Envy Style Reviewing: Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic*

by - 7:43 PM

A few months ago, when I was asked to review the first book in the Kitty Hawk series by Iain Reading, Amazon had one job: send me the first book in the series. You can imagine how surprised I was when I received the fourth book instead of the first.

To be honest, I'm very glad Amazon made this mistake. I fell in love with the cover right away and the story sparked my interest in a topic I'd carefully avoided until then: the Titanic. Naturally I wanted to write a review, but without Bryleigh to discuss the book like we did for the first one, my fancy vocabulary and well-considered opinion wouldn't translate into a blog post. Standard reviews just aren't my thing, I guess, so when I heard I was going to London, I saw it as an oppotunity to review Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic, Envy Style!

This fourth installment in the series starts in Ireland, where Kitty meets Andrew Murdoch, a nice guy who wants Kitty to take a look at the Murdoch family mystery. I don't want to give too much away, so I'm going to try and keep this simple: Andrew's great uncle was aboard the Titanic, died, and years later the Murdoch family received a postcard of the Titanic with weird scribbles on it and a newspaper clipping, also about the Titanic. Kitty and Andrew go on a treasure hunt and set off to, you guessed it, London!

Now on to the actual review and opinion part. Believe me there's a lot to like about the Kitty Hawk books. One thing I love about the books I've read are the locations. They're very real and very accesible. While I was in London, I went to some of the places described in the book so I could take pictures for this review. I was not disappointed when I arrived at Trafalgar Square. The book described the place perfectly.

Something else that's typical for these books and that I enjoy very much, is the importance of knowledge. I like to think of myself as a well-educated person, but this book managed to teach me almost everything there is to know about the Titanic, a topic I wasn't even remotely interested in before the story brought it to my attention
One of my favorite parts of the book has nothing to do with the Titanic though. While Kitty's in London, she visits the British Museum. Her excitement comes right off the pages and is contagious: when I stood in front of this huge building, I couldn't wait to go in and see the Rosetta Stone, which also plays a part in the story.

Apart from great locations and interesting information, this Kitty Hawk book has some James Bond-like action: a jet ski escape on the Thames, starting at Cleopatra's Needle, in the middle of the night.
Even in broad daylight I could imagine Kitty hiding behind a sphinx, trying to read what's written on the statue, then running down the stairs to the water and make her escape.

But that wasn't all I liked about the book. There are certain details I've come to appreciate while I was in London. The way the Underground was described, for example, was spot-on. Okay, it may sound very logical to people who actually live in a big city, but this one line saved my life quite a few times.

On a more serious note: of course there's more to this book than London and the things I've mentioned so far. As Bryleigh and I have said before: the Kitty Hawk books are YA without all the cliches we've grown tired of.
Kitty is the kind of person I'd like to have as a friend, which makes reading about her just a little more awesome. She's a kick-ass heroine I can actually relate to and never goes into special snowflake mode. Yes, she makes mistakes, but she's not just another brainless blonde after Prince Charming.
The plot is good and reading the book feels like doing a very advanced scavenger hunt. Okay, I would have liked some more time to see if I could crack the codes on my own. If you're a fast reader like me you'll have read the answer to a riddle before you've gotten the time to try and find it on your own. Apart from that I couldn't find much wrong with this book, it just ticked all the boxes for me. And I have to admit that I loved the book that much more for mentioning so many places I visited while I was in London. I think that my parents would've left me behind if I'd said 'You know what happens here in my book?' one more time.

Long story short: Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is a great book and I'd definitely recommend reading it, expecially if you're in London.

Stay Awesome!

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