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Steampunk Fiction Review: Chasing The Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

Chasing The Star Garden by Melanie Karsak (The Airship Racing Chronicles #1)


Ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

8.5/10

* * *
Hah! Lily is such a mess, my dear reader! She drinks too much absinthe, smokes way too much opium and doesn't know what to do with her love life. At the same time she is refreshing as hell, and I can't help but have a weakness for flawed heroines like her (Cherry from Karina Cooper's steampunk series comes to mind, and I'm not even mentioning Chess from Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane).


Her love life is also spicy. She's got freaking Lord Byron himself as her friend and caring lover (slightly rough BDSM relationship) and an older Italian tinkerer Sal who genuinely loves her and ends up going on adventure with our heroine in this book. I personally rooted for Byron, but it was a tough competition, peeps.

Lily is an airship captain, a very talented and reckless one, full of adventurous spirit and favoured by the skies. When she comes second in a London race, a clown from cheering crowd shoves a strange kaleidoscope in her hands, urges her to go to Venice, and then plunges to his death.

Intrigued, spooked and mostly inebriated, Lily shares the tale with Lord Byron, who suggests to her to go to Venice and supplies her with funds to do so. Lily's instincts are not wrong though because once in Venice, she finds out about her family ties to a mysterious ancient cult and is charged with a mission to save their relic from greedy hands of English collectors who will try their damnedest to find and destroy our heroine in the meantime.

Expect spirited adventure, gadgetry and lots of trouble. Innovative and enjoyable read, and very much recommended to all lovers of steampunk fantasy.

* * *
Ну что ж, дорогие читатели, написано достойно, задорно и очень даже интересно, так что советую всем любителям стимпанка.

Лили - главная героиня, наркоманка, пьянчужка, капитан воздушного корабля
и лихая заноза в заднице, за что не любить её просто невозможно. У неё пара любовников, одним из которых является сам лорд Байрон (за которого я кстати очень даже болела), а вторым является итальянский инженер Сал, который проводит с Лили большую часть этой книги.


Лили мы встречает, когда она участвует в Лондонских аэровоздушных гонках и занимает второе место. Пока толпа бушует, к ней прорывается клоун, суёт ей в руки калейдоскоп, шепчет "Езжай в Венецию!" и разбивается насмерть, улепётывая от полицейских.

Ожидая неприятностей и мучаясь от любопытства, Лили рассказывает о происходящем Байрону, и тот советует ей отправиться в Венецию и снабжает её деньгами на поездку. Её инстинкты оказываются правы, когда по приезду Лили узнаёт о принадлежности её семьи к древнему культу Афродиты, чью статую ей поручают найти среди греческих островов и спрятать от жадных глаз порочных английских коллекционеров античности.

Ждите воздушных боёв, кучу неприятностей, изобретений и мрачные воспоминания о прошлом Лили, пока она пытается поменять катящуюся к чертям свою жизнь. Читала с удовольствием, и вам советую!

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