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Girl Genius, Volume 3: Agatha Heterodyne and the Monster Engine

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Who Are You? Where Are You Going?

    In this third installment of the Girl Genius story Gilgemesh Wolfenbach offers Agatha Clay a place in his personal laboratory. Gil is the son of and heir to Klaus Wolfenbach, the mad scientist who rules all of Europe. And while Agatha is Klaus's prisoner, he does not suspect that the Spark of mad science lies within her. Gil knows better, and hopes to find in her someone with whom he can relate at a proper level. His servants include an intelligent buglike creature--a science project from his own childhood--and a personal servant whose job includes doing Gil's bragging for him. But none of them can appreciate his abilities or share his interests the way another Spark can.

    Agatha is also befriended by the talking, intelligent cat Krosp. At her accidental suggestion, he declares her his subject and assumes responsibility for her safety.

    When the airship castle is threatened by a mechanical/biological terror, Gil and Agatha must fight their way to safety. They make a good team and Gil seizes the moment to suggest they make plans for the future. Agatha's refusal is interrupted by a series of conflicting rescues which finally bring her face to face with Klaus, and Klaus face to face with Adam and Lilith Clay--Agatha's 'parents' who are much more than they seem. And Agatha is also more than she seems, or knows. Klaus is right about one thing: the future of Europe will hinge on Agatha.

    Lilith's final instruction sends Agatha on a quest for her ancestral home, the very place Klaus reserves for the people whom he wants to be rid of. And nobody wants to go THERE. Nobody, that is, but Agatha Heterodyne and her travelling companion Krosp.

    This third volume is in color, with the coloring done by the same artist who did volume two. The style begins to strain under the greater demands of the story and the line artwork. Nonetheless it is adequate to carry this volume. The Foglio sense of humor shines through in moments good and perilous and characters show what they are really made of.

    Girl Genius is a story of noble heroes and noble villians, along with some dangerously fickle adventurers. And, with volume appearing after volume, it will be a long time before anyone lives happily ever after. But it does have champions and noble causes as well as some very dangerous good guys. Note also that Phil and Kaja Foglio suggest that is may not be entirely suitable for pre-teens. Characters are shown in their underwear and themes of romance and ancestry are integral to the story. Parental discretion is advised. Greybearded children like me are, happily, free and clear.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2009

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