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The Sparrow

(The Returned 0.6)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,125 ratings  ·  127 reviews
In this short story by Jason Mott, author of The Returned, one determined couple seeks to reunite a young girl with the father who thought he had lost her forever...

When Heather and Matt Campbell find ten-year-old Tatiana Rusesa on the side of the highway, she is thousands of miles away from her village in Sierra Leone. She hasn't seen her family in almost two decades, not
ebook, 25 pages
Published June 13th 2014 by Mira Books (first published July 1st 2013)
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,125 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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I listened to this audio with my mom while we were driving to Pittsburgh to see my nephew/her grandson... which was well over two weeks ago. It's been bugging me that I haven't reviewed it since then because I usually review immediately... but rather than actually get on the ball and do that, I just kept piling additional stuff onto the "finished but haven't reviewed" list.

Yay, consistency!

Anyway. So now I'm recovering from a crazy business trip to Dallas (OMG, Spirit Airlines, you do realize t
Definitely read this before you tackle the novel; it'll make you, well, appreciate isn't really the right word, but it'll add more weight to the novel than if you wait to read it after like I did.

Both this and the first novella, The First, are free introductions to this world and you can get them on Amazon. The third short story, The Choice, comes out on August 1st and is also free, but I don't think anything can top Tatiana's story, the one included in this book. I hear this is going to be a TV
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I decided to go back and retread this after finishing the full novel. Something just doesn't ring true. There are discrepancies between this short story and the very short chapter about Tatiana presented in The Returned. At first, I wondered if maybe they were different characters who shared a name. But that doesn't seem to be the case, as both were found in Michigan.


In the short story, it is her father who is the primary creator of the bedtime stories, but in the novel, we
Read all my reviews on

This was another short story released to interest people in The Returned, and focusses on the story of a little girl. Apparently she's also mentioned in the novel, but I didn't remember that.

Of all the three short stories (there's also The First & The Choice, this one stayed with me most. Even though it is also very short and this is very obvious in the ending, which feel more than just a little bit rushed, I quite liked it. I only
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Secondo prequel di The returned: continua ad incuriosirmi,anche se inizio a vederci un po' la trama del telefilm "4400",anche se lì non erano persone morte a ritonare,ma scomparse misteriosamente da molti anni.
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
*Cross-posted on BookLikes and Wordpress.

The Sparrow is a huge improvement over its predecessor The First. Whereas The First serves as an introduction to a world where the dead suddenly return alive, The Sparrow delves into the moral issues that arise from it. Are the Returned human? Are they still the people they were when they died? How is this possible: Is it magic or can science explain it? And do we sacrifice our humanity in seeking the answers to these questions?

Married couple Heather an
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short story is the second of three prequels to the upcoming novel The Returned. I downloaded this for free from the Kindle bookstore. This review is based on the short story only and not the excerpt.

In The Returned, this story and the other prequels, and the upcoming television series, 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, a couple finds
The second book in this prequel series and another one that I truly loved.

I absolutely adored the little girl, and I was really sad about her past and what eventually happened that led to her and her mom's death. Sooo sad. :(

And then she returns, finding herself in the middle of nowhere, kilometres away from home or any place that she recognizes. Luckily there are 2 people who drive past and take her in.

I absolutely loved the woman, she was sweet and albeit a bit selfish, she had good intention
Everything I said about The First applies to The Sparrow as well. Written in third, telling rather than showing, there's a distance to the characters—-which actually works better here than in The First.

This is a story about a couple who finds a Returned, a little girl, and takes her home. Again the issues of a dead person coming back to life and others' reactions to it are barely touched upon. There's simply no time for it at all.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in the trilogy of prequels leading up to The Returned. It's fun to go back and read these since I'm picking up an audio of The Returned from the library in the next few days. This short takes place about 6 weeks after the return of Edmund, the first returnee. A young couple, Matt and Heather, find Tatiana standing on the edge of a busy highway. She's only ten and they believe she may be from Africa. Heather is immediately taken with Tatiana and wants to help her find her family...Matt ...more
Carolyn F.
Such a sad little story. I felt so sorry for the mom - to be left out of everything. And the dad should feel guilty, things wouldn't have ended the way they did if he'd taken care of them!! Good story.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoyed The Returned, check out these three prequels. Quick reads. They offer a little more background to the story.
Any Length
Just a novella. Short story more like to prepare us for "the Returned".
Patricia Parsons
Good short read

Love the show, after starting to read the book I realized that it was from the show. Good short read.
linda bradshaw
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it

Love the story idea and can't wait to read the returned. It's a brilliant story line and can't wait to find out where its going.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Rating: 4/5


In this second prequel to The Returned, we are told the story of Tatiana, a 10 year old girl from Sierra Leone, who is found near a highway by Heather and Matt Campbell. As Heather struggles to find Tatiana's family, we can see that her husband has a very different idea about the girl and all the other Returned.


I enjoyed this prequel to The Returned more than the first one, The First. It is not action driven at all - you know this
Jun 20, 2014 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.
The Sparrow is the second 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.

When Heather
I don't know if I enjoyed The Sparrow as much as The First - I think it deals with weightier issues, and in such a short book, it feels disjointed and stilted. Whereas The First is about the very first person who comes back from the dead, The Sparrow deals with the darker side of the phenomenon.

When Heather and Matt find a little girl who's been Returned, Matt is more interested in studying her - hoping to be the first person to crack their mysteries, than taking care of her. Heather just wants
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second prequel (prequel sequel) to The Returned, The Sparrow introduces the listener (reader) to ten-year-old Tatiana Rusesa, returned nearly two decades after she and her mother were killed by soldiers in Sierra Leone, and found on the side of the highway by Matt and Heather Campbell.

I enjoyed this story more than The First. I think this is partly due to the narrator, who is excellent, and partly due to the story. The events of The Sparrow take place six weeks after The First and thousands
Scott Fabel
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 second prequel to the novel, another of the returned is introduced. Ten-year-old Tatiana Rusesa, who has returned almost 20 years after she and her mother were killed by soldiers in Sierra Leone, was found on the side of the highway by Matt and Heather Campbell.

Tatiana's story
Wanda Hartzenberg
Dec 09, 2014 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
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, english
Otras de las precuelas de Vuelven de Jason Mott, en esta ocasión la segunda, en la que se nos cuenta la historia de una niña de color. Su título, The sparrow, La golondrina, hace referencia a un cuento escrito entre la niña regresada y su padre. Tatiana, nuestra protagonista, es una niña de color, con el pelo trenzado, como se ve en la silueta de la portada que regresa, como les pasa a los demás y es acogida por un matrimonio (lo que en cierto modo recuerda a Jacob en Vuelven. Este matrimonio ti ...more
In THE SPARROW, another super short prequel to THE RETURNED (only a couple dozen pages) it goes a bit more in depth to a few of the characters, namely Tatiana and her history, and it made me love the story all the more. You get to see how this event is dividing people (Heather and Matt, who took Tatiana in) and how it’s reuniting people (Tatiana and her family) and it pulls at so many emotions and it really makes you think what you’d possibly do in that situation.

Because really, how would you re
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questo, dei tre prequel di The Returned, è forse questo che mi era meno vicino emotivamente, non fosse altro per la situazione narrata. Heaher e Matt hanno due reazioni decisamente agli antipodi al fenomeno dei Redivivi, come certamente tanti altri nel mondo: lei non può evitare di rapportarsi con la bambina trattandola appunto come una qualsiasi altra bambina che ha smarrito i genitori, quindi come una persona vera; lui vede nei Redivivi, soltanto delle cose sbagliate e contro natura e non ries ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-release, kindle
In The Sparrow, book 0.6, there's a lot more going on. I liked this one very much. A girl returns from the dead and a couple finds her. What do they do? What do they believe? This story was about how faith or lack of it can cause a rift between people, how if you have never experienced loss, you may not understand what you've gained. Even the stories the little returned girl tells made me stop and nod my head thoughtfully. "If we have not been sad, then we cannot be happy."

This short had deep me
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Before I properly review it, I would say that I recommend reading the prequels before reading The Returned. I read the novel first as an Advanced Reader's Copy, and while I absolutely loved it, the chain of events in that book tainted how I viewed this short stories.

With that said, I preferred this story to the first one. It was interesting to see the point-of-view of a family that took in someone with whom they had no previous contact. You get to watch the breakdown of a marriage because one wa
Nicola Mansfield
The second prequel short story is even more compelling that the first one. This time the focuses is on parental love and the child's love of parent. Countering that is the effect on another couple in which the wife has a deep maternal instinct and the husband has no corresponding paternal ones. The return of a little girl from war torn Sierra Leone of the 1990s brings closure, love and the end of guilt to one family and the realization of what is missing and eventually the end for another family ...more
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Another short story related to The Returned by Jason Mott. I really liked the characters in this one and look forward to hearing more about them in the full novel.

In this story you see the differing reactions people have to those who have "returned"... some responding to them with empathy and with emotions related to those they've lost in their own life... and some responding to them as if they are less than human, with no soul. I expect that this will generate a lot of tension in the full novel
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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

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