Saturday, 1 March 2014

Chasing The Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

What They Say:

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 steampunk 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.

What I Say:

I would like to thank Wendy @Fabulosityreads, for allowing to part of this blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.

When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t too sure I wasn’t going to like it, I kept picking it up and putting it down again, until I read someone else’s review and they said stick with it as the book really does get better, so stick with it I did and I have to say I’m glad that I did.

This is a steampunk/dystopian book, set back way back in 1823 Lily Stargazer is an air jocky and it starts with Lily in the race to win the 1823 Airship Grand Prix.  She finishes the race in second place only just beaten by the Americans, to say she is disappointed is an understatement.  As she finishes the race a harlequin approaches her, but he is being chased, he promptly jumps to his death but not before he hides a kaleidoscope in Lilys’ trousers. Here is where Lilys troubles begin and starts a race across war torn Europe (the Ottamans and Greeks being at war), to discover the mystery of the kaleidoscope.

Lily isn’t your average female heroine, she drinks (absinthe), does drugs (opium) and sleeps with different men.  The handsome, Lord Byron (who is one of her biggest sponsers/supporters). Byron is flawed and the relationship isn’t healthy, he encourages Lily’s drug habits.  The older Sal, a man as complicated as Lily with his own past and secrets, originally from Italy agrees to assist Lily in her quest.

Along the way Lily discovers some truths about her family and we discover Lilys past from dreams and flashbacks, she is an easily likeable character, although flawed, but who isn’t these days.

I like the way the story takes us from one destination to another and how Lily finds herself.  It wasn’t as gripping as I thought it would be, but any fans of this kind of book would love this. This is the reason I am only giving it 3.5 stars, I was a little disappointed as the story came to its end, but I enjoyed the final part of the book, I felt it topped the book off correctly.

3.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
Melanie Karsak grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania reading and hiking. She wrote her first novel, at 12 about a 1920s stage actress. Today, Melanie, a steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
Melanie is busy working on book 2 of The Airship Racing Chronicles, Chasing the Green Fairy which release March 2014.
Contact information: Blog: melaniekarsak.blogspot.comMelanie Karsak Author Pic by Orange Moon Studios
A Goodreads author Rafflecopter for your readers: a Rafflecopter giveaway Link:

1 comment:

  1. I think your review is wonderful Jo. I get the feeling that this book is rather like cavier.... you are either completely head over heels or on th eotherside but you seem to have found a balance for yourself. You were able to appreciate its depth, the craft and the skill of the author it would seem despite it not being your "cuppa tea" shall we say?
    Thank you for being part of Fabulosiy Reads. I look forward to many more interactions with you and your fabulous blog.
    Dont forget to enter the giveaway for tour hosts and if you haven't done it already, cross posting to Amazon and Good Reads. As you know it really helps the authors out: