Monday, August 10, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: AGATHA H AND THE AIRSHIP CITY, by Phil & Kaja Foglio

Major fun, guaranteed!

I was perusing the stacks at Half Price Books, looking for research books for writing Steampunk, and found the Agatha H series on an end cap. I am definitely going to have to go back and get the other two books that were available. This series is a fun read. As I understand it, it ties into the Foglios' Girl Genius series of graphic novels. I could be wrong ... But I'll have fun learning where I'm wrong!

In the Steam world of Agatha H, there are the Sparks -- technical geniuses, creative, crazy, obsessed, and sometimes dangerous. Think mad scientists on steroids, so obsessed with their inventions they don't realize they're giving their monsters an order to destroy them. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. They rule -- or used to rule -- their own countries. Then came the Other, with slaver wasps and hive engines, turning people into zombie-like creatures and devastating civilization -- and wiping out the Sparks and their kingdoms. Baron Wulfenbach is out to save the world, taking many small kingdoms under his control/protection. It needs saving, but maybe not by his methods. We'll see. Our heroine, Agatha, attends a university, works as assistant to one of the lesser Sparks who has been taken under the control and protection of Baron Wulfenbach, and fights to translate her creative dreams into reality. Without much success. Then comes the day when her entire world is destroyed, her foster parents go on the run, and Agatha is mistakenly taken aboard the Baron's flying city, to use her as leverage against a mercenary she just met that day, whom the Baron thinks is her sweetheart. Well, people do get the wrong impression when they catch you running around your workshop covered in grease and wearing nothing but your underwear ... ah, these creative geniuses....

That's just the start of the fun and danger and melodrama and adventure and a touch of romance -- and a lot of stereotypes turned on their heads. Slowly, most often by accident, Agatha learns the truth about her life, the lies that have been woven around her to protect her, and it's a lot of fun to follow along. Read the book -- pray for a movie!

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