Book Review | “Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold” (Book 1: Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency) by Iain Reading

Posted Friday, 30 January, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series by Iain Reading

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

A Self-Published YA Book Series
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

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Converse on Twitter via: #KittyHawkFlyingDetectiveAgency

Acquired Book By: I  was contacted by Kelsey @ Book Publicity Services in regards to the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series, wherein I learnt about this wicked new YA book series! I received a complimentary copy of “Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold” direct from the publicist via Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I grew up playing “Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?” which was an action-adventure and geographical sleuth solving game where you had to uncover clues whilst sorting out riddles or puzzles to stop henchmen from stealing national or well-known landmarks, artifacts, and other curious odds and ends! I loved the mystery of it but also the educational backdrop of having a cultural map of the world threaded throughout the game itself. When the game (as I was a gamer via the computer versions) went live on tv, a part of me wanted to try out for it and a part of me held back a bit because like the other game shows I watched as a kid, I simply never had the confidence to apply! In the case of Double Dare it had more to do with not wanting to be slimed! Laughs.

I have a natural bourne curiosity about the world around me, inasmuch the world which is why I was drawn into reading adventure fiction as a young child; one of my favourite series by far were the previously mentioned Cooper Kids Adventures series on my review of Ash Mistry. My readings of young adult adventure novels has started to whet my palette of interest again, as when I was reading about the Cooper Kids, I was reading the Cassandra Mysteries where an intrepid American adventuress exchanged postal letters with her British friend prior to the pair travelling and solving crimes! It was quite the wicked fun adventure a teen would love to devour, and I was one of them! Sadly, the series ended as a quartet and I never could sort out which well-known author was behind the pen-name of Jennifer Austin! It only took me 10 years to sort out a way to collect the remaining three novels via out of print book searches across the United States!

One of the things I am always keenly hopeful to find in an adventure fiction series (especially within the world of Middle Grade to Young Adult) is an absence of strong language and graphic violence. I like finding authors who encourage a young person’s mind to grow without having to sacrifice their innocence and their natural ability to see the good in the world. Whilst I did my research about the Kitty Hawk Flying Adventure Agency series I felt as though I had finally found what I was looking for all along! Sometimes you have to remain patient and believe a writer will understand what children of all ages are seeking when they want a hearty mystery interlaced with an adventure and a solid world in which to fall in love with to where a series of 13 potential novels will sweep you away into their folds!

Book Review | “Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold” (Book 1: Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency) by Iain ReadingKitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
by Iain Reading
Source: Direct from Publicist

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.

There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4). Each book can be read as a standalone.

Places to find the book:

Series: Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency,

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Published by Self Published

on December 2012

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Back Where The Entire Adventure Began

As soon as the engine began to sputter, I knew that I was in real trouble. Up until then, I had somehow managed to convince myself that there was just something wrong with the fuel gauges. After all, how could I possibly have burnt through my remaining fuel as quickly as the gauges seemed to indicate? It simply wasn’t possible. But with the engine choking and gasping, clinging to life on the last fumes of aviation fuel, it was clear that when the fuel gauges read, “Empty,” they weren’t kidding around.

The lightning strike that took out my radio and direction-finding gear hadn’t worried me all that much. (Okay, I admit it worried me a little bit.) It wasn’t the first time that this had happened to me, and besides, I still had my compasses to direct me to where I was going. But I did get a little bit concerned when I found nothing but open ocean as far my eyes could see at precisely the location where I fully expected to find tiny Howland Island—and its supply of fuel for the next leg of my journey—waiting for me. The rapidly descending needles on my fuel gauges made me even more nervous as I continued to scout for the island, but only when the engine began to die did I realize that I really had a serious problem on my hands.

The mystery of the disappearing fuel.

The enigma of the missing island.

The conundrum of what do I do now?

“Exactly,” the little voice inside my head said to me in one of those annoying ‘I-told-you-so’ kind of voices. “What do you do now?”

“First, I am going to stay calm,” I replied. “And think this through.”

“You’d better think fast,” the little voice said, and I could almost hear it tapping on the face of a tiny wristwatch somewhere up there in my psyche. “If you want to make it to your twentieth birthday, that is.  Don’t forget that you’re almost out of fuel.”

“Thanks a lot,” I replied. “You’re a big help.”

Easing forward with the control wheel I pushed my trusty De Havilland Beaver into a nosedive. Residual fuel from the custom-made fuel tanks at the back of the passenger cabin dutifully followed the laws of gravity and spilled forward, accumulating at the front and allowing the fuel pumps to transfer the last remaining drops of fuel into the main forward belly tank. This maneuver breathed life back into the engine and bought me a few more precious minutes to ponder my situation.

“Mayday, mayday, mayday,” I said, keying my radio transmitter as I leveled my flight path out again. “This is aircraft Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee, calling any ground station or vessel hearing this message, over.”

I keyed the mic off and listened intently for a reply. Any reply. Please? But there was nothing. There was barely even static. My radio was definitely fried.

It was hard to believe that it would all come down to this. After the months of preparation and training. After all the adventures that I’d had, the friends I’d made, the beauty I’d experienced, the differences and similarities I’d discovered from one culture to the next and from one human being to the next. All of this in the course of my epic flight around the entire world.

Or I should say, “my epic flight almost around the entire world,” in light of my current situation.

And the irony of it was absolutely incredible. Three-quarters of a century earlier the most famous female pilot of them all had disappeared over this exact same endless patch of Pacific Ocean on her own quest to circle the globe. And she had disappeared while searching for precisely the same island that was also eluding me as I scanned the horizon with increasing desperation.

“Okay,” I thought to myself. “Just be cool and take this one step at a time to think the situation through.” I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, slowing it down and reining in the impulse to panic. Inside my head, I quickly and methodically replayed every flight that I’d ever flown. Every emergency I’d ever faced. Every grain of experience that I had accumulated along the long road that had led me to this very moment. Somewhere in there was a detail that was the solution to my current predicament. I was sure of it. And all I had to do was find it.

Maybe the answer to my current situation lay somewhere among the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia? Or in the steamy jungles of east Africa? Or inside the towering pyramids of Giza? Or among the soaring minarets of Sarajevo? Or on the emerald rolling hills and cliffs of western Ireland? Or on the harsh and rocky lava fields of Iceland?

Wherever the answer was, it was going to have to materialize quickly, or another female pilot (me) would run the risk of being as well-known throughout the world as Amelia Earhart. And for exactly the same reason.

“It’s been a good run at least,” the little voice inside my head observed, turning oddly philosophical as the fuel supplies ran critically low. “You’ve had more experiences on this journey around the world than some people do in their entire lifetime.”

“That’s it!” I thought.

Maybe the answer to all this lies even further back in time? All the way back to the summer that had inspired me to undertake this epic journey in the first place. All the way back to where North America meets the Pacific Ocean—the islands and glaciers and whales of Alaska.

All the way back to where this entire adventure began.

About Iain Reading

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series (Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold, Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost, Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue, and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic). He is currently working on the 5th book in the series. To learn more click the link for his website below.

Iain is also the author of The Wizards of Waterfire Series. The first book in the series The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire was published in April 2014.

Read an Interview with Iain Reading

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Kitty Hawk : a true leader inside YA:

Kitty grew up in a supportive family environment, with exposure to culture and adventure at a young age, as her father would take her up in his seaplane every chance he could as she would wander away from her mother whilst being watched as a toddler. She was fascinated with the pursuit of the skies and the scientific aspect of how the plane held’s place in the jetstreams. Her father encouraged her mind whereas her mother wanted her to have a grounding of being within herself anchored to the land, the sea, and the environment around her. Through her close friendship with Skeena she learnt the cultural differences between herself and a First Nations family. Her exposure to new experiences at younger ages allowed her an adaptability most adults could find difficult to manage as she constantly was doing something new and extraordinarily unique.

Within the pages of this first installment in the series itself, we have the chance to get to know Kitty on a personal level, how she was raised inasmuch as how she grew into the young woman she is who has the full confidence to fly around the world without worrying about her personal safety. On that note, she does find herself caught in the middle of a few quasi-difficult situations, but her outlook and her survival instincts were fuelled directly by how she was raised by two out-of-the-box thinking parents who wanted to give her daughter an upbringing to prepare her for the life she endeavoured to create.

My Review of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold:

The novel starts off in a very unique way, as the thoughts of Kitty herself are written as regular dialogue exchanges as she is wrestling with her conscience and the choices she made which ended up getting her put into harm’s way. There are two prologues (only the first is shared with this review) and quite cheekily the very next chapter section you reach is entitled: Chapter Zero! The author is not short on humour, nor is he revealing everything in the beginning of the story; he is allowing you to meet Kitty on her own terms, in her own way of expressing who she is whilst becoming thirsty for a bit more of what defines her and what keeps her grounded when chaos is surrounding her like quicksand!

Kitty Hawk is still in high school when the story starts to get underway, as we are given a measure of a breath of how her life before she travelled the world in flight gave her the impetus to leave her hometown. She has a thirst for seeking knowledge on anything she doesn’t yet understand as much as visiting key places she has outlined in her mind where visiting would yield to an experience she dearly doesn’t want to be left out on! I have a feeling each place she wants to visit is in theory a new installment of the series, as the series itself is being told a bit in a retrospective flashback. The first prologue gives the impression Kitty is trying to sort out something quite pertinent she has managed to forget or misplace inside her memory — a key clue to how she has ended up where she is in the future, and it is necessary to go back over each leg of her journey to sort out a way to overcome her greatest obstacle of all.

Iain Reading writes breadth into his stories, as he gives you passages whose clarity for thought on how a particular topic can be broached ethically or morally, giving a seedling of a life lesson in the backdrop of giving his main character a well-rounded upbringing. I like when writers who specifically write for children in mind, take the time to think of what they can teach whilst showing how the character lives; it is a gift to be able to inspire thought-proving dialogue outside of the reading of a novel, and I think the layers written into this first of the series, will lead to many conversations between children and guardians alike. Especially keen to note is the reverence for the outside world having benefit of conservation and preservation practices, which seek to restore and maintain the balance between man and the land.

Family plays a strong role in Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold, as on her first leg of her stay (in Juneau) she meets-up with Aunt Jenny and Uncle Joe (Skeena’s relatives) where she finds an embrace of warmth from family who understand her quaking thirst for adventure! Throughout the passages within the chapters your welcomed to seeing maps, inserts of newspaper articles, and other little tidbits that give you the full sense of ‘being there with Kitty Hawk’ as she takes-on this increasingly mysterious adventure! The clues help provide keen insight but it’s more than that, it is as though Reading has found a way to immerse his audience into Kitty’s world to where they feel as though they are taking the steps with her as she moves forward.

Threaded into the back-story itself are beautiful segues of history from the Pacific Northwest! It is nicely added to the rhythm and flow of the evolving story, where it feels as though a younger reader might not even realise they are learning inasmuch as they are settling into the adventure itself! There is even a clear glimpse of how you can over exert your intentions by following your curiosity which can lead to a greater discomfort whilst getting into a pickle you cannot readily back out of! I am referring to the fact that Kitty Hawk is forced to undergo a flight plan that is not of her own choosing, simply because she makes a key mistake quite early-on where the riddle of rule about ‘cats and curiosities’ comes full into view!

Even with heightened danger and an alarmingly sense of how dangerous her plight has become, Kitty Hawk has a strong head on her shoulders, thinking things through with the logical side of her brain rather than completely siding with her emotional heart. She gives herself certain tasks to calm her nerves and even finds the beauty out of chaos depending upon where she is in the moment that beauty alights before her eyes. It is a good lesson for all readers — how best to handle the unexpected crises and emergencies that can pop up in life and start to derail your nerves. I am not quite as sure if everyone would have a steady hand in the cockpit, but being that she’s a trained pilot (even for her young age!) she has the maturity of someone whose had her wings for half a lifetime!

I honestly cannot wait to get back into the plane and see where Kitty Hawk will take me next!

On the Young Adult writing style of Iain Reading and what makes him different from the pack of YA Adventures:

It took me awhile to sort out how to explain how Iain Reading has written his series about Kitty Hawk and her flying detective agency! He has sub-titles inside the chapters to clue in the reader there is something to take stock and notice of once you’ve reached this particular part of the narrative but there was also a map to show how far of a flight Kitty had to travel to go from her hometown of Tofino to Juneau! I found this a nice touch, especially as not everyone understands the geography of how far cities are from each other, or where Victoria Island is in relation to Alaska!

What I surmised as I was reading the story, is that we are inside Kitty’s head and she is telling her story as she might tell it to herself whilst writing inside a personal journal! She has a quirky sense of humour, bang-on honesty about her thoughts, feelings, and observations and she doesn’t want to miss remembering something that could be important lateron. She draws you into her internal world by giving you a reason to stay; you feel connected to Kitty Hawk because she is honestly written and relatable as she is real.

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Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series Promo Teaser via Iain Reading

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via This book review is courtesy of Book Publicity Services.
In February 2015 I will be reviewing: 

Recipes and Road Stories by HanaLena

A beautifully talented folk & bluegrass sisterly Indie band!
I am hoping to review more of the Kitty Hawk series in 2015!

{Sources: Book Cover Art for “Kitty Hawk & the Curse of the Yukon Gold”, the quad book cover grid for the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective series, the author photograph, author quote, book synopsis, book excerpt, and the book cover for Recipes and Road Stories by HanaLena were provided by Book Publicity Services and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Cross-post badge created by Jorie in Canva. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. The teaser for the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series via Iain Reading had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 30 January, 2015 by jorielov in Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Publicity Services, Book Review (non-blog tour), First Nations of Canada, Native American Fiction

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