2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.
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Book Review: The Whiz-Bang Machine

Wow – I was SO excited about this one, it’s an amazing, original premise (mystical typewriter tied to a bizarre set of family secrets) and I couldn’t wait to get started. It started with, well, a whiz-bang – a very strong beginning, sympathetic and interesting characters (including the typewriter itself, which almost counts as one), mystery and suspense and drama galore… Then it sort of stopped being that interesting. Randomly. The characters that seemed so complex wound up vacillating between acting like children (no matter their age) and acting like stereotypes. The secrets felt convoluted and somewhat forced at times – as did their reveals. And the action sputtered and banged like the typewriter itself. There’s a ton of promise here – it just felt like it still needs a HEAVY edit to pull all the pieces together…

I liked it, but it was work to read at times – and it also suffers from my LEAST FAVORITE book issue of all time: it stops. Right in the middle of the action. And there was no indication at any point in the marketing materials or the story itself that this wasn’t going to be a stand-alone book. I HATE THAT. As I’ve said before, I don’t mind a cliff-hanger. Well-managed, a cliff-hanger is a great way to bring readers back and to continue a story into new territory. But a cliff-hanger shouldn’t come in the middle of a plot point – this is not a weekly serial; it may well be a year (or more) before another book. Stopping at a point where the story you’ve been reading feels unfinished is not cuing up a cliff-hanger, it’s irritating your readers by forcing them to buy another book to finish the one they’re currently reading…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.

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