Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold - book review

Quote of the day:

"During the gold rush its a good time to be in the pick and shovel business. "
                                         -Mark Twain

and the
Book #1 in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series
by Iain Reading
YA Mystery/Adventure
324 pages

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. 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. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers 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.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

My take:

I liked the book a lot once I got into it.  There seemed to be a lot of detail included which kind of bogged me down at first but since this is the introduction to a whole new series I know it was imperative to the setting, characters development and plot.  I loved how easily Iain wove history into the storyline and I learned a lot about that time period and especially the greed surrounding the gold rush.  Kitty Hawk has just enough spunk and attitude to get a pass from parents and an "alright" from peers.  Her curiosity and detective-like attributes keep the storyline moving along brilliantly and keeps the reader engaged,  encouraging them to keep turning pages to see what she will be up to next.  I love the fact that she is a strong, brave, female character which will empower other girls to step out and emulate her as they read about her amazing adventures. She is a good role model as she is responsible, very into her family and extremely caring towards others around her (even her kidnappers).  At first the little inner voice dialogues with herself were distracting but I actually got to like it, and yes even smile about it,  as the book progressed.  After all, admit it or not we all indulge in self-negotiations in one form or another don't we?  I recommend the book highly and am thrilled there will be more Kitty Hawk adventures to come our way.

There currently are three books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series available on Amazon.

About the author:

I like Root Beer.
For me there is no other beverage that is quite as magical and mysterious and inexplicably smooth as a cold mug of Root Beer. From the very first sip this enchanting brew tingles your palette with a plethora of blissful sensations and slides slippery cool down into your stomach as it warms your heart. And don't even get me started talking about that sublime frothy icy mess that we call a Root Beer Float.
When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand A&W from tall, narrow champagne flûtes where the ice clinking against the side of the thin glass created a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel across the globe I naturally was inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Surely somewhere deep in some ancient temple in the heart of the Mongolian desert there was a hitherto unknown type of Root Beer brewed by a secretive order of monks using ancient methods passed down through generations.
Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can't really find it anywhere else in the world. The closest I ever got was in the jungles of Sierra Leone which smell a bit like Root Beer and diesel oil. (In fact, most non-North-American people to whom I have introduced this magical elixir have first cautiously taken a small sip then made a sour face, stating that "it tastes like medicine". Perhaps this is because the sarsaparilla root that gives Root Beer its name was originally used for medicinal purposes - typical for North-Americans to turn medicine into soft drinks, right?)
I was crushed. If there was no Root Beer out there in the whole wide world, then what was the point of leaving my house in the first place? No one really needs to leave the house, after all. Everything you could ever need can be delivered right to your front door, including pizza and Root Beer and books and everything else you can find on But as it turns out the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see out there and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her adventures.
Whatever you want to call it, "holidays" or "vacations" (I prefer to call them "adventures" and thus lift them out from the realm of the mundane because I believe that it's always an adventure any time one of us dares to go out and see just a little bit more of this world we inhabit), I always like to try and live life with what I call a "Hemingway Complex". I even once wrote a travel book using this as a title.
And what exactly is a "Hemingway Complex", you ask?
Well, some people might describe Ernest Hemingway as being "larger than life". But to say that is not entirely accurate. He was merely larger than other people's lives. He was certainly larger than my life, for example, but he fit quite comfortably into his own. My life isn't extraordinary like that of the great Ernest Hemingway. I've never run with the bulls or told people that I fought in wars or hunted German U-Boats in the Caribbean while drinking cocktails on a yacht. But to me living life with a Hemingway Complex means living in pursuit of the impossible. And it's the only way that I ever seem to do anything interesting.
Don't forget to check out the latest happenings in the world of Kitty Hawk at and it you're interested also head over to and check out some of the songs that I write and record in my spare time in an effort to try and convince people that I am much busier than I actually am.

                                             Book Review Rating:    8  (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Have an awesome weekend everyone and see you back here on Monday!
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