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Agatha H. and the Airship City (Girl Genius Series, Book 1)
     

Agatha H. and the Airship City (Girl Genius Series, Book 1)

4.2 26
by Phil Foglio
 

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The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. It has been eighteen 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

Overview

The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. It has been eighteen 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Hugo Award-winning Foglios (Girl Genius) present the first three volumes of their popular gaslight fantasy comic in novelized form, maintaining the zany energy, witty repartee, creative characterization, and innovative world-building of the original. Agatha Clay is a university lab assistant in a world filled with madboy scientists, dangerous automata, and not quite human soldiers with silly Germanic accents. She soon finds herself a pawn in political power struggles when her locket is stolen and she is taken hostage on the airship of the powerful Baron Klaus Wulfenbach. While trying to stay alive long enough to discover the truth, she begins to discover her personal history and genius talents of her own. This version keeps closely to the original plot, and uses most of the original dialogue, but also provides expanded scenes and character interiority that will delight regular fans of the series. Although this book is likely not the best way to experience the Foglios' talent for the first time, and cannot do justice to the sheer buxomness of its main character, it is entirely comprehensible and enjoyable on its own without its comic counterparts. (Jan.)
Library Journal
It's hard being Agatha Clay. On top of debilitating headaches and missing relatives she has to deal with inventions that don't work and a lab position at Transylvania Polygnostic University that is heading nowhere fast. This uncomfortable inertia is disrupted when Baron Wulfenbach visits the lab and all mad science breaks loose, ending with Agatha a prisoner aboard the massive airship Castle Wulfenbach. With sparks of surprising scientific insight, the Baron's son, and a cat on her side, Agatha can't help but succeed, though it won't be easy. VERDICT This volume by the creators of the Eisner Award-nominated webcomic Girl Genius (Volumes 1–9) is a fantastic reintroduction (in a novel format) to the Girl Genius world and will definitely capture new fans. It will appeal to fans of the steampunk genre who like their books riddled with mad science and adventure, along with a liberal dash of humor.—April Steenburgh, Endwell, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597802871
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Publication date:
01/01/2011
Series:
Girl Genius , #1
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
105,732
File size:
318 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

PROFESSOR PHIL FOGLIO spends most of his time in the field, collecting legends, folk songs, anecdotes, and gossip pertaining to Sparks and their effects on village society and “folk science.” This is a bit odd, as he was originally hired by Transylvania Polygnostic University to teach Modern Dance. He first became interested in Heterodyne stories while doing research on simple automatons, and was actually present when the Lady Heterodyne unleashed her “Battle Circus” upon Baron Klaus Wulfenbach. Through subsequent research, bribery, and rampant speculation, the professor has managed to fill in a great many of the narrative gaps in the early life of Agatha Heterodyne. He enjoys botany, mechanical illustration, entomology, and—in moderation—modern dance. PROFESSORESSA KAJA FOGLIO is the current head of the Department of Irrefutably True History at Transylvania Polygnostic University. She first became aware of the power of Creative History while listening to the excuses of her fellow students who had failed to produce their homework. Her doctoral work brought recognition to the long-hidden Canis operisphagus, or “homework-eating dog,” which, as we now know, infests most of our major schools and universities. She first became interested in the history of the Heterodyne family during the infamous “Nymphenberg Pudding Incident” when she was mistaken for Agatha by an angry mob of dessert chefs, from whom she barely escaped. Her subsequent research has brought her the grudging acclaim and jealous rivalry of many of her academic colleagues. She enjoys airship racing, Hyrulian Electro-Mechanical Shadow Puppetry, and illustrated novels.

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Girl Genius, Volume 1: Agatha H. and the Airship City 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
ShadrachAnki More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to find this book on the shelf at my local Barnes & Noble. I have been reading the Girl Genius comic for several years, so a novelisation was of interest to me. The writing is solid, though some stylistic elements may take getting used to, particularly if you are unfamiliar with steampunk and/or Girl Genius. Content-wise this novel covers the same time period and story elements as the first three volumes of the Girl Genius comic. There are some minor differences between the two, and the novel expands on several background story elements that aren't really covered predominantly in the comic. Unfortunately, reading the novel doesn't let you see all the intricate background details that are shoved into the art in the comic. Including said details would be impractical; if nothing else it would completely bog down and derail the story. So as an example, in the novel we have to be content with knowing Gil's personal library has bookcases crammed with books, and some of the broad categories those books fall under. In the comic we can read the titles of many of those books (things like Who's Who; What's What; Cultivate a Maniacal Laugh; and Oops!) and get some chuckles. All in all I would say this is a good companion work to the comic, not a replacement or substitute. They work best together. Reading the novel had me jumping back in to reread the comic, because I was craving all the little humorous details that just didn't translate over to the written word.
SecondRunReviews More than 1 year ago
I’m not quite sure where to start this review. I finished Agatha H and the Airship City, but I’m not quite sure what I read. I’m confused and perhaps that confusion lead to me finishing the book in hopes that my confusion would be cleared. There are so many characters in this book and they don’t seem to be properly introduced. Everyone is seemingly connected, but those connections are so haphazardly revealed and usually in the middle of a fight or arguement so it gets lost in the action. That is one plus to this book. There is a lot of action. It keeps moving at a good clip. When you are working with geniuses (called Sparks) who tend to foil their own plans as often as they succeed it requires the hero or heroes to step up and make good (or at least try). And that is where this book fails again. I’m not sure who the hero or heroes are. There is no central conflict to the book and it’s pretty obvious, I think, from the introduction of Agatha what she is so her scantily clad mis-adventures on board Castle Wulfenbach get old. So basically you are waiting 100 or 150 pages from someone to to actually tell Agatha what she is (she’s a smart cookie, but can’t put those pieces together) and another 100 or so pages after that for another character to reveal her parentage. This book just seemed to be a hot mess in the end. A girl genius is cool and all, but for a genius she is still pretty dense. There were things that happened to her again and again (falling asleep, waking up in her skivvies at a workbench covered in oil only to be discovered almost every time by a man) and she couldn’t put the pieces together or at least get the idea to sleep fully clothed. I was feeling pretty exasperated by the end. I will give the authors credit for giving Agatha a boy that admires her brains and respects her for them. However, that isn’t enough to keep me reading the other books in this series.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
Great fun! It kept me entertained the whole way. Now I want more adventures!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would have liked to buy this on the nook but it's just too expensive. My advice: get it from the library before buyimg it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun and entertaining adaptation of the web comic, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Bill_Newman More than 1 year ago
This was a good read overall but would have benefited from more back-story. Perhaps there are books that pre-date this that would have helped explain the world this is happening in. I spent too much time trying to figure out what was going on to really enjoy the book. I've bought the #2 book but haven't read it yet.
russellr More than 1 year ago
if you like steam punk this is a series to look into. with the crazy ideas and odd world most any one would enjoy exploring this world.
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Light fun, though the slapstick in the online comic doesn't translate well to prose. A bloodbath at the end doesn't seem to fit with the book's earlier frothiness. Unconnected with the sometimes-amateurish writing is the very bad formatting of the e-book version: sentences broken across paragraphs, barely indented paragraphs... It's a mess and difficult to read. If you want an electronic version, I'd stick to the graphic novel.
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