Title: Chasing the Star Garden
Series: The Airship Racing Chronicles #1
Author: Melanie Karsak
Publisher: Clockpunk Press
Release Date: Audio Book Sept 2014
Narrator: Libby Clearfield
Length: 6 hrs, 52 min
Formats Available: Audio / eBook / Print
Source: Copy for 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 thriller 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.
**Due to steamy scenes and depictions of drug use, this novel is intended for mature readers.**
I bought Chasing the Star Garden just a couple of months ago in eBook format but have been getting into audio books lately. I've been dying to read this book and so jumped at the chance to review this story in audio book format.
Listening to Chasing the Star Garden is a beautiful experience. I love the narrator, Libby Clearfield! She can speak in a variety of accents, including Italian and French. She brings the story to life and speaks clearly. I'd definitely listen to another audio book narrated by her.
Chasing the Star Garden is engrossing and action packed with romance sprinkled throughout. The heat level to some of the love scenes definitely makes this a book for adults!
Lily is a character who quickly became a favorite of mine. She has a painful past she escapes from by smoking opium and drinking absinthe, and you see what her past is like through flashbacks. While Lily is strong, independent, and fierce, she also has a vulnerability.
I didn't realize at first how much Lord Byron and Sal meant to her, but it soon became clear they were much more than just her lovers. They both know about the other, and I think it was harder for Sal to accept that she also has Lord Byron. I think Sal loved Lily and didn't want to share her with anyone, but I also think Lily knew that and was scared of that kind of love.
The way Greek mythology ties into the treasure hunt in the story was interesting and well done. As if airship racing wasn't exciting enough, there's more excitement with the danger and adventure that comes with searching for the treasure before it falls into the wrong hands. Lily's very life is on the line.
Chasing the Star Garden confirms my love of the steampunk genre, and I'm looking forward to the next installment of the Airship Racing Chronicles, Chasing the Green Fairy! The title alone would make anyone want to dive into the story even if she/he didn't know what it was about, I'm certain of it! I definitely need more Lily!
About the Author
Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles, the award-winning horror/dark fantasy The Harvesting Series, and The Saga of Lady Macbeth. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master's degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, Shakespeare nerd, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
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