Chasing the Star Garden (The Airship Racing Chronicles, #1)Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What to say about this book…this book that was so very disappointing!? It seemed to have it all: mystery, airships, adventure, foreign locales, a heroine with a past who does not get whiny about it, romance, and POTENTIAL. Goodness but this book practically screamed potential.

In reality this is the book equivalent of walking into a room really needing something but then completely blanking on why you went in there so you end doing or getting a dozen other things that are unnecessary instead.

” ‘Go to Venice, ‘ he whispered as he stuffed something down the front of my pants.”

What we were supposed to get:

A book about an edgy airship racer who was drug into a world of adventure by two warring secret societies and a centuries old statue complete with the mythos. Along for the ride was suppose to be a plucky crew of literary misfits that somehow help her to grow through her own painful memories and embrace a future that she had long given up on. And this all is supposed to take place in the fast paced steam punk world of airship racing with a sort of Victorian Europe feel to it.

What we ended up getting:

“I woke the next morning feeling like an elephant was thundering around in my head.”

BLAH. I constantly found myself wondering what time it was. This story was bland. It did not deliver on the promise of potential. The secret societies were bland. There really was not much of a chase going on except for the occasional. Weird steampunk creation popping out of nowhere. They pretty much strolled from objective to objective with only one actual confrontation in the entire book!

To make matters worse there was zero, and I do mean ZERO, reason for the protagonist to go swooping off to another country and search for a statue. Supposedly the only reason she was in the running to begin with is because some ancient ancestor of hers had a statue fetish.

“Upon his banishment he secreted away the sculpture. The oracle at Delphi foretold that when the time came to protect her, only a true lover,a Temenos, would be able to recover the Apbrodite.”

Right. The true lover being the opium addict with a string of lovers because she does not trust men? And the “protection” being not letting a secrete society of museum creators put the statue in the museum? Huh.

And to help Lily Stargazer along the way we have the aged tinker who is also one of her lovers, and a courtesan who moonlights as a priestess of the ancient Aphrodite cult. Lord Byron also pops in and out as the financier and lover to Lily and to get high. Oh…yeah…our main girl has a real bad addiction problem and everything is always…

“…head humming…”

“…mind melting…”

“…vision hazey…”

“…grab the vile…”

“…drops from the vile…”

“…hands shaking…”


The more I read of this book, the more I felt like it was going through the motions. I just could not get emotionally invested in the book. There was no real pizzazz. While the flashbacks to Lily’s past were intriguing (and quite frankly the only reason I kept reading,) there was just nothing else to add depth to any of the characters. They were all flat, pod people with no real interest. Their was no world building. The airship racing was randomly thrown in. The secret societies were not secret.

Overall this is a book that was not even interesting enough to be annoying. If you want an easy un-invested and very predictable read that is easy to put down and go to bed, well than this is it. But if you are someone who enjoys more meat to the world and complex characters coupled with fun or beautiful prose…well I would pass on this one.

So disappointing…and with such a great cover as well.

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