Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: Chasing the Star Garden

Chasing the Star Garden (The Airship Racing Chronicles #1)
Melanie Karsak

Release Date: December 4, 2013

Book Description:
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.

Amazon US | Goodreads

I must apologize it took me so long to write my review because Chasing the Star Garden is an absolutely wonderful, steampunk adventure novel that I can’t wait to share with you! Part romance, part mystery, with a fabulous cast of characters and beautiful world-building, a sprinkle of history and mythology – it is a charming and a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Lily Stargazer is a fabulous heroine of the novel. She is determined, fearless, and adventurous but there is much to be uncovered behind that boisterous exterior of hers. Lily is the captain of an airship and a racer, in profession and sport dominated by men she is a true star. She keeps many lovers and hides her past in drink and drug but an unexpected quest will have her question her life choices and have her thinking about the future.

Lord Byron is a famed poet; he is Lily’s old friend, supporter, and lover. Their relationship is a bit toxic, as it feeds each of their addictions, yet there is more to it than that. Lord Byron is one of the few friends whom Lily trusts given the understanding and similarity of spirit that the two share and there is more to his mysterious persona that is yet to be uncovered.

While Lord Byron remains mostly behind the scenes in this novel, Salvatore Colonna is another of Lily’s friends and is also her lover. A passionate clockwork maker, he is always immersed in his work. Sal is older and a true romantic at heart, especially when Lily is around; but she is always a little out of his reach emotionally not being ready to surrender herself to love. However, as their relation continues to grow, Lily will have to make the ultimate choice… 

Airships, alcohol, drugs, a long lost treasure and a quest that will have our heroine facing some inner demons, but will love help conquer all or will the race be lost? Only time will tell. Jump aboard this airship for a whirlwind adventure through the skies of Europe and on to the Mediterranean islands where ancient treasure and magic still lie.

Happy reading!


  1. It sounds so weird...I want it ;)

    1. I think it's a nice mix of things. :) It is my first time reading Melanie Karsak but I think I will definitely want to read more. I quite enjoyed this one and I adore the cover.

  2. Sweet! You have me giddy, I have this scheduled for the early part of 2014 and it sounds like it is everything I love in this type of read. Lovely review and worth the wait!

    1. Yay! Hope you enjoy it. I really loved the characters - they were all very interesting and complex. :)


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