Saturday, December 3, 2011

Agatha H and the Airship City

Agatha H and the Airship City: A Girl Genius Novel by Phil and Kaja Foglio, is a novel based on the first three books in their series of graphic novels, Girl Genius, originally published as a web comic on

The premise is a world of gaslamp fantasy, which is like steampunk with a zany twist of mad science and otherworldliness. The main character is Agatha, a girl who is an assistant at a lab for mad scientists, aka Sparks. There are a lot of minor characters and I find that they are all rather unique.

I find it hard not to compare the novel to the graphic novels, upon which it is based. However, I will say that it does stand alone, so there really is no need to compare and contrast. There is a lot of contrast though, and it shows that a cartoon, or comic, is really only a way to tell a story, and that story can be transposed to another medium successfully.

The language is very good; it is both readable, with a large vocabulary, and stylistic choices. I enjoy hearing the Jagerkin talk, who speak with a certain dialect that is spelled out so you can imagine their accent.

Very early on I noticed something that seemed like deus ex machina, and in my opinion this can be a good plot device when used tastefully, especially if it has been foreshadowed. I know deus ex machina is sometimes seen as a negative thing, but I'm not criticizing anything here. The plot is actually refreshing and original. Highly recommended!

You can find out more on the official site for the book at

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