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.
I’ll tell you what… Chasing the Star Garden is a thrilling ride!! The best way for me to describe it is that it is a mix between the movies National Treasure and Indiana Jones, but in this particular story we travel by hot air-balloon ships.
The story is told from Lily’s POV and she is a character that I really enjoyed reading about!! She has lived through a lot of hard times but appears to be doing ok for herself. On this journey we discover how deep her hurt goes and come to realise how strong she is because of it. She has her little habits and a few fellas on the side, but once she is determined to do something, she is focused until the end.
I enjoyed the world building of this story; learning the cities and customs, how to look for the things you needed in the markets and taverns. The thrill of unravelling the particular quest that Lily finds herself wrapped up in was exhilarating as well. She is on an expedition to find an ancient artefact before it falls into the wrong hands. She takes her crew along for the ride, with the support of her two favourite men, and soon is thrust into danger while unravelling the mystery.
This is the second book of Melanie Karsak’s and again I was left speechless as to how good it was. She has built an amazing and complex world and wove a beautiful story into it. I was constantly flipping the pages as I was caught up in the excitement on the story, wanting to know more as soon as possible. The characters were great to read about and easy to connect to. If you are looking for an electrifying read, with an ancient/steampunk feel, with a few saucy scenes thrown in, this is the one for you!! You will not regret it!!
I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.
Melanie Karsak grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where there was an abysmal lack of entertainment, so she turned to reading and hiking. Apparently, rambling around 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 resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Melanie is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
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