Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil and Kaja Foglio

Agatha H. and the Airship City by Phil and Kaja Foglio
Nightshade Books, January 2011
Genre: Steampunk, Alternate History, Gaslamp Fantasy

Official Description:
The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. It has been sixteen years since the Heterodyne Boys, benevolent adventurers and inventors, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Today, Europe is ruled by the Sparks, dynasties of mad scientists ruling over - and terrorizing - the hapless population with their bizarre inventions and unchecked power, while the downtrodden dream of the Hetrodynes' return. At Transylvania Polygnostic University, a pretty, young student named Agatha Clay seems to have nothing but bad luck. Incapable of building anything that actually works, but dedicated to her studies, Agatha seems destined for a lackluster career as a minor lab assistant. But when the University is overthrown by the ruthless tyrant Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Agatha finds herself a prisoner aboard his massive airship Castle Wulfenbach - and it begins to look like she might carry a spark of Mad Science after all.

My Thoughts:
I knew pretty much what to expect when I picked up this book since it is the novelization of the webcomic Girl Genius (If you haven't read it, you should!). I think that the Foglios made a very successful transition from comic form to prose. The novel can easily stand on its own with the world and character building. I was a bit disappointed by the novel because I had hoped that the transition to prose would come with some more expansion on the world and characters. I would have liked to see the Foglios explore the depth that prose enables in comparison to the comic as far as fleshing out the characters and adventure. As it was written it is pretty much an exact rendition of the comic. It was a fun read but all in all, it didn't add anything new to the experience.

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