An Abundance of Books's Reviews > Return to Exile

Return to Exile by E.J. Patten
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's review
Aug 16, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: middle-grades-non-fiction, 2011-reviews

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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 classmates who have taken it upon themselves to protect the town from monsters. These four mini MacGyvers have cobbled together body armor and effective weapons from garbage. They really don't know what they're fighting and are pretty much flying by the seat of their pants. One character, Hands, is turned onto vampire romance novels by his grandfather as a source of monster fighting techniques. (As a vampire romance reader myself, I found these bits very funny.) Sky has an older sister who just seems horrible at first, but you get to like her. (Loved Hannah and Tick in the final battle.) There are adults, who unfortunately work at Sky's school, that hate him. They're not deliciously evil teachers like Snape, they are vile and you want to beat them over the head with a chair. (Really, the more Miss Hagfish talked, the more I gasped in outrage.) Sky's monster books and bestiaries are a bit absurd but add some fun. The fight scenes in Return to Exile are great and some of the funniest I have ever read. Patten has created some great monsters and Rocco's small illustrations were a nice touch. It was at times a bit predictable, but never so much so that it ruined the story.

There were some things that could be negatives. There was a bizarre bit with the janitor and I hope it's explained in the next book, otherwise it's totally pointless and weird. Also, some of the technical talk about plasma and force fields was a bit too much for me. My brain generally turns off in those situations, but it's something I would mention to a student. Basically you could skim those few bits and be ok.

The Return to Exile is a great middle grades book and a good fit for the age group. (I'm not sure how much adult readers will like it, but the majority middle and high school audience should enjoy it.) It had some of the best fight scenes ever and I loved the mix of seriousness and humor. I would recommend this book to readers who liked the Percy Jackson or Alex Rider series. I'm looking forward to the sequel. I give it 5 out of 6 stars.

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Reading Progress

May 1, 2011 – Started Reading
June 18, 2011 – Finished Reading
August 16, 2011 – Shelved
August 23, 2011 –
page 43
August 23, 2011 –
page 43
8.4% "Great beginning, totally sucked into the story."
August 23, 2011 –
page 245
47.85% "This book is so much fun!!"
August 23, 2011 –
page 512
August 29, 2011 – Shelved as: middle-grades-non-fiction
December 24, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011-reviews

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Aleksandra Didn't you guess who the janitor is? There's a clue in the epilogue ;)

An Abundance of Books Yes, I was thinking that might be him, and I hope it is because otherwise it was just too weird.

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