Girl Genius 3: Agatha Heterodyne and the Monster Engine
Agatha Heterodyne is still figuring out how to get out of the Airship City in this third book in the series by Phil & Kaja Foglio, Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Monster Engine. She’s now got a helper, an annoying talking cat.
Before that, though, she and Gilgamesh are getting friendlier. He’s asked her to help in his private lab, where he can show off (he was a child genius! he created a mechanical orchestra! that plays music that he wrote!) and she can work on her own projects. Together, they fight experiments gone wrong, building their charming teamwork.
It can’t last long, though, because Krosp, the talking king of the cats, has other ideas. He thinks she won’t be safe until she escapes, so he forces a plan. Shame, because in this environment Agatha has finally made her breakthrough, recognizing her skills and building her own little tribe of mechanical people.
There’s plenty of adventure — a big fight against wasp monsters, a crazy hero who swings in at the worst possible moment, plots and double-crosses, fencing — and sudden escapes. Plus a proposal and more revelations of the history of this world and the Heterodyne family, the two of which are intertwined.
Agatha is made aware of her destiny, and regardless of whether she wants it or not, it’s going to change her life. She gains awareness of an unsuspected ability already known by the reader — people want to do what she tells them to — but at a cost that requires family sacrifices, leading into many future volumes.