Agatha H and the Airship City A Girl Genius Novel by Phil and Kaja Foglio, Night Shade Books, 2011 trade paper YA fantasy-adventure – novelization of Girl Genius graphic novels
I’d been seeing write-ups and reviews here and there for the Girl Genius graphic novels for some time, so when I came across this novelization of the first two, I decided to pick it up from Night Shade Books. There are nine of the graphic novels so far, and they have been very popular. The graphic novels are readily available, this took more searching until I found it was published by Night Shade Books.
Agatha is a student at Beetleburg University, where she is continually frustrated by an inability to build the gadgets she can envision in her mind. The problem is she doesn’t have “the Spark”, a naturally occurring type of genius relating to inventiveness and insight that only a very small portion of the populace possess. Most of those with the Spark have been the heads of powerful families which established small kingdoms which were taken over, one by one, by Baron Wulfenbach, who then collects these sparks to strengthen his own kingdom.
While Agatha is at university one morning – early in this novel – there is an invasion of sorts by the Baron. Agatha is captured as she has “some interesting ideas”. Her parents have long since disappeared so she lives with an aunt and uncle, but they escape the invasion and flee into the countryside.
In the remainder of the novel Agatha is aboard the huge flying castle of the Baron, where she alternatively tries to escape or work in a lab to build one of her machines. Revelations occur, truths come and go and there is a ton of adventure and interesting gadgets. I only have one qualm about this novel: there isn’t a next one to go on to. Hurry up, please, Foglios and Night Shade!
CORRECTION: There is a second novel, Agatha and the Clockwork Princess which I have now ordered. Thanks to Redhead of The Little Red Reviewer for the information!