Trade published July 19, 2016
How does one overcome the monstrousness of others without succumbing to a rising monstrousness within?
This is the question posed by Marjorie Liu in a letter at the end of the volume, and it’s explored in exquisite detail within the comic. Set in an alternate-reality 1900’s matriarchal Asia, Maika Halfwolf is seeking answers and revenge from those who killed her mother. Two races–those who possess magic, and those who do not–are in constant conflict. Those with no magic strive to possess–and sometimes eat–those who do have it. Maika enters a slave auction to infiltrate this society to get the answers she seeks. Along the way, she struggles with controlling the monstrous presence inside her that makes her do increasingly horrible things.
The comic is a stunning art deco steampunk feast for the eyes, and explores themes of survival and deadly hatred. The story and characters are intriguing, and the world building is as rich as the artwork.
JL Jamieson is a strange book nerd who writes technical documents by day, and book news, reviews, and other assorted opinions for you by night. She is working on her own fiction, and spends time making jewelry to sell at local conventions, as well as stalking the social media accounts of all your favorite writers.