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.