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Chasing the Star Garden (Airship Racing Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Melanie Karsak
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $10.00 (77%)
 
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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 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.

*This novel is intended for mature audiences.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Top 10 Finisher: Best Steampunk Novel of 2013, Preditors and Editors Reader's Poll

"Mere words don't seem adequate to explain how truly brilliant this story is,"- My Book Addiction

"While Chasing the Star Garden will certainly engage the Steampunk connoisseurs with its gadgetry and elegance, it's the intense attention paid to each characters' personal importance to the overall story that makes it a great adventure,"- Colossal Pop

"The author paints a vivid portrait of Venice, with its palazzi, jewel-coloured waters, masks, and gondolas. Venice truly comes to life as well as the other destinations visited in the course of following the mystery around the kaleidoscope. It is, indeed, a feast for the senses," - Torre de Babel

"One of my favorite things about this book is the world building. It is amazing. I could easily envision the airships, the airship towers, sky pirates, and the elaborate dress and contraptions of this steampunk fantasy. I absolutely loved it!" - Gin's Book Notes

"Chasing the Star Garden was a captivating tale from the complex characters to the breathtaking world-building. Karsak's writing has a flow and ease to it that allows the reader to slip into the worlds she creates." - Kimba the Caffeinated Coffee Reviewer

"The cover art is just a sampling of the overall beauty of the novel . . . Lily Stargazer is sort of an anti-hero with her absinthe and opium addictions, not to mention having multiple lovers. But, at the same time, she is so beautiful, rebellious, and tough that I found it impossible not to love her" - Twisted Book Junkie

"If you like your lofty steampunk sexy and adventurous, you may want to give this story a try," - SFF World

From the Author

The Airship Racing Chronicles Reading Order:
Chasing the Star Garden, Book I
Chasing the Green Fairy, Book II

*Adult novel. Due to depictions of drug use and steamy scenes, this novel is best suited for mature readers.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1493 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Clockpunk Press (January 8, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GXUU6IC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,757 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an awesome adventure! February 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The book description bears no repeating so I'll get down to my thoughts.

What did I love?

The dark of it all. Anyone in a torrid (rather S/M) relationship with Lord Byron was going to be dark, and well, interesting. ;) This propelled me into wanting to know Lily, our heroine. Why was this beautiful spunky young airship mistress floundering in drug highs and scary guys? I admit to loving the inclusion of Lord Byron in this way because who doesn't love to fantasize about what he might have been like? This story felt like a cheeky bio peek, which revealed him to bo as passionate, edgy, dangerous as we'd expect, but also loyal.

During their incredible journey through the skies, we find out why Lily abuses herself with drugs, and we see her fall in love as the reasons are peeled away, one-by-one. Leaving her emotionally drained, exposed and vulnerable, she finally opened up to see value in what's in front of her. She learns to want a better life.

I want to gush all the facts out on this page so you can understand why I'm DYING to read the next installment. But that would be cruel. Go and read this marvel of fantasy, technical intrigue, historical wonder, and Lily Stargazer: An intrigue all of her own.

To get technical, the writing and research were spot on for me. I'm always eager to get to the action, and there was plenty of it in this book, but in between sat poignant, emotional revelations and interactions. I'm not big on sentimentality, not unless it's given in small eloquent doses, and feels genuine. And I felt they were here.

What I didn't love

I loved everything, but should be frank! You will find references and scenes of child abuse, (even rape and attempted rape). I found this disturbing, as I should.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor characters and characterization March 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not the book for me. I got about a third of the way through but couldn't keep going. The main character was a mishmash of 'cool' ideas - opium addiction, lover of a devoted Byron, airship racer, orphan, part of ancient bloodline- that just didn't fit together. None of the minor characters were anything except what the plot needed them to be. Also, way too much Deus ex machina for me. The main character rarely seems to do anything herself, but instead has others do it for her. Good idea but poor execution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Adventure March 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I’m always eager to read a steampunk adventure and had high hopes for this one. I liked the story, but it didn’t quite meet all my expectations of what a steampunk adventure is. There was plenty of adventure, but the steampunk aspects of it, what there was of them, weren’t quite what I was looking for. I didn’t care much for the heroine, Lily Stargazer, at first. She didn’t seem all that likeable and between her opium use and sexual activities, I wasn’t too impressed with her as a person. As the tale went on and I learned more about Lily’s past, I understood her motivations and behavior better and felt more sympathy for her. The adventure was entertaining, with airship racing, various baddies attacking Lily, and a quest to recover an ancient statue, all while she tried to decide just what she wanted in life, a hedonistic lifestyle or to settle down with her true love. As for her two lovers, I wasn’t all that impressed with Lord Byron, he didn’t seem like the best influence for Lily, but did show he cared for her. Although Sal was a bit boring and quite a bit older than Lily, he cared deeply for Lily and seemed like a better choice for her. After all was said and done, by the end of the story I was rooting for Lily and Sal to have the ending they deserved. On the whole, I was happy I read it, and since I have the next book in the series, Chasing the Green Fairy, I’ll certainly give it a chance as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it more than I did July 1, 2014
By Esioal
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the concept of the story and the setting from the book description but I felt like the story didn't get going for me and i never got that invested in the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Staci
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love fantasy, steampunk, history, and adventure, and this book delivered!

Lily is our antihero, an opium addict who's running from her past, racing airships with a lover in every port, where every opium den knows her name. When she's forced into a mysterious situation involving a relic of Aphrodite (FANGIRL FLAIL), she goes on a quest to find the relic and deliver it to safety. ADVENTURE, PEOPLE. Ancient temples, hidden texts, puzzles and just flat out cleverness abound. This is my Indiana Jones fantasy lol.

I really enjoyed this book so much, and read it in two sittings, which is something that as a writer and mom of three I rarely get a chance to do.

My only wish was that we were enveloped in the world more thoroughly. I didn't feel that I completely knew or was her, but I wanted to so badly. I didn't quite feel her love for Sal or Byron, or her shift of feelings. I'm super excited for the next book though, because as I understand it, these wants have been met in that book.

Great start to what looks to be a brilliant series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I started reading this book, I almost quit. In the first two chapters, She comes in second in a major airship race, witnesses a suicide, gets high on drugs and has S&M sex with Lord Byron in an opium den. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to continue reading this book, but I'm glad I persisted. At the beginning of the novel, Lily has just come in second in a major leg of an airship race when she is accosted by a harlequin who gives her a strange kaleidoscope and then jumps to his death. Lily is saddled with the burden of solving the mystery of the harlequin and the kaleidoscope. During the course of the novel, Lily's adventures take her to the Greek Islands while being pursued by a secretive group trying to solve the same mystery as she. As she learns more about her history, Lily comes to understand the reasons behind her self-destructive behaviors and vows to come clean, and she finds love. This book is fast-paced and action-packed. I would definitely recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent read
This was a pretty decent read. It was a little difficult to keep up with the variety of characters and some of the Greek "lessons" were a but confusing but a enjoyable read... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Britteny Strawn
1.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Down!
Thumbs down! I don't think we need books with heavy drug usage featured. Would not recommend!
Published 21 days ago by patricia wuestenhagen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book! Well written, keeps you interested and turning the pages late into the night.
Published 1 month ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Chasing The Star Garden
Terrific story telling! The tale was filled with adventure and romance----it made me want to be the heroin in this colorful story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barbara Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars A female Indiana Jones
This is an adventure and a half. The female character is the lead, it's her story and her character is developed in depth. Read more
Published 2 months ago by N. Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good exciting read fast passed with a touch or sauciness to entertain you
Published 2 months ago by chris Charlton
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the end
This book started out so slow. There were too many dues ex machines moments for me to feel truly invested in the story. I wanted to love it but I only liked it.
Published 2 months ago by Chris Ostrander
4.0 out of 5 stars I am jealous of Karsak for having such beautiful cover art
First off, can I just say look at that cover art? Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. I am jealous of Karsak for having such beautiful cover art.

Now, on to the substance. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chelsea Heidt
4.0 out of 5 stars In Love with the Star Garden
So this was an interesting book, and my first venture into steam punk. It's about this air jockey named Lily Stargazer, and her adventures in airship racing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Travis Simmons
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dose of Aphrodite, with a Bit of Byron on the Side
After the first few chapters I almost discarded this book. Lily swears like a sailor, guzzles absinthe, "eats" opium, a d has needlessly graphic sex with two men (one of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Deborah L. Klein
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More About the Author

Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the Green Fairy) and the award-winning horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master's degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Connect with me online:

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