I’m not a fan of short stories. Rarely am I sucked into the story before it’s over, but I read them to pad my Goodreads Challenge list. Goodreads keeps reminding me that I’m 6 books behind where I want to be in order to read 24 books this year. It was with that goal in mind that I downloaded The Choice: A Prequel to ‘The Returned.’
I short 40 min. read, the plot is interesting–people are returning from the dead. How do the loved ones handle their return? Some have moved on with their lives, had more children, fallen in love again, married someone else.
At first, I was drawn in by the plot. “I might have to read the first book,” I thought, mentally spending my Audible credits. However, as the story progressed two things annoyed me. Mild spoilers follow.
1. I don’t like hypocrites. Don’t get your panties in a knot when someone does a lesser version of something you’ve been doing for a long time. If you are a closet drunk, don’t get upset when your 21 year old has their first drink. If you’re not being faithful, you have no right to fly off the handle when your husband wants to talk to an X. It’s human to do so, but it just annoys me and takes away from the plot. I would feel more sympathy for the character’s plight if they weren’t behaving in such a manner themselves.
2. The Returned, the people who have come back from the dead, have not aged. That’s fine except that when a forty year old man is reunited with his first love (now twenty years younger), she runs out of her parent’s house and leaps into his arms as if it doesn’t bother her that he’s old enough to be her father. They talk and carry on as though no time has passed at all. It’s utterly ridiculous and inconceivable. Regardless of whether this particular event is carried over into the first book, the event has tainted my faith in Mott’s ability to get me to suspend my disbelief and buy into the sci-fi world he’s created.
What do you think about half books? Should we create one for Blind Sight?
M E McMahon said:
I like short stories…I write short stories. But, when I read a book there are three things I want.
1. I want to be entertained (unless it’s non-fiction and then I want to learn something I didn’t know before.)
2. A beginning, a middle and an end.
3. To feel I got my money’s worth.
I ordered a book a few months ago and felt cheated at the end when I found that I would have to read three additional books to get the whole story. I felt cheated!
As for the character’s you describe, I completely agree with their deficiencies. If the reasons for the hypocrisy and for the ignoring of the age difference is explained or handled in the right way, the author might have been able to get away with it. From your review, I’d say the author failed to do so.
This was a great post!
“I ordered a book a few months ago and felt cheated at the end when I found that I would have to read three additional books to get the whole story. I felt cheated!”
I’m not understanding how this is different from reading a series, or do you mean than each book did not have it’s own beginning, middle, and end, that fit within an over-arching beginning, middle, and end?
M E McMahon said:
I only read the first book and the author left you hanging in the middle of the story…I believe that the purpose was to make you buy the next book to see what happens.
It sounds like you prefer one-off books to series, or books with a general theme rather than ones with an over-arching plot i.e. The Cat Who books by Lillian Jackson Braun rather than Harry Potter.
Having just finished Catching Fire and needing to immediately read Mockingjay, I think it’s brilliant writing on the part of the author to leave a cliffhanger, so long as there’s some closure to the story. For example, in The Hunger Games, there wasn’t a finality in the end chapters, but Collins didn’t leave them in the middle of the arena. It would be different if I had to buy the second book to know who won The Games.
I like writing short stories, but don’t like reading them. Weird, huh?
I don’t think that’s weird. In some ways it’s like separating work from hobbies. You can like cooking or writing, but as soon as you become a chef or author and it becomes work, it’s not as enjoyable.