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.