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The First (The Returned 0.5)

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  1,237 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews
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 myste
ebook, 28 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Harlequin Mira (first published May 8th 2013)
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The Holy Terror
Aug 19, 2013 The Holy Terror rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those that want a glimpse of The Returned
Not bad for a free story and sets things up for the full novel. I see no reason not to check it out now if you're at all curious about this author's debut. Keep in mind though that this doesn't paint the complete picture of the entire first novel, it's more similar to the vignettes that are scattered throughout the main book. So, if you didn't like this novella or think it's lacking something, that's because it is: the rest of the surrounding story.

This is a free short prequel on Amazon that
ᴥ Irena ᴥ

A man comes back from the dead a year after his funeral. His fiancée decides to find where the government keeps him.
People are scared and confused (at least in the USA). Elsewhere in the world, the uneducated savages kill their own returned.
It's possible I wasn't in the mood so take this with a grain of salt. The idea is good enough.
I have not read The Returned, so I have no idea what that book is like. I picked this (and two other) audiobooks up for free from Audible because I like having something quick and short to listen to while I clean or run errands etc.

So, coming into this story, I didn't know what to expect - horror, most likely - but I was surprised at how... mundane it was. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, though. I actually like when an author can show the mundane aspects of life and make me believe
Initial reaction: Quick review to come. Probably the reason why I enjoyed this as much as I did was because I read the audio version. It is a short story and snippet of Mott's debut novel "The Returned", but I thought it was a very good lead-in story, and I was drawn to it by the cast of characters. Not quite as intimate as I would've liked, but decent for this brief read.

Full review:

Quick review for a quick read. "The First" is a short story introduction to Jason Mott's "The Returned." I though
Nov 25, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nicola Mansfield
Having already finished reading the book "The Returned", I found out about this short story trilogy. So I went back and read this which is intended to be read as an introduction to the book. It also contains a preview of the novel. In the first chapter of "The Returned" Edmund Blithe is mentioned in one sentence as being the very first reported Returned. This is his story. It is a story of young love, the sadness of fresh grief and the feelings of starting to accept a loved one's death after a y ...more


The First is the first (pardon the redundancy) of several prequels to Mott's novel The Returned .
It tells us about the first returned, Edmund, who had died 1 year prior, before he and his fiancée Emily got a chance to get married. It is a short account of how the two of them, as well as the rest of the world, react to such an impossibility.


For the most part, I enjoyed listening to The First. The narrator was pretty good; he set a very fast
This was a super short story (a couple dozen pages, at most) that served as one of two prequels to Mott’s THE RETURNED, a book I haven’t read yet but have added it to my Want this because these little teaser stories certainly did their jobs in hooking me in.

THE FIRST is just a glimpse into the world that Mott created, one where the dead are coming back to life, and this particular story is centered around Edmund, the first guy to rise from the dead. Except he doesn’t know that he’s been dead for
Carolyn F.
Short story

It's hard to categorize this story. It's a romance, with a kind-of ghost so does that make it a paranormal romance? However, the ghost isn't really a ghost.

Whatever it is, it was wonderful. I'm planning on reading the other 2 prequels I have and start the rest (beginning?) of the series.
Read all my reviews on

Some time ago I read The Returned which features an interesting story on how people respond when their deceased family and friends return from the dead. Not as zombies, but they just are there again. Especially that idea I found intriguing.

The First is the first of three prequel short stories that belong with that novel, featuring the story of one of the returned each. In The First the story of the very first of the Returned is told, wh
This didn't suck me in like I expected it to.

None of the characters actually get to feel or process the emotions a return of a lost loved one will imaginably bring up. I'm not blaming the third person limited voice--that bit I actually liked--rather than the writing itself. It's the telling rather than showing and a terrible distance to the characters who are going through this upheaval.

It's a lukewarm first glimpse into the world of The Returned, but luckily the preview of the actual novel is
Wanda Hartzenberg
Dec 09, 2014 Wanda Hartzenberg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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 T
Colleen Turner
Jul 18, 2014 Colleen Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jordan Summers
May 13, 2013 Jordan Summers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very different kind of story. I have to say that I really liked the premise a LOT! Basically people begin returning from the dead. They don't realize that they've been dead, so they freak a lot of living people out. They don't remember their deaths, only everything leading up to them. Like I said, interesting. :) It has a melancholy mood to it, so if you're feeling down this might not be the best book to pick up.
Yna Fempia Paez
Jan 04, 2015 Yna Fempia Paez rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
One of three novellas written as prequel for The Returned by Jason Mott. I read it prior to reading the main book and being a novella, took me only about 25-30 minutes to finish, and so left me staring blankly when I was done. Because I couldn't and wouldn't really know how to critique this when I haven't read The Returned beforehand to get attuned to the author's style of narration or story tone or for what may be a better term, them feels.

It felt like your usual tragic romantic story, too shor
Dec 24, 2013 Giovanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Capisco che sia solo una novella, ma un po' di world building non sarebbe male.
Sep 30, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 c ...more
The First is a novella of The Returned, and as the title would suggest, the story is about the first of the Returned.

This short story, as well as the other two stories written in this mini-trilogy, take a look at the various ways people cope with death. That isn't me reading anything into the meaning of the stories, or making an interpretation. There's a preface that explains the purpose and meaning behind the series of prequels.

The story is supposed to be a more in-depth account of the first pe
Jul 29, 2016 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, e-book, 2014
The Returned was a lyrical novel of past and present, life and death, and pain and remembrance. It wasn't a particularly great novel, but it told a pleasant story about death while maintaining a very positive outlook. It's a book about people suddenly returning from the dead -- no zombies or rot here; the people just show up alive like no time has passed, without much of an understanding of what's happened to them -- and just before its release, the author and publisher released a series of e-sh ...more
* Attention contains minor spoilers *

I don’t feel I can give a justified rating here, as these are not really short-stories in a classic sense, they are merely longer vignettes, focusing on stories of love and loss, set around the events in Jason Mott’s The Returned, a novel in which the deceased suddenly, inexplicably return.

“The First” is the tale of Edmund Blithe, the first person to return one year after having died from a tragic accident, shortly after having proposed to his girlfriend.
Jul 08, 2013 Shaheen rated it really liked it
This novella is so sweet! It follows Edmund Blithe, who blithely turns up to work, alive and well, exactly a year after his death. Chaos ensues, and soon he's being questioned by government officials and hounded by the media. But he has no answers - he can't even remember being dead. According to his memory, he proposed to his girlfriend, Emily, a few days ago, and all he wants to do is see her again.

Emily has spent the last year trying to forget the man who died the day after he proposed to her
This short story is one of three prequels to the upcoming novel The Returned. I got this as a free download from the Kindle bookstore.

The basic premise of the book, this story, and the upcoming television series is that people are mysteriously returning from the dead as if nothing has happened. However, life has gone on for their family and friends, and no one knows what to make of the returned.

In this story, the first known of "The Returned," Edmund, shows up at work a year after his death from
Jun 28, 2013 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf

The First is the first prequel to the novel The Returned by Jason Mott (which should be out in September). And The Returned has already got a bit of hype around it. Brad Pitt's production company won a bidding war to turn it into a TV show and ABC has asked for a pilot (the show will be called Resurrection). So don't get confused over it with The Returned, Channel 4's french zombie thriller.

The First follows Emily. It's been a year since her fiancee Edmund died i
Aug 20, 2013 Tracey rated it liked it
The First is a prequel to the soon-to-be-released The Returned, in which people's deceased loved ones are returning from beyond.

A well-written prequel is a marvellous marketing tool for the book to come. In The First, Edmund Blithe is the first to return, a year since he was killed in a bus accident and with no knowledge of his passing. He turns up to work early and is surprised that someone seems to have taken over his cubicle. As his co-workers start to arrive they are surprised, horrified and
I was quite curious about this book. It sounded a bit like zombies and yet not so.

I truly loved this book, we get the viewpoints of both the Returnee and the woman who lost him a year ago.

It was a very touching story, one where I almost shed a few tears. How the woman was confused, but also happy that he was back. That she felt sorry that she tried to forget him, that she wanted to know why he is back. I loved that she just went to him, even though she knew it might be a bit before she could see
Scott Fabel
Sep 10, 2013 Scott Fabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
The First is one of three short story prequels to Jason Mott's debut novel The Returned, these stories are currently all available for free on Amazon and other ebook stores (I don't know if this will change in the future) and are a nice introduction to the world that the author has created. The novel already has a lot of hype surrounding it and has even been picked up by Brad Pitt's production company to be turned into a TV series so I was very curious to try these prequels.

In this story Emily h
Oct 15, 2013 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The forward to this book is so compelling that I knew I would read the other books in this series even before I started the first chapter simply because of the author's comments. I want to share excerpts from Jason Mott's comments about his motivation. " This story is born out of my novel, The Returned, about a global event in which long-deceased loved ones have begun returning from the dead.....We all have many methods and mechanisms help us conquer the silence left behind by the passing ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not quite sure what I expected going into The First, a prequel short to Jason Mott's intriguing new series, The Returned. I do know that I wasn't expecting to feel so much emotion reading something this short.

Emily lost her fiance, Edmund, to a freak accident a year ago. She has struggled to move on and only recently took her engagement ring off her finger. Life for her has been beyond difficult and every day has been a struggle.

Suddenly Emily's life is again turned upside-down when her mot
Nov 23, 2014 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Precuela de la novela Vuelven de Jason Mott (la cual acabo de reseñar), es la primera de una trilogía de precuelas que se centran en casos concretos de Regresados. Esta, como su propio nombre indica, The First, El primero, nos relata la vuelva del primer Regresado de todos Edmund (al cual se nombre en las primeras líneas de Vuelven). Edmund murió un año atrás en un accidente de autobús y su prometida, Emily por fin había conseguido pasar página de su muerte. Pero justo al conseguirlo este vuelve ...more
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Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Thomas Wolfe Review, The Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets, Measure and Chautauqua. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Week ...more
More about Jason Mott...

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