimes very animal like) and the Cumaea (realllllyyy mean witches who basically eat Arcanics for their power) are still teetering on the edge of reigniting a war that kinda sorta ended right before the series begins. Unfortunately this is where they've been for the entire run of this series and I'd love it if we could move in one direction or the other. The same goes for our anti-hero Maika Half Wolf, she who's body just happens to house a really scary "old god" that comes out and devours everything in sight periodically when he/she isn't busy fighting with Maika to the point where they're starting to sound like an old married couple. Maika needs a little more development beyond hating every single other person in the world. I don't think she says a single thing in this volume that isn't some version of "fuck you." The plans within plans within plans story lines continue with the introduction of still more amazing looking characters that I'm beginning to have trouble keeping track of and an increasing sense of urgency that "time is running out" despite it not appearing to be doing that at all since we end more or less where we began. There are continual references to secrets about the old god living in Maika and an even worse crime that he/she may have committed beyond igniting the original war that defeated and imprisoned his/her species a billion years ago but we don't get much more than hints. I just need more cake to go along with all this delicious icing. I'm still deeply, deeply invested in this series and desperately, desperately waiting for volume four BUT can we get a move on now please?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anna (lion_reads)

    Love it. The art in this volume exceeds even that of the other two beautiful volumes. The story finally gains some ground and the stakes are raised. Just lovely.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    3.4 This volume had some cool developments in the story and I enjoyed it, though less so than the previous entries. One of my biggest issues after finishing volume 2 was not feeling like I quite understood where the story was going. I feel a bit more on track with that now and so my rating has paradoxically gone up a bit despite the fact I enjoyed this particular volume a bit less. The ending to this volume was also pretty cool and adds into that consideration, even if holistically the volume was 3.4 This volume had some cool developments in the story and I enjoyed it, though less so than the previous entries. One of my biggest issues after finishing volume 2 was not feeling like I quite understood where the story was going. I feel a bit more on track with that now and so my rating has paradoxically gone up a bit despite the fact I enjoyed this particular volume a bit less. The ending to this volume was also pretty cool and adds into that consideration, even if holistically the volume was otherwise a bit uneventful. The art is still generally quite strong and feels unique with its post-apocalyptic East Asian-style aesthetic that features a variety of races with their own distinct look and feel. I consider the art to be a primary draw for the series so far and it hasn't disappointed yet. Further, the settings for the different volumes thus far have been varied enough that there's a nice selection of different landscapes to display more of the world. The story itself I am more ambivalent about. There's a lot about it I really love, especially with the way it explores some of its themes and pulls no punches, as fits those fairly dark themes. I generally don't enjoy super dark stories that much these days, so the fact I've enjoyed this one in part because of that feel says a lot. Some of the other aspects of the character diversity and the uniqueness of the world elements and social structure make me want to rate this even higher just to support such stories. While there are a few tropes to the mythology that are relatively traditional, there's so much the world does that feels very different and they're things I've wanted to see for a while. There's also a wealth of places, factions, and world elements that provides a wide playground for the characters to run around in. These factors and the art are the main draws for me, even if I don't have a ton to elaborate on them specifically. But as much as big diverse worlds can be a good thing, therein also lies what I see as my biggest problem with Monstress. The story has in some ways moved fairly slowly (there is typically only one relatively major plot development per volume), but in other ways moves way too fast, at times seemingly just to incorporate as many factions and world elements into an episode as possible. I would much prefer a slower, more personal focus on the main characters and a few antagonists rather than rushing to get out those other details as soon as possible. Instead, scenes feel very intermittent, cutting to an entirely different place with different characters, most of whom I can't keep straight, back and forth fairly rapidly at times. It can be jarring and a few times I was beginning to wonder if two geographically distinct scenes were in the same room, which was really confusing. The basic mythos and world are fairly straight forward in a lot of ways, and I haven't found the world too confusing in that regard, especially since the interceding lore panels between each episode do a good job of reiterating the key points in a way that feels informative but not repetitive. But given the number of new characters introduced, each with their conflicting motivations, flickering into the spotlight within the span of a few panels, I've had a really hard time keeping up with what is actually happening in some of these subplots. I also get the feeling the answers are rarely even that complicated, I just can't keep them straight with the way the narrative flows. Some of this is on me since I could pay more attention to try and memorize who is who and why they're doing what they're doing, but there comes a point where the story should be doing some of that work for me and I don't feel like it is here. I've been able to follow the main threads well enough that I'm still enjoying the story and again, the aesthetic is often worth it in itself, so this isn't a damning criticism to me. But this issue is enough to detract from my enjoyment a lot and I could see it turning some readers off completely. It's also much of the reason for any points I've knocked off my rating. Ultimately, I'm feeling a bit how I did after volume 2. I'm intrigued enough to be willing to get the next volume (though whoa, I didn't realize these were about a year apart at least previously), but also feeling pretty lost on a lot more than I feel like I should be with the story. I will say, if the story were a bigger commitment with longer volumes that would take away from my time reading other things, I might not be so willing to continue with it. But as I'm trying to keep in mind, despite my frustrations, there is a lot I am really enjoying about it and I'm definitely interested in seeing where it goes from here. I might try rereading the previous volumes before the next one to refresh my memory and understanding as I could see that helping with my primary qualms with the story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lau

    Muy bueno como siempre. Esta vez mientras leía el principio pensaba en que el efecto de la historia no sería tan impactante si no fuera por las ilustraciones espectaculares de Sana Takeda. Son un complemento perfecto para los diálogos que a veces son un tanto difíciles de seguir de tanto nombre y tejemaneje político. Creí que el enganche del final iba a ser diferente (view spoiler)[se resolvió rápido lo de los dioses, no me hubiera molestado si se alargaba un poco más (hide spoiler)] pero aún así Muy bueno como siempre. Esta vez mientras leía el principio pensaba en que el efecto de la historia no sería tan impactante si no fuera por las ilustraciones espectaculares de Sana Takeda. Son un complemento perfecto para los diálogos que a veces son un tanto difíciles de seguir de tanto nombre y tejemaneje político. Creí que el enganche del final iba a ser diferente (view spoiler)[se resolvió rápido lo de los dioses, no me hubiera molestado si se alargaba un poco más (hide spoiler)] pero aún así da donde duele (view spoiler)[con Kippa NO!!!! (hide spoiler)] . Me doy cuenta de que cuando salga el siguiente volumen lo mejor va a ser releer todo, ya me semi perdí esta vez con la historia y tuve que volver atrás después de terminarlo porque había cosas que no recordaba. Espero que salga pronto, aunque si la demora significa mantener esta calidad, que demore nomás.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karissa

    This is the 3rd volume in the Monstress series. While this graphic novel series continues to have an amazing story and some spectacular world-building, what really sets it apart is the phenomenal illustration throughout. In this volume Maika flees to Pontus to find safety for herself and her companions. Pontus needs help fixing their shield and when Maika accidentally destroys it she finds herself venturing deep into the depths of her monster’s mistress’s laboratory to find parts meant to fix it This is the 3rd volume in the Monstress series. While this graphic novel series continues to have an amazing story and some spectacular world-building, what really sets it apart is the phenomenal illustration throughout. In this volume Maika flees to Pontus to find safety for herself and her companions. Pontus needs help fixing their shield and when Maika accidentally destroys it she finds herself venturing deep into the depths of her monster’s mistress’s laboratory to find parts meant to fix it. This series has gotten rather complicated and there are a ton of characters in here. It would have been very helpful to have a quick story synopsis and character guide at the beginning of the book. I struggled some to figure out who was who and get back into the story. Additionally, at points you would turn the page and suddenly be in a completely different place with completely different characters and this was a bit confusing. However, I am still really enjoying the characters, the world-building, and the illustration. The illustration in here is breathtakingly beautiful. I also really enjoy watching Maika grow and change as a character and watching her interact with her fellow adventurers. At some point I would like to sit down and read all the Monstress volumes back to back because the story is getting a bit complex and at times is hard to follow. Overall this was a spectacular continuation of this steampunk fantasy series. I really love the world, the characters, and the illustration. I would recommend to those who enjoy dark fantasy graphic novels; just be prepared to spend some time unweaving the complexities of this story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    Although I still can’t really tell you about what is going on, the art is so mesmerizing that it does not matter. There is lots of blood and gore and evil monsters - most of them absolutely gorgeous women in breathtaking steampunk art-deco surroundings. Love it. Give me more.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kitkat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. NO NO! Kippa is kidnapped! I’m not ok with that. It’s not fair he’s innocent! I have no idea what the hell is gonna happen but I need the next volume!!!!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    While I agree with other reviews that Haven was often hard to follow... honestly, the quality of craft in every volume of Monstress is so high that I still can't deduct a star. Even when I only understand half of what's going on, I don't really mind, because in this case it just feels like further evidence of the astonishing richness of the world and story, and I absolutely trust Marjorie Liu to help me make sense of it somewhere down the line. I did definitely leave this book wanting to binge-re While I agree with other reviews that Haven was often hard to follow... honestly, the quality of craft in every volume of Monstress is so high that I still can't deduct a star. Even when I only understand half of what's going on, I don't really mind, because in this case it just feels like further evidence of the astonishing richness of the world and story, and I absolutely trust Marjorie Liu to help me make sense of it somewhere down the line. I did definitely leave this book wanting to binge-reread all three currently released volumes, though. I'll have to do that eventually and see how much makes sense with more immediate context. (also, dear Sana Takeda: if you ever sell poster-sized prints of Monstress art, I will throw so much money your way.)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ithil

    I love this series. And after the third volume I love it even more. The scrip is amazing, the drawing is breath taking and the plot is complex, well designed and very original. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. Not even if I try really hard. This third volume, although it starts a bit slow, it quickly develops some speed and ends up telling us a lot of new things. It goes deeper into the lore, and the actual consequences of all into the present. We definitely know more about Maika, an I love this series. And after the third volume I love it even more. The scrip is amazing, the drawing is breath taking and the plot is complex, well designed and very original. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. Not even if I try really hard. This third volume, although it starts a bit slow, it quickly develops some speed and ends up telling us a lot of new things. It goes deeper into the lore, and the actual consequences of all into the present. We definitely know more about Maika, and the rest of the characters are not overlooked of dismissed to a second place. It is going to be now a long wait for the forth volume. But I know it will be worth the wait tho.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I like this series, but reading them as trade paperbacks has been challenging since each volume has had at least a 1 year gap since the previous volume. I spent a bit of time trying to remember what was going on though this volume wasn't too tricky to pick back up as is the case with some series. Beautiful art as always. Curious to see where the story is going. I guess I'll find out in Fall/Winter of 2019.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    This series continues to be one of the most remarkable graphics being produced. It unfolds with the complexity and detail of a full fantasy novel accompanied by absolutely stunning artwork. With the length of time between volumes, it does strike me as a bit of a task to keep up with the full scope of the story and the characters involved, but Liu does well tying the various story threads together. Monstress is a dark, sometimes unsettling high fantasy adventure with quietly effective moments of This series continues to be one of the most remarkable graphics being produced. It unfolds with the complexity and detail of a full fantasy novel accompanied by absolutely stunning artwork. With the length of time between volumes, it does strike me as a bit of a task to keep up with the full scope of the story and the characters involved, but Liu does well tying the various story threads together. Monstress is a dark, sometimes unsettling high fantasy adventure with quietly effective moments of occasional humor. The characters are rich, the world is epic in scope, and the stakes are real from the very first page. This is fantasy and graphic novel writing done well. And in the midst of the world-spanning adventure and warfare that defines this series, Liu never loses sight of the individual characters--or the moments of real (sometimes heartbreaking) emotion that give a story like this real power. Each volume feels distinct but continues the plot with clear pacing and a resounding conclusion that leaves you wanting more. It's difficult to tell where this story is going, but I'm excited to be along for the experience.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nico

    I have literally no idea what's going on. It's very exposition heavy, like the other two volumes. However it reads like the fifth book in a 12 book cycle, like there's a bunch of stuff you should know by now and not have explained to you. Problem is, this series never explained anything very well at all. The art is always the highlight of Monstress, definitely not the story. It's very refreshing that like 90% of the characters are women in a very matriarchal society. There's lots of bisexual and I have literally no idea what's going on. It's very exposition heavy, like the other two volumes. However it reads like the fifth book in a 12 book cycle, like there's a bunch of stuff you should know by now and not have explained to you. Problem is, this series never explained anything very well at all. The art is always the highlight of Monstress, definitely not the story. It's very refreshing that like 90% of the characters are women in a very matriarchal society. There's lots of bisexual and lesbian characters, women of all shapes and sizes. So yea tldr Monstress has almost no plot, but it's artwork and character design are worth flipping through it for. Monstress desperately needs a better writer to pair with such a good artist.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    This series continues to astonish me!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    “He didn’t say you were a good person. He said you were a hero. There’s a difference.” GAAAAAH. I THINK THIS WAS THE BEST IN THE SERIES. It was more action-packed, less of a hunt for answers and more of a fight to stop a war. I love little fox and her innocence and compassion and the addition of a more fully-formed Zinn. It brought levity, and it was kind of awesome how Maika teamed up with the old god. There are still more questions that I have, and as always with a new volume, I'm going to have “He didn’t say you were a good person. He said you were a hero. There’s a difference.” GAAAAAH. I THINK THIS WAS THE BEST IN THE SERIES. It was more action-packed, less of a hunt for answers and more of a fight to stop a war. I love little fox and her innocence and compassion and the addition of a more fully-formed Zinn. It brought levity, and it was kind of awesome how Maika teamed up with the old god. There are still more questions that I have, and as always with a new volume, I'm going to have to reread it to catch stuff I missed. The world is just so vast and complex, and there are so many things going on at once. But it's SO DAMNED GOOD. I'm dying for the next part!!

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