Book Title: Chasing the Star Garden (The Airship Racing Chronicles #1)
Author: Melanie Karsak
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: December 4th 2013
by Clockpunk Press
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.
*Due to steamy scenes and depictions of drug use, this novel is intended for mature readers.
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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Let me tell you, I’m a big fan of all things mythology. Literally. I don’t care who or when or where, if it’s got something to do with mythology, even in the slightest, I would go for it, always. So it’s no wonder that I seem to love this one too. The author has mingled myth with the plot so well you can only like it. The best part I think is that it is spontaneous and never feels imposed.
I loved the adventure element of the book. I am biased with books that has an adventurous plot, specifically when it is executed this well. The stuff Lily, the lead of the story, does sounds so cool in itself! And the theme of adventure (in freaking Venice!), along with all the other things make this book a steampunk story in the truest sense!
Above everything else, I LOVED Lily. Pure kick-ass. Though she’s not the kind of character I would usually go for, but the author has made her character in such a way that you cannot help liking despite her antics. She’s weird, absurd, flawed, in short a kind of an anti-heroine and yet I find it impossible not to like her throughout the book! Though I’m not into reading the kind of romance that is shown here I still couldn’t dislike it. I only find the parts, specially the beginning ones that dealt with Lily’s addiction to drugs and sex to be a bit dragging. You may even feel like it’s a biography of someone with a wasted life. But if you are able to keep up with it, the fun and joy ride that comes later would surely make it up to you :)
Among other characters, Lord Byron and Sal were really really interesting to see, though I haven’t been able to swoon over either of the two (maybe because I was so busy noticing Lily all the way :P) To be honest, I haven’t paid that much attention to other minor characters as I was too preoccupied with Lily ^.^
Overall, it’s a fantastic read. This book is the first in its series and I’ll surely be looking forward to reading the later ones. If you are mature (18+ due to steamy content) and love kickass heroines, steampunk, adventure, mythology or any one of these, just GO FOR IT!