Reviews - What do customers think about Return from the Hunt?
Timeless Tales 4 stars review Oct 28, 2003
by M. Freeman
This is the second book in a trilogy. In the first, five boys had been thrown back in time. In this one, "Return from the Hunt" only three boys return; Peter, Mike, and Davey. It has been four months since their return and still they struggle. After learning to survive in the brutal past it is hard to adjust to the relative ease and boredom in the present. This changes when they become the target for bullies. How they deal with the bullies brings them to the attention of Davey's Grandpa and Mike's father, both former military personnel that had served in the same unit at one time. Peter confesses to them about where they had been for the last year and they accept it. After another confrontation with the bullies, Mike's father tells the boys they need to be "debriefed" and brings together old army buddies to form the "Group" to help train the boys and guide them. In the midst of this, Peter finds that the 'ghost' of the Duke they had supposedly killed is living as an entity within his mind.
Meanwhile a custody battle is being waged over the fate of Peter. His father wants him to live with his Aunt Ina, a devout Catholic, and attend a private Jesuit school. His mother wants him to do as he wishes, which is live with his Aunt Jean and cousin Davey and attend public school. This finally brings the parents to see him at Christmas time to settle the matter. To assist with this problem the current Duke steps in to lend financial and legal help. The Duke is also a former military member and is part of the "Group". He also encourages and supports the training of the boys. All this leads up to the question of whether Peter, Mike, and Davey are going back. They have a promise to keep to the long dead Duke (now occupying Peter's mind) to protect his infant son until his majority.
I found this a much less interesting book than the first. The characters were largely two dimensional and unbelievable. The fact that Peter's parents did not even physically see him until six months after his return, I found highly implausible. Most parents I know would have been there as soon as possible especially after a year-long disappearance. Secondary characters seem to pop up at a whim and conversations were long, stilted, and redundant. I found it hard to accept that, even after a year in the harsh conditions of the past, Peter and his fellow time-travelers could lead or direct seasoned military veterans decades older then they. (Not to mention the fact that the adults unquestionably believed the boys' fantastical tale and assisted in training them.) This is clearly a transitional novel toward the inevitable conclusion of the next. I feel that young readers (thirteen to fifteen) may find this entertaining, but as an adult I found it harder to enjoy.