INSEXTS YEAR ONE

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2018

Member Reviews

I loved this! It's a wild ride that I wasn't sure at first what I was getting into, but the more I read, the more I fell headfirst into this amazing and awful world that Bennett created. It is obvious that this was a story born out of anger: of how womanhood is denigrated, how women are treated as objects and bearers of blame and shame, and how we are placed onto pedestals of meekness and obedience, or made monsters if we exhibit brains and a spine. 

Victorian body horror is not my usual genre by a long-shot, but I'm glad I gave it a shot. The gore and brutality also appeared side-by-side with love and sensuality. It's a celebration of women, of feminine power in all its form, of taking our place in a man's world and asserting our power. 

The fact that the central two characters, Mariah and Lady, subverted all sorts of Victorian sensibilities by existing was amazing. They were a queer interracial couple from very different classes and they didn't give a damn about society. That they turned into avenging bug creatures was just icing on the cake.

This book is gruesome and awful, sexy and sweet, and cathartic. So cathartic. I hope there's more to come.
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Not really my cup of tea. I suspected more from it so I felt pretty let down. It's a predictable story with characters I didn't much care for.
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Book Review
Title: Insexts Year One
Author: Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina (Illustrator), Bryan Valenza (Colorist), Jessica Kholinne (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer)
Genre: Graphic novel
Rating: ****
Review: The opening of Insexts was great, it opens in London 1894, we are introduced to Lady Bertram and her husband Harry. Harry desires a son and his wife hasn’t been able to give him one, so he is cheating on her repeatedly. We also learn that the Lady is in a lesbian relationship with her maid Mariah, but Mariah isn’t human she seems to be an insect like humanoid and judging from the imagery used I would say with insect Mariah is could be a dragonfly. 
In a bedroom scene we see Mariah impregnate her lover, but to keep it hidden the Lady transfer the child into her husband which grow rapidly, and the child is born within hours killing her husband, leaving her free to be with her lover and their son William. They decide to stay in London for the time being and to hide the fact the child was born so early Mariah decides to put the Lady into confinement for six month and when she emerges she will be a widow with a new born son people will think is her husband’s child.
As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel, we learn the Lady’s name is Lalita and her sister in law is planning to bring her down as she suspects that Lalita was in part responsible for the death of her husband and that her son is a bastard. However, the power Mariah gave to Lalita is uncontrollable and bursts forth at the most inopportune times and they sometimes finds themselves in dangerous positions but all they want is to protect their son who is growing up. 
However, it is soon glossed over when a man confesses to killing Harry and being the London Butcher but we the readers know this can’t be true as Lalita and Mariah planned Harry’s demise. However, there are several different types of creature present in this novel and it does become a little difficult to keep track of who is hunting who at times, but it doesn’t make the bloodshed and gore any less entertaining. I also liked how William is drawn into this, William (not the child) was a friend of Harry’s and is a doctor, he is also madly in love with Lalita and decides to stay by her side to protect from any and all that wish to harm her or her son.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, we meet a creature called the cynocephali which seems to be very similar to a werewolf who was believed to be the London Butcher who escaped from prison, but it claims that she and Mariah are the butchers and we can’t argue with that fact as they do have quite the body count behind them. They also have to be cautious as Sylvia and George are just waiting for them to slip up. We learn that George and Sylvia are both servants of the hag much like Harry was and they have been ordered to kill baby William but with the help of their friends Mariah and Lalita manage to kill Sylvia and they plan to kill the hag as well, but something isn’t right with Lalita and her transformation are becoming more and more insect like and her instincts are out of control, the only one able to reach her in this state is Mariah but for how much longer isn’t known.
As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, we get to see the showdown with the hag and many die, but William’s was the hardest but, in the fight, Lalita is also injured leaving Mariah and baby William alone, but they aren’t truly alone as they have their friends by their side. However, the hag has taken much from them and they are trying to decide how to be happy again with all the darkness and death that has followed them when all they wanted was to be a happy family. I was excited to see where the story was going next as 90% of the plot has been leading up to the battle with the hag and now with Lalita healing I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go. 
As we cross into the second half of the novel, we shift location to Paris in 1897 so Will is now 5 years old, he and Mariah moved there with Lalita’s cocoon and after many years Mariah finally manages to awake her love. However, we are also introduced to a new creature that seems to have Medusa like power as she can’t turn people to stone but they don’t die they are still alive and can’t still die just encased in stone. We also learn through Phoebe Will’s governess that women are being hunted and turned into art imprisoning them and that she needs Mariah and Lalita’s help in order to set them free.
In the final section of the novel, Phoebe, Mariah and Lalita are trying to unravel the mysterious disappearances and in the necropolis, they finds the mysterious creature and her human gallery. I don’t want to give away the end of the series, so I am not going to talk about the ending at all because it just wraps up everything nicely. I really liked the use of mythology and other cultures with the sci-fi and horror elements of the story. Highly recommended.
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Too much explicit violence and explicit sex for me. Lots of body horror with people turning into insects and people being ripped apart. I didn't like how there wasn't an origin as to why these two women suddenly started becoming were-insects. I did think the second volume was better written, having toned down the violence some. It was a story about male artists devaluing women except as objects of art. For some reason a gorgon was involved as well. Anyway if feminist body horror is your thing, you'll probably dig this even if it isn't particularly well told.
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Different from what I expected and quite unique. This one wasn't really for me though I like the main idea behind it.
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I don't normally read a lot of horror (and this is some extremely graphic horror -- lots of dismembered bodies and insect imagery) but I got into the story more as I went along. If you're into the concept of a mixed-race woman who has married into the English aristocracy in the Victorian period and her maid (also her lover) escaping her abusive husband's clutches by turning into bug monsters, have at it! If that sounds way too weird for you... yeah, it gets weirder the further along it gets, and there's a lot of explicit violence and explicit sex. I actually didn't like the art that much -- it's kind of old school -- but that's mostly me wanting all art to be pretty, and I can appreciate that the art here is serving a purpose even if it's not personally to my taste. Long story short: if an explicitly feminist cross between Monstress and the Sandman sounds up your alley, you'll love this, but if either of those comics is too much for you, this is going to be too much too.
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This book was just plain weird. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting but it was still weird.
The plot was interesting, it could be off-putting sometimes but it was still fun.
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This book is definitely not for everybody, but it is a very good book. I found it a bit confusing to follow the story at first, but I stuck with it and enjoyed the ride. Lots of sex between the main two werebugs. It brings to mind the Master of Horror episode, Sick Girl (which I also enjoyed). Very unique read indeed.
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There is good stuff here, but for me it gets a little lost in a message that is hammered home with too much vigour and a predictability that I found a little tiresome. The premise is sound and I enjoyed some of the horrific aspects to the plot. I also thought the artwork was great, particularly the full plates that delineate each issue. Unfortunately, I found some of the graphic sexual imagery a little unnecessary and felt that it detracted from the issues at hand. The place of women in society, both now and when the comic is set, is a fascinating topic for exploration, but I felt that the way in which it was tackled here just didn't appeal to me. 
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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'InSEXts Year One Vol. 1' by Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina is a Victorian era feminist revenge fantasy with sex and gross out creatures. 

Two women who are really into each other discover they also can transform into horrifying bug creatures.  They initially can't control these forms, and end up taking revenge on the men who would keep them down.  The book settles in when they find another dark creature running a brothel, and they decide to stop her from exploiting women, but not before more heads (and other body parts) roll.  They are insect in nature, and they are joined by men who can transform into dog form.  The second half of this volume takes the two women to Paris where they look into a group of artists who are putting women into their paintings. Literally.

In a B-movie kind of way, I liked this book.  The gross out bug transformations were cool.  The woman on woman parts were less interesting to me.  The story tends to feel a bit muddy in places, and it's hard to know which monsters to be cheering for.  An author's foreword explains how the comic came to be.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from AfterShock Comics, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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I enjoyed this graphic novel. The characters were badass and queer as fuck.
I’m still not sure how I felt about the art though.
Also, as gripping as the plot was, it lost me at times. It was all too confused, tangled…
I still haven’t understood how the whole Paris plot came to be… I don’t know, I guess I’m still very confused...
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Great story and great art. InSEXts surprised me with each chapter and for good. I would have liked to have more aswers about the origin of these creatures, but I consider this mystery a wink to Gothic Classic literature. It even has the potential to become an on-going series! If not, this will remain as a marvel among the rest.
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A mash-up of steamp**k and steamc**t, this is just bland titillation disguised as a political, girlpower tract.
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I really loved the feminist theme and the empowerment of women in all their ugly and unconventional sides.
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Wow, Marguerite Bennet spins a dark and sexy tale! 

I enjoyed this story - and the art was phenomenal! 

And I loved the feminist overtones. 

But that being said, some of the book was a bit hard to follow. And there was something that kept me from being completely enchanted by the book. I really liked it. All the elements were there, but something about the way they were put together made me not connect with it like I would have liked to. 

Thanks to NetGalley and AfterShock Comics for a copy in return for an honest review.
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well illustrated graphic novel, plenty for the eye to take in. lots of gore and grief, sex and fantasy. the story is a little strange but well written.
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Fevered fin de siecle romance/feminist revenge fantasy inspired by the notion that "to be a woman is to live a life of body horror". And even if one could say the same of being human in general, I take the point. I enjoyed the lushness, the savagery, the wickedness and the moments of air-punching comeuppance, and I loved the Mucha- homaging covers. Alas, it's marred by editorial failings, from spelling glitches to mountains west of London, and the understandable but mistaken belief that because Britain has countesses we must also have counts. Which is a real shame. I know plenty of people who'll be up for a comic about lesbian were-insects sticking it to the patriarchy (where 'it' is an ovipositor or chitinous claw); I just wish I could point them this way without caveats which could so easily have been rendered unnecessary. 
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Now relocated to Paris, this 19th century were-insect body horror/romance series is still not exactly the most subtle book in the world, as witness the plot where jealous male artists are taking 'unnatural' female artists and magically trapping them in paintings instead, DYS? But I didn't spot any of the more egregious historical howlers from the first volume. And there's something about the fervent ideology which intertwines well with the fervid love affair at the story's heart, hothouse plants in a decadent embrace.  (Netgalley ARC)
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Beautiful artwork but the plot is lacking in anything to keep me intrigued or interested. While I love the body horror a kin to metamorphosis or tomie, this graphic novel likes the depth that mark the others. I found myself bored by the romance and did not believe it one bit.
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I wanted to like this book, especially given the author's strong statement regarding language and women, as well as the indication that this was an LGBTQ+ positive title. While I don't have an issue with sex in horror titles as long as it serves a purpose and helps drive a story, I didn't find the graphic portrayal of sex repeatedly in this graphic novel to be necessary and I can't help by question why so much was included.
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Sex and fantasy: fantasy sex. There is a lot to love in this graphic novel. Sex, gore, and a great art style.
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