The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dreamed She Could Fly

Translucent Boy Series #3

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
253 Pages
Reviewed on 01/30/2022
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Author Biography

A veteran award winning author of 14 thrilling young adult and middle grade adventures, Tom Hoffman received a B.S. in psychology from Georgetown University and a B.A. 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 three adorable grandchildren. Tom was 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. He recently completed book 3 of The Translucent Boy series. The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Saw Him was a semi-finalist in the 2020 BookLife Prize Award (Publishers Weekly)

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a work of fiction in the fantasy and adventures subgenres. It is intended for the young adult reading audience and was penned by author Tom Hoffman. Written as the third novel in the Translucent Boy Series, we find ourselves back with titular protagonist Odo Whitley and his newfound friends for another magical adventure. This time, an old woman being held against her will in a retirement home reveals an incredible secret, one which leads the team to discover an otherworldly quest filled with mysticism and danger. It won’t be easy, but together, they might just recover the fabled Spike of Odysseus from the hands of deadly thieves.

Author Tom Hoffman never fails to delight with this superb series, which perfectly packages a magical and mythical adventure alongside highly relatable teen characters with all the emotional drama that comes with their age group. I’ve always enjoyed reading this series, but this third installment really amps up the creep factor with some truly spine-tingling atmospheric touches and allies who are often as frightening and chaotic as the enemies of the story. There’s plenty for YA readers and adults alike to appreciate in the heartfelt characters, amusing dialogue, and the wonderful blend of original material and reworkings of ancient tales. The ending had me both in tears and on the edge of my seat. Overall, I would highly recommend The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dreamed She Could Fly and the series in general to fans of accomplished YA fantasy.

Heather Stockard

The translucent Odo Whitley and his best friends, Sephie the mind reader and Silas who sees ghosts, find themselves caught up in another otherworldly adventure after they meet a new classmate. Emmeline is a mysterious young girl with twisted legs and a tragic secret. She also has superpowers of her own: she can fly, and her dreams become real. When Silas befriends her, they discover a connection to Odo’s recent nightmare and to Sephie. They find strange clues: a gold pen that lights up, a strange black spike, a business card belonging to a seemingly fictional professor, and more. The clues lead them to the world of Arcadia, where the ferry to the Land of the Dead is located. They must contend with androids, con artists, and other obstacles to reach their destination. Odo will face his nightmare and Emmeline’s life will change forever. Their strength will be tested, and they will learn the true importance of their friendship.

The Translucent Boy and the Girl who Dreamed She Could Fly is the third installment of Tom Hoffman’s charming adventure series. Like the first two novels, this one is filled with quirky characters with odd superpowers, clever dialogue, and a fantastical adventure. The themes of love, friendship, and acceptance are strong, particularly in this last installment. Odo and his friends accept and celebrate each other’s differences and are always kind, even when they tease. This book, and the entire series, is sure to be a favorite with young readers of all ages.

Liz Konkel

The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dream She Could Fly by Tom Hoffman is the third book in The Translucent Boy series. Odo Whitley woke up from an unsettling vision that had somehow become real and gave him the image of a wooden boat. Then Silas befriends new girl Emmeline Snow who has a secret of her own – one that aligns with their own otherworldly adventures. The friends reveal their unique secrets to Emmeline and bring her into a world of dimensional shifting, ghosts, and the aliens that live among them (like frumpy Mrs. Preke). Sephie learns of a secret that sends them to return the Spike of Odysseus as they help Emmeline in her quest to retrieve her brother from the Land of the Dead - a journey that takes them to the Plane of Percupio and to seek out the Ferryman.

Tom Hoffman maintains the same tone as the previous books in the series to deliver another adventure in the friends' coming-of-age journey that blends science fiction, imagination, and friendship. Through these kids and their journeys, Hoffman peels back layers of the universe that he's created through imagination and creativity. The writing is lighthearted and quirky such as frumpy Mrs. Preke being a giant yellow octopus or a storm invading Odo's bedroom. The tone of the writing pairs with the adventure as mythology is woven into the plot and takes the friends on a journey that involves the Spike of Odysseus and sends them to meet the Ferryman in the underworld. A great read for all ages, The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dream She Could Fly is a lighthearted and quirky adventure that excels at blending science fiction with a coming-of-age journey woven with magical and otherworldly elements that bring adventure and imagination to life.

Vincent Dublado

The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dreamed She Could Fly is the third installment in Tom Hoffman’s Translucent Boy Series. Odo Whitley and his friends are back. This time, they are on a quest to retrieve the stolen Spike of Odysseus. Legends claim that Odysseus had pulled the spike out of Charon’s ferry, furious that he would force souls to pay for their passage across the River Styx to the Land of the Dead. The spike that Odysseus took was a key, without which Charon’s ferry could not operate properly. Whoever can return it will be rewarded with bringing one person back from the Land of the Dead. The quest will take Odo and his friends to the Plane of Percupio, and bring back the dead brother of a girl that one of Odo’s friends has become attracted to.

As a young adult fantasy that caters to the wild imagination of its target audience, Tom Hoffman’s The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dreamed She Could Fly does a good job of entertaining. Despite not being too concerned with plausibility, it has a sensible structure that is easy to follow, with characters that are relatable enough for readers to empathize with. If you read this work as a stand-alone, you still get a clear idea of who the major players are as the story spends a great amount of time exploring their personalities. On most occasions, characters speak in concise dialogue in a fast-paced storyline. Their focus on the quest is excellent, and it gives me a precise feeling about their objective. These are well-fleshed-out characters that you will care about, and their relationships will resonate.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Four friends: Odo the translucent boy no one can see unless he wears his special ring; Silas who can see and sometimes communicate with ghosts; Sephie, a Fortisian who has what Odo describes as “cool powers;” and the new girl, Emmie, who feels safe inside the cube she’s created, a cube that opens her to a world where she’s no longer handicapped and she can actually fly. They’re on a mission to discover the mystery behind the gold pen, a haunted house (or so people describe it), and the old woman who once lived there whose ability to levitate objects (especially when she’s asleep) captured the attention of government agents who locked her up like a lab rat to study. And there’s a secret room in the haunted house, one that will lead them to more mysterious objects and an adventure on another plane of existence to find the stolen spike of Odysseus. They also plan to bring Emmie’s brother back from the dead. Quite a lot to pack into one adventure!

Tom Hoffman’s middle-grade novel, The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Dreamed She Could Fly, is the third book in the Translucent Boy series. Readers following the characters in this series will already know of the magical powers and the multi-dimensional adventures these young people share on their quests to make things right. The plot unravels with enough background to allow readers new to the books to follow along and know about the different gifts these young people possess and something interesting about each adventure they shared in the past. It’s interesting that the author introduces a new character, one with a physical disability, but also a creative, brilliant mind that helps her overcome her disability in both this world and the alternate worlds they visit. The underlying themes of friendship, equity, and teamwork blend well with the page-turning, thrilling adventures. A great read.