Monday, November 26, 2012

Agatha H and the Airship City, Phil and Kaja Foglio

"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. 

From Phil and Kaja Foglio, creators of the Hugo, Eagle, and Eisner Award-nominated webcomic Girl Genius, comes Agatha H and the Airship City, a gaslamp fantasy filled to bursting with Adventure! Romance! and Mad Science!"

This was the perfect read for a day off work, it's fast paced, steam filled and completely bonkers, I couldn't put it down. Agatha is a hugely likeable heroine, and she's massively readable, I had no end of fun with her and can't wait for the sequel in January. I have to confess, when reading it I didn't realise it was a graphic novel adaptation, the novel covers the first 3 volumes of the comic series I believe, and they can be read online at, pardon me while I squeeeee!! Comics aren't usually my thing, but the idea of being able to 'see' all of the action I've just devoured is far too tempting to ignore.

Agatha's world is completely intriguing, the plot here may be filled with cliche but it works because of the original and beautifully vivid world-building. I defy anyone not to have fun with the Clanks and J√§germonsters, the constructs and the villains, the wasps and the Sparks. It's just, gorgeous. There's so much to lose yourself in, it was an absolutely beautiful read. Mad, but brilliant.
The only thing I can find as a negative is that once in a while the J√§germonsters' dialogue got a little too much to decipher, it slowed me down sometimes as I was trying to belt along behind Agatha. Other than that? Flawless! Can't wait for the next one.


  1. A steampunk webcomic? Gimmie! I don't know if it's just the computer I'm using, but the blurb for the book comes out as a bunch of weird characters :S


    1. Eek! it does?
      I can't get it to do that for me, tried several different browsers..