Chasing the Star Garden
by Melanie Karsak
Series: The Airship Racing Chronicles #1
Publication date: December 4th 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy
Source: eARC provided by author
in exchange for an honest review.
An opium-addicted beauty.
An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile.
An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands.
Melanie Karsak’s Chasing the Star Garden takes readers on a thrilling adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world. Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and shattered past, reluctantly plunges into a centuries-old mystery in a romantic adventure best described as Dan Brown meets Mary Shelley.
It all begins on one of the worst days of Lily’s life. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower. What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium.
Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way.
Did you read the synopsis up there? Good, because it sums up this book to a tee. There’s nothing more I can add without potentially giving away too much. Buckle your seat belts and prepare for the ride of your life. Chasing the Star Garden begins with drama, action and mystery that gripped me and never let go.
I had the privilege of beta reading this book for Melanie and I’ve been holding in my thoughts for quite some time now. Too long, in fact. It’s not been an easy task. Now, when I’m given the opportunity to shout my thoughts from the rooftop, mere words don’t seem adequate to explain how truly brilliant this story is. An angel should be sent down from Heaven to pimp this book, not having a simple blogger like myself write about it. Yeah, that’s really how I feel.
The story is so incredibly captivating and vivid. Melanie’s debut novel, The Harvesting, took my breath away and I wondered how she would be able to top it. Don’t get me wrong, I expected Chasing the Star Garden to be remarkable, but never did I imagine it would be even more imaginative and mind blowing. I read this book prior to the cover reveal and when I was finally blessed with a peek at the cover I was amazed by how perfectly it portrayed what I saw in my own imagination. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before.
Lily Stargazer is the main character of all main characters. While readers may not necessarily relate to her in some ways – drinking absinthe and smoking opium, for one – she is so incredibly engaging and real that it’s impossible not to adore her. She’s broken, but brave. She’s determined, and ready to take on the world.. and she literally does.
Chasing the Star Garden has a bit of everything for everyone; action, mystery, romance, sex, drugs and of course, airships! If this story was turned into a movie I would gladly pay twice the normal admission and camp out overnight to get tickets. Everyone should own a copy of Chasing the Star Garden, unless you’re one of those folks that doesn’t like to be thoroughly entertained.
~About the Author~
Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog to learn more about upcoming projects, book signings, and other neato things. Visit her online at melaniekarsak.blogspot.com.
Melanie’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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