The Thirteenth Monk

Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy, Book 2

Fiction - Fantasy - General
330 Pages
Reviewed on 08/03/2015
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 and 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

The Thirteenth Monk is Book 2 in Tom Hoffman's epic fantasy trilogy, Bartholomew the Adventurer. Oliver T. Rabbit has designed a new Electro-Vacuumator powered device, the Adventurer II. Unlike its somewhat noisy and rather primitive predecessor, the Adventurer II is a sleek and powerful machine that flies. Bartholomew, Emma, Oliver and Edmund the Rabbiton are aboard it on their journey to Pterosaur Valley, where Bruno Rabbit maintained a mysterious house which he gave to Bartholomew along with the Eleventh Ring. Prior to the meeting, Bartholomew and the Tree of Eyes knew Bruno as the Great Tree. When they finally locate Bruno's house, the adventurers learn that their next quest is for the missing Seventh Key.

Tom Hoffman's epic fantasy, The Thirteenth Monk, Bartholomew the Adventurer, Book Two, is, if possible, even better than the first book in the series, The Eleventh Ring. While the author includes enough background information to allow The Thirteenth Monk to be read on its own, I would strongly recommend that readers read the books in order. I was enthralled by this story, most especially with the tale of Edmund the Rabbiton, who has become one of my favorite characters of all time. There's something so compelling about this A2 Rabbiton whose awareness and sense of difference make him more than human (or, should I say, rabbit?) than his other companions. The Thirteenth Monk is a wildly inventive fantasy story with horrific sand worms reminiscent of the denizens of Herbert’s Dune, vast hidden cities from long-lost civilizations and most affable and stalwart companions. It's quite a remarkable work and is most highly recommended.

Micaela Alpert

The Thirteenth Monk is written by Tom Hoffman. Oliver T. Rabbit invents a new machine named the Adventurer II. It's a new way of transportation for many rabbits and muroidians. These are robots, built by the Elders, the founders of the worlds, that are indestructible and very strong, and they helped build the Adventurer II. They are called Rabbitons. One of Oliver's dear friends, Edmund, is a Rabbiton. Together, they help build the ship and test it, then get ready to fly it with some other friends named Bartholomew and Clara. Together, all four of them must find a missing World Key in a different world with the help of a Red Monk before they are trapped in the other world of Nirriim forever.

I absolutely loved The Thirteenth Monk. It was a great read, and I didn't want it to end. I hope that Hoffman writes a sequel. Hoffman did a great job making sure everything was thorough and comprehensible. The plot was one of the best that I have ever read, and I am thinking of buying this book for myself to read over and over again. I would also like to share this book with family and friends, and I hope other readers will do so too. I definitely recommend this to all those YA readers out there who love adventure stories. Also recommended for those who like fantasy and a tad of mystery.

Kayti Nika Raet

The Thirteenth Monk by Tom Hoffman is the second book in The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy. It's the tale of Bartholomew Rabbit and his evolution from a rather silly and self-absorbed rabbit to a fully awakened enlightened being and the most powerful shaper on earth. Geared toward young adults, each book in the trilogy is based on known metaphysical phenomena and philosophical beliefs that are told simply and in a way that most people can understand.

In The Thirteenth Monk, Oliver T. Rabbit and his friends' adventures are far from over. When Edmund unwittingly opens an inter dimensional doorway, Bartholomew, Oliver, and Edmund are pulled into the strange world of Nirriim. Edmund encounters the enigmatic thirteen Blue Monks, Master Singers of Nirriim, and relives a life changing traumatic event which occurred fifteen hundred years ago during the Anarkkian Wars. With help from a monk and two treasure hunters named Thunder and Lightning, the three adventurers must find the lost Seventh Key and defeat the Wyrme of Death or be trapped forever in a world far different from their own. The Thirteenth Monk by Tom Hoffman is a unique story coupled with a classic writing style. Often it read more like a children's story than a young adult novel. It's a fast-paced and surprisingly light read, considering the many philosophical points the author makes, but it's done in a way that is organic and integral to the storytelling arc.

All of the characters are charming and precious and it pays homage to a classic children's tale. I have to admit that the dialogue did pull me out of the story; characters who were close friends would go over shared experiences in The Eleventh Ring as though the other person wasn't there. I'm aware it's for the benefit of new readers, but with as much thought as Hoffman put into the philosophical and metaphysical aspects of his writing I felt that part of the dialogue could have been done better. All in all, The Thirteenth Monk hopes to snag readers who feel the current crop of literary fare is too pedestrian and are looking for something that may stimulate pondering minds. Tom Hoffman may be the author for it.