Making a giant leap on Amazon sales rankings is Phil & Kaja Foglio’s Agatha H. and the Airship City, the latest in the Girl Genius series, currently at #38, the highest rank to date for a title in the series. The authors nudged this along by proclaiming yesterday “Girl Genius Day” and asking fans to place orders on the new book’s release day, making it soar up the list. A similar tactic was used successfully last fall by the authors of Machine of Death.

I’m not a fan of these efforts to manipulate the lists, but I do love the series — it’s a smart combination of steampunk adventure, humor, and just a touch of romance. Up to now, the series has appeared in comic format, with the previous volumes collected as graphic novels. The new installment, however, is a prose novel.

The series has a devoted fan following. Teens and adults enjoy the derring-do and rich world-building the series excels at, including elaborate Victorian gadgets and believably complicated political struggles. The volumes I’ve managed to collect circulate very well in my library’s teen collection.

I’d love to give the comic series a whole-hearted recommendation, but it’s difficult to buy any but the most recent volumes via library vendors. Also, unfortunately, the bindings don’t hold up to frequent library use.

You can try to get older volumes through other sellers that list on Amazon, if your library is set up to order from them.

Agatha H. and the Airship City (Girl Genius)
Phil Foglio, Kaja Foglio
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: Night Shade Books – (2011-01-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1597802115 / 9781597802116

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