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Return to Exile

(The Hunter Chronicles #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  931 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Eleven years ago, Phineas T. Pimiscule rescued his nephew Sky Weathers in the town of Exile. Since then, Sky studied traps, puzzles, science, and the secret lore of the Hunters of Legend, believing it all a game, while his parent and uncle sacrificed to hide him. On the eve of Sky's twelfth birthday and his family's return to Exile, Phineas disappears.

To find him, Sky joi
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  931 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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D.J. Butler
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-reader
(Full disclosure: I am a friend of the author, and have read this book in draft and in ARC form)

** Kids fight evil monsters using weapons made of garbage, save the world. **

A lot of books don't get any better than their high concept. This one does. Patten is funny, in a way that appeals to both kids and adults. He writes great action. He plots against deep and interesting backstory. He concocts elaborate and funny riddles. He crafts vivid, believable characters, even when
Joe Lunievicz
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What came to mind for me immediately as I began this book was how unique and different the world that Patten built is. It is part Lovecraft with dark, dark, frightening monsters who are shapeshifters and tentacled, and razor sharp toothed with mouths on their heads and caps to cover them - part Solomon Kane from Robert E. Howard (the author of Conan), and all bizarre. Man these monsters with names like Whisper, Gnomen, Wargarou, Shadow Wargs, are creepy and imaginative and scary and they surroun ...more
Platte Clark
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was able to obtain an advance reader's copy of this book from the publisher. That being said, Return to Exile is an epic adventure, perfectly balanced between a fantastical world of monsters, traps, weapons, and a precocious boy named Sky Weathers. Full of action, humor, and an incredible cast of characters, this is the kind of book that will not only appeal to young readers, but their older siblings and parents as well. With so many fantasy derivatives out there, I found Return to Exile to be ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Appropriate for: age 12+

I really liked this book. I found the main character very relate-able. There was an air of mystery to it that was intriguing. While this book is middle grade, I would recommend it for tweens and up because of how creepy it is.
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This book had a slow start. Had I not been reading it for a book club, I probably wouldn't have continued. But it does pick up and start to grab you about 200 pages in. By then I wasn't reading because I had to, I was actually looking for stolen moments to read. There were plenty of twists and battles to keep you going through the second half of the book. As far as mood/feel goes it was like a hybrid of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter, though not as well written as either of thos ...more
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Abercrombie
Jul 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
I didn't actually finish this book, so it is not a "full bodied" review - more like a first impression.

This book is way overly burdened with metaphor and simile. I wished I had a red pen when I was reading it. "Traces of fading sunlight slipped through the canopy above, moving across the earth like matadors with threadbare capes teasing and taunting the night onward." You think? Another example - "The glass wall surrounded the Pimiscule manor like the arms of a street urchin clutchin
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, fbc-11
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did - I think the idea was better than the execution.

All of the characters, apart from Sky, were stock, stereotype characters: annoying sister, quirky uncle, mean teacher, etc and thus largely forgettable. Nearly every character also had multiple names, which made figuring out who was whom quite confusing.

The set-up for the story itself was also less than stellar. Instead of building any real suspense, the first two hundred pag
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
The plot: Sky is a little boy who is being chased by monsters and by monster hunters. His family teaches him very little about monsters. They teach him very little about monster hunters. And they teach him nothing about fighting. Then they move him to a town that's known for having a lot of monsters and monster hunters. Bad stuff happens.

The characters: There were a ton of characters in this book. Way more than there needed to be. And at least half of them have nicknames, as if there weren't al
Melysah Bunting
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got to read "Return to Exile" (The Hunter Chronicles #1) by E.J. Patten courtesy of Simon and Schuster via Shelf Awareness. It's a young adult novel that is reminiscent of the author's literary interests. There is a lot of monsters and action. Let your imagination run wild!

Sky Weathers is a boy who loves puzzles and studies with his uncle, Phineas T. Pimiscule, about the Hunters of Legend, botany and all sorts of strange things. Sky and his family return to the city of Exile and un
Aug 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book thats why i hate that i can't rate it a 3.5 cause yeah it's just like his parents well they are over protective and everyone lies to him and doesn't tell him stuff and all the riddles like no one can give a straight answer even crystal is still keeping secrets and i wish he was stronger yeah he has the hunters mark and can talk to any monster and learn secrets but i don't think he's the type to do it :/ he's just kinda pitiful at the moment even with the hunters mark and th ...more
Dylan Jones
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book especially because it has fantasy. However, this book did have some flaws. For one thing, I think it would have been better if Sky was an orphan. Most good fantasy books, including Harry Potter, have the protagonist grow up in harsh conditions, including bad parent or school bullies, and then they find out that they are much more than just an average person. The gear that the monster hunters had were pretty cool though. This is a book I would definitely recommend to other peopl ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is way cool. It is very confusing, jumping from topic to topic. A warning for every one: if you don't like potty words, don't read this book. (cause in the book, people use pee to kill monsters and sometimes by accident, drink it or eat it in the crackers they have. )
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
At first when you start reading this book it's intriguing, with all of the cool creatures and Sky's fun uncle. But then when you reach the middle of the book suddenly it's like "WHAT THE HECK!" And you can't put it down! This is a really cool book by a guy from Utah. 4 1/2 stars! :)
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Eh it was just alright. A great example of why books can be categorized as juvenile fiction. If you know what I mean.
Jayna Pitcher
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For the month of March I read the book, Return to Exile, by E.J. Patten. I loved this book because it was so action packed that it made me happy in a way i guess. There was constantly a puzzle being solved or someone fighting something. My favorite character is Sky because I can relate to him in a way. I don’t always fit in with other people, and i’m fine with that. My favorite qoute is, “The watch said ENOF OD NABA BAN DO FONE.” If your wondering why I love that qoute it’s bec ause it’s the sa ...more
Kyle Teter
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book

I loved reading this book. I couldn’t wait till the second book in the series came out. I know this review is very late, but it’s here.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it

I enjoyed this a lot actually
Tanya Taylor
Very entertaining book. The story was fun and the writing was funny!
May 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
One of the worst books to ever read.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle grade youths, harry potter fans
Recommended to Tabitha by: goodreads
I won this ARC from a First Reads, Goodreads contest shortly after I started using my Goodreads account more actively. Oddly this is the same time I found out about the book blogging world. It took quite some time for the ARC to arrive – in fact it arrived just one week before the actual book was to be released. Given how fat this book is for middle-grade fiction, it took me quite some time to finish it – 20 days in fact. Now normally 500 pages wouldn’t phase me, but I was in one of my moods of ...more
An Abundance of Books
Featured at An Abundance of Books

eturn to Exile was an excellent mix of characters, tension, monsters, mayhem, and humor. While I didn't find it to be "scary" per se and some things were a bit predictable, 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.

Sky was a great kid, so full of heart even though the world seems to work against him. He is rescued by classmat
Tracy Poff
All Sky's life, his family has been moving from place to place, never staying long enough for him to make real friends. So, his best friend is his monocle-wearing uncle Phineas, who has taught him to solve puzzles and set and elude traps, and attempted to teach him botany. He has also taught Sky more esoteric knowledge--of monsters, and how to hunt or avoid them.

Sky's parents have always insisted that monsters aren't real. Now that they are moving back to Exile, where his parents liv
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sky doesn't belong anywhere, not at home and not at school, and he has no idea why. Long nights wandering spent looking for something he cannot name have left his parents sensitive to the slightest abnormal behavior. Sky can't explain his behavior except for the 'little monster' he has in his head and the marks on his hands. But when his family returns to Exile without his Uncle Phineas and the black mark on his hand bleeds black blood, Sky knows something is very wrong, and he starts to realize ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sky Weathers has always liked his eccentric uncle Phineas. It was Phineas that taught Sky how to build traps and solve puzzles, and talks to him about a variety of weird creatures only Phineas seems to know about. And Phineas is generally reliable about showing up for Sky's birthday, even if he is flaky. Which is why Sky worries when Phineas doesn't show up for Sky's twelfth birthday party. Nor does he reappear later. Sky knows something bad has happened, but he has no idea how serious the probl ...more
Jessica Bronder
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I originally received this book from Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab but it expired before I could finish reading it. I had posted a review then got a copy of it from the Amazon Vine Program. Here is my updated review after having finished the book.

It is Sky’s twelfth birthday but it is the worst birthday ever. His uncle Phineas goes missing and he has to move to Exile. Now he feels like something is wrong. When he follows his father onto Phineas’ property, he is attacked by creat
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I must say that I am glad I stuck with this past the first painful 100 pages as the story is quite good. Sky makes for an engaging main character and I think the story shows a lot of promise.

I received an ARC of this through Goodreads First Reads program, so I am hoping someone stepped in to rid the author of his tendency towards atrocious metaphors and similes. And please--let's hope someone take away this guy's thesaurus already!

A few painful samples--note that I'm usin
The Grimm Reader
Oh. My. God. I LOVE this book with all my being. It rates into my two three Middle-Grade Novels (after The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham and Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan).
I was taken completely by surprise with this book. The cover drew me in and the description was good, but it looked like it was written more for boys, so I was thinking that is would be a lot of fighting, action, and adventure. But it is so much more than that! The plot is a complex web with pretty much every element you can thi
Reading Vacation
Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sky is an eleven-year-old boy with a remarkable life. The thing is, Sky has no idea that he survived an epic battle when he was a baby. He doesn’t know that the puzzles and traps that fascinate him are really preparing him for the future. Once Sky turns twelve, the story unfolds and he is shocked by what he discovers. I absolutely loved learning about Sky’s background and future right along with him.

Oh my gosh, MONSTERS! All different kinds. Monsters with horns, others with tentacles
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
First off I really enjoyed this book. It had a different story than what I usually read. But the bad thing was it did take about 100 pages for the story to get going and probably another 100 for it to really start making since and being fun to read. Since I received this as an ARC, one thing that I would really love to see in the book is a pronunciation guide like you see for some sci-fi and fantasy books. I had trouble with some of the characters names and the monsters.

Each of the c
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In April 1974, a beautiful baby boy was born at a small hospital in Mesa, Arizona. E. J. Patten (“Eric James”) was in the next crib over.

The first story he ever wrote involved a strange ad, a Laundromat, and a bowl of chili; thankfully, it was never published.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts, and a Masters in Business Administration from Brigham Young University. He currently res

Other books in the series

The Hunter Chronicles (2 books)
  • The Legend Thief (The Hunter Chronicles #2)
“Sometimes the hardest things to believe are the only things worth believing at al.” 41 likes
“And power without compassion is the worst kind of evil there is.” 13 likes
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