Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Early Reviews for Return to Exile

Return to Exile will be released on September 6, one week from today. To celebrate the coming launch, I've decided to list some of the early reviews I've seen, both good and bad:

     1. Publisher's Weekly:

  • "The frenetic story line, flurry of revelations and secret identities, and large cast occasionally make this debut novel, the first book in the Hunter Chronicles series, hard to follow, but Patten more than makes up for it with his original mythology, easy sense of humor, and action-packed sequences. Amid the innumerable vampire, zombie, and werewolf stories available, it comes as a breath of fresh air."

     2. Joseph Lunievicz, Author of Open Wounds:

  • "The ending is just beautiful. I won’t spoil it but I will tell you it reads like the perfect ending to a pulp serial – ominous, dark, and bookended by razor-sharp tooth and suction cupped tentacle."

     3. Abundance of Books: 

  • "Return to Exile was an excellent mix of characters, tension, monsters, mayhem, and humor."
  • "It had some of the best fight scenes ever and I loved the mix of seriousness and humor."
  • "...it was a well paced read that I could not put down and read it in one sitting. Seriously, I stayed up until 3:oo a.m. to finish this book, I had to know how it ended."

     4. Journey of a Bookseller:

  • "This story is a bit Harry Potterish. There is magic, danger, shape shifters, and evil in this book. I found it a fascinating read and enjoyed every bit of it. It's so intense I had to set it down and take a break from it every so often. Otherwise my heart rate got a bit higher than I liked it..."

     5. 4TheLoveofLit: 

  • "Wow. This novel is profound. You have to pay attention, or you'll drift into utter confusion (similar to Stephen King's Dark Tower series)."
  • "As a YA novel, it contains enough monsters and twists to keep the mind working for all 500 plus pages. I haven't been (this) excited about a book since I read James Dashner's "The Maze Runner" series."

     6. Other Stuff Exists:

  • "The world of Return to Exile is very well-realized, with a variety of monsters, plants (some monstrous), and monster hunters, forming a coherent world and history. If anything, Patten has created a world that’s too interesting–I found myself wishing that I could read some of the in-universe books like The Evil Echo of Solomon Rose, so as to learn more about the history of the world."

On the book cover, you'll also see the following reviews/blurbs from Brandon Mull and James Dashner:

  • "Return to Exile marks the beginning of a remarkable new series. I loved the characters, and its originality and intensity kept me ripping through the pages. A stunning book." --James Dashner, New York Times best selling author of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials
  • "A complex tale brimming with imagination." --Brandon Mull, New York Times best selling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series
As I'm covering early reviews, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the two reviews I've seen from people who clearly didn't like the book. The first is from a reader on Goodreads who stopped reading thirty or forty pages in because she didn't like the similes/metaphors. The metaphors/similes are a bit thick in the beginning, but they lighten up after page fifty or so. The beginning is slower paced, and I tried to keep reader's engaged through humor. The crazy similes/metaphors are mostly an outgrowth of this. Apparently, they didn't work for her. If they don't work for you, keep reading. I promise it gets better.

The second reviewer that didn't like the book was Kirkus. Their review is sloppy, contains a spoiler, and gets details wrong, which leads me to believe that the reviewer skimmed--possibly during an unfulfilling lunch while arguing with an ex-spouse over alimony--got lost in the narrative, and blamed the book. As 4TheLoveofLit put it "You have to pay attention, or you'll drift into utter confusion." Unfortunately, I believe this is what happened with the unhappy Kirkus reviewer. Also, he or she really should pay alimony. It's the law.

I'll end this post with one of my favorite reviews, from Canadian YA author Janet Gurtler (whom I swear I don't know), which she posted on Goodreads after tweeting about some awesome fan art drawn by her ten-year-old son (also included):

Sky Weathers, Copyright 2011 Janet Gurtler's son

"Got a boy who needs a book to read? 

This is a book that got my reluctant reader, 10 year old boy to actually fall in love with a book and characters for the very first time. He was so excited to read it EVERY DAY and tell me about the story and the characters. Enchanted. He eagerly awaits the next books in the series. 

I am a fan and plan to read the book myself as soon as my son will let me."


Dave Butler said...

Woo hoo!

Josh said...

Congrats on the good reviews. Good luck on the launch. I'm excited to read it!

Joe Lunievicz said...

Congrats on the good reviews - well deserved. I'm happy to see my blurb in the mix. This book is going to make it big. I'm sorry I'm not in your part of the country for the launch. I had mine at the end of July and it was something to be remembered. Have a blast.
- Joe

EJ Patten said...

Thanks one and all!

Joe: I've been following you on Twitter. Looks like you've got quite the epic tour going, New York to the Harry Potter theme park--I'm green with envy, or at least slightly less tan with it. Open Wounds is next on my "to buy" list. Really looking forward to it.

daskindt said...

Nice reviews.

Exciting that the launch is only a week away.

Janet Gurtler said...

Nope. You really didn't know me. I just had to let you know because you turned a little boy who didn't like to read around a corner. And that is the best review of all!

My son is impatiently awaiting the other books. He told me he would give up his LEGO to get your next book. Trust me. This is very very big. He also said his worst fear is that they will make a movie and make it cartoon instead of real live people. :)

I wish you much success with your launch.

EJ Patten said...

Janet, it's funny; I added the "I swear I don't know her" comment for family and friends who still can't quite believe that I wrote a book, let alone one that a non-relative might enjoy.

Let your son know that I have no intention of selling film rights on this project to an animation studio. We've shopped it around and we had a hit with Shawn Levy, who did the "Night at the Museum" flicks, but when he took it to Fox, they declared that they "don't do middle grade." We're going to circulate it again after it (hopefully) builds up some steam. Fingers crossed!

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