Anyone who has attended either of my book-release parties in the last six months already knows what I think of Melanie Karsak’s steampunk novel Chasing the Star Garden.
Here’s my original review from Goodreads:
Chasing the Star Garden is steampunk-y fun! I love Lily’s character–she’s damaged in some interesting and believable ways–and her relationships with the people around her are well developed. Also: what’s not to love about Byron as a love-interest?! This book is great!
I wrote that back in the fall. I had the distinct pleasure of reading Chasing the Star Garden while in London for a conference; what better place to read steampunk, after all? But I was a tiny bit concerned that the setting might have influenced my love for this book, so I re-read the novel for this blog tour.
I have decided that it might be even better the second time around.
Lily is a delightfully complex character. Byron is hot, hot, hot. The airship crew of the Stargazer is fun (I have a small book-crush on Angus). Sal is lovely (I have a big book-crush on him). And the pace of the story as Lily and her crew race across the skies of Europe is pitch-perfect. This has quickly become my very favorite steampunk series around. I can’t wait for the rest of the books!
Five sunset-sky-colored stars for Chasing the Star Garden.
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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.
About the Author
Melanie Karsak grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where there wasn’t much to do but read books and go for hikes. Apparently, rambling around in the woods with a head full of fantasy worlds and characters will inspire you to become an author. Be warned. Melanie wrote her first novel, a gripping piece about a 1920s stage actress, when she was 12. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, the author now lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
*This novel is intended for mature readers.