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.
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
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!
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).
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
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.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
Melodramatic, swarmy, silly, not well written. Half way decent concept, just needs a good writer to do justice to it.
So many books, so little time...
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.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
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.
Having really enjoyed The Returned last year I was excited to see these short story prequels come out. In The First, we get to see how it all began with the return of Edmund Blithe and how this mysterious occurrence not only effects him but his fiancé and the rest of the world as they try to navigate through this unusual, frightening and exciting miracle.
It has been about a year since Emily's fiancé, Edmund Blithe, was hit by a bus and died. Edmund had proposed the day before he died and it has taken Emily this entire year to try and move on with her life. So imagine her surprise when the news shows Edmund, very much alive and being held somewhere in Washington DC after walking into work like no time had passed. Emily wants answers and sets out of Washington DC to try and find Edmund.
Edmund, for his part, has no recollection of his death and feels like he just woke up like any other day. After going to work and seeing the terror and surprise on the faces of his coworkers, Edmund is taken to Washington to answer round after round after round of questions. Scared himself and wanting to speak to Emily he is told he will need to wait to see her and needs to help those questioning him figure out what is going on. Everyone is fascinated and terrified of what this means and are determined to get to the bottom of it. But one man will be touched enough by Edmund's need to see Emily to help him make it happen.
Going back and forth between Emily and Edmund's points of view, The First is a fascinating look at not only the world's attempt to solve the mystery of why Edmund came back but the smaller, much sweeter, attempt by Emily and Edmund to come back to each other and reestablish that relationship Emily thought she had lost. It is short and sweet and very satisfying. I am excited to see where Mr. Mott takes the other two short stories!
I'm open to any book as long as it is true to itself.
This was exciting, interesting and you can't go wrong with it being free! This definitely hooked me into buying "The Returned".
I know this was only half an hour, but it made me eager to try the book The Returned. The premise is very interesting, and it really allows the reader to imagine what it would be like to return from the dead from the perspective of the no-longer dead and the loved ones and acquaintances of the no-longer dead. With that said, the perspective from the no-longer dead could have been a little more in-depth. I would freak out if I learned I hadn't been around for the last year, but the author seems to gloss over this a bit. This could be intentional, but the book may potentially have some logical gaps. Regardless, this had me excited to listen to the whole book.
I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.
Imagine a world in which the dead start coming back to life. They have no memories from when they were gone; they simply start appearing all over the globe. This is the premise of Jason Mott's novel, The Returned. In this prequel to the novel, the first of the returned is introduced. Edmund Blithe died a little over a year ago, but this morning, he showed up for work.
As if this were not alarming enough, Edmund's fiancee, Emily, only just stopped wearing her engagement ring. Now, she learns that he is back. The government has intervened to question Edmund, and Emily goes on a quest to find him and get him back. She and Edmund want nothing more than to be back together--despite the odds that are clearly against them.
I read this prequel because it was free, and the premise was interesting. By the time I was done with the story, I had pre-ordered The Returned. I was completely wrapped up in the story, and I was eager to find out what would happen to this couple as well as to the other returned and their families all over the world. Jason Mott has created a great story and a great marketing tool for his debut novel.
"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.
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