About: The Whizbang Machine is a fiction novel written by Danielle A. Vann. This book was published on 11/15/16 by Waldorf Publishing, 384 pages. The genres are science fiction fantasy, young adult, thriller & suspense, and juvenile fiction. This is book 1 to The Whizbang Machine Series. It is expected to be 4 books in this series. This book will be released by tomorrow, 11/20/16!
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 that need to be revealed in order to set history straight and remove a curse that has been on their family for centuries. To solve the mystery, Elizabeth Yale, alongside Jack, will have to crack the code of the Whizbang Machine. What they find challenges their most basic assumptions of their family, the history of the typewriter, and even Elizabeth’s father’s death. The ultimate goal is to remove the curse. The question is: will Jack and Elizabeth be able to carry out their mission?
The Author: Danielle A. Vann grew up in Oklahoma City, OK. Her love of writing sparked a career in journalism. She holds an Associated Press Award. Danielle is the author of Gracie Lou and the Bad Dream Eater and the Gracie Lou Series, The Very Tall Tale of Ranger, the Great Pyrenees, and his Adorable Friend, Miss Keys, The Whizbang Machine, and co-authored Building Faith Through A Carpenter’s Hands. She lives in Mansfield, TX with her husband and three children.
My Experience: I started reading The Whizbang Machine on 11/13/16 and finished it on 11/19/16. I am delighted to have the opportunity to read and review this book. One thing stuck out from this book is the characters’ trip to the Netherlands! I was only recently read my first Dutch children’s book and I’m now being introduced to another book with activities taking place in the Netherlands. Imagine my surprise and happiness. The glossary at the end of the book allows me to learn a dozen Dutch words!
In this book, readers will follow the point of view of a 15-year-old Elizabeth Yale. She lives with her mom and they have a good mother-daughter relationship. She’s a typical good girl who has never been out on her own and therefore, more child-like than other badass YA characters in other novels who grew up as an orphan and left to fend for themselves. Her grandfather, Jack Yale, is her dad’s father. She has a tight bond with her grandpa Jack as well. Jack came back from his trips overseas and brought Elizabeth a typewriter as a gift because she loves typing using a typewriter instead of a laptop. This machine turns out to be a hundred year old mystery to be solved. Elizabeth and Jack ended up taking an adventure to solve the mystery all over New York and the Netherlands.
“Mr. Yale, we are done here. Best of luck. Don’t get yourself hurt or worse while you are in my country. I would hate to be the one to call your loved ones in the states and tell them your stubbornness lead to your death.” p.296
The chase to uncover the mystery is an interesting to read. I like Jack’s cleverness and despite being a 70-year-old, still tough and healthy for a wild goose chase. Elizabeth, despite being referred to as a baby by a bus driver, proved to be braver than her environment presents her to be. She’s up to the challenge with her grandpa when her curiosity gets the best of her. One part that I didn’t think add up was the key that goes with the doll. Why would it fit the tomb’s padlock easily? And typing on the typewriter, the spaces is irritating to read. Another genre should be added to this book is magic, because it will explains the mystery behind the typewriter or the woman with the necklace or the doll vendor’s gestures with his hands. I like that the mystery heats up toward the end. I also like that the author listed facts & fiction, notes & research from the author at the end of the book because I always wondered which is real.
“I’m not going to sit around and wait for an officer to instruct me about how I should go about getting answers, Elizabeth. He also said we should trust no one, but him. That’s convenient, don’t you think?” p.305
Pro: solving a puzzle: one clues lead to another, family tree, travel to the Netherlands, grandfather-granddaughter duo, humor
Con: some parts don’t add up, “my space name space is space” is super annoying
I rate it 4.5 stars!
Grab yourself a copy here: Book Depository
***Disclaimer: I received this book directly from Waldorf Publishing and my opinions are honest. Many thanks to the author & publisher for the opportunity to read and review.