Author: Iain Reading
Number of Pages: 253
Release Date: 2012
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. 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.
*** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ***
To be honest, I had mixed feelings about this book when I first received a copy of it. I don’t really know much about Alaska, Canada, or flying planes, nor do I have much of an interest in them. Even though there are some aspects of it that could be improved, I have to say that I did enjoy reading this novel.
First, let’s highlight the strong points of this book. Kitty Hawk, the main character, is a great female heroine. She’s independent, intelligent, courageous, and hungry for adventure. Plus, she knows how to fly planes and navigate her way through foreign skies- how cool is that? The story itself is interesting and has numerous twists and turns, including one that I was definitely not expecting. The concept of this story is unlike anything I’ve ever read, making it a memorable read for that reason alone. It’s not every day that you read about a teenage girl flying planes, finding lost gold, and having adventures in the wilderness of the Yukon Territory.
However, I did have some issues with certain parts of this book. For example, the plot was very slow until a little over half way through the story. Once the action picked up a bit the pacing was fine, but it took more time than I thought necessary to reach that point. The slow pace in the beginning may be due to the fact that it gives the reader a lot of information all at once. Several chapters were solely about the history of that part of the world, flying, the Gold Rush, etc. As someone who knew little about those subjects I found these educational chapters helpful at first, but after a while they grew boring and rather dull. I agree that the reader needs to know the basics about the setting, but anything more than that is often superfluous and detrimental to the pace of the plot.
Also, the intended audience of this novel did not seem to match the tone of the book or Kitty Hawk, the main character. Kitty Hawk is supposed to be in her late teenage years, yet her personality and thought process remind me more of a younger adolescent. She was lacking the maturity that I thought a young woman her age would possess, especially someone who is responsible enough to fly planes. Because of this, the tone of the novel in general had a much younger feel than I thought it would be originally. But then there was also some mild swearing and violence, which contrasted sharply against the rest of the story. Although it’s currently categorized as belonging to the young adult genre, in some ways it seems more suited for middle grade readers.
Overall, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold was simply an okay read for me. While it wasn’t terrific, it certainly wasn’t terrible. Some parts were definitely more entertaining than others, but all in all it was a fun and very unique story. I know there are several more books in this series, but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue on and read them. Perhaps I will in the future, but as for right now I think I’ll say goodbye to Kitty Hawk for a little bit.
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes, but probably only to someone who was in their early teens. I think thirteen to fifteen years old would probably be a good age range for this book, although it would depend on the reader.
Thanks so much for sending me a copy, Iain Reading!
Have you ever read this book before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!