While I’m writing, I generally try to avoid reading in the same genre. I don’t want to accidentally pick up influences and steal anyone else’s ideas. Because I’ve been so busy with the clockwork war series, that means I’ve hardly read any steampunk this year.
Now, I’m onto edits for the last book in the series (yippee!) and I decided it was time for some steampunk again. I picked Melanie Karsak’s Chasing the Star Garden and I picked well, readers, by plumping for a stonking good read.
Chasing the Star Garden had some adult themes with a protagonist, Lily, engaged in behaviours generally considered not good for a person.
But they were handled so well. There was neither condemnation nor glamourising; this was just how Lily was. And as the story progressed we saw how she’d become the determined, daredevil airship pilot we’d met (and, my word, she’d faced a lot). Her progress as a character during Chasing the Star Garden was right and lovely and extremely touching. My benchmark for a book is always, “Do I care?” And oh yes, I care in spades about Lily!
And aside from the fabulous characterisation there was the kind of good stuff you always get with steampunk: airships and artefacts and secret societies and dastardly villains and daring rescues. I loved everyone moment and I can’t wait for more!