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Monstress, volume 4: The Chosen

por Marjorie M. Liu (Writer), Sana Takeda (Artist)

Outros autores: Rus Wooton (Lettering & design)

Séries: Monstress (19-24)

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4741551,928 (4.16)20
Maika and Corvin make their way through a warped and lethal land in search of Kippa, who is faced with her own terrible monsters. But when Maika comes face-to-face with a stranger from her deep past, startling truths are uncovered, and at the center of it all lurks a dangerous conspiracy that threatens the Known World. Maika is finally close to getting all the answers she ever wanted, but at what price? With war on the horizon-a war no one wants to stop-whose side will Maika choose?… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I still really like the art, but I'm starting to feel like the story is dragging. I'm finding it hard to remember all the characters, which is probably part of why my interest is waning. ( )
  xaverie | Apr 3, 2023 |
Hugo 2020 Nominations (Best Graphic);

My love for this series is, was, and continues to be unwavering. From the moment of discovering it in pre-production and reading it as an advanced copyreader, up through both the Hugo's of 2019 and the nominations for 2020. I will never be in disagreement about this comic earning the last three year's Hugo Awards in a row, and even with one more book to read in my six nominees, this will likely be my sweep away winner again.

The art in this book continues to be heartrendingly gorgeous. It only increases with time. I find myself caught on the simplest of features in frames, torn and frozen, captured by them interminably.

In this about 70% of our people all meet up, again (but not everyone as the wedding fallout still looms on our future horizon), we meet Maika's father, continuing to weave and unweave the past of her father, her mother, and Zhin. I'm glad to see that our team in mostly pulled back together, with a reunion of Maika, Kip, Corvin, and our Betrayer!Cat. Everyone is making choices, loyalties and justifications are shifting, as our power balances in the macro-world (of the courts, the races, the old gods) and within the microcosms of beings (especially as we're seeing more of Kip's burgeoning emergence, and we're getting more loyalty/true bonding between our half-wolf and old god, defending/consoling each other).

I'm still curious to all high heaven where this story will go. ( )
  wanderlustlover | Dec 27, 2022 |
I was warned that I should reread the first three before I read this one, but did I listen? No, I did not. Surely I’ll start remembering things after a few pages, I thought to myself. Alas, no. The plotting for this series is complex, and I really should have followed my coworker’s advice.
I think I sort of knew what was going on by the end. I knew who I was rooting for, anyway. And I knew that Kippa is the sweetest little fox girl in the whole world. And the artwork is incredible, just gorgeous.
So, yeah. I’m not sure I understood a lot of what I just read, but it gets 5 stars because the artwork is amazing, and because it’s my own fault I didn’t follow it very well. The next time, I’ll be prepared. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
Yes, good, beautiful. I love how much more we get with every volume: more Kippa, more complexity, more danger, more stakes. ( )
  hissingpotatoes | Dec 28, 2021 |
Still gorgeous, still delightfully complex, but alas, probably my least favorite entry so far.

Spoilers ahoy for previous entries.

I'm serious.


At the end of the last volume, an old god was responsible for the destruction of a major pacifist city and refugee sanctuary, with more than 100,000 reported casualties. (See? Spoilers.) At the beginning of this one, we learn that the destruction was even worse than expected--the old god's death caused arcanics to go insane, killing and eating each other. On top of that, in areas where humans and arcancis have coexisted, the former have turned on the latter, slaughtering neighbors who they blame, incorrectly, for the destruction. Maika and Corvin make their way through this mess in search of Kippa, who was betrayed by Ren and kidnapped at the end of the last volume.


Pretty clear where this is going, right? Gonna be a big chase and attempted escapes and daring rescues, right?

Nope, all that's going to be swept under the rug in favor of slowing down the pace to introduce an entirely new and barely foreshadowed major power on the political chessboard. Granted, this is a much bigger surprise than the Lord Doctor, who did get foreshadowing, but it also felt like it came out of left field. While we're introduced to him and his faction, major players from previous novels like Ren and Zinn barely appear, and Kippa's excellent character development ("Adversity has made this little one wise." p. 156) is overshadowed by everything going on with Maika and, to a lesser extent, the Dusk/Dawn Court alliance.

In addition to missing favorite characters, I was a bit frustrated by the pacing. Perhaps it's because I've been reviewing Sandman in anticipation of the show. Gaiman provides information efficiently, distilling essentials down to a single page, covering decades while opening and closing issue-long subplots and planting the seeds of future plots at the same time. As time went on and Sandman got more prestige, there was less pressure to wrap up subplots in each issue. Liu's storytelling style seems to have begun where Gaiman ended. In this volume, Liu presents a lot of info over just a few days but takes a whole volume to do it. Whole pages pass with barely any dialogue. Granted, the difference in pacing may be in large part a product of the time and way in which Sandman was produced. My quite limited understanding of comics history leads me to make a comparison to the history of television, in which we moved from low-budget, self-contained episodes to mostly-self-contained episodes with a few multi-episode storylines, to seasonal arcs, and finally to bingeable shows that are basically big-budget 6- to 13-hour movies. If Sandman was the second, Monstress is somewhere between the last two.

Anyway, Maika does seem to get a little character development--if not as much as Kippa, who's finding strength in herself and growing into magical powers. Maika saves someone who she probably would have killed in an earlier volume, which is definite progress, but we don't really get to know when and why her principals shifted. Those narrative notes in which she talks to Tuya are almost totally absent here where I actually would have wanted them. And speaking of Tuya...Maika is right on the edge of discovering what's become of her. That, at least, is a very good carrot leading me to the next volume.

As mentioned right at the opening, the art is still gorgeous, but there were also a few places where something seemed...off. An arcanic character (p. 13) has horns that appear and disappear throughout the first issue before showing up in every issue after that. Since the tonal shifts didn't seem to correspond to the appearance/disappearance of the horns, it seemed more like a mistake than something deliberate. In one full-body image (p. 60) the warlord of the Dawn Court is missing her tails and seems to be missing an arm. The tails might be magic, but the arm...? On a story-related off-note, I couldn't figure out why the Lord Doctor was still eating people despite no longer having Zinn in his body. At least, I think he's still eating them. He attributes the rumors in the last two volumes about a flesh-eating ghoul to his habits. So...why? Do his allies not realize he's doing this? Don't they object?

Volume 4 may not have quite the cliffhanger that Volume 3 did, but there was a lot of upheaval--including the deaths of characters that I'd thought would be important, based on how much work went into establishing them--in the last few pages. So off I march into Volume 5, hoping that those seismic changes aren't ignored as much as Volume 3's happenings are ignored in Volume 4. ( )
1 vote books-n-pickles | Oct 29, 2021 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Liu, Marjorie M.Writerautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Takeda, SanaArtistautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Wooton, RusLettering & designautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Little Kitsunae. Look how you glow.
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This volume collects issues 19-24 of Monstress.
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Maika and Corvin make their way through a warped and lethal land in search of Kippa, who is faced with her own terrible monsters. But when Maika comes face-to-face with a stranger from her deep past, startling truths are uncovered, and at the center of it all lurks a dangerous conspiracy that threatens the Known World. Maika is finally close to getting all the answers she ever wanted, but at what price? With war on the horizon-a war no one wants to stop-whose side will Maika choose?

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