Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds

An Orville Wellington Mouse Adventure • Book 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
308 Pages
Reviewed on 04/19/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Tom Hoffman received a B.S. in psychology from Georgetown University in 1972 and a B.A. in 1980 from the now-defunct Oregon College of Art. He has lived in Alaska with his wife Alexis since 1973. They have two adult children and two adorable grandchildren. Tom has been a graphic designer and artist for over 35 years. Redirecting his imagination from art to writing, he wrote his first novel, The Eleventh Ring, at age 63.

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 spirituality. 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!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds: An Orville Wellington Mouse Adventure is a young adult adventure fantasy novel written by Tom Hoffman. Orville was enjoying one of his strangely realistic dreams when he suddenly woke up in his own bedroom. He had been wandering through the most wonderful grove of orange trees which gave off an intoxicatingly sweet scent and enjoying the summer heat, but, best of all, he had Sophia, his best friend, by his side. She drew his attention to a massive tree with perfectly circular, sky-blue leaves, and as they stood beneath it, Sophia suddenly conjured up a ripe and juicy orange. After the warmth of that dream world, the frigid air in his bedroom was even harder to adjust to, but he did have only one more day of school left. As he looked around, however, he was stunned to see that the orange had also somehow materialized in his room. And this wasn't the first time something from his dream had entered his waking world; there had been the glowbird feathers and the round, sky-blue leaves. Needing to convince himself of its reality, Orville peeled the orange and savored the sweet juice as he ate the segments. Yes, it could not be denied or thought a fiction if he was actually eating it. This was something he would definitely have to discuss with Sophia on their way to school.

Tom Hoffman's young adult coming of age fantasy, Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds: An Orville Wellington Mouse Adventure is magical, exciting, witty and wise. It has marvelous characters and a smashing plot, and the story ties in quite nicely with the author's Bartholomew the Adventurer trilogy. As I began reading this rather remarkable steampunk fantasy, I soon felt a magical glow overwhelming me and a most pleasant alteration of my mood. This book made me smile. Of course, there was danger to be realized and not a little suspense as I read of Orville and Sophia's encounters with some rather terrifying off-world creatures, but the sterling company I was privileged to be a part of made even the most gigantic centipede with gnashing teeth seem manageable somehow. I am a huge fan of Bartholomew the Adventurer and the other unforgettable personalities inhabiting Hoffman's first trilogy and was thrilled to discover that the Orville Wellington Mouse Adventures were set in much the same universe. Orville Wellington Mouse is a Metaphysical Adventurer Extraordinaire, and I'm anxiously awaiting news of his and Sophia's next adventure. Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds: An Orville Wellington Mouse Adventure is most highly recommended.

Lit Amri

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds (An Orville Wellington Mouse Adventure) is another imaginative tale from Tom Hoffman, the creator of Bartholomew the Adventurer. It centers on young Orville Wellington Mouse who lives with his mum in the quiet fishing village of Muridaan Falls, Symoca. His life changes when his best friend Sophia Mouse reveals to him that she is from the planet Quintari, and a member of the Shapers Guild – a group of powerful mice who are able to convert their thoughts into physical objects.

I had read Hoffman’s other work, Bartholomew the Adventurer, so the original concept and plot as well as the quality of the writing are expected. This is another absorbing, fascinating tale of mystery, metaphysics and adventure when Orville and Sophia attempt to uncover the origin of the unusual group of seven glowbirds exhibiting rather extraordinary behavior. Soon they find themselves entangled in a wicked plot to embroil Symoca in a horrific war. The plot moves at an appropriate pace, with enough action happening to always keep the reader entertained. Despite being targeted at the younger demographics, adults would definitely enjoy this mousey tale too, particularly parents who are looking for a great book for their kids.

By the end of the story, young and adult readers alike will wish that they have the shaping ability, and this tale might even spark some interest in young minds about the world of metaphysics. This is another ingenious series from Hoffman, and it’s highly recommended to fans of the author and fellow readers who are new to his work.

Romuald Dzemo

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds by Tom Hoffman is a heartwarming fantasy tale that teens will find enjoyable. The sudden discovery that his best friend, Sophia Mouse, is a rare species from another planet and endowed with extraordinary skills could have been enough to shake up Orville Wellington Mouse. However, he soon discovers that something sinister might be happening when he notices peculiar behavior in a group of glowbirds. Orville Mouse and his friend embark on a mission to investigate the source of this unusual behavior. Little do they know that they are about to provoke an enemy who not only poses a great danger to their lives, but is also capable of bringing the peaceful village of Muridaan Falls, Symoca into a terrible war.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds is a work of rare ingenuity and imagination, and readers will find it interesting to watch the lead characters as they are thrust from one challenge to another. Pulled away from their own familiar landscape and thrown into Periculum, a dangerous world peopled by all sorts of unloving creatures, Orville and Sophia will have to muster the resources they need to get back home and defend their own. The conflict in this novel is well developed, but it’s the denouement that will leave readers spellbound.

Hoffman comes across as a master in the teen fantasy genre and he successfully makes readers feel for characters who inhabit a world completely different from theirs. The language is beautiful and accessible, laced with vivid descriptions and a rare touch of humor. With unusual skill, the author builds this gripping tale around human values of friendship, loyalty, love, and courage. The plot is meticulously crafted and it moves fast, and readers will be eagerly turning the pages to find out what happens next. At times the narrative is hilarious, but the humor is immediately replaced by intense action which makes the story even more gripping. This is one of those books that offers a place for teens to take refuge, a cleverly wrought gem. A well written and interesting story.

Maria Beltran

Tom Hoffman’s Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds is a charming young adult fantasy novel. Orville Wellington Mouse and Sophia Mouse are best friends and they both lost their fathers in unusual circumstances. Orville lives with his mother in Muridian Falls and he is a dreamer. He notices, however, that objects he dreams about appear to him when he wakes up. With the help of Sophia, whom he later finds out comes from another planet, he discovers a lot of amazing things. Sophia is a member of the Shapers Guild, which is composed of mice who have the ability to transform their thoughts into physical objects, and she insists that Orville also has the gift. Orville observes that the glowbirds in Muridian Falls are behaving in a strange way. What follows is an adventure that takes them back to a storied past.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds is written by Tom Hoffman who also created Bartholomew the Adventurer. And, true to form, his imagination and creativity is as delightful as it is informative. What started as Orville Mouse’s observations about the strange behavior of seven glowbirds leads to Orville and Sophia going through a spectral door into the mysterious world of Periculum, where they have to deal with the intimidating giant centipedes, among others. With Proto the Rabbiton as an ally, they both discover a past that is as terrifying as it is enlightening. And in the midst of all these exciting adventures are moral lessons aimed to inform and educate young and older readers alike. Filled with adventure and easy to read, Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds is a book that teaches without trying too hard. I highly recommend this book!

Lorena Sanqui

Orville Wellington Mouse has been fond of puzzles ever since he was a mouseling. The appearance of the seven glowbirds is the new riddle that has Orville confounded. With the help of his best friend, Sophia Mouse, they will solve this new mystery. But unlike Orville’s previous puzzles, this might lead them to absolute power or their deaths. As they solve this enigma, Orville discovers new things about himself and the mice around him. He’s learned about shaping and the Metaphysical Adventurers. He’s also made friends with a rabbiton which, despite his gigantic and scary exterior, is actually very friendly. What will result from Orville and Sophia’s adventures in Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds by Tom Hoffman?

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds is a new adventure book by Tom Hoffman. From this first book, I believe this will be a great series. The story was written exceptionally well, like being in the scene with the characters. The dimension of Periculum, a frightening and dangerous place, was brought to life with the great writing. It was a nonstop adventure from the beginning to the end, with many surprises and twists; it was a page turner. The ideas behind the story are exciting. Shaping and blinking were interesting concepts. Orville, Sophia and especially Proto were very likable characters. They were faced with difficult challenges and yet they managed to hold on to their positivity and kindness. It is a book with many lessons that I think readers will like.