“Before I knew it, I was sitting in the cockpit of my trusty De Havilland Beaver out on the waters of Clayquot Sound, about to push the throttle forward to bring the engine to life and head for Alaska.”
-Iain Reading, Kitty Hawk and The Curse of The Yukon Gold
Hey guys! This morning I finished reading Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading, and just had to come on here and review it asap! I seriously loved reading this one- a big thanks to Iain for sending me a copy of his book!
This book is the first book in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series, a YA adventure mystery series that takes place in different locations across the world. Kitty is a teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and manages to land on intriguing mysteries and in precarious situations wherever she goes.
The Curse of the Yukon Gold takes place between Kitty’s native Canada and Alaska, as she plans to fly into Alaska and observe humpback whales there for the duration of her summer. However, things don’t quite go as planned as she uncovers a boat filled with gold thieves, propelling her into a mystery that dates back to the time of the gold rush, complete with grizzly bears, dangerous plots and exploration of the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska.
I really enjoyed how independent and curious Kitty is-at the start of the book she’d just graduated from high school and is planning her summer before she decides what she wants to do next. I loved the cross between adventure and mystery with a good dash of history and travel thrown in. I didn’t know too much about Alaska, or the gold rushes before starting this book, and it was interesting to read little historical bits about them. The historical snippets are scattered throughout the text so it never feels too dense or boring, it just enhances the reading experience, which is a nice way to do it. Kitty is a really likeable character; she’s enthusiastic and intrepid and as someone who loves travelling myself, it was great to read about someone that shares that passion. I wasn’t too fond of how much she held conversations in her own head, as it was a little repetitive, but apart from that, the time spent as she flies alone in her plane was very well narrated.
The pacing is great, and the book is written in short chapters, often just a few pages at a time, which helped reel me in until I was hooked! The actual story is only about 250 pages as well, which kept everything succinct and moving along nicely. I’d describe this book as a cross between Nancy Drew and the adventures that Enid Blyton used to write, obviously this is YA as Kitty is 17, but the spirit of adventure was the same! I’d also point out that although Kitty fell into scrapes along the way, the tone is kept quite light and I never really feared for her safety at any point. This was fine for me as I enjoyed the adventure and her experiences, which made me nostalgic for The Famous Five! But if you’re looking for something more adult and grittier, this isn’t the one for you!
Overall, I had so much fun reading this book and it went above what I expected of it. I love travelling and adventures, so Kitty Hawk was the perfect heroine for me to read about. I’m giving this one 5/5 stars. I’d recommend it if you’re of a similar mindset to me and enjoyed reading similar books (or films!) when you were younger-this is the perfect book to bring those experiences into YA reading!
Has anyone else read this series? What did you think of it? What adventurous books have you enjoyed?