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The First: A Prequel to 'The Returned' | [Jason Mott]

The First: A Prequel to 'The Returned'

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. 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.
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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

3.5 (472 )
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3.6 (407 )
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3.7 (404 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maddy 08-07-13
    Maddy 08-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clydene San Diego, California 08-16-13
    Clydene San Diego, California 08-16-13 Member Since 2004

    So many books, so little time...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-06-13
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2005

    A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "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.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-16-14
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    7
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    Story
    "same as Resurrection"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The First to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the book but have watched the resurrection from the beginning, and if they have followed closely to the book than I am hooked.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 12-10-14
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 12-10-14 Member Since 2012

    Wandah Panda

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "I saw the tv series, then found these for free."

    As I said, I first saw the TV series then found these three books for free on audible and I was delighted. These are short stories, each depicting the return of one person and the impact it has.

    The narrator is very cool and calm in his story telling method which adds to the over all chilling effect of the stories.

    That said, I found these stories to be very dark and for now, although I think this is a brilliant way to promote the full length novel, I will wait a bit before I buy the novel.

    The TV series, although dark enough does not really convey the start reality of what it is like to have a loved one return from the dead, in that aspect these books should get a 5* rating for in these stories that reality is all too clear. Unfortunately the narrator is so good at his job that these stories, although I did not listen to them one after the other left me drained.

    If dark and gloomy is your thing, then you will adore this. If not, why not give these a try in anyway they are free after all.

    WaAR

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colleen T. Land O Lakes, FL 07-18-14
    Colleen T. Land O Lakes, FL 07-18-14
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    "Wonderful Prequel To The Returned"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gudrun Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories, Canada 01-02-14
    Gudrun Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories, Canada 01-02-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm open to any book as long as it is true to itself.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exciting and Interesting"

    This was exciting, interesting and you can't go wrong with it being free! This definitely hooked me into buying "The Returned".

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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