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The First Audiobook

The First: A Prequel to 'The Returned'

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Publisher's Summary

In Jason Mott's haunting and unforgettable debut novel, The Returned, an impossible miracle is occurring all across the globe. Read how it all begins in this short story, The First.

It's been just over a year since Edmund Blithe died, and just over a month since his fiancee, Emily, stopped wearing her engagement ring. Emily has finally begun to move on… Until Edmund mysteriously and inexplicably returns, sending the world - and Emily - into a tailspin.

Edmund is only just the beginning. Around the world, people's loved ones are returning from beyond, seeking only to reenter the lives they left behind. As the world dives deep into uncertainty, Emily and Edmund are determined to find their way back to one another…even if it means risking everything.

The reappearances continue in The Sparrow, and look for The Returned from Harlequin MIRA, a moving tale of a family given a second chance at life and a world where nothing - not even death - is certain.

©2013 Jason Mott (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (636 )
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3.7 (554 )
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3.8 (548 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Madeleine Poe 08-07-13 Member Since 2007

    Wife, mom, grandma, great-grandma. Avid reader with eclectic taste. Yarn artist in knitting and crochet. Love dogs, birds, flowers, books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Under the Spell"

    Whatever sort of magic Jason Mott weaves, he has completely captivated me in the 34 short minutes of this prequel. As one who is easily disappointed by this genre, I am actually looking forward to August 27 and the release of The Returned.

    The prequel promises much while not giving away anything - a difficult trick to pull off! During this brief introduction to Edmund and his "situation," which is apparently not limited just to him, the narrator immediately brings to life the author's portrayal of the characters' personalities.

    Both writer and performer have left me spellbound and anxious for the story to continue. Well done

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 09-24-13
    AudioAddict 09-24-13

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

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    "Free Book - Short Story - Great Concept!!"

    STORY - This is the first of three prequels to a book called "The Returned," which just came out last month. Each prequel is apparently the story of a different person's unexpected return from the dead, a phenomenon which is starting to occur all over the world (but this book is the first occurrence). What a great marketing concept -- release a few prequels of different occurrences to get people salivating, then hit the market with the story that ties them all together and explains everything. Brilliant!

    I don't know if I'm going to buy "The Returned," as the reviews are not too great, but this prequel was very enjoyable. I actually got chills...a young woman finds that her dead fiance is alive again. OMG!

    PERFORMANCE - Good enough, nothing special.

    OVERALL - It's free, it's short, it's good. What are you waiting for? (It makes a nice little break when you're listening to a long book).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 08-11-13
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "The jury is still out"

    This short story preview shows that there is an interesting premise and potentially good book coming in The Returned. But I detected some weaknesses in the writing and narrating of The First that has me hesitating to order the next installment, and both have to do with Emily's mother. The bad southern accent in near-falsetto is distracting to listen to, and her POV telling her distraught daughter not to be so excited about about her beloved Edmund returning to life (don't worry, he'll call you when he can) is joltingly out of sync with the fear and awe the should accompany the cosmically mysterious event. Although the summary of The Returned suggests a completely different cast of characters (so perhaps I'd never hear Emily's mom again), I still wonder about the author's ability to develop characters whose actions appear consistent with the strange circumstances.

    Short stories and novels are very different writing forms, and perhaps author Mott is better at the second than the first. But I think I will await some reviews of The Returned before deciding if it is a stronger effort than the short preview.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-06-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-06-14 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

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    "Melodramtic"

    Melodramatic, swarmy, silly, not well written. Half way decent concept, just needs a good writer to do justice to it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-06-13
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2015

    Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?

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    "I see dead people!"

    Suddenly her fiancé who died over a year ago shows up for work. Seemingly healthy, with no memory of his death or how he got there, the mystery is not just how but why? And it's happening all over the world!

    It's free and I'm thankful, but I'm just not curious about how or why.

    It seems well written and certainly well read.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clydene San Diego, California 08-16-13
    Clydene San Diego, California 08-16-13 Member Since 2014

    So many books, so little time...

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    Story
    "Very Interesting."

    The story is interesting, but I hope it dosen't end up like the 4400 did. It is hard not to see the tparallel in some instances, although they didn't appear out of a lake. Still the return of dead people is interesting. to see how the story will progress.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Alumbaugh Waco,TX 09-30-15
    Lauren Alumbaugh Waco,TX 09-30-15

    Lauren Alumbaugh

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    "Entertaining and new storyline"
    What did you love best about The First?

    That it is a fresh and unique sTory line not your cookie cutter book


    Any additional comments?

    I downloaded the three available prequels off of audible to see if the story interested me prior to purchasing the entire book. I'm fairly certain this is the first prequel. the book was interesting and had a unique story line about people coming back from the dead a year after they had passed away which naturally would shock your loved ones. the story leaves you guessing on quite a few fronts which typically happens in a short story since you're not getting the full and complete story. I will continue on to read the other two prequels

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexa wickey Indianapolis, IN 05-08-15
    Alexa wickey Indianapolis, IN 05-08-15 Member Since 2016

    Lexi

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    "Liked it"

    I liked it. It was well written and the narrator was believable. I immediately made sure I had the other short stories/prequels downloaded and now I am even spending a credit on the first actual book. I think it's a very interesting concept.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle (AKA PlantCrone) in the great NorthWest OREGON 04-01-15

    ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A s0-so shortie prequil"

    Maybe worth the couple of bucks it cost, this 40 minute prequel is fairly blah. I purchased all 3 prequels after I'd heard the story and frankly, it is a waste of money by them. Listen to them first if you plan on listening to The Returned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy United States 03-20-15
    Nancy United States 03-20-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Not bad"

    What a clever idea. I don't know this author, I think he's fairly new. So he offers 3 free prequels to his first book! What can you lose? And to top it off the narrator is very good and the story may be OK. I' listen to the other two freebies and then decide if I want to buy the real book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • nicole
    United Kingdom
    9/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story, couldn't get on with narrator"

    This story is interesting enough that I would have been tempted to buy the book. I love the idea of having short stories leading up to the novel. My problem is that I simply can not get on with the narrator. I have returned another book by a favorite author (R.A. Salvatore) for the same reason. Instead of my usual problem with narrators, which is that they are too monotone and robotic, Victor Bevine reads the words almost poetically and can do a range of voices, which is brilliant. However, he is very emotional, which can work to create a sense of pace but when it's all the time it becomes jarring. There seemed to be more emphasis on what the story sounded like, than on telling the story itself. This left me feeling that there was an emotional disconnect between him and the actual story, as though he had only one way of reading, regardless of what was happening in the reading material.

    My advice would be to try this as it is free and can give you a great idea of what author and narrator are like. I will personally be looking out for Jason Mott in the future.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • sar1386
    London
    1/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great start to the prequels"

    This was really touching and enjoyable, just the mere thought of putting yourself in Emily's position and having a loved one return who had passed would be amazing! This book was very well thought out, looking forward to continuing the story😀

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • toveyc1
    1/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably the least entertaining of the sequals"

    Out of all the prequels to the original book The Returned, this is probably the weakest but it is nice to delve back into the world and it is a nice starting point.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • michala pendleton
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent."

    I am looking forward to continuing the story. X
    It was gripping and interesting with the love story running through the centre of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Nottingham, United Kingdom
    7/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Human emotions"

    Life after Death... Is there life after the death of a loved one? Those who experience it doubt that. But what happens when the dead loved one turns up 'alive'?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. P. D. Selman
    Kent, U.K.
    5/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good start"
    Would you listen to The First again? Why?

    I wouldn't listen to this short story on its own again but if I was going to listen to 'The Returned' again, I would listen to the three prequel short stories (of which this is the first) again, too.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character was probably Edmund Blythe because he seemed like a really nice guy coping as well as could be expected in completely unprecedented circumstances.


    What about Victor Bevine’s performance did you like?

    I thought the narrator's voice really suited the story and I'd definitely listen to audiobooks narrated by Bevine in the future. The only reason I didn't give him 5 stars was because I felt he should have left a slightly longer gap between scene changes. The complete lack of a pause between scene changes was a little confusing at times.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    'This movie is based on a 30 minute short story so expect more unnecessary padding than the Hobbit movies!'


    Any additional comments?

    This doesn't work as a stand-alone short story in its own right, but it works really well as a teaser for the novel. I can't imagine anybody reading this story and not wanting to read the novel to find out what the bigger picture is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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