Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
Stands well on its own
on April 21, 2012
I usually tend to shy away from novelizations, but this is an unusual novelization--generally, novels get made in to comic books, not the other way around. But I've enjoyed Phil and Katya Foglio's "Girl Genius" series (available online for free, or from Amazon as a set of handsome graphic novels) so much that I decided to give the novels a try. I've read both this one and its predecessor, and while they tell the same story as the graphic novels, and while I miss Phil Foglio's cartooning, I find the novels quite enjoyable on their own terms and very much complementary, enabling the Foglios to develop the characters a bit more that was possible within the constraints of the comic book format.
For those who are new to the series, the Agatha/Girl Genius series is an extended dramatic farce set in a steampunk alternate europe in which scientific genius is almost always accompanied by Victor Frankenstein-style mania often with unfortunate consequences for the populace at large. Clockwork and biotechnology (of the Frankenstein style) is developed to a high level, but electronics has been neglected. The plot is baroquely complicated, with a huge cast of unique and engaging characters that the Foglios somehow manage to keep in play. The Foglios' flair for comic dialog is very much in evidence. Be sure to read the humorous and informative footnotes (which unfortunately are not hyperlinked in the Kindle edition). The novels follow the plot of the "Girl Genius" series pretty much exactly. The first novel "Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess" was quite good, but with this sequel the Foglios (and the story) really hit their stride.
I'm eagerly anticipating future additions to both the graphic novel and prose novel versions of the story of Agatha.