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review 2015-12-31 15:40
#CBR7 Book 155: Girl Genius, vol 1: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Crank by Phil & Kaja Foglio
Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank[ AGATHA HETERODYNE AND THE BEETLEBURG CLANK ] by Foglio, Phil (Author) Oct-01-10[ Paperback ] - Phil Foglio

Agatha Clay (although I'm going to assume that this is an assumed name, since she has another one in the TITLE of the book) is one of those diligent students, who no matter how much she wants to suceed just can't seem to. She's almost constantly late, she can't really seem to make her inventions work and she's a laughing stock at the Transylvania Polygnostic University. To make matters work, during a weird electrical incident in town, she's robbed and her precious locket, with the only pictures she has of her parents is stolen. A locket pretty much anyone in authority over her is appalled is missing.


When the clearly powerful Baron Wulfenbach arrives at the University to inspect their progress, it turns out the headmaster, Beetle, may have been conducting unlicenced experiments and there's somewhat of a change in power. Agatha is expelled from the university and explains everything about her bad day to her guardians, who announce that they need to pack everything and leave town as soon as possible when they hear the news that Wulfenbach is in town, and Agatha's lost her locket. Her uncle, who left to go adventuring and has been gone for eleven years was very clear on the fact that she should never take it off. Likely because it acts as some sort of dampener of Agatha's inherent "spark", which only the greatest of scientists seem to have. Wulfenbach's son and heir suspect she may be more than she appears.


Girl Genius is a Steampunk YA adventure series, that can be read online, but a few years back, I picked up the first volume mainly on the strong recommendation of Patrick Rothfuss. I then put it on my shelf and promptly forgot about it, but needed a twelfth comic to complete my last reading challenge this year, and it seemed like a good time to finally read it. It's difficult to ascertain much about the characters from the short volume I just read, but I'm sure it can't hurt for young women to have a scientifically minded young heroine to cheer for, even if she does seem to have been given clumsiness and tardiness as her chief characteristics so far. I'm not entirly sure yet whether Wulfenbach is an antagonist or potential ally and I suppose his son could be a love interest of some sort. At least he seems clever, which is a good quality to aim for in a partner.


As the first volume barely starts the story, with some of the plot and action being quite confusing, it wasn't exactly the best reading experience I've had this year, but the comic has potential and I like that I can make up my mind about whether I like more or not by reading it for free online, and then buy the volumes afterwards if I decide I want to support the authors. At least I got another book knocked off my already scarily big TBR shelf.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2015/12/cbr7-book-155-girl-genius-vol-1-agatha.html
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text 2015-02-02 19:13
January Highlights
City in the Desert: The Monster Problem - Moro Rogers
Fray - Joss Whedon,Andy Owens,Karl Moline
By David Mitchell The Bone Clocks: A Novel - David Mitchell
Legenderry A Steampunk Adventure #1 - Bill Willingham
The October Faction #1 - Steve Niles,Damien Worm
Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 1: Gifted - Joss Whedon,John Cassaday
The Antler Boy and Other Stories - Jake Parker,Jake Parker
Pride of Baghdad - Brian K. Vaughan,Niko Henrichon
The October Faction #2 - Steve Niles,Damien Worm
Girl Genius, Vol. 5: Agatha Heterodyne and the Clockwork Princess - Phil Foglio,Kaja Foglio
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review 2015-01-31 07:20
Full of Joy, Zip, and Panache
Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle: A Girl Genius Novel - Phil Foglio,Kaja Foglio
When I started this, I had one big question: since I hadn't read the comics this one was based on (unlike the first two), would that effect my understanding or enjoyment of the novel?  Nope.  Not a bit.  Which I think is a good thing.
Like the other two installments, this is just fun to read.  The writing is full of joy, zip, and panache.  The narration, descriptions, characters, and escapades are just fun.  I couldn't tell you how often I had to stop to chuckle (or more) at what looks like a throwaway line, but probably took 5-6 tries to get just right -- and was absolutely worth the effort.
The whole gang is back -- plus a few new characters, most of which I want to spend more time with (others I've already had my fill with).  I think the city and residents of Mechanicsburg are great, and I hope we get to spend more time with both.  Ditto for a certain self-aware piece of architecture.  I still love the Jaegers, even if I typically have to stop and really think about the pronunciation of every one of their syllables -- which, honestly, makes it more fun.
My only complaint -- well, I have two, actually.  The biggest is that the last 100 or so pages seem like the authors are just spinning their wheels.  Which is just frustrating.  The other is a common one for me -- anytime another person takes over someone's body, so that it's hard to tell who's doing what?  Boring.  Hate it.  Silly plot contrivance that I hope goes away soon, but will probably stick around for a long, long time.  
Still, not enough to crush my enjoyment of the book as a whole and or to keep me from wanting the next one soon.
If you've read the first two novels, there's nothing for me to say other than, keep going.  If you haven't -- don't start with this, it won't make sense.  Go back to <b>Agatha H and the Airship City</b> and enjoy.
Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2015/01/30/agatha-h-and-the-voice-of-the-castle-by-phil-kaja-foglio
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review 2015-01-27 11:47
Girl Genius Volume 5
By Kaja Foglio Girl Genius Volume 5: Agatha Heterodyne & The Clockwork Princess (v. 5) - Kaja Foglio

4 Stars, Buy it


Very silly and fun. Love the art. Agatha Clay is hilarious. In fact most of the characters are silly, wacky and fun, even the “bad guys”.


Summary from Amazon: Agatha Heterodyne is the last heir to the Maddest of Mad Scientist families, and on the run from the current ruler of Europe. In a fairy-tale castle on a mountain pass, she finds herself at the center of an evil plan to bring back one of the deadliest enemies of recent history.

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text 2014-10-31 17:00
October Highlights
The Paying Guests - Sarah Waters
Girls Night Out and Other Stories - Amy Chu
Girls Night Out: Tales of New York - Amy Chu
Girl Genius Vol. 4: Agatha Heterodyne & The Circus Of Dreams (Girl Genius) - Phil Foglio,Kaja Foglio,Laurie E. Smith
Sketch Monsters, V1: Escape of the Scribbles - Joshua Williamson,Jill Beaton,Vinny Navarrete

Don't have time to link to my reviews but hopefully if you click on the book page you can find my review there.  I have more good ones, but they are being carried over to November so they will get finished then.

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