Reviews

Return to Exile


Publishers 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."

School Library Journal , Mara Alpert, Children's Literature Department, Los Angeles Public Library
"Complications abound, characters are not who (or what) they seem, and telling the bad guys from the good guys is at times impossible. There is plenty of humor (mostly snarky comments and horrifically bad puns), more than a little violence, but some quieter, more emotional moments as well. By the end, most of the loose ends are neatly tied up, but there are broad hints of more mayhem to come. Middle-schoolers who like untying fiendishly complicated plots will say, “bring it on.”"

John Rocco, artist for The Hunter Chronicles & the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.
"If you like Rick Riordan or Eoin Colfer, you will like E.J. Patten. He has written a really fun, scary book..."

James Dashner, YA author of The 13th Reality series & the NYT bestselling The Maze Runner trilogy
"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."

Brandon Mull, MG author of the the NYT bestselling Fablehaven series & the Beyonders trilogy
"A complex tale brimming with imagination."

Janet Gurtler, YA author of If I Tell, I'm Not Her, & Who I Kissed
"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."

Joe Lunievicz, YA 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."

Lehua Parker, MG author of One Boy, No Water
"Return to Exile is appropriate for those eight and older who can read near a 5th grade level or higher. While it’s easy to see how this action-packed fantasy appeals to boys, girls will also enjoy getting to know Sky and his monster hunter friends. Readers who liked The Hobbit, the Percy Jackson books, and Fablehaven series will find similarities here. The pacing and humor is certain to keep even reluctant young readers engaged and looking forward to the second book in the series."

An 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 3:00 a.m. to finish this book, I had to know how it ended."

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..."

4 The Love of Lit
"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."
 
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."

Book Adventures
"[Return to Exile] is full of mystery and great characters and it leads you along, you think you have something figured out, and then it snaps you up and dangles you upside down."

Alternate Readality
"I was not disappointed. This one had me giggling from page one; from the first paragraph, even. It's incredibly witty amidst the mystery and action and I thoroughly enjoyed that. There's nothing like reading through an action scene, all tense and nervous, only to burst out laughing at some character's remark. Love it."

Project Middle Grade Mayhem


Reading Tween


Geo Librarian

A Reader's Journal

So Many Books, So Little Time

The Legend Thief


Platte F. Clark, MG author of Bad Unicorn
"Plenty of twists and turns, monsters, and high adventure. Yes, your kids will love it, but so will you--smartly written and tons of fun. If you're not familiar with the series, jump in. And for the many who enjoyed Return to Exile, everything gets notched up in The Legend Thief, so hold on tight."

David J. Butler, author of the Rock Band Fights Evil series & the City of the Saints series
"New riddles to solve, more traps to escape, more monsters to face... it's everything Return to Exile had, cranked to a new level!"

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