Who are Bartholomew the Adventurer & Orville Wellington Mouse?

8 covers COZY black back BLOG

“An epic that hits all the perfect notes of science, magic, and sweetness.”   Kirkus Review

“An endlessly stimulating sequel that caters to intellectually fearless readers.”   –Kirkus Review

The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy and the Orville Wellington Mouse adventures are multi-leveled stories which have been compared to Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and Neverending Story. The books have underlying themes of ethics, metaphysics, philosophy, quantum physics, and personal growth. A common theme is the idea that there is no magic, only science we don’t understand. The books were written to provide an alternate way to view the world we live in. To see all life as a single force, all life equally precious, no matter the form. A world where violence is not necessary, a world where the protagonists are changed forever by their difficult choices, by their own sacrifices. A world of empathy, kindness, and love. And of course, ten foot tall ancient robotic rabbits and gigantic carnivorous centipedes living on post apocalyptic planets!

The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy

A romping tale of adventure set in the far distant future after humans have vanished from the planet. The protagonist is a self centered rabbit named Bartholomew who sets out in search of a missing object which he is unable to describe or name. Along the way he meets his adventuring companion, Oliver T. Rabbit, a brilliant scientist who also undergoes a deep transformation in the trilogy, coming to understand that there is no magic, only science, whether it’s time travel, parallel dimensions, manifesting physical objects with thoughts, or reincarnation. Their adventures take them to lost cities, parallel universes and other planets, along the way meeting a host of memorable characters including ancient robotic rabbits, the Tree of Eyes, the Singing Monks of Nirriim, the Blue Spectre, and Edmund the Explorer.

All the events in the trilogy are based on known metaphysical phenomena and philosophical beliefs which have been in existence for thousands of years. That being said, The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy can be read and enjoyed by a young person with no knowledge of metaphysics or philosophy. The books are written very simply, but are multileveled, having been compared by readers to Chronicles of Narnia, The Alchemist and The Hobbit.  If you’d like to learn more about the stories behind the stories, just click on “The Real Stories Behind Bartholomew the Adventurer”.

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Orville Wellington Mouse Adventures

2016 Gold Medal Winner Best Young Adult Adventure Book
Readers Favorite International Book Award

The Orville Wellington Mouse series is filled with grand adventure, friendship, and humor while retaining the deeper themes of ethics, metaphysics, science, and personal growth. A fun and inspiring read for all ages, Orville Wellington Mouse titles include:

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds

Orville Wellington Mouse lives with his Mum in the quiet fishing village of Muridaan Falls, Symoca. His life takes an unexpected turn when he learns his best friend Sophia Mouse is not only from another planet, but is also a member of the Shapers Guild, a group of powerful mice who are able to convert their thoughts into physical objects.

When Orville notices a group of seven glowbirds exhibiting rather extraordinary behavior, he and Sophia attempt to uncover the origin of the unusual birds but soon find themselves enmeshed in a fiendish plot to embroil Symoca in a horrific war. Captured by the powerful and mysterious Red Mouse, the two adventurers are hurled through a spectral door into the terrifying world of Periculum, home of the dreaded giant carnivorous centipedes.

With help from the secretive Metaphysical Adventurers, Proto the Rabbiton, the Mad Mouse of Muridaan, a gigantic Gnorli bird, some ghostly Anarkkian warriors, and the enigmatic Monks of the Blue Robe, Orville and Sophia must find their way home and stop the evil Red Mouse before he destroys Symoca.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Shattered Abacus

Orville Wellington Mouse unwittingly sets off a galaxy shaking chain of events when he buys his mum a lovely birthday necklace from Miraculum’s Fine Antiques. When Orville and his best friend Sophia Mouse observe a small glass marble breaking the laws of physics they set out to discover the cause of its extraordinary behavior, unexpectedly revealing the marble’s astonishing connection to his mum’s new necklace.

The pair of young Metaphysical Adventurers soon find themselves in a desperate race to prevent time from stopping in their galaxy. With help from their good friend Proto the Rabbiton, Master Marloh of the Metaphysical Adventurers, the Mad Mouse of Muridaan, Ollo the Rock Mouse, Myrmac the Brave, the King of Ants, the Shrieking Terror of Tatuid, and Captain Patcher of the Dragonfly Squadron, Orville and Sophia must travel to the terrifying apocalyptic planet of Varmoran to discover the incredible truth that lies within the mysterious blue marble.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows

When Orville Mouse rescues an errant windblown hat on his way to work, he soon discovers the hat’s shadow is not behaving as it should be. While attempting to discover the cause of this curious phenomenon, Orville and his best friend Sophia Mouse uncover a terrifying secret, soon finding themselves in a desperate race to prevent the imminent destruction of uncountable parallel worlds.

With help from their old friend Proto the Rabbiton, mysterious Madam Molly, a wistful robotic curator named Copo, a pair of gigantic vacationing insects, a ghostly engineer, the vaporous Others, and the simmering Forest of Thorns, the two stalwart adventurers must retrace the journey of a centuries old explorer named Haukesworth Mouse to the lost world of Tectar and a terrifying confrontation with Mendacium the Dark Wizard in the dank and dismal dungeons of infamous Castle Caligari.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium

When Orville Mouse wakes up from a terrifying nightmare to find a mysterious red book in his bed, he and his best friend Sophia set out to decipher the cryptic manuscript, convinced the book is connected to the disappearance of Orville’s neighbor, Aislin Mouse. Their quest takes them to the lost city of Cathne where an astonishing turn of events catapults the adventurers into a desperate interdimensional race to save Aislin.

Accompanied by their old friend Proto the Rabbiton, Orville and Sophia enter the bewildering and terrifying world of Elysian in search of Aislin Mouse. With help from a beautiful ghost mouse, Orville’s cantankerous neighbor Ebenezer, Puella the Wise One, crusty old Captain Tobias, an austere monk named Brother Solus, dreamy Madam Beasley, and Charon the Ferrymouse, the stalwart adventurers must uncover the secret of the last Metaphonium and confront the horrific burning charcoal stick creature known only as the Shadow King.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling 

Orville’s terrifying dream of being cooked in a stewpot by ferocious purple birds marks the beginning of an extraordinary quest to prevent Muridaan Falls from disappearing into the past. In the midst of the worst winter storm in memory, Orville and Sophia must discover the connection between two ancient Mintarian rings, a gold pocket watch that runs backwards, and an extraordinary tree that Orville claims to have seen.

Orville, Sophia, and Proto journey to the unsettling Plane of Turris where a startling truth is revealed, redirecting the intrepid Metaphysical Adventurers to the sweltering prehistoric jungle world of Ferus.  With help from Science Guild Master Lybis, mysterious Madam Molly, the enigmatic Watcher, ferocious Captain Beaky, amazing Amanda Mouse, the angry ghost of Captain Ryle, and Squeaky the RoboPup, they must stop the Great Thaumatarian Time Wave before Muridaan Falls becomes history.

Orville Mouse audiobook to be released soon!!

CLOCKWORK GLOWBIRDS AUDIOBOOK COVER small

Hi everyone! The Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds audiobook is finished and has been submitted to ACX, all seven hours and fifty minutes of it!

My hat is off to Jason Zenobia, the incredibly talented voice actor who brought all these wonderful characters to life. It was a joy working with him, discussing the personality of each character, working on the different voices. He is truly the consumate professional, so easy to work with, creative, a perfectionist, and best of all he has a work ethic equal to mine. Thank you, Jason! You did an amazing job!

And in case you were wondering — Proto is hilarious and Draken Mouse is sooooooo evil!! And don’t even get me started on the Thirteenth Monk! So much fun!!

Tick tock tick tock…. It generally takes about two weeks for ACX to approve an audiobook and list it on Amazon, audible, and iTunes. I’ll send out a post as soon as it’s available!!

Best wishes until we meet again,

Tom

 

 

 

Reviews in for Sagacious Sapling!

Here are some highlights from the first four editorial reviews on Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling. All four reviews were 5 stars!

Reviewed By Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite
Another wonderful book from this author. I am thrilled at how well Tom Hoffman incorporates science and language skills into the story, as well as encouraging children to be accepting and kind to others. Fabulous descriptions, incredible adventure sequences, strong support for the values of a good education, and being a friend to others are only part of what makes Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling such a wonderful book. Tom Hoffman does a magnificent job in portraying the depth and breadth of science at work in the world around us, and constantly yet subtly encourages the acceptance of others that may be different. As Book 5 in the series, it would be a good idea to read the others first so that you have a complete understanding of the references that are made throughout this volume, but reading all of the Orville Wellington Mouse Adventure stories is certainly a great idea for plenty of reading fun.

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Orville and Sophia’s friendship is a joy to revel in, and their growing closeness never seems to preclude their shared penchant for joking, teasing and making sure neither one of them gets too full of themselves. Hoffman’s fondness for his Metaphysical Adventurers shines out on every page, and his delight in their companionship is quite infectious. As I began reading, I soon felt as though I had come home again and was hoping, along with Proto, that an adventure was indeed afoot. Hoffman transcends genres with his Orville and Bartholomew Rabbit series. While undeniably cracking good epic fantasy, there’s a vibrant strain of steam punk, metaphysics, high-tech science fiction and good old-fashioned adventure running through each of his books, and this one is no exception. I loved the time traveling aspect of the story as well as Proto’s well-measured insights into sentience and awareness of self.

Proto comes into his own most wonderfully in this book. Watching as he becomes friend and mentor to Leaf is an awe-inspiring thing. I’m most definitely looking forward to Hoffman’s next book. While this is the last in his Orville Mouse series, I don’t doubt for one moment that Orville, Sophia, Proto and Leaf are out there looking for puzzles, finding fearsome monsters for Proto to delight over and indulging in snapberry pie and tasty little cakes. Those adventures don’t end, even if the series has drawn to a close. Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling is exciting, fast-paced and a lot of fun to read. It’s most highly recommended.

Reviewed By Joel Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite
No need to reveal the plot line of Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling. Tom Hoffman’s uniquely appealing creation, mighty but fearful Orville, declares it precisely: “Let’s go save the universe.” What does need mentioning is the incredibly satisfying and stimulating camaraderie of Hoffman’s characters as they band together to fulfill – against some mighty intimidating and powerful odds – such an infinitely important mission. What holds readers glued to Hoffman’s books and keeps them coming back for more is the deeply human warmth and friendship shared between such small but courageous creatures. In the end, it is these friendships based on love and humor that assure our grand crusaders’ ultimate success. And, along the way, generous allotments of subtle wisdom and tasty snapberry pies for me. Er … for us, the appreciative readers.

Reviewed By Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite
Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling is my first foray into the work of Tom Hoffman and indeed his fantasy world of Orville Mouse. This book is the fifth adventure involving these characters and although it is not necessary to have read the previous books, it is always an advantage, I feel, to read a series in order. As a reader, once you get your head around the idea that this story is a fantasy adventure and indeed the two main characters are actually mice, the characters, their foibles and traits very definitely do grow on you. Orville and Sophia are truly sweet and adorable characters, but much of the humour and enjoyment I derived from the story came from the two offbeat characters; Proto (a robot of sorts) and of course, Leaf, the Sagacious Sapling. I loved the way they analysed Orville’s jokes and tried to replicate the humour themselves. The idea of logical thinking, programmed machines beginning to adapt and understand humour, while not novel, was definitely intriguing.

Hoffman has probably targeted the Orville Wellington Mouse sagas at the Young Adult market, but to be perfectly honest, I would suggest there is nothing in this book that would preclude it from being read at a younger age and also by older readers. It is a good, old-fashioned, swashbuckling adventure tale, whose two protagonists just happen to be a couple of mice. It is an excellent read and I would definitely recommend it.

Sagacious Sapling now on Amazon!

There’s going to be one less bottle of Pinot Grigio in the world tonight. Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling is now available in both Kindle and paperback format on Amazon. Oh, my. The last book in the series. It’s like sending your child off to college. My son once said, “Dad, you’re the only person I know who can look really happy and really sad at the same time.” That about sums it up. I’m going to miss my old pals Orville, Sophia, Proto, and Leaf. I can always close my eyes and check in on them though. Just to make sure Proto and Leaf aren’t getting into trouble. You know how those two are. You really have to keep an eye on them.

 

Complete set of five Orville Mouse books available on Amazon!

Just wanted to let everyone know the complete five book series (kindle) of Orville Mouse is now available on Amazon, including the brand new Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling. Here’s the link:

Once I get all the reviews back for Sagacious Sapling I’ll list it separately on Amazon. I’ve gotten two back so far, both 5 stars! Lots of funny stuff in this one. Here’s one of the reviews:

“Another wonderful book from this author. I am thrilled at how well Tom Hoffman incorporates science and language skills into the story, as well as encouraging children to be accepting and kind to others. Fabulous descriptions, incredible adventure sequences, strong support for the values of a good education, and being a friend to others are only part of what makes Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling such a wonderful book. Tom Hoffman does a magnificent job in portraying the depth and breadth of science at work in the world around us, and constantly yet subtly encourages the acceptance of others that may be different. As Book 5 in the series, it would be a good idea to read the others first so that you have a complete understanding of the references that are made throughout this volume, but reading all of the Orville Wellington Mouse Adventure stories is certainly a great idea for plenty of reading fun.”

A Thousand Bees

No automatic alt text available.This is a stand alone story from Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Sagacious Sapling (in progress). Feel free to share this post. Sophia Mouse is reading the story to a group of prehistoric birds in another world. It’s about the effect of our words on others and on ourselves. (includes a little easter egg to any Psych fans out there– and Princess Bride fans!)

A Thousand Bees
by Master Inigo

There was once a poor but happy vegetable farmer named Westley who lived with his lovely wife and two children in the small village of Thrumpton. Each fortnight he would load up his cart with fresh produce and wheel it to the King’s Market, an arduous trek along fifteen miles of winding and rutted dirt roads. The silvers gained from the sale of his vegetables went toward necessities for his farm and family, never failing to include a few sweets for his wife and little ones.

The King’s Market was in Burton-On-Guster, a bustling city surrounding Castle Umbra, the home of King Basil, a harsh ruler more feared than loved by his subjects. Westley had never set eyes on King Basil and had no illusions that he ever would. His was a simple life, far removed from the glittering heady atmosphere of the King’s world.

No one was more surprised than Westley by the events that lead to his first glimpse of the King. Truth be known, King Basil was the last thing on Westley’s mind as he wheeled his heavily laden cart down the narrow streets of Burton-On-Guster to the King’s Market.

A great commotion arose in the streets as a golden carriage drawn by eight enormous snow white rabbits clattered down the cobblestones on a direct course with Westley and his vegetable cart. Realizing it was King Basil’s carriage rolling toward him, he quickly maneuvered his cart to the side of the street. He was already imagining the look on his wife’s face when he told her he had seen the great King Basil with his own eyes.

The eight rabbits loped through the narrow street toward him, the heavily armored King’s Guard astride ten black rabbits, shouting out warnings to make way for the carriage. Westley pressed himself against the building as the white rabbits thumped past.

Unfortunately for Westley, there was sufficient room for the rabbits to pass, but not for the King’s gold carriage. The glittering coach came to a terrible grinding halt, jammed between the far wall and Westley’s vegetable cart. The King’s guard bellowed at Westley to move his cart, but try as he might he could not. King Basil leaned out of his carriage, glaring angrily at the vegetable cart, then directly at Westley.

“Worm!! Move your filthy cart or forfeit your life!!”

Westley froze, his fear so profound he was unable to breathe. The King’s guard leaped from their black rabbits, flipping the cart on its side, spilling the produce across the cobblestones, clearing the way for the King’s carriage.

Moments later Westley stood alone, his body shaking uncontrollably, his eyes on the ruined vegetables crushed by the golden carriage and the King’s guard.
Salvaging what he could, Westley took what produce was left to market, the profits barely enough to buy flour and eggs. There were no sweets for his wife and two young ones.

The icy terror he had felt during his encounter with the King transformed to a dark and simmering anger on the journey back to Thrumpton. The King had called him a worm, said his cart was filthy. Not once in his life had Westley uttered a harsh word against King Basil, not once had he failed to pay his taxes. His family worked long hours each and every day, barely eeking out a living from their small vegetable farm. He had done nothing wrong and yet the King had looked directly at him and called him a worm. His anger grew deeper with every step.

As he rounded a bend in the road a wizard stepped out from the shadowy forest, an indecipherable smile on his face. Westley stopped, his eyes wide. He had seen a wizard once before, but had never spoken with one. They were not to be trusted, that much he knew.”

“You seem quite distraught, young sir. What unfortunate event has befallen you?”

An uncontrollable flood of words poured from Westley’s mouth, the story of his humiliating and terrifying encounter with King Basil. The wizard nodded sympathetically.
“Dreadful, simply dreadful. How could he call you a worm? You have every right to be furious.”

Westley sighed. Sharing his story with the wizard’s sympathetic ear had calmed him somewhat. Perhaps he was overreacting.
“I suppose it is my lot in life and nothing more. The King is King and I am a poor vegetable farmer.”

The wizard placed his hand on Westley’s shoulder.
“Perhaps all is not lost.”
He pulled a long white feather pen from the arm of his cloak.

“How can a pen help me?”

“The power of words is known to all. You have seen for yourself how a few harsh words from the King changed your life in a single moment, filling you with a deep and seething anger.”

“Am I supposed to write him a letter? Ask for an apology?”

The wizard smiled.
“This is no ordinary quill, it is the Mighty Pen, and it harnesses the power of words, turning them to reality. Whatever words you write with this pen, so they shall be. Remember to choose your words carefully, using wisdom and compassion.”

“I don’t understand.”

A piece of yellowed parchment appeared in Westley’s hand.
“Write the words ‘one gold coin’ on the parchment.”

Westley frowned, taking the pen. This smacked of dark magic. Nevertheless, he wrote what the wizard had told him. When he was done, the words faded away, a gold coin appearing his hand. Westley dropped the coin with a yelp.
“Dark magic! Nothing good can come of this.”

“Your words vanish, but their power lives on. With this gold coin you can buy everything you need for your family, even a box of delicious chocolates for your little ones. What fault can be found in such a kindness?”

Westley hesitated. Maybe the wizard was right. One gold coin couldn’t hurt anything.

The wizard bowed deeply before Westley.
“The pen is yours for one year, payment due for the harsh words spoken by King Basil, words which shall unerringly circle the world and return to him, as sharp as any arrow ever forged.”

Before Westley could ask the meaning of this cryptic statement, the wizard vanished, leaving him alone holding the gold coin, the parchment, and the Mighty Pen.

When he greeted his wife, Westley made no mention of his encounters with the King and wizard, saying only that his cart had been knocked over, the vegetables ruined, and fortune had smiled upon him by leaving a gold coin lying in the road.
Two weeks later, Westley saw the King again, this time sitting in his golden carriage near the market in Burton-On-Guster, four guards working furiously to repair a damaged wheel.

Westley was filled with an unexpected burning rage at the sight of the King. He pulled out the Mighty Pen and parchment, quickly writing, “Let King Basil feel the sting of his own words.”

A bee streaked past Westley toward King Basil. When the bee stung him on the lips the King squealed in pain. Westley grinned.

On the way home a curious thought grew in his mind. Why should such a despicable creature as Basil be king? Why shouldn’t a good and loving person like Westley be king? He grinned again. Harnessing the power of words would make it so.

Removing the pen and parchment from his coat pocket, he wrote,“Let King Basil and all his guards and soldiers feel the sting of a thousand bees, a thousands arrows, and ten thousand heartless warriors. Let me rule in his stead as King Westley.”

Chaos reigned in Burton-On-Guster for almost a month. When it was over, Westley was king. He moved his family into the luxurious quarters of Castle Umbra, riding daily through the city in a gold carriage drawn by eight magnificent snow white rabbits. He visited his treasury every other day, smiling with satisfaction at the roomful of chests overflowing with gold coins and gems.

Westley’s wife and children quickly adopted their lavish new lifestyle, soon becoming spoiled and complacent. Simple sweets from the market no longer satisfied them, only the most magnificent cakes and elaborately decorated confections would do. They mocked the vendors at the King’s Market, forgetting their past life as humble vegetable farmers, smirking when they drove past in their fine gold carriage.

One year passed to find Westley nodding in his great silver throne, his eyes half closed. With a flash of blue light the wizard appeared before him, giving a gracious bow.

“King Westley, your year with the Mighty Pen has come to an end. You have used it to teach King Basil a profoundly important lesson, that our own words circle the world and unerringly return to us, sharper than any arrow ever forged.”

“You bore me with your tedious words, wizard. I no longer have need for you or your ridiculous magic pen.”

King Westley pulled the pen from his robe, tossing it carelessly to the floor. The wizard nodded politely as he retrieved the Mighty Pen, disappearing before Westley could command him to leave.

King Westley gave a great yawn. His coffers were overflowing with gold, his soldiers loyal to him. He had everything he could ever want.

He rose at noon the following day, strolling idly onto the balcony overlooking his kingdom. He never saw the bee that stung his lip, a sting that caused him to shriek out in pain. He reeled back at the sight of a thousand angry bees streaking toward the castle, followed closely by a thousand arrows hissing through the air. Amidst a cloud of pale yellow dust on the horizon he saw the silhouettes of ten thousand heartless warriors marching toward him. The wizard’s voice echoed in his ears.

“Our own words circle the world and unerringly return to us, sharper than any arrow ever forged.”

Sophia closed the book. The birds around the cage were silent. Captain Beaky had tears in his eyes.

Metaphonium honored with stellar 5-star reviews!

See how I did that? Stellar, 5 stars? Clever. I know, Proto didn’t laugh either. Here’s a few quotes from the wonderful reviews Metaphonium has received on Readers’ Favorite:

 

Reviewed By Sarah Scheele for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars

Tom Hoffman is a delight to read. His world is endlessly complex, varied, and filled with flights of fancy, yet completely true and simple as well. The characters ring with a deep, supple humanity, and I was captivated, wanting to know what would happen next. Action, comedy, mystery, adventure, romance—it’s all here. Orville’s many little quirks make him thoroughly well-rounded, and the underlying theme that love and honesty can overcome fears was handled as melodiously as the concept of the piano-like Metaphonium, in which sets of keys provide portals to other worlds. Quiet sidekick Proto absolutely steals the show, his fears that he’s not loved and accepted threading a delicate subplot that is as poignant as it is satisfying. Verbally enchanting, emotionally human, and philosophically relevant, The Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium blends many genres into a really fun read.

Reviewed By Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars

In this fourth installment of a highly successful, award winning series, Tom Hoffman has produced in The Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium both a plot and a literal device that almost defy imagination. Except that imagination might verily be the name of the game itself. The last Metaphonium – the device – is one ingenious invention. Not your parents’ Sound Piano, nor your grandparents’ either; this one literally takes you to other worlds. And it is on the most important adventure quest of all – to locate a missing loved one – that Orville, his girlfriend, Sophia, and their personal protector, Proto, dare the prophesied terrors of a mysterious other-world in order to successfully complete (survive) their mission. Metaphysically replete with the wisdom, humor, adventure, unspoken love and oatmeal cookies that young and old have come to expect from Orville Mouse, The Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium satisfies all your cravings. Except for the oatmeal cookies. Those are incumbent upon yourself; unless, of course, you already happen to be a Shaper. Read the book!

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars

Tom Hoffman’s young adult metaphysical adventure fantasy, Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium: Orville Wellington Mouse, Book 4, is a glorious romp through the fabled land of Elysian where anything you dream of or fear may very likely come true. I had the grandest time reading this enthralling adventure yarn which somehow makes quantum physics painless and perfectly understandable. Hoffman’s plot is lively and filled with twists and turns that keep both the characters and the reader on edge. His characters, especially Orville, Sophia and Proto, seem to come of age in this tale as they confront their own demons and greatest fears, and find their inner combined strengths to be prodigious indeed. While this book can be read and enjoyed on its own, I would most strongly recommend the new reader start with the first book in the series, but if you can’t resist, Hoffman does give enough background without giving any spoilers to ruin the experience of going back after this one. Best of all, there’s a definite sense in the air that there will be more puzzles for Orville to solve and that’s such a very good thing. Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium is Hoffman’s best fantasy novel yet, and it’s most highly recommended.

Reviewed By Angie Gallion Lovell for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars

Tom Hoffman has written a great adventure. His characters are fully developed and endearing, with all their individual quirks and traits. Hoffman writes to a youthful audience (3rd-5th grade), and he writes with intelligence, drawing his readers forward, rather than relying on gimmicks so often employed for this age group. Hoffman offers a larger world to his readers, an expansion of their understanding of the possibilities. His word choices are precise and often chosen to increase his readers’ vocabulary by introducing a complex word, then developing the scene to provide context. Orville and his friends have to work as a team to solve the puzzle, each member of their party brought something unique to the table, and none of them could have done it alone. Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium has everything a young reader will enjoy, humor, great action sequences, believable dialogue, fantastic friendships, and a powerful message about facing our fears. This book was nicely done, Mr. Hoffman.

Reviewed By Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium by Tom Hoffman is the next Orville Mouse adventure that you won’t want to put down. When Orville wakes up from a dream, he discovers that he brought back a book with him in a language he can’t understand. Pulled into the book’s curious origins, Orville teams up with Proto and Sophia to find the mysterious land of Elysian. With the aid of pirates, the group embarks on a dangerous adventure that may be more than they bargain for.

The mystery reveals the magic of imagination and books as Orville, Proto, and Sophia go in search of the book’s origins. The fact that they’re talking animals is never an issue as they’re lively and realistic characters with vibrant personalities, fun banter, flaws, and strengths. They’re easy to connect with and adore. Orville has a playful personality and is full of imagination. The story starts from his dream as he brings back this book. The journey to translate it and the discovery of the island that is seemingly there and not there make you want to be part of the story.

A charming adventure, Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium is humorous and clever, with danger, pirates, a beautiful ghost mouse, and an exciting world brought to life with imagination.