Parents' Guide to

Return to Exile: The Hunter Chronicles, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Monster-hunter series too complex for younger fantasy fans.

Book E. J. Patten Fantasy 2011
Return to Exile: The Hunter Chronicles, Book 1 Poster Image

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There are so many things to like about Return to Exile. There's the humor (just in the names of all the monster lore books alone), the curious and strange monsters themselves, the resourceful junior monster hunters who armor themselves spectacularly with junkyard finds ... But as one intriguing idea piles on top of another, suddenly it's too much. And then it's way too much. There are just too many characters in play (and with all the shape shifters, way more than it's possible to keep straight). And there are subplots -- so many of them that it's hard to keep focused on defeating the big monster in the end.

Also lacking is a real sense of wonder for what Sky has discovered: real monsters, and that he's not alone in his own body, of all places. Wild. This is what will captivate and hold readers as they grapple with understanding a new fantasy world, but it gets lost in too many characters and too many details with not enough focus on the heart of the story.

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