Odo Whitley is translucent, human frosted glass, eyes peering through him, never at him. His achingly lonely existence is upended when a strange girl with flaming orange hair passes him a cryptic note in science class, sending the two unlikely new friends on an interdimensional quest for a mysterious lost doll.
With help from the enigmatic man in the gray hat, a huge yellow octopus from Plindor, a lovely old brainless dead lady, and their new boss at the Serendipity Salvage Company, Odo Whitley and Sephie Crumb must travel to the terrifying world of Atroxia and find the doll before it falls into the hands of the murderous children of Sensus.
Plot: The Translucent Boy and the Girl who Saw Him is an elaborately conceived—at moments convoluted— playfully esoteric story that, for all its fantastical content, delivers a quietly resonant message about the power of being authentically seen and how great strength of character arises from strife and misfortune.
Prose: Hoffman quickly establishes a fairy tale-like storytelling structure and tone, with prose that offers a fine blend of authoritative exposition, action, candid descriptions, and meaningful dialogue.
Originality: While messaging about acceptance of differences, friendship, and the greater good are universal, this work is undoubtedly original in the ways that it examines such ideas. The integration of scientific principles and metaphysics in tandem with the magical, provides an unexpected dimension, while the novel’s wordplay and use of the absurd, calls to mind classic works of children’s literature.
Character/Execution: Hoffman’s characters are shaped by ideas rather than the mere force of their personalities and experiences. Within the world Hoffman creates, their somewhat archetypal nature is an asset rather than a fault.
Date Submitted: August 20, 2020
Reviewed By K.C. Finn * 5 Stars
This was a truly magical adventure that I didn't want to end. Author Tom Hoffman writes with clarity but with elegance, elevating the young adult form for the whole family to enjoy this magical and deeply involved read. Odo and Sephie's romantic and spiritual bonds make for a compelling central pairing that you really care about and get invested in, whilst the wider 'worlds' of the novel come and go with visceral living colour and intense world building. The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Saw Him presents a Narnia for the modern age, a new classic that is sure to be enjoyed by all who come across it. I'd highly recommend it for fans of lavish, layered fantasy fiction with conspiracy, suspense and beautiful wordplay.
Reviewed by Jack Magnus * 5 Stars
The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Saw Him is a wise and ineffably lovely coming of age tale that comes complete with vast galaxies, alien beings and a tasty helping of metaphysics as dessert. Watching Odo become complete, as it were, on becoming visible to Sephie is moving and unforgettable; following the two as they set off on amazing, terrifying and exhilarating adventures is an unforgettable experience. Odo and Sephie are marvelous characters; their interactions and their coming of age are joys to behold. Hoffman's story is gorgeously written and a dream to read. Hoffman deftly toys with infinite possibilities and orchestrates the most amazing stories. Once again, he's surprised and delighted me. The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Saw Him is most highly recommended."
Reviewed by Joel Dennstedt * 5 Stars
So, maybe think of The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Saw Him as your personal ticket to amazement and adventure, for Tom Hoffman will indeed amaze you as surely as P.T. Barnum when you follow Odo and Sephie (the Boy and the Girl) on an adventure worthy of a billion worlds, literally, as they foray first to Plindor, where yellow octopi are the norm. Filled with magic, science, metaphysical realities (a Hoffman hallmark, to be sure) and lots of Hoffmanian romantic and self-deprecating humor, you may be certain to encounter this: amazement aplenty, and entertainment served up large. Sit back and prepare to be delighted. Oh yeah, the kids should like it too.
Reviewed By A. L. Peevey * 5 Stars
In The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Saw Him, Tom Hoffman creates a charming tale of other worldly and imaginative characters and adventures. Odo is an underdog who never stays down for long. He is not given to pessimism. Sephie Crumb with her brilliant orange hair is perfect as his best friend and someone who accepts him for what he is. Hoffman does not let their relationship transform into romance, but the potential is seemingly hinted at by the end of the story. With his discovery of his other worldly roots, Odo begins to find purpose in his life and accepts his peculiarities. While fun is to be had in this story, there is also an optimism in it that is impossible to ignore, helping to make it a worthwhile read. Excellently written story that I enjoyed reading!
Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer) * 5 Stars
I really enjoyed reading The Translucent Boy and the Girl Who Saw Him by Tom Hoffman. The book had plenty of unique characters that are likeable and complex. The characters all have unique powers that are very cool, and that readers will wish they had. I thought the story was intriguing, and I liked how the reader finds out stuff about Sephie as she does. The story is very exciting and thrilling. I was hooked by the first page, and I never wanted to put the book down. The book is very well written and descriptive. The story contains some plot twists that will shock the reader. The story is filled with action and plenty of exciting scenes. This is a very enjoyable and entertaining read that I would definitely recommend to everyone.