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.
Quick review for a quick read. "The First" is a short story introduction to Jason Mott's "The Returned." I thought that this was a very decent, self-contained story which would lead into some of the mysterious happenings of Mott's novel. This showcases a tale of lovers separated by death and a woman grieving her loved one before they had the chance to marry. At least up until the point he shows up a year later going to work as if nothing had happened. He's alive, and pretty much everyone freaks out at his reappearance (his coworkers especially).
I liked the way this traded between perspectives. The poor guy has no recollection on how he died, but he's desperate to get back to his beloved, as is she to him. Throw in a nail-biting scenario of reunion and then you get the collective measure of this tale. If there were one thing I didn't like as much about this story - it would be the fact that it didn't quite go as intimate with the character perspectives as I would've liked. Much of their emotions are told to you, though the situations are emotionally invested and interesting to see unfold. I found it a nice starter, and I'm looking forward to reading "The Returned" when I have the chance.
Excellent audio reading by Victor Bevine.
Overall score: 3.5/5 stars