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Agatha H. and the Airship City

A Steampunk adventure by Phil and Kaja Foglio

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A Steamy Audio Book Adventure

  • Apr 13, 2011
Rating:
+4
*review of the Brilliance Audio Book release*

Steam as in Steampunk, not romance -- though there is a good bit of that as well. Agatha H. and the Airship City is the novel adaptation of Phil and Kaja Foglio's popular Girl Genius web comic and graphic novels. It follows the adventures of Agatha Clay as her normal life at Beetleburg University is shattered when Baron Klaus Wulfenbach and his fleet of giant airships pay the town a visit. What follows is breathless tale of clanks (robots), monsters and mad-boy inventors in an alternate "Gaslamp Fantasy" reality of Victorian Europa. After ordering the audiobook, I read some reviews that suggested reading the (free) online web comic before listening to the audio book. I'm glad I followed that advice because it added to my overall enjoyment and understanding of the book. You could easily just start with the novel, but it lacks the rich visual cues of Phil's dynamic artwork and I think they greatly add to the story. Careful though, I found it highly addictive!

Why bother with the book at all then you may ask? Well, what it lacks in eye candy it makes up for in story. The book remains 99% faithful to the web comic, yet expands back story and character motivation in an expository way the graphic novel format just can't. If you enjoyed reading the web or comic format, the novel is an enrichment of that experience. Angela Dawe narrates the tale and while at first I wasn't impressed, her voice and characterizations grew on me. She doesn't vocalize the Jägermonsters' Romanian-Germanic accents quite the way I heard them in my head, but she does do them justice. I'll admit that listening to her speak them was easier than trying to read them. ;)

There is a lot going on, and while the main characters are well developed, it is a slow process and comes in bits and pieces. In this case the mystery adds the story. However, the horde of secondary characters are left a bit flat. Still, if gears, mad science and Victorian romance/adventure/humor are your thing, then Agatha H. and the Airship City is worth checking out.
A Steamy Audio Book Adventure A Steamy Audio Book Adventure A Steamy Audio Book Adventure A Steamy Audio Book Adventure

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April 14, 2011
Sounds like the book and the web comic go hand in hand. What a nice combination! I just finished a new audio book myself that I'm going to draft a review for. I love audio books. :) Excellent review!
 
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Quick Tip by . April 13, 2011
Caption
Read the online web comic first before reading/listening to the book for maximum enjoyment.
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