Rob's Reviews > Agatha H and the Airship City

Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil Foglio
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's review
Mar 09, 11

bookshelves: 2011, fantasy
Read from February 28 to March 02, 2011

To someone who has never heard of Girl Genius, this novelization of the first three volumes of Phil and Kaja Foglio's magnum opus reads like a compelling, albeit only competently rendered, steampunk story. To a huge Girl Genius fan, it's a colossal disappointment.* The Foglios fill in a few details not made clear in the graphic novels, several of them fairly important,** but for the most part this book is a straight-up transcript with no attempt at story development. All the priceless mannerisms and hilarious background details are lost, with no worthwhile substitute.

Another, relatively minor, thing: Argh, proofreading! I own a second printing, supposedly much cleaner typographically than the first, but some of the spelling and grammar mistakes drove me to acute, throbbing-vein-on-the-forehead hypertension. If there are two ways to spell a word, the Foglios will inevitably pick the wrong one. Kind of like in the comic, but without five hundred rabid fanboys and -girls waiting to pick apart every new page the moment it's posted on the Web site.

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*In the first case, I'm projecting myself into the mind of someone who has never heard of Girl Genius. In the second, I'm projecting myself into myself.

**The most important is the backstory on what DuPree is talking about when she asks Klaus, "Any news on my problem?"
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