Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)
Author: Iain Reading
2012 – YA – Adventure/Mystery
The Story: After graduating from high school, Kitty plans to spend the summer in Alaska, using her seaplane to study the habits and behaviors of whales. But when she stumbles onto a group of gold thieves, she becomes wrapped up in a mystery dating back to the time of the Yukon Gold Rush.
The Opening Line: As soon as the engine began to sputter, I knew that I was in real trouble.
What I Loved: This novel was equal parts adventure, history, science & nature, and mystery. Reading blended these elements seamlessly. For instance, I learned A LOT of the history of the Yukon Gold Rush, but it never felt like I was being lectured. He presented it as stories and legends and that sort of thing, leaving me caught up in the wonder of it all. Kitty as protagonist was excellent – she was cool, calm, and collected even in the most distressing of times. Plus her internal dialogue was fantastic, leaving me laughing out loud on a regular basis.
What I Didn’t Love: Slight spoilers ahead, so stop now if you don’t wanna know! Ahem…now then. Partially through the book, Kitty sneaks up on a group of suspected gold thieves, gets caught, and is forced to help them carry out their plans. She continually calls them her kidnappers and plans to get away. However, later, she becomes friends with these guys and there is never any repercussion for their actions. That bothered me quite a bit – even when I knew the full story.
Final Thoughts: Going in, I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. I couldn’t immediately pin down the premise or genre, so reading through was a lot of fun as I was able to discover on my own what happened next. I learned a lot, but never felt like I was in school. And Kitty was great! My roommate Katie has been talking a lot lately about this old computer game she used to play, The Yukon Trail. So I definitely recommended this one for her, and I would recommend for other mystery/adventure/history/nature/aviation fans. Overall, this was an excellent read!