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Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening
By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Discussed June 2017

Buy Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening from

Key Characters


  • Maika (survivor, monster?)
  • Kippa (brave little fox)
  • Ren
  • Tuya
  • Emilia
  • Corvin


  • Atena (scientist, dissident?)
  • Sophia ("mad" scientist?)
  • Yvette (Sophia's Mother & something more...)
  • Mother-Superior (Yvette's Mother & more)
  • Inquisitrixes & Flay
  • Gou


  1. Did you finish the book?
  2. Did you like the book? Why or why not?
  3. Visually the book presents some remarkably detailed visuals. There’s definite influence from art deco imagery that will be familiar, but also an influence from Asian art, particularly manga and anime. What did you think of the art? Were there particular images that stood out?
  4. What were your thoughts on the visual presentation of the characters? Did the visuals confuse you (some characters look very similar at times) or help you?
  5. How did the mix of the gruesome and discomforting (the sharp, hungry teeth, the deformities, etc) with the cute and cuddly (Kippa the little fox, Ren and the other multi-tailed cats, etc) visuals affect you?
  6. What were your thoughts on the story itself? Did you find it a challenge to follow the plot threads? Do you think the story would have been easier or more difficult to follow in pure text form?
  7. Thematically the book deals with some very challenging themes – war, slavery, xenophobia. What themes stood out to you and what elements in the story spoke to those themes for you?
  8. Is Maika a hero?  Are there any heroes in the book? Who are the monsters?
  9. While men exist in the story and in society, their roles in the story are pretty minor and that seems to be the case for both the Arcanics *and* the Federation.  How did this affect your reading? Why?
  10. Is there any LGBT content in the story? What clues or elements from the text or the visual story suggest that this content is there?
  11. The world of Monstress seems to have a lot of backstory and depth. What did you think of the worldbuilding?
  12. Would you be interested in reading more of Monstress? Why or why not?

Remember: There’s more hunger in the world than love.

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