Author: Danielle A. Vann
Series: Whizbang Machine (Book 1)
Publication: Waldorf Publishing; first edition (November 15, 2016)
Description: After years of running from his tragic past, Jack Yale books a flight home. With him is a typewriter that is intended to be a gift for his granddaughter, Elizabeth.The minute Elizabeth's fingers cradle the large black and cream keys the machine responses: popping, sizzling, and roaring to life with a Whiz-Whiz-BANG!
Elizabeth quickly discovers the typewriter has powers beyond anything she has ever seen. The more she types, the more the machine spells out guarded secrets. Each secret leads them deeper into a haunted past. Each secret must be revealed in order to set history straight and remove a curse that has been on their family for centuries.
My Thoughts: This story is the first of a series. It is an adventure. Elizabeth's grandfather comes back home from his world travels with an antique typewriter that he purchased in Morocco. The typewriter seems to be cursed. It forces Elizabeth to type on it and delivers cryptic messages. When her grandfather touches it, he suffers an electric shock that mimics a massive heart attack.
The two of them have all sorts of adventures and face all sorts of dangers when they try to track down the history of the typewriter which seems to be entwined with the history of their family. Their research leads them to family secrets and a family curse.
With better writing, this could have been an excellent story. Unfortunately the main character's voice sounded more like a middle-aged woman who had a pretentious vocabulary and a love for florid prose than the fifteen-year-old kid it was supposed to be. Problems with consistency in the characterization also plagued this book. Characters who were angry with each other to the point of shouting and slamming doors were all sweetness and light a page later. I also had problems with the grandfather who professed his love for his granddaughter then led her into all sorts of dangerous situations.
The biggest issue I had was a plot hole. All of their research indicates that members of the family die at the age of forty because of this curse but those who marry into the family are fine. Elizabeth's grandfather, a direct descendant, is 69 and doing fine. Elizabeth feels that she needs to find the solution to this mystery before her mother, who married into the family, turns 40. Huh? Didn't they read the same information I did?
Give this one a try if the plot sounds good to you. I don't feel any need to know what happens next.
There were less than two weeks, twelve impossibly short days, until her fortieth birthday. The unsettling notion that I may never see her again unnerved me. I thought I had dealt with my father's passing properly--that I have learned to handle this new life and move on--but all of this has proven the I haven't even begun to touch the surface of my emotions. Nor, could I fathom ever recovering from losing them both, not at this age.I got this one for review from the author. You can buy your copy here.