The Whizbang Machine

Tunney's Curse Book 2

Young Adult - Mystery
504 Pages
Reviewed on 04/26/2017
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Author Biography

Danielle A. Vann grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As the only child, she loved to write stories and create wild characters at an early age. That love of writing sparked her career in journalism. She was a news reporter and anchor before she married her husband, Todd. After having three children, the idea of writing children’s books intrigued her. Her best source of inspiration is often her children’s zany antics. When she isn’t writing you can find her in digging in her organic garden, running and training for the next race, or playing chef in her kitchen. She currently lives in Texas.
Her credits include: The award-winning YA series The Whizbang Machine, five-star rated children's books: Gracie Lou and the Bad Dream Eater, Ranger & Keys, and a non-fiction Christian title: Building Faith Through A Carpenter's Hands with TLC's Trading Spaces carpenter Brandon Russell. Danielle has a new book, The Whizbang Machine, Tunney's Curse, Book 2 in the series releasing on August 1, 2017.
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Whizbang Machine: Tunney's Curse Book 2 is a young adult paranormal mystery novel written by Danielle A. Vann. When Elizabeth awoke, it was from feverish dreams into a hellish reality that slowly made its way into her comprehension. She remembered that she and Grandpa Jack had been locked into the old abandoned factory and had to fight their way to survive the fire that Vivian set after imprisoning them. Elizabeth found that she was unable to move, debris from the upper floors covered her, holding her tight, and she could barely breathe in the toxin-laden air. She shouted out for her Grandpa and was relieved when she heard his footsteps running towards her. Vivian was still in the building and was vehemently defiant as she exited. She hissed to Grandpa Jack that there was no escaping Tunney’s vloek and that the machine belonged to her. Her parting words were directed at Elizabeth, and they sent a chill throughout her battered body.

Danielle A. Vann’s young adult paranormal mystery novel, The Whizbang Machine: Tunney's Curse Book 2, is a fast-paced and exciting continuation of the first book that blends history, action and adventure, and coming of age genres as Elizabeth and Grandpa Jack try to solve the mystery of the Whizbang machine and lift Tunney’s curse. I recommend that readers begin with The Whizbang Machine, the first book in the series, to get a full appreciation for the development of the story, its underlying history and the relationship between Elizabeth and her grandfather. Vann’s story is a thoroughly entertaining read. She keeps the suspense high and makes the reader work just as hard as her characters do to decipher the clues in this enthralling mystery. Elizabeth comes of age in Tunney’s Curse, and it’s a joy to follow as she copes with the uncertain waters and betrayals that are scattered throughout her path as a new adult rather than a child. She’s a marvelous character, intelligent, resourceful and willing to take risks, and she rises above situations that would fell even the most seasoned adult. Elizabeth is a grand role model for more mature preteens as well as young adults, and the content of this story is suitable for both age groups. The Whizbang Machine: Tunney's Curse Book 2 is most highly recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

The Whizbang Machine: Tunney's Curse Book 2 by Danielle A. Vann is the story of Elizabeth Yale, a fifteen-year-old girl who has a very big job: to save the Whizbang Machine. She had a brilliant plan, but that did not work at all. Now she is in trouble and her grandfather is trying to help her in any way possible. They live in a quiet little town called Leiden, in the Netherlands, so an incident like this will not stop the gossip in a picturesque and old fashioned little town. Tunney’s curse needs to be stopped; it is spreading far more quickly than anyone can control.

However, Elizabeth’s father left a series of clues that can help them solve this mystery and end this curse once and for all. With these clues they can uncover the mystery behind George Tunney’s past actions and maybe, just maybe, they can stop this curse from ruining the lives of people in Leiden. With a deadline approaching and very little manpower, can Elizabeth and her grandfather stop this curse from spreading? Can they end this curse? Will they fail and lose this battle against time?

Tunney‘s Curse is a brilliant little novel that anyone will love to read. Even though I had not read the previous novel in the series, I had no issue catching up with the story. In fact, it added a sense of suspense and thrill for me. I loved to dive into the story and understand it on my own. I loved Elizabeth and I loved those witty little clues. I loved the fact that she had to work for it. I enjoyed it far more than I expected I would.

Ruffina Oserio

Tunney's Curse is the second book in The Whizbang Machine Series by Danielle A. Vann, an exciting mystery for young adult readers that also has a wonderful appeal for readers like me who have refused to grow past the wonderment of youth. It is adventurous, taking the reader into a whirlwind of nonstop action. Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Yale’s plan to save the Whizbang machine goes awry and she and her grandfather, Jack, narrowly escape the collapsing factory. Tunny’s curse is released and no one is safe anymore in Leiden. Elizabeth and her grandfather must follow a dark path strewn with clues into George Tunney’s inglorious past in order to stop the curse. But they are running out of time as this must be done before her mother turns forty, and she is just few days shy of that.

Fair warning: Don’t start reading unless you have budgeted enough time for this book because it is written with an irresistible spell. You get absorbed in the world, the sensations, and the mental workings of the protagonist. Just listen to this brilliant opening, with gripping and spellbinding descriptions: “A single wisp of smoke traced up my nose and clung to the back of my throat. My lips parted, breaking the Whizbang machine’s electric kiss of death. My heart drummed out the rapid beat of fear, reminding me I had changed history. I had beaten Tunney’s vloek. I could feel it. I was alive, trembling, and soaked in perspiration.”

This is a story that features very complex and enjoyable characters on a perilous mission. I enjoyed the fact that the author creates a time limit, which puts some pressure on the characters. The writing is impeccable, the pacing moving like a whirlwind, and readers are carried along on the tide. The setting is also wonderfully designed, keeping readers captivated and gripped tightly. Tunney's Curse by Danielle A. Vann is an awesome fantasy read, a page-turner with incredible characters.

Christian Sia

The second book in the Whizbang Machine Series by Danielle A. Vann, Tunney's Curse combines mystery, fantasy, and adventure to offer readers an incredible reading experience. Elizabeth Yale is an adventurous, fifteen-year-old girl whose attempt to save the mysterious Whizbang machine ends in catastrophe. She barely escapes the collapsing factory with the help of her grandfather, Jack. But the adventure has just begun and soon they are racing against time to stop a curse that could destroy the entire city of Leiden, following clues left by Elizabeth’s father before his death to get into the past of a very cunning and dangerous man, George Tunney. With the birthday of Elizabeth’s mother drawing nigh, can they — even with the help of the skilled detective — accomplish their mission before the clock strikes her 40th birthday, the day of doom?

This is an enjoyable, sweet, and fascinating read and there is a lot to love in Danielle A. Vann’s writing. First off, the narrative style is absorbing and the reader is immediately pulled into the world of the protagonist. The story starts in the midst of heart-pounding action and the pulse continues persistently until its very end. The setting took my breath away, with the underbelly of the Netherlands, the alleys, the smells, and the colorful sights beautifully captured in crisp and polished writing. The compelling and well-imagined characters are pulled into a conflict that moves the plot and sets the fast pace for the story. Tunney's Curse is an electrifying, utterly satisfying read.