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Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

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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.

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.

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 as Kitty prepares for her next adventure - flying around the world!

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 30, 2012

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Iain Reading

9 books63 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 163 reviews
Profile Image for Veronica ⭐️.
1,020 reviews205 followers
February 13, 2017
Finally a young adult book for girls interested in marine life, geography, history and real life adventures. Not a ghost, angel or vampire in sight. Quite refreshing!

Kitty Hawk is a 19 year old adventurer. She has her pilots licence and wants to study the feeding habits and migration patterns of whales off the coast of Alaska. She receives sponsorship from an adventure clothing company and flies from her home in Tofino, Canada to Juneau, Alaska where she will stay with family friends.
As the story progresses the reader learns a lot about whales and the area of Juneau and the history of the Yukon and the gold rush. Kitty’s inquisitive nature gets her into some life and death scrapes.

I’ll start with a couple of things I didn’t like. The story was told in the first person by Kitty and she was at times very annoying. Also that little voice that kept popping into her head drove me crazy. At the start of the story Kitty kept jumping back and forward in time with her narration which was off putting.

The things I liked were Kitty’s sass and humour. I enjoyed all the historical facts of Juneau and the Yukon gold rush. There was plenty of action, danger and a couple of great twists. The little maps showing where Kitty was flying and the area she trekked through were great for someone who knows nothing about the area.
The author has added references at the end of the book for further reading on some of the animals, places and people mentioned in the story.

A fun way for students 10+ years to learn the history of the gold rush.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,220 reviews2,726 followers
December 10, 2016
Kitty Hawk had loved to fly for as long as she could remember – now as a seventeen year old she decided before settling down to university she would indulge in her love of flying and adventure. Her parents had always supported Kitty, and when she told them of her plan to fly to Alaska to study humpback whales, plus the fact she already had a sponsor, they helped bring it all together for her.

When Kitty left her Canadian home of Tofino in her De Havilland Beaver seaplane she hopped from one refuelling base to the next on her journey – her excitement when she saw her destination of Juneau in Alaska and Uncle Joe and Aunt Jenny waiting on the pier was breathtaking. Her adventure was starting – she was achieving her dream…

Kitty’s days were filled with the wonder of watching the whales frolic and feed – her cameras attached to the underside of her seaplane captured it all. Her assignment was proving to be much more than she thought it could possibly be – she was keen to share her findings with other researchers. But after hearing the story of the mysterious sinking of the Clara Nevada more than one hundred years previously, and the Klondike gold rush, Kitty had no idea she would find herself embroiled in another adventure she could have done without. Stolen gold and criminals – would Kitty ever see her parents again?

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is an exceptional adventure story – the first in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series for older children and young adults. I thoroughly enjoyed Kitty’s indomitable spirit; her toughness when it was needed; her soft and gentle awe of the whales. I have no hesitation in recommending this novel highly.

With thanks to Book Publicity Services and the author for my copy to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah.
783 reviews492 followers
July 14, 2017
I was eager to read Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold seeing as I had already read The Dragon of the Month Club by the same author and really enjoyed the creativity behind that one. I have to say, this novel wasn’t quite as good as this one, but it still an enjoyable read. You have to be appreciate Kitty Hawk as a character.

What I loved the most about this story had to be how much of an adventure it truly was. There’s no doubt this one can be pegged under this genre. But at the same time, there is also the quest element to it, and the mystery element as well. As Kitty Hawk goes on her adventure, she also sees a lot of the beautiful landscape of Alaska. It was so beautifully described that it made me wish that I was there myself. Iain Reading knew how to find the balance between giving us information about what we were seeing and experiencing as well as describing it in such a way that you had to admire the scene as if you were seeing it yourself.

However, I still felt like it was hard to peg whether this one was a young adult or middle grade book. It seemed to drift between the two age categories, and that bothered me a little. Because while Kitty Hawk was 18 and fresh out of high school, she was also having some pretty juvenile issues (such as the whole thing with Amanda) which seemed more fitting for a middle grade novel. It would be hard for both age categories to read it for that reason, so I felt a bit lukewarm about that.

Another aspect of the novel I really liked was the individuality of the characters. We get to know a little bit of detail on all of them individually – especially the four main characters. Yet we also get to see the four of them acting as one unit. We get to see their motivations and more about their background that made me actually really care for them. I liked how my own closeness to the characters seemed to steadily grow alongside Kitty’s care for them.

As for Kitty Hawk herself, I also loved her. Although at times she did seem a little too perfect, Reading resolved that by giving her a bit of a flaw at the end. Mostly, I admired her morals and how she was not afraid to stand up and hold fast to what she believed in. She had a very good moral compass that made me wish I had as strong and sure of a hold as she did on my own too. It made her so easy to love.

My main issue with the novel was at times it bordered on being a bit too wordy, which made it slower. It could have been faster paced and used fewer words, making the story more addicting. Toward the end of the novel I was really immersed and flipping pages, but personally, I felt like it took a little too long to get to that point. And the chapters were agonizingly short! It’s a personal matter, but it made the story feel disjointed to me. There were certainly new places where a new chapter did not need to be started.

Overall, this was a really good adventure story with a very important life lesson as a theme to the entirety of the novel. It told me a lot about greed, first impressions vs. true impressions, and loyalty. Hopefully there is something for you to take from reading this novel yourself, as well.

This review and others can be found on Olivia's Catastrophe: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.com.e...
Profile Image for Aimee✨.
599 reviews45 followers
June 8, 2018
I received a copy of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold from a publicity agent for the author to review. (I think that’s the right term??)

There were parts of this book that I think are great for girls to read. Like the adventure, a strong female heroine and marine life. It’s set in our world so there are no vampires or faeries which I thought was a nice change. I mostly read fantasy books. Maybe I need to mix up my genres a little more. There was a mystery to the story too which kept me reading.

There were a few things I didn’t like though. I did find Kitty and her inner voice annoying at times. Maybe because there’s an age gap between us and I don’t really know any nineteen year olds? I’m not really sure.

I also found the book had too much text for me which made reading a lot slower. So I did end up struggling to finish the book. But I did really want to finish it. I find I get through books with shorter paragraphs faster. Or maybe it just wasn’t my kind of book? I’m not really sure what it was.

Overall I thought Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold was a good adventure story for girls, or boys if they’re also interested. I’m not saying this is just for girls. But I don’t think this was for me. I’ve passed my copy onto someone I think will enjoy it more than me.

If your into adventure and mystery then maybe Kitty Hawk is the kind of book you’d enjoy.
Profile Image for hal.
778 reviews106 followers
July 7, 2016
DNF around page 255

I received a free ebook copy from the author/publicist in exchange for a review.

Honestly? This book has a great premise but it was so disappointing.

I didn't particularly like Kitty. She's 18, but acts really young for her age. She often has internal conversations with herself that irritated the hell out of me and she just feels really immature. All the other characters were flat too.

The plot wasn't keeping me interested either. Maybe it's the way it was written, or maybe it's what was actually happening in the plot, but I just didn't care at all.

Because this was a review request, I felt obligated to try and finish it, but it was such a chore to read that I just can't anymore. I'm not wasting anymore of my time.

I'm sorry, I know this review is really harsh. It didn't work for me, but perhaps someone else would have better luck. I won't dissuade anyone from reading Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold. But I wouldn't recommend it either.
Profile Image for Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews.
684 reviews134 followers
September 7, 2017
Note: I received this book from the author via Kelsey @bookpublicityservices, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got chance to read this book.

Okay everyone, buckle your seat belts. Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee is ready to fly. Isn’t that name is cool? That’s Kitty’s trusty seaplane De Havilland Beaver. You seeing the one in red and white on the cover? That’s it. I so loved it that I want fly with her in that plane.

Loved this book right from the very beginning. Book is all about Kitty’s summer adventure and Alaskan history. Basically the whole book revolves around history of Yukon Gold Rush in late 1890s. This was not like usual young armature detective and definitely different one in this genre.

Kitty Hawk- Our heroine of the book was smart, funny, entertaining. Definitely NOT whiny typical teenage girl. She was portrayed really well in this book, so natural and realistic. Her development through gold adventure was pretty amazing. At first I doubted 2 or 3 things about her, like her trusting ability and her easy nature on that adventure. I was so sure that her this nature may put her in danger but she just surprised me or should I say author surprised me. I also loved her habit of comparing things with books she never read, it was peculiar. Best thing about her was her monologues, her conversations with her inside little voice. It was logical and funny and also gave pretty good idea about her thought process.

I also loved her parents, their way of teaching and Skeena’s grandpa. In the very beginning they gave clear idea how our heroine would be like. Friends she made in this adventure were awesome.

What I liked-
Adventurous start of the book. This is first book that have 2 prologues and chapter zero which gave pretty good idea about Kitty’s background and her childhood. I loved reading her voice and her childhood was really jaw dropping specially her flying lesson. I so loved reading this book from Kitty’s POV. Her letter to her favorite clothing company was so good and her sign off signature at the end of the mail was beautiful.

I liked the flow of the book, first her Humback Whale adventure, campfire story of Yukon Gold Rush and then Kitty’s adventure of solving the mystery of stolen gold. How all that woven and related to Gold Rush was pretty amazing. During all those narration I felt like I was sitting with Kitty in her plane and watching Humpback or listening stories. Did I mention there were maps of Yukon Gold Rush? Those maps were very small in my kindle but they were all available on google so used it for convenience.

Here comes the mind-blowing part of the book that I loved so much-

There were lot of stories within this story and they were so mesmerizing that I never wanted it to end. That gold curse story involved in her adventure was the best.

Author has covered all places with detailed landscape and history that were related to the Yukon Rush. It was so well researched and I felt like author has personally visited all those places, learned everything about it and put it all in words. I got to know lot about Canada, Alaska, Humpback whale, and history of Yukon Gold Rush. Also, about authors who became famous with and because of this Gold Rush.

Best thing was the authenticity of all the information about places, humpback whales, bears along with the clothing company and Kitty’s aircraft De Havilland Beaver. Author has given all the information related to all of it at the end of the book. How to find these places and how you can google it for more information and books references of those famous authors who has written books on Gold Rush. Isn’t it pretty amazing? Usually authors give discussion questions at the end but here author has given lot of homework of googling for readers. I so enjoyed googling it that I proudly showed it to my husband and family telling them ‘see I learned all these things just by reading this book’. 😉

There were many twists in the book. At some point I really had no idea what was going to come next, what Kitty will do and how this story was going to end. Author has given me many surprises in the book specially the in the End and also in epilogue. It was pretty cool in fact. Till the end I was thinking first prologue is not making sense where was that particular event! And finally I got that answer in the epilogue. So guys don’t miss prologues and epilogue.

Kitty’s adventure also gave a lesson on the human greed, how far it can take them and how much damage it can cause to not only their life but also earth.

Overall, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is adventurous, entertaining book that will take you back in the Gold Rush era with lot of information and stories. It is not just for YAs, everyone can enjoy this book. If you love history and adventure, this book is for you.
Profile Image for Erin Sky.
Author 5 books356 followers
December 4, 2017
I wanted to like this book so badly. I LOVED the premise. Nancy Drew with an airplane! But it just wasn't what I hoped. There were too many places where the plot and story structure didn't work for me. But it's gotten some decent reviews here on Goodreads. If you've read it, what did you think?
Profile Image for Uma    | Books.Bags.Burgers.
259 reviews153 followers
July 19, 2017
(A huge thanks to the publicist and the author for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)


Kitty is the star of the book and the entire story is from her perspective. The thing I loved the most about Kitty is that she has these conversations with herself which was so relatable! She argues with herself which is something I do a lot! Also it was wonderful to see a main character who liked geography and biology. It's not everyday that YA books have such a protagonist. But I must say that Kitty sounded a little younger than a young adult! While the fact that she's flying a plane around the world reminds me that she is an adult, the way she talks and behaves made me feel that she was a lot younger. I felt like she was a younger Nancy Drew who loved adventures!

Every character Kitty meets have an important role both in the book and Kitty's life. It was nice to see her interactions with her parents and friends. I loved that the starting chapters focused so much on Kitty's relationships with the most important people in her life. I feel this gives readers a very good idea about Kitty's personality before diving into the actual adventure!

'Wherever we are in this world, we are not alone. We are not the only creatures who find life in the sky and water and land. We are not the only creatures who need it. And we cannot just take and take and take. We have to give. And we have to respect.'


The plot is basically the adventures Kitty faces as she studies whales. When Kitty is suddenly pulled into a gold rush adventure, things get worrisome. While normally the pace with which the plot unfolded would have been slow for me, I liked it here because even before the actual plot starts, we learn a lot about other things such as flying, the whales, the geography and culture of Alaska etc. I found all these quite interesting to know about and there wasn't a single boring moment in the book.


The writing flows quite effortlessly even when the chapters aren't in chronological order. Sometimes the chapters weren't continuous and there are time gaps between them; but this never hindered me during reading. I loved the internal conversations Kitty has with herself and also the vivid descriptions of the places she visits and the sights she sees. At times there was a lot of information to absorb in a single page and I had to reread things a bit which is pretty much the only complaint I have about the writing style.


- Kitty's conversations with herself
- All the Biology, geography and history facts
- The slow but steady plot
- The writing for the most part


- The fact that Kitty seemed a lot younger for her age at times
- Too much information at times


If you're looking for a fun filled adventure along with a lot of scientific facts, this is a must read. The story has a wonderful MC, a fun plot, a light romance and loads of adventure!
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,773 reviews572 followers
October 2, 2015
Adventure! Youthful independence! Mystery and the chance to travel far and wide! Sounds like the perfect set up for fantastic reading for pre-teens, teens and even adults! Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading unleashes a young and independent teen on the world of adventure as she flies her own plane to study whales in Alaska! I’m not sure what reader, young or old wouldn’t love to have their own adventure like Kitty’s, so hop aboard, prepare for takeoff, some history lessons and the intrigue of the call of gold as Kitty finds trouble and moves to outwit the bad guys.

Iain Reading has created a responsible young woman with a zest for adventure and a knack for finding trouble. Kitty is about to discover the rush of gold fever, the mysteries of the Klondike Gold Rush and how far some quirky bandits will go in their quest for the gold. Be prepared for beautifully described scenery, detailing the majestic Alaskan landscape, the wildlife in their habitat and listen to the inner ramblings of a seventeen-year-old girl, wise beyond her years and far braver than I would be!

Need a positive role model who is the picture of working hard to achieve a goal, uses their brain to ponder out a situation or is able to converse with herself in her mind? Meet Kitty, there won’t be a dull moment from start to finish! The best part is there is no gore, no over-the-top evil, there is some history, some wonder facts and the thrill of falling into another world with positive emotions, fresh characters and a doorway into a world of possibilities.

Series: Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency - Book 1
Publication Date: November 30, 2012
Publisher: Iain Reading
ISBN: 1492718157
ISBN-13: 9781502300874
Genre: Teen/YA Mysteries-Adventure
Print Length: 326 pages
Available from: Amazon Barnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,289 reviews1,825 followers
December 24, 2017
I was provided a complimentary copy from the author & marketing team in exchange for an honest review. 

Okay, so I know what a lot of you guys might be thinking. I normally don't reach for books like this one and you guys make a fair point. I reach for steamy romances, young adult contemporaries, or like my newly discovered love--young adult fantasy novels. It is also within fair reason why I would personally be hesitant about reading this on in particular. 

And I may have the same reasons as you do. While the cover features gorgeous artwork, it doesn't necessarily look like a well polished book you'll find in your bookstore. The title is kind of put in the bottom--discarded like it will ruin the cover even though the title is one of the most important parts to a book and the author's name is squished in the bottom left corner. I know we shouldn't be judging books by their covers but in a world where our attention spans last no longer than it takes to send out a tweet--a beautiful cover matters. 



This book just PROVES the rule of 'don't judge a book by it's cover' because as soon as I started reading the first couple of pages I was GRIPPED. Iain Reading's style of writing is smooth, beautiful, and full of wit. I found myself actually smirking and laughing at the sprinkle of humor he put in there. The sarcasm especially and the outrageous comments made me appreciate this book a lot more. And trust me, if you can make me laugh, you already won AT LEAST 1 star in the rating. Aside from humor, I was just intrigued by the story like what are we getting ourselves into? What exactly is going to happen to Kitty and how does that all tie back to the really thrilling prologue? 

Let's backtrack a bit and discuss the story. Kitty wants to go to Alaska for the summer so she can shoot some pictures of whales and during her time there, she somehow gets involved with four brothers who are stealing gold. The whole entirety of the story is about Kitty helping the four brothers steal massive amounts of gold while also trying to survive and not get murdered by the same people she's helping out. Okay, so it's pretty intriguing to read about how Kitty manages to protect herself from getting killed by the brothers or by the climate and of course, the underlying plot was nothing to complain about. 

I've had my suspicions about the characters but I was happily relieved that my suspicions were correct by the end of the book. I mean, the four brothers (sorry, I don't remember their names because I read the book for the oldest brother aka Charlie), were far too nice. I mean, they were gruff and rude in the beginning towards Kitty because she is their hostage but they fed her, made sure she was warm, and chatted with her like they were their friend or *winky face* lover. 

And I know that's just my inner romantic coming out but Iain Reading wrote some freaking sexual tension scenes and I am still so mad and frustrated that the relationships were not fully flushed out nor developed and I am honestly intrigued to read the others just so I know if Kitty EVER ends up with the bad boy/good boy, Charlie. 

Before I move onto the things that I didn't like about the book, I just want to point out the freaking plot twists in this story. THEY ARE WILD. A VERY PLEASANT SORT OF WILD that I never saw coming and I'm like I thought you were bad or I thought you were good or I thought this wouldn't be happening!!!!! 

What disappointed me a lot about this book was that I found character development and creation was really lacking in this book. I could tell you that Kitty was brave and adventurous but her motives and her feelings were way out of sync. I mean, she was kidnapped by four older men, and not once did she ever cry about her parents or worried that EVERYONE would be searching for her. She only thought about it once and she didn't even think my mom is going to be worried about me but rather think what my crush from the small town I'm staying in is doing. I mean SERIOUSLY?! I understand strong females who don't cry at every turn but it's not very realistic for a person or a character to go along with everything like everything is OKAY when it's clearly not! 

And the characters were mostly one dimensional. We don't really know why some characters are acting a certain way. Iain kind of just writes them for the sack of writing them and it's kind of unnecessary. Take for example, Kitty's enemy, Amanda. What was the point of her?!! She was just plain mean for the sake of being mean!!!! She destroyed Kitty's hard work when she was little and she annoys Kitty constantly by doing silly things and she didn't add value to the plot so really I didn't get her purpose! 

Another thing that kind of grated my nerves was that the chapters were short and they didn't fit together. Like one chapter would be talking about the headcase known as Amanda (see above) and then the next would be Kitty writing a letter to get some funding to travel to Alaska. It just didn't flow and it didn't feel like an actual story as opposed to diary entries. 

Finally, I'm Canadian. I, therefore, find some Canadian history interesting but I'm definitely not a history buff. It was interesting a lot of the times to read about small towns in Canada, learn about the nature, culture, and heritage but a lot of the times I skimmed and browsed the pages simply because this isn't an educational book. This was meant to be fiction where I'm reading for the plot and not for the facts. So if you are going to read this book I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU KNOW THAT AT LEAST 35% OF THIS BOOK INCLUDES FACTS AND STORIES ABOUT CANADUH. 

Honestly, I didn't know this book came out FIVE WHOLE FREAKING years ago but it's a pretty good book and it surprised me a lot that I would actually enjoy it. And I think you would too if you want to read about the amazing scenery Canada has to offer and you're ready for a little kick of an adventure.

Can someone tell me if Kitty and Charlie end up together? 

Profile Image for Danielle Zaydon.
93 reviews20 followers
September 26, 2017
"This harsh and wild land of the north and all its adventure had infected my soul, and I would never be the same again."
-Iain Reading, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the first book in a young adult adventrure series. Kitty Hawk is a recent high school graduate who decides to spend her summer flying her seaplane over Alaska studying humpback whales. She writes to her favorite outdoors clothing company asking for sponsorship money in order for her to take this adventure in return for advertising their clothing. They accept Kitty's offer and she's on her way from her hometown of Tofino, Canada to Juneau, Alaska to follow her dreams. Everything seems to be going fine with her studies of the whales until one day she notices a boat that is mysteriously riding low in the water, as if they are carrying something that is heavier than the maximum weight a boat should allow. Due to her curiosity, she decides one day to check it out, as she believes this boat is carrying stolen gold. Her curiosity gets the best of her and she ends up being kidnapped and forced into an adventure that she had never planned.

What I really loved about this book is that it is so unique to the young adult genre. This book is jam-packed with fun facts about whales and the Yukon Gold Rush of the early 1890s that took place in Alaska. I really appreciated all the time and effort Iain Reading took into researching these topics and sharing information that I thought was interesting. It definitely added depth to the story. Throughout the book, we also get campfire stories about the Yukon Gold Rush that I especially enjoyed. These stories had to be my favorites scenes in the whole book. They were fun and really made you feel like you were sitting around the campfire with the rest of the characters.

Kitty Hawk has to be one of my favorite heroines that I have read in the young adult genre. She is intelligent, courageous, focused, and adventurous. At one point in the story, there was a slight love interest that I thought to myself, "Oh, here we go. Can't have a young adult book without some sort of romance aspect thrown into it." I'm happy to say that I was wrong! Kitty does go on one date but decides that she would rather focus on her work with the humpback whales rather than be distracted by a boy. I absolutely loved this! This just goes to show that you don't have to write in a romance plot into every YA book! These are traits that I would like to see more in the YA genre. Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with romance. I just liked the fact that for once a heroine was able to put boys to the side and focus on the task at hand. This was a major plus for me.

I never considered myself to be one who would enjoy an adventure book, but to my pleasant surprise, I've found that I really do enjoy this genre. It is fun, exciting, and something different from the average YA fantasy or contemporary romance book that seem to dominate the genre. So, even if this genre doesn't sound that interesting to you, I urge you to give this series a shot. It was such a pleasure to read.

I do have one con about this series that I would like to bring up. Now this is clearly my own opinion. I do believe that the covers seem more geared for a younger target audience. Before I had even read the synopsis, I had originally thought that this would be a middle grade adventure novel. I think if the covers were changed to target the young adult audience, this book series would get more attention for its targeted audience. I personally would not have picked this book up off of the shelf in a book store if I had seen it just because the cover screams middle grade to me.

Overall, this is a strong first book in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series. I would definitely consider picking up the next installment as I'm curious to see what characters make a reappearance. I do have some favorite characters that I would like to see in the next book. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading about adventure or anyone who just wants to read something different in the YA genre. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Iain Reading and to Kelsey Butts from Book Publicity Services for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Laura.
723 reviews104 followers
September 15, 2016
Thank you to the publicist and the author, Iain Reading, for gifting me with a copy of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold in exchange for an honest review!

1. The characters. The characters were one of my favorite parts of this book. Frist and foremost, Kitty. I loved her personality, her weird humor, her adventurous spirit, and her strange conversations she would have with herself. It was so relatable how Kitty would have conversations with herself in her own head. She would argue with herself and keep up a banter and it really kept the dialogue moving. One thing I do wish is that the author would have made those conversation italicized or something of the sort so they would be more distinguishable from the out-loud conversations that were taking place. The other characters are wonderfully developed as well and I felt like they simply popped right off the page.

2. The plot. The plot was really interesting to me. I didn't really have all that much knowledge about the Alaska/Canada gold rush and the landscape until I read this book. Obviously, pieces are probably fictionalized, but it gives you a good picture of the region and the culture. The book mostly focuses on Kitty on her adventures as she documents whales and get roped into a gold expedition. I really liked how the plot unfolded at a nice pace and I never felt too rushed or bored out of my mind. There is always something going on. Trying to figure out why the trio was trying to steal the gold was an excellent plot line, as well.

3. The writing. Like I mentioned in the characters section, I really loved Kitty's conversations with herself. They brought humor to some dark scenes and helped me understand Kitty's mindset a bit more. The writing style never felt like a nuisance to read.

The Final Verdict:
A fun, quirky mystery that keeps the tone light and the humor prevalent. I especially loved how Kitty was developed and how relatable she was.
5 stars


"Mocha Bear? I thought to myself. What does that mean? Is that some kind of code or something. Apparently even in deadly serious situations boys simply can't resist the urge to play like they are secret agents or something."

"With the trees on the banks of the river rushing past us, we touched down on the river and gradually slowed as the pontoons settled into the water. I turned to face the others with a big, wide grin on my face.

'Piece of cake,' I said calmly, feeling invincible. 'You can let go of the seats now.'"

"'Wherever we are in this world, we are not alone. We are not the only creatures who find life in the sky and water and land. We are not the only creatures who need it. And we cannot just take and take and take. We have to give. And we have to respect.'"
Profile Image for Amanda.
188 reviews44 followers
June 14, 2017
3.5/5 stars
PG-13 for mild language throughout
Recommend to readers looking for realistic, historical adventure stories. Also for fans of strong heroines and little to no romance.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author and Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a fun adventure with plenty of history and daring, featuring a great and capable heroine, but a little heavy-handed on facts and details.

What initially struck me about this book is the great voice of the main character, 19-year-old adventurer Kitty Hawk. This girl has spunk and energy and Reading does a fantastic job showing that through this first person narration. Readers will appreciate Kitty's humor, sarcasm, determination, and smarts. She's capable and clever and, best of all, she doesn't make those face-palming, stupid decisions so many YA characters seem to make. In addition to her strong personality, Kitty is a licensed pilot and the owner of a De Havilland Beaver, in full possession of the empowering quality of figuring out what she wants and going for it, no matter what; she is definitely the best thing about this book. Part Nancy Drew, part Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk is a good role model for girls; she reminded me particularly of my beloved Vesper Holly, Lloyd Alexander's adventure heroine from his series of the same name. (See The Illyrian Adventure)

While Kitty's voice in the prologue hooked my attention, the book does have a slow start after that, detailing a lot of Kitty's background and childhood, the technical specifics of flying a plane, a lot of her whale research, and quite a history lesson into the Klondike Gold Rush. I skimmed a good deal of this, because I found it rather dry. It wasn't until after 80 pages before I really got into it, but once the adventure gets under way, the reading went pretty fast.

The story itself was rather unexpected; it took a much different direction than I thought it would and I actually kind of loved it. This is much more of an adventure story than a traditional mystery, because Kitty isn't Nancy Drew sneaking clues to solve something; she's more of an Indiana Jones, setting off on a mission, but stumbling into an adventure along the way. There's even a pretty good Indiana Jones moment in the story; don't worry, you'll know it when you read it.

This delves deep into the history of Alaska and the Klondike, which I really love, and it has a strong sense of place, from the coast of Alaska to its fierce wilderness. Unfortunately, a lot of the information is conveyed through off-putting info dumps; even when another character is telling Kitty a story it feels more like reading a Wikipedia page than a conversation. I skipped over a lot of the history and technical information because it was too dry for my taste.

Interesting, fun, and educational, I wound up loving the adventure, the concept, and the characters. I would love to see some of these characters (specifically one) pop up in the other books, because I liked Kitty's chemistry with them (him). Outside of Kitty's great voice I had a hard time with the writing style, though Reading does paint some gorgeous and poetic landscapes.

Overall, I enjoyed it enough that I plan on checking out the rest of the series someday.
Profile Image for Jadzia.
37 reviews1 follower
September 12, 2014
*This book was sent to me by the author/publicist in exchange for an honest review

I had a lot of hope for this book, when I started reading it. The premise sounded interesting, I’d never really read an adventure themed book before, and the reviews were pretty much all positive. I’d say, overall, it had potential and wasn’t bad, but didn’t quite cut it for me.
There were a few typos and grammatical errors, but there’s at least one or two of those in every book I’ve ever read, and I wasn’t asked to edit this book, but only to give my opinion on it.
The first thing that bothered me was that, when I received the book, beneath the blurb on the back, was a quote by the author himself stating: “A remarkable, exhilarating, thrill-a-minute, visually evocative masterpiece of story-telling…” Self-confident much?
One of the things this book flaunts is that it “is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages.” However, I felt like the whole tone of the novel was too formal and sort of above younger readers and too slow and bland for older readers. I really wanted Mr. Reading to capture Kitty’s voice in this novel, but he did not.
The opening was definitely a good place to start Kitty’s adventure, but it lacked background and emotionally-triggering facts or details about Kitty and her family to really draw the reader in and have them begin to feel for her. THEN the writer went back to show how Kitty got there, and I think that was the wrong move to take.
The pace of the book was slow after those first two chapters—a big letdown. Everything sort of chugged along until Kitty met the character, Charlie, and his brothers a third of the way through the book. By this point, I wasn’t that invested in the story, but I was holding out for the actual “adventure” to start. I still hadn’t connected with any of the characters—not even Kitty!—and that was the second big let-down for me. The only character I liked at all by the end of the book was Charlie, who takes his sweet time to come along on page 108, but is part of the main conflict (the main storyline should have started sooner).
The THIRD big letdown for me was all of the info-dumping (unneeded large blocks of information/backstory) and boring stories about the gold rush. I felt like the author had just copied and pasted articles from Wikipedia or full chapters from his favorite book on the Klondike Gold Rush. Much of it could have probably been summed up in a paragraph or less, or more naturally and creatively—through dialogue or another venue. By the time Charlie told his story about “the curse” of the gold, toward the end of the book, I just skipped the next few chapters containing his story. I read their conversation following it, where all the characters were doing was answering a few questions Kitty had about the curse/story and I knew basically everything I needed to without reading the entire story.
Along the same lines, there was a lot of explaining things to the reader—how things worked, what things meant, how Kitty turned her plane around in the air (seriously don’t need to know step-by-step). The writer needs to trust his readers more. There were also several instances of repetitive wording/phrasing. The author would use one phrase and then on the next page or even in the next paragraph use it again.
Kitty felt very inconsistent to me. I never knew what she was feeling or thinking, and when I did, I didn’t buy it. She went with whatever happened (good or bad) without much of a fight/opinion, she seemed to feel certain things for characters, but those feelings were never followed through (I think the writer set up Charlie as a love interest in addition to Edward but, by the end of the book, I wasn’t sure if he did it on purpose or not). One minute she was acting like a clueless child, the next she was acting like she was thirty-five years old and knew everything about anything.
I felt like the plot was great, but wasn’t executed very well. There were too many slow-paced portions of the book, the build-up was too long, and the present conflict became blatantly about the greed of the men who participated in the gold rush and less about Kitty learning and growing as a character.
Something I really did like was when Kitty met the guy, Edward, who was set up to be a love interest. The whole thing was very cute and sweet and I liked the connection the characters had. I also liked the relationship between her and her friend, Skeena’s, aunt and uncle, who she stayed with while in Alaska. I even liked Skeena, even though she played a tiny role in the story, and Amanda (your typical high school nemesis) because she brought some humor into the story, though she too played a minor role.
Mr. Reading certainly has a talent for writing. When everything fit together well, I could see it as I read. Even when it was boring, it was well-written boring. He could write great history and text books, I am sure of it (is that a compliment? I mean it to be…). But my point is that it shouldn’t have been boring. It should have been engaging, and that is where Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold fell short, or where Mr. Reading fell short for Kitty and her story. As I read, I kept getting the impression that Mr. Reading had jumped the gun on this publishing thing. I couldn’t help but feel that, if he had spent a bit more time getting insight and critiques from actual readers, then it would have done more than sparkle, it would have shone.
Based on the reviews on Goodreads, I can obviously tell that this book suited many perfectly fine, but it wasn’t, as some say, my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Plot Monster.
132 reviews53 followers
January 22, 2018
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading has 262 pages and was originally published in 2012 by Amazon Digital Services.

Thank you to the author, Iain Reading, for generously providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a fun interesting novel, probably best suited for middle-grade and teen readers.  It has a great "girl power" theme that I think will resonate well with young ladies learning to find confidence and believe in themselves.

This book is well-written and edited.  It has short chapters which I think is great for younger readers.  There are also lots of educational facts and maps included in this book to help keep younger readers engaged.

Overall, I felt that this was a very good book and I would be interested in reading the other books in this series.
Profile Image for Ruzaika.
187 reviews55 followers
November 20, 2016
Received from the author and Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.

Another version of this review can be found here

When I received a review request for this book, the first thing that drew me towards it is it's comparison to Nancy Drew, which I absolutely loved and devoured in years past. I loved Nancy Drew, I loved how strong, independent and fearless she was, and I loved everything she stood for. So going into this book, I expected a kickass female character to add to my list of favorite MCs. Did I get what I expected...or didn't I? Read on to find out all about my Kitty Hawk experience!

This book, the first of a series, follows Kitty Hawk, an 18 year old adventurous girl on a quest to unravel the mystery of stolen gold. I was extremely delighted to find little photographs and maps throughout the book, and these helped me feel more invested in Kitty's journey. The author seems to have done a fair bit of research, as is evident from the scientific and historic accuracy portrayed throughout the book, and interested readers can even learn more from the list of references given at the back of the book!

What I loved most about this book was how close everything was tied to nature. Kitty experiences everything from humpback whales to the Northern Lights, and the way the author describes them sure makes one crave for adventure! I loved reading about the various places Kitty goes to, and this is one area where the author's research really paid off- you never get the feeling that you are scarce for information, and the way the settings (mostly Canada and Alaska, both very new to me) are all described make you feel as if you're experiencing everything yourself!

There were quite a few interesting characters, but my favorite was Kitty right from the start. I loved how passionate she was about everything to do with nature, and she was spunky and smart- a lovely combination indeed for a main character- an what's more, we even had a running commentary from her snarky little inner voice which I really enjoyed! All the characters were well-developed, and I have no complaints about anything in this regard.

However, in spite of Kitty being 18 and this book being said to be YA, I felt that it was more suited for a MG audience and perhaps not for fans of Nancy Drew (it still was full of adventure though, don't get me wrong!). Kitty just sounded much younger, and the issues the book dealt with and how it was dealt with all seemed better suited for a younger readership than Young Adult, which is the first of the two tiny problems I had with this book. The next was that I felt the author spent so much time in the descriptions that at times, it felt like info dumping, and it somehow made the pacing feel a bit off in places. While I appreciated the details, they did sometimes make the story feel lagging when it should have been more fastly paced.

"Wherever we are in this world, we are not alone. We are not the only creatures who find life in the sky and water and land. We are not the only creatures who need it. And we cannot just take and take and take. We have to give. And we have to respect."

With a truly delightful protagonist, interesting plot, and some great messages about nature and how greed could affect people, this was definitely one interesting read indeed, and despite the very few problems I had with this book, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is one great book I'd not hesitate to recommend to anyone seeking for a book with lots of fun-filled adventure.

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 5/5
The cover: 3/5
Enjoy factor: 4/5

Final Rating: 4/5
Profile Image for Kailey (Luminous Libro).
3,058 reviews453 followers
June 14, 2018
Kitty is a 19-year-old pilot on a summer mission to observe humpback whales in Juneau, Alaska, when she stumbles across the path of some gold thieves and is forced on a trek through the Alaskan wild as their captive.

Move over, Nancy Drew! I have a new favorite teen detective! This book ended up being so much more amazing than I ever expected, with an adventurous plot full of twists and turns, compelling and complex characters, and clever dialogue.

The plot really surprised me several times. I was gasping, and jumping up and down in my seat. I was giggling, and crying, and shaking my fists to the skies. I was completely swept away by the story!

I adore Kitty's character! I love how she talks to herself, and she is sometimes awkward or silly. She is tough and smart, but also emotional and sensitive. She is a complex and relatable character, and at times, I felt like I WAS her. I was the girl in the story, savvy and capable and running headlong into danger, or nervous about a first date and checking my hair in the mirror. Kitty is so adorable and sweet and plucky!

I have such a fondness for the crazy brothers she tags along with on her adventures. Each brother has their own understated but powerful personality, and I was always puzzling through their story, eager to know more about them. I pretty much fell in love with each of them, especially Charlie.

It was the dialogue between these characters that really made me love them. It can be difficult to write natural dialogue that feels like actual people are talking, but so many times, I was drawn in by the brilliant and familiar conversations between characters that showed their closeness, their fatigue, their anxiety, their affection for each other, and a myriad of other aspects of their relationships and the essence of their characters.

I gained a whole new appreciation for the wonders and beauty of nature in the Yukon, Alaska, and surrounding coastline. Kitty travels through hundreds of miles of beautiful terrain, across dazzling seas, through pristine forests, and around lakes and rivers. The way she describes the clear air and the splendid Northern Lights made me feel like I was there, experiencing these natural wonders for myself. Talk about a fantastic setting! Every new place that Kitty went made me eager to see more and go further, deeper into the wilderness with her.

A big part of my enjoyment of the lovely setting was the exciting history of the Gold Rush and the mysteries of missing gold, sunken treasure, and the stories of old miners hiding their loot. The rich and terrifying history of the Gold Rush served as a backdrop for Kitty's story, and the more she learned about the bizarre past of the land, the more I wanted to learn too. The writing masterfully paced the release of historical information so that it was seamlessly woven in with the action-packed plot.

I only have two complaints about this book. The print was really small, and I found myself squinting to read. And there are far too many chapters, and some chapter breaks are poorly placed within the story. Having 82 chapters is a bit too much, especially when most chapters are only 2-3 pages long. It broke up the pacing of the story at times. I would have preferred longer chapters, and a slightly larger print type.

However, I loved the writing style, and I appreciated the excellent story-telling. So many times, I completely forgot that I was reading, because I was completely immersed in the story.

I can't wait to read the rest of this series! I am completely in love with Kitty Hawk!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
Profile Image for Jillyn.
732 reviews
October 10, 2014
I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn't too sure what to expect when I first started reading, but soon I was swept up in Kitty's adventures.

What I liked best about this book is definitely the impressive amount of educational/factual information. I wasn't necessarily expecting to learn anything from this book, but thanks to Kitty Hawk I have learned about wildlife in Alaska and Canada, history about the Gold Rush, information about a few native tribes, and I'm sure even more topics that I have forgotten to mention. Though at times these facts were presented a bit too much in an "info-dump" fashion, I think that it helped make the story have more depth, and it helped me to better understand and visualize the various settings. From small towns to the ocean, to the cliffs and the snow, I was definitely picturing the scenes playing out in my head in detail. I'll admit that Reading struck gold with me (see what I did there?) because I happen to be a sucker for books set in Alaska.

I also loved the characters. The lead character, Kitty, is the kind of character that I'd like to see more of in young adult fiction. She's strong, smart, independent, and adventurous. And on top of that, her parents are pretty great to. Her father teaches her to fly planes and her mother teaches her about the earth, and when she decides to fly to Juneau in order to observe humpback whales, both parents were happy for her and offered her their support 100%. I found this to be a really nice, positive touch.

Part of what I liked about Kitty specifically is her love for adventure. She sees her way out of challenges when they arise and is always up for doing whatever it takes in order to learn more about what she is interested in. The adventures and action were relatively well-paced in this book, and I was always cheering for her to take the next step on her journey to help solve mysteries and learn a bunch in the process too.

The only real issue that I had with this book aside from the info-dump moments was that sometimes the sections/time lapses/flash back sequences felt disjointed. I'd have to refocus and recalibrate to see what I was reading and when it should be taking place. It wasn't enough to turn me off of this book, but it was something of which that I definitely took note.

This is my first experience with reading an Iain Reading book, but based off my experience of reading Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold, I would definitely consider reading the rest of this series. I recommend it to fans of young adult fiction who want a good old fashioned adventure book or who wants to read a book with a determined, strong female lead character.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my 100% honest review. This review can also be found on my blog, Bitches n Prose.
Profile Image for Vikki P.
125 reviews35 followers
January 10, 2021
I received a Review Copy of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of Yukon Gold from the publicist/author in exchange for an honest review.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of Yukon Gold is the first book in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency by Iain Reading. As the description above implies, Kitty Hawk has a very Nancy Drew vibe to her which was why I was pretty excited about reading this book! I’ve always been a big fan of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and all the childhood classics of the sort and I was looking forward to finding out what this book had in store for me.

The first thing that I have to highlight, which I now realize was always missing from the stories I read as a kid, is the book was so very informative! A lot of reviews claimed they enjoyed the book because of Kitty Hawk as a character but it was the fascinating facts that made me enjoy the book even more. The topics covered in the book range from Gold Rushes, to Whales to even sushi! I had never heard of Gold Rushes before and ended up reading up a lot more about them after I was done with the book. The book is pretty useful for children to learn about such topics.

The second thing that I loved about the book was the little maps illustrating the entire book. The moment I received the book, I began flipping through it and they were pretty captivating and made it so easy to follow Kitty Hawk’s journey.

As a character, Kitty was pretty brilliant and independent which I did like, but I think I enjoyed the story-line itself far more. Kitty’s life, like it is in all children’s books, was far too perfect as everything did line up quite a little too easily for her, but nevertheless I did like the Amelia Earhart vibe. When facing adverse circumstances, Kitty is optimistic and resourceful and I really did love that! The first 10-15 pages were slightly discordant and a little confusing but once the actual story of her travelling to Juneau began I was right with her!

Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series has 5 books, the next one being Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost which I’m definitely looking forward to reading it. It is the perfect series to pique a child’s imagination.
Profile Image for Margaret Madden.
755 reviews167 followers
March 9, 2015
Review by Mia Madden

This book is about a teenager called Kitty Hawk who has raised money to fly from her home in Tofino, Canada to Juneau, Alaska in her De Havilland Bearer seaplane. She is going to do some humpback whale research. During this research trip she discovers a fishing boat that crosses her route often and decides to follow it. She then finds out, near the Dyea Ruins in Skagway, Alaska, that the fishing boat passengers are gold thieves. This discovery brings Kitty to climb the Chilkoot Pass to the small city of Dawson and many more historical sites.

This book was amazing and it just goes to show that you don't have to rely on really famous authors like JK Rowling, David Walliams, James Patterson, etc to write a great book. It is a good idea to try out new authors, like Iain Reading, Erika McGann and Sarah Holding, as well as big-name ones and you might discover a new favourite!

I loved this book and especially the character of Kitty (who I even dressed up as for World Book Day). One day, I think Kitty Hawk will have her own World Book Day book...

I recommend this for ages 8+
Profile Image for Alexandra.
182 reviews39 followers
May 1, 2018
Thank you to Book Publicity Services and the author, Iain Reading, for providing me with free copy of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

If you were a fan of Nancy Drew but thought the only thing missing was a bit more adventure-look no further than Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold! Kitty is a brave young pilot with the desire to prove herself. She leaves her small Canadian fishing village to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales from her plane high above. Little does Kitty know she will encounter more than whales! She faces a motley crew of criminals, stolen gold, and maybe a real-life curse! Kitty’s adventure is full of history, action, and mystery-a perfect combination for any age. Read more

As the first in the series, readers are treated to the origin story of Kitty’s Flying Detective Agency. Kitty is a strong 19-year-old woman who learns to believe in herself, her expertise, and her abilities. She’s responsible, reliable, and an all-around great role model for young readers. When she finds herself in the middle of a gold heist, she uses her instincts and her ingenuity to find herself safely on the other side. In the meantime, she learns that her knowledge and skills can be put to use solving mysteries across the continent.

One of the highlights of Reading’s writing is his ability to seamlessly include historical events in the narrative. Kitty’s knowledge of famous locations only enhanced my reading experience and made me want to dive down the rabbit hole of research about the Klondike Gold Rush. (I taught a really fun unit to my sixth graders one year about the Klondike Gold Rush and I think this would be a great companion to that unit!) Reading’s prose is gripping and will have you hooked from the first page. I’m not usually one for wilderness adventure stories, but I have to admit I’d like to see where Kitty goes next.

Now, with all I’ve said before you might be wondering why I only gave this book three out of five stars. Here’s what I wished I could have found in between the pages: more development of the characters relationships. I’ve talked a lot lately with my friends and family about the importance of round characters. A character that develops from the first page to the last is one of the most important aspects of a truly great story. The same can be said for the relationships. They must develop-just to push the plot forward for the plot’s sake. Unfortunately, I felt that the four criminals that Kitty encounters (and spends most of the book with) were just blah. They kidnapped Kitty and yet their relationship was never more than some quippy responses back and forth. I wish there was more tension or that Kitty’s personality would have shone through the situation.

The book’s chapters were short, lending itself for many short reading sessions. I think that the chapter’s length greatly plays into the ability of the author to develop the characters. When we’re switching focus every few pages, it’s tough to get deep. We have a lot of roots, but they aren’t very deep.

Overall, I think Kitty Hawk provides a great context about the Klondike Gold Rush with a strong female lead. Kitty has a lot of potential to grow in the rest of the series, and I think Reading has truly set up this series for success.

TL/DR: If you’re looking for a modern-day Nancy Drew who can fly planes, Kitty Hawk is the girl for you.
Rating: 3/5 stars
Profile Image for Laila Tarek.
362 reviews13 followers
October 11, 2017
Kitty Hawk is a middle-grade novel and although there are some middle-grade books that I don't find enjoyable anymore, this one has gladly not been one of them. I genuinely enjoyed the sassy badass Kitty Hawk and all the characters around her, and how she was so interested in so many things and never gave up on her dreams.

The book starts out with her getting funding for her research about whales and I need to take a moment (or a few, actually) to appreciate how hard the author worked on this book.

"Sky, water, land," he said, holding his palm flat out, high, low, middle, as he spoke. "Wherever we are in this world, we are not alone. We are not the only creatures who need it. And we cannot just take and take and take. We have to give, and we have to respect."

Full thoughts here: lebookworm7.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/...
Profile Image for Marissa Nicole.
60 reviews10 followers
June 12, 2017
In an attempt to finally beat my reading and reviewing slump (yes, it has been going on since basically the start of junior year), I decided to read the books I have received from authors and publishers to start getting engaged in reading again. Because of this, I picked up Kitty Hawk and the Curse of Yukon Gold to begin my journey back into book blogging. Even though I have not read a more middle grade than young adult novel in a fairly long time, I did enjoy this book and thought that it was a great opening to the series.

First off, I really enjoyed how the author formed Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a great book for young female readers. Kitty Hawk shows a refreshing female main character that attracts readers interested in science and history. She represents someone who is intellectual and has initiative. Overall, she is someone who will help inform young readers of STEM and encourage readers into the field.

Also, I enjoyed how the author began his story. Reading used the opening paragraphs to engage his audience and set up the plot. He effectively helped his audience immerse themselves into the story.

Readers will also enjoy the relationships Reading builds with his characters. He effectively forms the relationships to feel natural which allows readers to relate to them. He makes the characters build around each other and the story.

Despite all the positive attributes that the story obtained, there were various negative aspects. The main one was Kitty Hawk’s internal conversations. In my opinion, I felt they were unnecessary and felt awkward. I believe the author would have created a more effective way of understanding what Kitty was thinking if he just stated her thoughts rather than created a little voice inside her head.

Even though the author has clear knowledge on what he writes about, I believe that he dumps information into the story that is unnecessary. Though some information is great for understanding the plot, too much information may interrupt the plot and ruin the flow of the story. There were times when there were simply just pages of information which made it feel like I was reading an article on the topic instead of the story. Instead, the author should have incorporated small pieces of information inside of the story to inform readers without it feeling like a research paper.

Finally, I believe that the pace felt unsteady at times. There were points in the book that engaged readers and there were other times when the book felt like it was dragging. The book lacked a steady pace which made it frustrating to read in long periods of time.

Overall, I believe the book could be a positive read for middle-grade audiences and I believe that it reflects a different type of main character that may interest different readers.
Profile Image for Amy (booksofmyshka).
137 reviews25 followers
December 5, 2015
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. The summary got me curious, but I didn’t really have an idea what to expect and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Turned out, I didn’t need to worry, because I loved it a lot!

Every proper story has both a protagonist and an antagonist- at least that’s what we learned in Mrs. Cox’s English Class. I suppose that makes me the protagonist- the heroine. (Aren’t we all heroes in the stories of our own lives?)

Canadian girl Kitty Hawk has just finished High School and she’s going to spend her summer studying humpback whales in Alaska.. with her own floatplane. That’s right, Kitty is a pilot and has her own plane. Pretty awesome if you ask me. So Kitty spends her whole summer studying whales in Alaska and learning about the history of Juneau and the Yukon River and it’s gold. However, her summer doesn’t exactly end the way she would have thought it to be and runs into some – how shall I call it – trouble.. I won’t say anything else to avoid spoilers, in case you want to read it yourself.

“This is it,” I said to myself. “Let’s go find some whales.” And with that my adventure truly began.

I loved this book so much! It’s really original and refreshing to read and I loved that it was set in Canada and Alaska, places I hadn’t read about before. I also learned a lot about the history of these places and that was actually really interesting. I love learning about other countries and their cultures, so that being told in this book was a big plus for me.

“You want to fly right?” Jumping back on the dock, he walked away. Reaching the harbormaster’s office, he looked back over his shoulder to smile one last time, and he made a bird out of his hands that he flew through the air as he turned the corner. “I want to fly,” I whispered and nodded to myself as I watched him disappear around the corner of the building. “You’ve got that right.”

Like I said before, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to end up liking it, but exceeded my expectations. Kitty Hawk is a super cool protagonist, she’s funny, curious, daring and she’s in some ways very relatable. It was a story unlike I’ve ever read before and I can definitely recommend it you’re down for something new. Cue the bookhangover! I really want to read the sequels now *grabby hands*

“She’s the boss.”
Damn right I am, I thought.
Profile Image for pearl..
93 reviews28 followers
January 5, 2018
*I received a copy from the author/publicist in exchange for my honest review*

First Thoughts

While Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold didn't really fit into the genre of books I love to read most, I still enjoyed it! The mystery, the witty heroine, and the adventure were quite reminiscent of my favorite detective series from when I was a child-- Nancy Drew!

The story tells of Kitty Hawk, a teen pilot, who travels from her hometown in Canada to Alaska in hopes of studying the humpback whale. While in Alaska, she accidentally stumbles upon a band of gold thieves who quickly take her hostage. Kitty has quite the adventure with these thieves: learning the history of the land and listening to spooky campfire tales of old legends and cursed gold.

What I Enjoyed

The history and legends that were told.
Iain Reading found creative ways to weave history and education into his story of Kitty Hawk. I learned so many interesting facts about humpback whales and The Yukon Gold Rush and I'm quite interested to learn more! I even learned how to stand my ground in the face of a grizzly bear charge!

Iain Reading's writing. It was quite easy to read and the story flowed very well! Reading's writing was conversational-like and it was easy to follow the plot.

The plot twist. What a horrible half-brother! I don't want to spoil it, so let's just say I was not expecting that plot twist at all!

Recommended For

I'd recommend this to any child who enjoys reading of mystery and adventure! I'd probably buy these books for my own children (when I have them, someday).

Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog
Profile Image for Diane Coto.
389 reviews10 followers
September 11, 2014
The cover itself provides a kind of summary of the adventures of Kitty Hawk. Her father is a pilot with a local airline in Tofino on Vancouver Island in Canada. She was named after the location where Orville and Wilbur Wright first made their successful flight in history. The cover is a cartoon portrait of Kitty with background components of her adventures – glaciers common to the Alaskan landscape; the floatplane hovering above; and a whale representing her research. When she was but a baby, her father used to take her with him when he’d fly. As a child, he began to teach her about the plane. She continued to learn and at the age of 19 could fly on her own. She sought and received support for her research project to fly to Alaska to study the humpback whales social interactions and feeding habits.

As the title implies, Kitty’s real adventure revolves around the matter of stolen gold. She first read an article in the Juneau Empire entitled ‘Fortune in Gold Stolen?’ by Iain Reid that drew attention to the theft. Did the author alter his name and place himself in the story as a news writer? J

I was captivated by the author’s descriptions of the beautiful Alaskan landscape and Kitty’s whale sightings. I liked that she had a close knit family with a sense of moral values and a high regard for education. I believe this series is for middle grade readers. My only concern with that is that as a protagonist, Kitty is not within that age group. The primary story seems to have several branches off of it. It starts with prologue one; prologue two; chapter zero before it starts with Kitty’s story and learning to fly with her father in chapter one. I rated the novel at 3 out of 5.

Profile Image for Sharon.
713 reviews
January 13, 2013
First book PDF by a former colleague of mine from work....what a different read. When the proofing and final version is out this should be a polished first book.
A man writing through the eyes of a late teens young woman flying a plane doing whale research Canada, Alaska, Yukon..... At first I found this confusing, knowing the author but I really got to like the spunk of Kitty Hawk. Her inner voice annoyed me at first too then I began to find the charm in it....after all we all have discussions with ourselves in times of stress or confusion. The whale sighting, flying her wonderful De Havilland Beaver plane through that amazing part of the world, excellent description of the nature....captivated me. I loved all the details about whales.... I feel like I have experienced so much having read this. The hike, the ruins of the settlement Dyea...Chilkoot Trail...living outdoors, sighting bears. The history of the gold rush and the ruins in modern day Canada and USA were fabulous to read. The adventure was good. I also loved the descriptions in the Some Further Reading section at the end of the book and the peek at the second adventure coming up for Kitty Hawk in book two. All in all, IMHO an excellent first book and a very informative while totally entertaining read / adventure. I had followed Pierre Berton but forgotten his roots were in that part of Canada...
Profile Image for Never Never Land.
70 reviews20 followers
August 24, 2017
First, I want to take the time to thank the author, Iain Reading, for providing me a copy of Kitty Hawk in exchange for my honest review. The following views and opinions are my own. 

Okay, I may be dating myself here a bit, but I grew up reading Nancy Drew detective novels. I loved being able to read about Nancy's adventures while trying to figure out the mystery for myself before she solved it. Fast Forward to 2017 and my introduction to the first book in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series. I have to say that I loved this book once her adventure started and I was so enthralled with it because there were several twists that kept me trying to figure a way out for Kitty. 

Kitty Hawk is one kick ass young lady, someone I would love my daughter to look up to. Brave, independent, and intelligent. Not only did she decide to do research on whales behaviors and habits, but she found a way to make it happen by seeking a sponsor. You just don't see that kind of attitude in many kids today. Kitty is a strong female character that shows girls that you can achieve your goals through determination, perseverance, and by taking the time to think things through. She also shows that you get more things accomplished if you reach out and network with friends, family, and even perfect strangers. Did I mention that she flies her own plane? I also have to add that I love how Kitty's parents are supportive. In a lot of YA novels the parents are missing, not involved or just plain evil. It is nice to see supportive parents represented in novels every now and then. 

What I enjoyed the most about this book was the way it incorporated history and geography into the story line. The way the locations were written begged for my fingers to do quick Google search and see if they are real places. Yes, they are and I loved having those images to compare to different passages in the book. To be able to see the actual front wall of the store in the Dyea ghost town was pretty sweet. I am a big history buff so learning about Alaska's gold rush was an added bonus.

The aspiring teacher in me can see how this could be used in the classroom. I could see reading the different chapters with the class and exploring the parts of Alaska and Canada that Kitty trekked through, as well as, learning about the different historical aspects of the Gold Rush in the Yukon area. The different stories about events during the earlier days also added to the story and made it a bit more exciting. I was jumping for excitement when Kitty figured out the last mystery towards the end by using some of the information from an earlier story she was told. 

The plot twist... I can not say how happy I was for the big one. One of my personal life views is that you should never judge a book by its cover. There is always more below the surface and this was true about a few of the characters. I strongly believe that the plot in this book teaches this lesson to its readers and, to be honest, I had a hard time condemning those same characters. So the author made this little reader very happy! I have never wanted a bad guy to get away with something before and I think that says a lot about the author and the fantastic depth he gave his characters. 

Now, I know I have been saying that this would be a great book to teach in the classroom but I also feel that it has its merits for adult readers. This definitely isn't a Nancy Drew or Harriet the Spy kind of book in regards to the age limit. Sometimes books can be a bit too childish for older readers. This is not the case with the Kitty Hawk series. I enjoyed it and recommend it to those of all ages who love mystery with some history thrown in.

*I rated it 4.5 stars but because Goodreads doesn't do half stars I always round up.*
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