That which lies beneath us…

Monstress, Vol. 1: AwakeningMonstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Re-reading this, before finally reading volume two.

Do the Cumaean pristesses remind anybody else of the Bene Gesserit? There are also some scenes that remind me of LOTR.

I forgot massive amounts of plot. I am actually stunned at how much happened in these six issues that I did not recollect. I liked the plot a lot more than I did previously, especially the ending. That might be due to me reading a lot more comics since the first time I read this.

I decided not to update the single issue reviews.

Now I would like to very much find out the identity of the baroness. I hope Lord Corvin will show up again. Onwards to volume two…

Original review from August 2016:
A dark and grim story about survival, war, racial conflict, hate and the monsters inside of us (paraphrased from Marjorie Liu’s epilogue).

I love the artwork and the colouring. Together with the story it captivated me from the first page.

According to the blurb the setting is an alternate Asia. There are hints–dress, hair styles, a two-tailed cat, but it mostly struck me as fantasy. 

A war has been fought between the Human Federation and Arcanics. In this scenario the humans seem to be the bad guys and the Arcanics the monstrous/demonic underdogs.

Great comic, wonderful artwork. The plot could be a bit more speedy, it dragged a little in places. But all in all a great read, highly recommended for fans of dark fantasy.

4.5 stars

From here on I review the single issues, there be spoilers…

(view spoiler)

Issue 1: Maika Halfwolf lets herself be sold as a slave, to infiltrate the city of her enemies, in the search of a woman… Why she searches is not quite clear in the beginning, but there is bloodshed on the way. Present time alternates with an earlier timeline, telling Maika’s backstory. Parts of the story are gruesome, this is not for the faint of heart.

Issue 2: The aftermath of Maika’s escape. This part if fairly short and I am not completely sure what goes on or where Maika is headed.

Issue 3: Do we get to see Maika’s true self? We make a detour into her inner self, which seems to be located in ancient Egypt…

Great artwork again in this issue and some brutal fights.

Issue 4: We finally get to know Maika’s inner monster. I like it. It’s wicked. It might have a sense of humour. Evil, evil monster… And we find out, what the Arcanics are.

Kippa and the cat are great for comic relief in this grim tale. 

And the last, full-page panel is awesome!

Is it possible that Marjorie Liu is a fan of epic fantasy? I can’t shake this Dune-vibe. And now it had a love child with Robert Jordan.

Issue 5: We meet a mysterious stranger. I want to say the plot thickens, but there is not really a lot of plot, or rather it’s starting to drag a bit. The end of this issue indicates that something major might happen soon. Let’s hope so!

Issue 6: Volume 1 comes to a conclusion. Sadly, not a very satisfying one. There is hope. And there are many questions. And my need to buy the next issues, I guess.

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I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

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Little, little bison

Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2013 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #708)Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2013 by Gordon Van Gelder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh Give Me a Home By Adam Rakunas | 7651 words, ★★★★½

“I HAD JUST PUT THE HERD into their evening pasture when Leggo came over the rise. He was huffing and puffing on his old mountain bike, pushing his enormous bulk up the brown Sierra foothills. “Dude,” he said, leaning his bike against my Chevy, “you’re getting sued.”“

A story about family, genetics, and bison. Little, little bison. And a company that does sound a bit like Monsanto. The little, little bison were the inspiration for Daryl Gregory‘s teeny 3-inch bison in Afterparty and that‘s how I ended reading this…

Creepy, because this is the battle farmers are actually fighting today, with big companies trying to patent genomes of common livestock, so they can charge for the use. Which is just ridiculously insane. Don‘t even get me started on special fertilizer for GMO crops.

Great ending, I liked that!

Author‘s website:

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