Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Author: Iain Reading
Publication: December 3rd 2012 by Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure, Mystery
“Are you happy with your life?”
This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.
After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Shelf this on Goodreads!
First things first, this book was entertaining at the very least as I attempt to demolish my reading slump wall. It was a fun and adventurous ride that took me to Alaska–which is a country that I have never gone to–with the black-and-white images included in the book and with the concrete descriptions that perfectly capture the essence of their adventure spots’ physical qualities. However, as every book is, there are some negative aspects that somehow ruined my interest.
In this first installment, Kitty Hawk has her interests eyed on her plane, which also means traveling. As soon as she acquires her aircraft, the next thing she wants to do is to do a research on humpback whales in Juneau, Alaska. Reaching the destination with Alex Tilley’s financial support, she attempts everything to make her trip worthwhile. Meanwhile, she has also caught up with the stories about the city’s mysterious gold rush, which then has become the beginning of her real journey as she started to encounter fear.
“And in the 1980s, greed had precisely the same dark effect on the human soul as it does now, more than a hundred years later, which is the same effect that it had a hundred or a thousand years earlier.”
To be honest, reading the title gave me an Uncharted (the video game) feel to it because of the indication of ‘gold’ because that video game is all about that kind of stuff. My expectations for the book would have been a gold heist, and it actually is–in a way. As I started flipping the pages, I could not help but get bored sometimes of its being slow-paced, but it started to get my attention as I continued reading it.
Three problems that irk me a lot is first, the punctuation marks that often appear from dialogues is ‘?!??’ when an expression is supposedly heightened or maximized. For me, it could have been better with a single punctuation but with better details to describe the angry or shocked emotions of the characters. Second, the unrealistic events or opportunities that they instantly receive in just a second. When they asked for such a big favor, it was like given without any consequence just to finish this book. Last, the ending that I expected to have more action. This does not annoy me a lot because it was well-explained why it ended that way, but I just wanted a little bit more of an action.
Also, as much as I love a great heroine to read because 2017 is definitely a year for woman empowerment. There are some instances that I feel like the Kitty does not exemplify the women good enough. For example, instead of being able to take risks, she tends to be a pushover to maybe keep her safe. I mean, opportunities have already been handed to her in a snap, but she remains to make herself dominated by men. Nevertheless, it was at the end that absolutely justified my thoughts; I would still prefer Kitty being able to take risks and challenges and turn them into her advantage.
Aside from these, one thing I definitely adored is her monologue that almost filled the entire book. This is what I learned to love from a class that enlightened me to the wonder of monologues that make us completely human. We might assume if people overthink, they are crazy because of the conscience that hinders them from making a decision in an instant. I was a person who despises people who really overthink the simple things, but actually, I have gone to realize that we are just like them–they are just more open to it. Kitty Hawk’s monologue is a great example of why I really admire this book.
I am actually surprised that this can be considered a middle-grade book as I sometimes feel that I am reading a young adult one. There are times we could consider it both, and I think that it falls at the middle of both. I would definitely be interested in reading the next installments that follow her journey. It is a must-read for the ones dreaming to have their adventure of a lifetime.
It’s actually 3.5 swords for this one!
About the author:
Iain Reading is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, a young adult series of adventure mystery stories. The series follows Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4).
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