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Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Book One of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series) by Iain Reading

By Refreshing Reviews @refreshingr
This book is an adventure! There is no other way to put it. The viewpoint is from a young girl, who has just left High School and wants to spend the summer observing humpback whales from her plane over the Alaskan seas. Her attention gets diverted by the history of the surrounding towns when she hears about tales of gold miners and thieves. When she is suspicious of a boat during her whale observations, she is intrigued to know if her gut feeling is right. She stubbornly walks into the danger, and is propelled into an adventure of gold, history and a group of brothers.
You will not be disappointed with the main character. Kitty Hawk is very likeable and it is as though you are taking the journey with her (minus the aching legs from all the walking she endures, but I'm happy without that). I particularly enjoyed how the author spent time going over Kitty's life growing up, because it creates a stronger connection towards her, and makes you more familiar with her character traits. The only aspect of her that you may dislike is the conversations she has with herself. She thinks more than she talks, which can be frustrating when you want to hear from the other characters a bit more, and her inner voice is sometimes annoying and repetitive. But then again, it makes her more human! If I was alone in a plane for hours, then I think I would get into the habit of talking to myself too.
I feel like I have learnt quite a lot from reading this book; although it is a fictional novel, it involves non-fictional details about humpback whales, and includes places and objects that actually exist, as explained at the end of the novel. I did feel as though certain parts of the story dragged, and the romantic scenes felt out of place and a bit of a flop, but they all connected in some way so I can't complain. Although I enjoyed the observations of the whales, I would have preferred it if the book got to the start of Kitty's adventure sooner. The plot does lead to a great weaving of historical events and loveable characters that I wanted to hear a lot more from!
The story did linger in my mind when I was forced to stray away into reality. I must warn you, the book sets you up to the second in the series - quite meanly I will add - because the first chapter of the novel is completely irrelevant until the second novel. It is a bit of an anticlimax, and makes the build up to the adventure slow. I feel as though I would have enjoyed the novel more if I hadn't read the first chapter, because I was constantly waiting for it to circle back to that cliff-hanging scene. However, the story is very enjoyable and I found myself reading the sample for the next novel, where I think it will all kick off. So, even if the opening chapter is irrelevant and slightly annoying, it is a good tactic to get you to read the next one - I know I want to!
If you are into the young-adult-type series, you will enjoy the characters created in this novel. I think it is a good introduction to the subsequent series, and rather sets you up for the sequels than gets you into anything deep. Maybe the author should have combined the two (this novel with its sequel) and cut out a bit, or just got rid of the first chapter, or even expanded on the character building; more 'show don't tell' descriptions, them sort of detailed scenes to expand it a bit... I don't know... maybe I just want to hear more and that is definitely a good sign! Either way, I very much enjoyed the plot and the characters, and see much potential in the series. I will definitely be checking out the second in the novel! Hopefully you will read this and want to join me on the adventures with Kitty Hawk, and if you are anything like me then you should have an exciting new series on your hands!

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