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Provided by Simon and Schuster
"Return to Exile" by Utah author E.J. Patten is the first book in "The Hunter Chronicles."

"RETURN TO EXILE," by E.J. Patten, Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 500 pages (f)(ages 9-12)

Once "Return to Exile," the first book in Utah author E.J. Patten's Hunter Chronicles, gets your attention, it's a heart-stopping adventure perfect for a Halloween read.

Sky Weathers dearly loved spending time with his uncle; he had become bored with his studies in puzzles, traps and science, and the secret lore of the Hunters of Legend under his Uncle Phineas' tutelage drew him in. Now his Uncle Phineas is missing, and Sky knows he wouldn't just run off, but no one, even his parents, appears to be concerned.

Never staying long in the same place, Sky's family has moved like hunted prey from place to place. School has been a tough place for Sky because he doesn't make friends easily. In Exile, Arkon Academy proves to be no different when Sky is confronted by the school bully Crenshaw and his cronies.

After learning the value of knowledge, Sky faces his fears and overcomes them in the face of danger while searching for his Uncle Phineas.

"Return to Exile" does have a bit of a rough start. "The metaphors/similes are a bit thick in the beginning, but they lighten up after page 50 or so," he writes on his blog Patten Pending. "I tried to keep readers engaged through humor."

In writing this new series, Patten wanted to create an original work. He was inspired by J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" and J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings." Creating characters that have complex histories and lots of hidden secrets, he creates a new world full of adventure.

Patten not only wove his personal experiences into the book but fairy tales as well. In "Return to Exile," Sky, Crystal, T-Bone, Hands and Andrew are all based on specific themes found in fairy tales.