the Little Red Reviewer

Girl Genius, volumes 4 & 5, by Phil and Kaja Foglio

Posted on: November 11, 2010

Need to get caught up on the story? Check out my review of the first three volumes of the hilariously wonderful Girl Genius here.

So far, volumes four and five are my favorites. The main plot line moves forward, Agatha gets some insanely fabulous character development, we get to meet the mythical Geisterdamen, broad brushstrokes of worldbuilding help set everything up for what’s coming, we get some hints about the not so good deeds of the Heterodyne family, and my most favorite minor character of the whole story is introduced. And yes, he’s a Jagerkin. Don’t judge me!

Where the first few volumes of Girl Genius were character and world introduction, sex comedy and shooting down out of control clanks with home made laser guns, volumes four and five are more subtlety, foreshadowing, character and world development, math jokes, sex comedy, and shooting down out of control clanks with home made laser guns. Tis good stuff.

Agatha and Krosp have escaped Castle Wulfenbach (and Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer ™), but their airship crashlands in the wastelands. They come across Master Payne’s Circus of Adventure, a traveling troupe of actors and performers. After a situation with a clank, a laser gun, and some Geisterdamen, Master Payne allows Agatha to travel with them. After all, they always have a need for another mechanic, and if Krosp can come up with a real act, maybe they can find a use for a talking cat in the show.

But Baron Wulfenbach is keen to get Agatha back. He sends Captain Dupree and Gilgamesh after her. Dupree wants to shoot now and ask questions later, while Gil is more interested in talking shop and maybe proposing marriage.

Agatha is coming to grips with the fact that she is indeed the daughter of Bill Heterodyne and Lucrezia Mongfish, and these Heterodyne plays the troupe performs? They are about her family. Agatha keeps her secrets to herself, and surrounded by misfits who don’t fit in anywhere, she quickly begins to feel at home in with the traveling circus. But she’s not the only one keeping a secret. It’s not long before she finds out nearly everyone she’d traveling with is a Spark, and that they are traveling with Moxana, one of the nine lost muses created by Van Rijn. The nine muses had originally been created for the StormKing, and when he calls, they must answer. When the show meets up with three smarter than they look Jagermonsters, it’s decided they could use some guards and clowns, so the Jagerkin join the fray.

And the Jagermonsters? The humanoid monsterish killing machines created by and fiercely loyal to the Heterodyne family? The BEST part of this series. You can’t help but read their lines out loud. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Jagerkin. Don’t even get me started about how much I love the Jagermonsters, because I just won’t shut up.

While performing in the city of Sturmhalten, Agatha is invited to dine with Prince Aaronev and his family. Not only does Aaronev and his son Prince Tarvek have their suspicions about who Agatha really is, they’re armed with truth serum, and she’s pretty gullible.

What do the Geisterdamen, the muses, Lucrezia Mongfish and Agatha all have in common? They are about to be trapped in Prince Tarvek’s plan for world domination.

Will Gilgamesh ever get the chance to tell Agatha how he really feels? Will we ever find out what Lucrezia was really up to when she dumped the Baron to marry Bill? With Agatha ever be completely free of Othar Tryggvassen? Can the Jagermonsters go an entire day without killing for fun? Are the Heterodynes good guys or bad guys? What’s up with this crazy Lucrezia chick?  What’s up with the even crazier Geisterdamen chicks?

For those answers and more, tune in for the next exciting episodes of Girl Genius! Adventure! Mad Science! Romance! And sex comedy.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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