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

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

Falling to Freedom

Sometimes we have to fall hard on our faces before we are ready to get back up. Lilly Stargazer does just that in this epic steampunk fantasy and notable tale. This novel is not your typical hero must struggle against the evil of the world but undoubtedly will triumph in the end, it's a tale about the broken and unwanted seeking truth and finding it in the most unlikely of places.

Let's be honest, this novel depicts some of the raw, and unseemly parts of life: the protagonist, or rather anti-heroine, is a drug addict and sex is the only way she knows how to express and receive love, but her heart is searching for the right and the truth revealed in her journey is what makes it all with it in the end; isn't that why we share stories? To acknowledge the communal journey we all go through at some point in life, some people's struggle is just harder and Lily's struggle is one worth reading.

The narration by Libby Clearfield was truly enjoyable. The energy and life she brought to each of the characters was exquisite. Her tempo, timing, and numerous dialects was spot on.

I would recommend this novel.

This audiobook was given in exchange for an honest review.
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- Felisha

Book Details

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