The Whizbang Machine, by Danielle A. Vann

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Secrets in A Typewriter

An intriguing title to a surprising novel that will appeal to adults and teens alike. What is there about the supernatural that inspires such interest? The imagination it involves? The suspense of learning what exactly it is? Perhaps simply fear of something we aren’t sure we believe.

Whichever it might be for you, The Whizbang Machine includes all three. A typewriter that is meant for only one person, responds only to that person. How it responds provides plenty of scary moments.

The Story

Jack Yale returns home after many years away, bringing gifts from all over the world for his granddaughter Elizabeth. Knowing her interest in old typewriters, he has found a special one, just for her. How ‘special’ it is will confound them all.

It’s an old machine. Old enough that it is manual—no cord included. So why is it sending off sparks and electricity when it wants Liz’ attention? That is what we all hope to find out. When it spits out a message, the intrigue only grows.

The descriptions are colorful, well written and clear to envision. The settings, whether the dark tunnels beneath the New York Library, or in the remarkable cities within Morocco or Amsterdam. The author is excellent at raising the drama, the tension. Plus Ms. Vann’s includes just the right amount of detail. She really pulls you into the story.

In Audio from Audible

I was pleased to listen to the audio version, courtesy of Audible. The terrific narrator brings the story and the characters to life. Very well done, Bailey Carr! Her teen voice and attitude suited Liz. Her intonation and timing was effective—she made it a pleasure to listen. Proper seriousness with the sometimes erratic teen reactions. Do take a minute to listen to the sample here on Audible.

As Liz and her grandfather, Jack, try and decipher the secrets contained in the typewriter, their search leads from the NY Library, to Amsterdam. Clues from her long dead father guide their way at times, through memories and dreams. Family secrets they could not have imagined are revealed. The hunt itself is realistic and fun. The anticipation of what is around the next corner.

It’s a lovely adventure, combining the mysterious typewriter with an international hunt for answers. It has all the delights of a mystery, with clues, strangers, memories and more.
If you can, try the audio version. It is definitely one to listen to.

It surely requires a Book Two, at the very least. The story does not conclude in the first book. Fortunately, a second book is already scheduled for release in August of 2017. Tunny’s Curse, book two of the series, will closely continue Liz’s adventure story. I’ll be looking forward to its arrival.



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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