Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess by Phil Foglio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh my. I was not expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did, but it was truly such an original and brilliant novel, that I couldn't help but be swept along with.
We enter right where the first one left off, but where as Agatha H and the Airship took half the book to really get going, this one steamed ahead from the first page. I feared for maybe a slight dip in the narrative, as it is about twice the size of it's predecessor, but it didn't. It kept up it's relentlessly enjoyable pace through-out, throwing so many surprises our way that it was impossible (for me at least) to know where the story was going.
I mentioned in my review of the first book how impressive the scope of the imagination that went into creating Agatha's world. I want to reiterate that point again, and again, and again, because this to me, is what Steampunk should be and what all authors should aspire to. Ok, the idea of airships, automatons, bizarre weaponry and even the fashion aren't really anything new, after all, there are hundreds of books claiming to be Steampunk, but somehow this one to me should be allowed to lay to the right to calling itself Steampunk more so than the others. Every aspect of the story bares reference to it. Every aspect of the world and the people in it, their lives are surrounded by clockwork and mad-boys tinkering with nature, science, and that to me is true Steampunk. Not an odd invention here and there, a bustle and corset teamed with a pair of goggles, but some reference to something fantastical and mad on EVERYPAGE.
Then there's the story. Oh boy, I don't even know where to begin with the story. It's just one brilliant twist after another, like I said, there's no way of telling where the plot will take us next. Agatha is such a wonderfully well rounded lead, the circus folk a motley, but delightful crew of diversity. There is fun and mystery, shocks and revelations to be had on every page. Seriously I wouldn't know where to start with describing the plot, only that it is utterly original and utterly, utterly brilliant, fantastic, stupendous, marvellous, intelligent and, and...I have run out of words, but it is sooooo worth reading!!! I have even come to love the Jagermonsters, who I moaned about in the first review. They really come in their own in this one and I actually love how they speak. It still takes a fuckin' to work out what they are saying, but it wouldn't be right now if they spoke any other way.
To sum, up I loved it, and you will too. If you decide to give the series ago, prepare yourself for a most rip-roaring adventure. Goggles on!!! (^_^)
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