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What do you get when you combine an introverted kid with an overactive imagination, with a mom who preferred to read Tolkien and Pearl S. Buck, instead of Goodnight Moon? Apparently an avid fantasy reader and writer!
I can't think of a better way to spend a few hours (who am I kidding?- a few days) than getting lost in a good story. With just the right plot twists and character development, an author can pull you out of one world and into another.
Living in the PNW for the better half of a decade has greatly influenced my writing. The lush beauty of the natural world often provides the backdrop for my fantasy novels. I enjoy examining what it means to be human and playing with the wide array of possibilities this opens up in my writing.
While I would love to eat, drink, and breathe writing I have a little beagle who reminds me about the important things in life...mainly throwing his squeaky tennis ball until my arm falls off. That, and of course the all important food- for anyone who has ever had a four-legged friend of the beagle variety, you know full well how high food ranks in their world. Truthfully, I am pretty sure he would sell me down the river for a mere whiff of peanut butter. But hey, at least I would have a good story of how I came to be homeless and panhandling (my beagle made me do it, I swear!).
on Sep. 18, 2013 :
The Pull is Brooke Morris’ debut novel. It is a young adult fantasy following the main character, Maggie, who discovers that she is half faerie and half demon whose mother escaped from the Old World and into the New. Maggie is at her happiest when hiking and enjoying the forests and yet, in her dreams, she slowly watches forests dry up and wither away. But as she finds out more about who she is will she be able to save her Old World from dying? Whilst in the meantime she discovers that as a half-breed she was meant to be destroyed as her kind (half-breeds) are feared by others including faeries, demons, umbrokers, witches, dwarves and men!
Beginning very much from an average American teenage girl’s persepective, The Pull allows the reader to instantaneously connect and understand Maggie. Her parents are separated, she is living with her father and his partner but gradually Maggie begins to have strange, mysterious dreams. After meeting Andrew, a friend of one of her best friend’s brother, she feels a little more uncomfortable but this is just the tip of the iceberg! What is it about him that makes her feel so awkward? Surely he can’t be the one that enters her dreams?
One of my most favourite areas of this novel is when Maggie is dreaming. It is very mysterious and a little too real in parts and the reader goes through the process with Maggie in trying to establish whether her dreams are real or not. As the story moves on it does become clearer what is happening and why.
The Pull is complete with good strong characters in Maggie and Andrew. You never quite know what to expect from Andrew but whether his intentions are good or bad you can’t help but like him and his unpredictability. I am intentionally being a little vague as I wouldn’t want to give anything away and feel that to find out which ‘side’ Andrew lies is to be found out by the reader. Either way, I do like him and would have liked a little more tension between these two – not to say that there was none, but I do like to be on the edge of my seat!
The ‘Dark Force’ of the whole story is another half-breed, Damien, who we discover is the cause of the Old World dying. It’s almost like he is challenging Maggie to come out of the woodwork and face him, almost testing her to see how strong her powers are – even though he believes quite strongly that she will never be able to prevent the death of the Old World and ultimately herself. This is also where the reader has to decide which side of the fence Andrew lies. It appears he is being used by Damien to bring Maggie to the Old World through her dreams, and even as the reader begins to like Andrew we are still fully aware of one of his thoughts – that he needs to gain her trust completely in order for her to follow him to Damien!
The Pull is told mostly from Maggie’s point of view with small insights every now and then into Andrews thoughts. This definitely helps the reader to connect with Andrew even when he may not be being completely good to Maggie, however understanding or at least knowing his viewpoint does add to his likeability.
Maggie, on the other hand, is the main character and a good, strong heroine. Her point of view is told very clearly and a large part of her likeability is the fact that she is so like any one of us – with her confusion at times and her vulnerablities. And yet she has the courage to move on and try to do the best that she can even when she doubts or misunderstands how strong her abilities are or can be.
My main criticism throughout is that the story seems quite slow in parts and needs filling out. There wasn’t enough excitement at times to stop my mind from wandering, however the last few chapters were certainly more gripping. There were moments when I felt that the plot could have been a little more complex with more action and support characters being mentioned more often, however it all ‘pulls’ together in the end and Brooke Morris wraps the story up beautifully.
It wraps up so well that it could be a stand alone. However, as Maggie’s world is so vast and the characters are so well written it would be a shame to let this go. It is my understanding that The Pull is the first in a series. It will be interesting to see where Brooke takes the characters from here.
I would like to thank the author, Brooke Morris, for providing a copy of The Pull for the purpose of an honest and fair review.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 08, 2013 :
I want to start off by saying that I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. There were parts where I wasn't too impressed with and others that left me shaking my head, and yet I was practically laughing out loud throughout most of the book and I wanted to know what happened, and the goods definitely outweighed the bads, (or not so goods), in the end. The ending of this book leaves you wanting more, that is for sure. I really want to read the next one - I'm hoping there's a next one :)
I definitely would recommend this book for those who like supernatural books.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 25, 2013 :
This is an intensely gripping story featuring an emotionally tumultuous female as the main character, Maggie. She discovers her unknown past and a hidden realm that was kept from her since birth for her own protection. The vividly graphic images created by the author pull the reader into the story and we share in Maggie’s journey.
Maggie’s personality conflicts include being shy and introverted, yet lonely, and seeing herself as unworthy and undeserving of love and attention. With these beliefs running in the background of her being, she struggles with potent negative emotions that hijack her logic and cause powerful responses to what may seem to be simple incidents to the general observer. Despite this, her ardent compassion for the underdog and passion for living things bleed through and compel the reader to look deeper into Maggie’s soul.
Maggie uncovers and shares many female doubts and insecurities with the reader, helping us understand some of the more complex thoughts and feelings sometimes hidden in the female psyche. Through a tortuous journey, she grows more confident in herself and learns the power of True Self.
The ending raised the hairs on my neck and arms as my body responded viscerally to the powerful images, causing me to cry soft tears of loss and sorrow. Yet hope remains, and I eagerly look forward to the next story of Maggie’s journey.
(reviewed long after purchase)