The Whizbang Machine

1 MP3-CD. 12 hrs. Brilliance. Feb. 2017. $9.99. ISBN 9781536669688.
Gr 7 Up—Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Yale's grandfather Jack returns home after an eight-year absence traveling the world following his son's—Elizabeth's father's—death. Jack has found a mysterious old typewriter that only works under Elizabeth's fingertips, reacting violently when anyone else tries to touch it. The Whizbang Machine informs them that "History is not right" and that Elizabeth must "correct it," sending her and Jack on a transatlantic quest from the bowels of the New York Public Library to a small town in the Netherlands in order to discover a dark family secret and undo a century-old curse before anyone else loses their life. This series launch is serviceably narrated by Bailey Carr, whose youthful voice is well-suited to the first-person tale while also distinguishing between characters with changes in pitch and accent. However, unnecessary details slow the narrative and, combined with inconsistent characterization and plotting, cause frustration for listeners in what is otherwise an intriguing premise.
VERDICT An additional purchase where supernatural mysteries are popular.

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