Title: The Choice (The Returned 0.7)
Author: Jason Mott
Narrator: David Ledoux
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Speculative Fiction
Length: 40 minutes
Source: Audible (free)
A man finds out that his teenage sweetheart, who mysteriously vanished when she was 17 years old, has now returned. He is faced with choosing between her and his family – wife and daughter.
I would like to think that I am usually not this negative or spoilery in my reviews, but The Choice was a bit less than an ok tale to me, and I cannot really explain why without giving a bit of the story away.
First of all, I wasn’t much of a fan of the narrator because of the constant flairs he did with his voice – it all sounded very dramatic and over the top, like he was trying to make a really lame premise sound so exciting and agonizing – which he kind of did.
Also because I could not easily tell which character was talking. For instance, shortly after we start hearing about a couple anxiously waiting for their daughter to arrive, watching her car getting closer and closer, the story shifts to a different couple who has a six-year-old daughter and it took me a while to notice this wasn’t the same one as before.
Oddly enough, I only realized it because I remember the first woman calling her husband Nathaniel and the second one called him a different name.
But the main thing was that, comparing to the previous two prequels to The Returned, this was just not as enjoyable. I felt there was a whole lot of nothing. We could say the same about the others, especially the second one, since there wasn’t much action there either; we basically got to know a bit of the past and present versions of a couple of characters. But it had a depth that this story simply did not have.
Most of the time we are hearing about 35-year-old Peter going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, wondering how his life got to how it was, because his teenage sweetheart, his first love, who had disappeared without a trace while they were madly in love is now back from the dead, along with all the other Returned.
I suppose this premise had potential, but the way it was developed simply did not cut it for me. There was a whole lot of build-up for, well, not much of a conclusion. It was the only thing possible, really.
I mean, teenage love, especially first love, is not supposed to last forever, save very few and rare exceptions, right? Especially when you have actually built a life with someone who may be flawed (so very conveniently in this case) but who loves you and you love them. And who you have a kid with.
Sorry about giving the ending away but, really, there is not much to the story. It is the first time I actually do not recommend something, even though it is free. We don’t even get to know Tracy at all! Or why she disappeared in the first place or what was done to her – now that could have been a real moment of horror.
And no one even seems to notice that Peter is twice Tracy’s age, themselves included, let alone make any comments about it or have any weight on Peter’s decision.
Just no… This was a one-dimensional story that I could have done without.
Listened to from April 29 to May 01, 2015