Reviewer Francesca Pelaccia: Francesca is the author of The Witch's Salvation. She enjoys reading everything from the literary to genres of all types and blogs on the craft of writing. By day she teaches ESL to adult learners. Follow Here To Find Out More About Francesca.
Author: Iain Reading
Publisher: Iain Reading
ISBN: 10: 1492718157
ISBN: 13: 978-1492718154
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading is the first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series. The novel introduces us to Kitty Hawk, the young protagonist but seasoned seaplane pilot, who straight out of high school decides to spend her summer flying her De Havilland Beaver over Alaska to study the feeding habits of the humpback whales. Once she begins her research, however, Kitty is caught up in stories and legends about the Klondike Gold Rush and in her own amazing race to find stolen gold, dispel curses, and separate the good guys from the bad guys.
The first third of the novel sets up the protagonist, the setting, which is a character in itself, and the study about the humpback whales. We are introduced to Kitty a likeable, quirky, street-smart, but much-too curious adolescent, to the backdrop of the novel, the rugged landscape of the North, especially Alaska and the Yukon, and to life in various fishing villages. The adventure, however, doesn’t begin until a third of the way into the novel, when Kitty spots a boat that she believes could be carrying stolen gold. The novel then takes a turn away from researching and humpback whales to the gold, and the stories, legends, and history of prospecting and the Klondike Gold Rush.
At times Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold read like a documentary on the North, its ecology, and the gold rush. Maps were included and chapters were given titles, reminding me of textbooks. At other times the novel read like the chatty musings of an eighteen year old, having a conversation with the reader. Both were appealing, and I admit I learned a lot about the humpback whale, the North, and the gold rush days, but often overdone and stalled the story. The story itself was actually two: the first third about Kitty, the North, and her research project, and the remaining two-thirds about Kitty and the stolen gold. The direction of the story and humpback whales was forgotten once the adventure about the stolen gold began.
Nonetheless, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold was an engaging and interesting read. Kitty was fun and endearing, sometimes acting like an adolescent young woman while other times coming off as far too wise for her age. Her parents were ideal, the North a beautiful beast, and the stories about the gold rush entertaining if too informative.