Chasing the Star Garden : Airship Racing

  • by Melanie Karsak
  • Narrated by Libby Clearfield
  • Series: Airship Racing
  • 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 listeners 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

dive in with both hands

What if you were the best at what you do and and not use to coming in second place. Ever. Well, it is 1823, and that is how Champion Starship Racer Lily Stargazer has had the worst day of her life. She has never lost a race, never. Now some crazy man comes to her out of no where and shoves an item down the front of her pants. Tells her to find the secret. What object? The he jumps to his death. Not saying anything, Lily continues through the group of well wishers, congratulating her on her second place win. Wish they will go away as they feel like they are driving knives into her.

Lily returning to a place of business to get her opium fix. As she sits there she reaches down into her trousers to retrieve the item. She takes it out and unwraps it. Looking at it she wonder why anyone would give her a kaleidoscope. Looking thru it seeing all the beautiful colors. But, why would that man tell her to search for the secret. In come Lord Byron, a good friend and non-romantic sex partner. She tells him about the morning she had and the item. This is where the adventure begins after Lord Byron convinces her to go to Italy as directed by this man and he will assist her with the financing of the trip.

Lord Byron along with many other very strong characters assist Lily thru this adventure that never stops. From the time she received the item until the very end of the book. Melanie Karsak has the most amazing eye to bringing to life the words of this adventure. I am partial to this growing trend of Steampunk Fantasies and this book is now on my list of this author to follow. Lily a young girl from the orphanage that finds her way into a home but, never fitting in until she meets her inventor friend Sal. Melanie has made her an exceptional pivoting character that can turn to any direction in the book to handle the situations as they arrive. I did a bit of a problem with the drug addiction problem that Lily has. Most readers may. However, the time period of 1823, this was a common stance of the day. Not legal but, all the same there.

I loved and enjoyed the characters that she added in to support Lily. Her crew on the airship. Lord Byron and Sal who were not only her friends but, her lovers. How she does not see till the end the one true love in one of them.

This book is not meant for young and for the ones offended by the drugs and sexual situations I don’t recommend this book. If you are not bother by this then dive in with both hands. This story is a page turner for sure. With Libby Clearfield narrating, she has brought this book to life with the gift of many voices in her astounding performance. You know who is speaking. She did equally well with both male and female voices. I look forward to listening to other books she has performed.

I love the cover of the book. it gives you a clear visualization of the ship, the steampunk era, the great and towering European town. This cover is certainly one to drawn you in as a reader and listener of this book. I look forward to the future books to this Airship Racing Chronicles series.

Audiobook provided for review by the author.

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- AudioBook Reviewer "All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com"

Great steampunk adventure

Chasing the Star Garden is in the top 10 percent of audiobooks I’ve read. The complex cast of characters, the fragile yet resourceful Lilly Stargazer, airship pilot, and the mysterious quest across Europe for an ancient mystical statue combine for a compelling story. The narrator did an outstanding job of bringing this story to life.

Chasing the Star Garden has many characters from different nations and stations: English, Scottish, French, Greek, Italian, working men and women, privileged and titled lords. If I had read the book, all of those characters would have had my voice. Libby Clearfield skillfully moved from one character and accent to another quickly without hesitation and with clarity of speech. The variety and accuracy of the accents was amazing and definitely enriched the experience. Humor, sadness, concern, frustration, love and excitement were expressed by her tone of voice for each character as appropriate. I particularly appreciated her ability to voice realistic male characters with different accents without making them sound like a woman trying to imitate a man’s voice.

I was initially concerned about reading this story, based upon warnings of abuse, sex and drug use in another review. While it is present, the abuse is presented in flashbacks, without excessive detail, but is necessary to the character and story development. The sex and drug use is in current time, but much less graphic than many historical romance novels and not an issue.

The unveiling of Lilly Stargazer’s background and emotional development, through flashbacks, gradually helps the reader understand her complex, driven nature and why she gets into trouble. Fortunately, her own skills and friends, like Lord Byron, help her evade disaster time and again. Lilly has not shared all of her secrets by the end of the novel and has more air races to win. I want her to succeed in her quests for love and success.

Melanie Karsak has created a believable steampunk universe with interesting characters, adventures and thrilling airship races. I look forward to the next novel in the series and hope that Libby Clearfield will return as Lilly Stargazer.

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
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- westcliffe_babs

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-25-2014
  • Publisher: Clockpunk Press