The Thirteenth Monk (Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy) (Volume 2) Paperback – January 7, 2016
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"Tom Hoffman's epic fantasy, The Thirteenth Monk, Bartholomew theAdventurer, Book Two, is, if possible, even better than the first bookin the series, The Eleventh Ring. While the author includes enoughbackground information to allow The Thirteenth Monk to be read on itsown, I would strongly recommend that readers read the books in order. Iwas enthralled by this story, most especially with the tale of Edmundthe Rabbiton, who has become one of my favorite characters of all time.There's something so compelling about this A2 Rabbiton whose awarenessand sense of difference make him more than human (or, should I say,rabbit?) than his other companions. The Thirteenth Monk is a wildlyinventive fantasy story with horrific sand worms reminiscent of thedenizens of Herbert's Dune, vast hidden cities from long-lostcivilizations and most affable and stalwart companions. It's quite aremarkable work and is most highly recommended."
Five Stars - Readers' Favorite Review by Micaela Alpert"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."
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Before I even finished The Elventh Ring (the first book in this series), I knew I would have to read the sequel and went ahead and purchased it.
There are many psychics and more that tell you we're on the verge of a spiritual awakening in humanity, or that the new age has already begun and this book fits right into all of those. The themes in it are not subtle, but to me, it shows very clear examples of doing what your inner voice tells you to do. For me, my inner voice isn't a voice so much, but a pulling or an urge. "Go do this" or "Go this way this time" or more. And more often than not, I see that event or item or song or something repeated again later.
As for the storyline, in this book, all of our favorties are back, but the book does focus a little on Edmund the rabbiton and for good reason. He's not like other rabbitons and when the chance to go on an adventure with his friends Bartholomew and Oliver comes along, he grabs his adventuring hat and is ready to go. They go to Pterosaur Valley to visit Bartholomew's new home and there, they find out there is something they need to do.
I won't say anymore, but we get to experience new characters, a new world and more of the universe 'falling into place'. I am eagerly awaiting the third book and cannot recommend this series enough!
Tom takes a chance with this book, stepping into science fiction using animals as characters, and it works very well indeed. One of the reasons the story hangs together so well is his well-considered anthropomorphic stance of his characters. Without stooping to the cuteness of today’s high money making films of animated stories, Tom keeps his level of sophistication very high indeed. His prose is luminous and makes the pleasure of reading the story all the more satisfying – adults can enjoy this book as well as teens, and for teens it presents a fine adventure tale in the language of sophistication that hopefully will replace the current acronym mode of communication fostered by the Internet and media!
For example, Tom opens his story thus: ‘Edmund was falling. He wasn’t falling for a lovely female Rabbiton, he wasn’t falling for one of the Tree of Eyes’ juvenile pranks, and he wasn’t falling for the persuasive banter of a fast talking door-to-door salesrabbit. He was instead falling through churning gray clouds at precisely one hundred and twenty miles per hour, terminal velocity for an object of standard air resistance. Edmund the Rabbiton was a ten foot tall, six hundred and ninety-four pound silver robot created by the former inhabitants of the Fortress of Elders. He had been created over fifteen hundred years ago, shortly before the mysterious Elders had abandoned their fortress and moved to Mandora, a peaceful new world of their own creation.’
But in deference to his loyal readers who are early in their reading of this trilogy Tom maps the course of what we will expect: ‘The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy is 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.’
The tight synopsis gels the tale well – ‘Oliver T. Rabbit develops a revolutionary new invention and Edmund the Rabbiton develops an inexplicable new phobia. When Edmund unwittingly opens an interdimensional 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 Ennzarr the Red Monk, the eerie Blue Spectre, and two unlikely treasure hunters named Thunder and Lightning, the three adventurers must find the lost Seventh Key and defeat the inconceivably powerful Wyrme of Deth or be trapped forever in the world of Nirriim.’
Titillating? Yes, and all the more so as the reader becomes involved in this highly imaginative interplanetary sci-fi little tale. This continues to be a very successful series. Grady Harp, September 16
In this book, the lovable Bartholomew is gaining quite a reputation as a “shaper.” Others are in awe of him for having confronted the Grymmorian King Oberon and passed safely through the Valley of Pterosaurs. But there is something missing from Bartholomew’s life. When he learns what it is, he begins a mystical transformation that will fuel his next adventure. On their return to the Valley of Pterosaurs to find Professor Bruno Rabbit’s house, Bartholomew, Oliver T. Rabbit and Edmund are pulled into the strange, dark world of Nirrum. There they must find a lost key and defeat the villain, Wyrme of Deth, or be trapped in Nirrum forever.
Like the first book in the series, “The Eleventh Ring,” this one is beautifully written and edited. Tom Hoffman’s metaphysical adventure is made delightful through a zany cast of characters and sparkling dialogue. In fiction, it is rare to see the masterful blending of action with mystical and scientific themes. Perhaps Tom gives us a signpost when he writes: “Many events must unfold in their proper order before you will understand the truth that lies beneath his actions,” the Cavern of Silence tells Bartholomew, concerning his friend Edmund. The novel’s tone is playful, crisp, clean, tongue-in-cheek. No sexual innuendo, no graphic violence, no pessimism. I recommend it to fluent readers of all ages, to intrepid readers with inquiring minds! Stay tuned: I’m on my way now to read the third book of the trilogy, “The Seventh Medallion.”
Grateful thanks to Tom Hoffman for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review.