Gavin Bellis

Ottawa

Even in a perfect world, wouldn't we dream of something more mundane?

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Conceptually compelling!

"To Dream" certainly falls under the category of dystopian, by and large, with the overall theme being the inability to dream and the constant struggle to right that wrong. I can certainly relate to that and I'm sure most of the audience can as well.

That said, I think this is a case of too much given away too early on, with not quite the right profoundness of plot to really make this dystopian shine. I might also add that the paragraphs have a way of running on without the reader. I understand that there are times where a paragraph does have to be that large, but those times are few and far in between. Some creative splicing might make this at least an easier read for us, combined with a more creative approach to how details are doled out.

With all of the above said, I have to take into account Catherine's age for having come up with this work. I reflect on where I was at that age and I didn't come anywhere close to this work. So without a shadow of doubt, she has the author's gift. I look forward to seeing it continue to evolve and grow!

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A deep, slow-building read

I'll start with the incredible level of detail written in "Pull," in just how much breadth and depth there seems to be on everything that leads up to the present point, all the backstory and all the struggles mankind or--whatever it had become--had to go through to survive.

An area I consider in need of improvement would be taking some of the power away from the narrator and returning it to the characters much earlier on. This reads more like a cross between someone's journal and a chronology, and I personally found it difficult to get into. The hook just wasn't there, but I can see how a few changes would put it there for me.

My bottom line here is that Pull has significant potential in the absolutely stunning level of lore and worldbuilding. I just felt like the plot wasn't included soon enough, and that could be fleshed out some more earlier on to entice a wider audience.

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Incredibly intense!

I have to say, the prologue alone made my skin crawl!

Now that that's out of the way, there's a clear understanding of people's emotions, made colourfully complex in the relationship between Connor and Leyla, that Travis has grasped perfectly in his writing style. It's written in the third person but you can just feel, almost all the time, as though it's still through Connor's eyes, with his vantage point on the rest of the world around him. Even the mannerisms of the narrator seem more Connor-ish.

I rather enjoyed how the prologue was a glimpse into the future, compared to the first chapter. It gives you that feeling that this is what's coming up, and you don't necessarily like it, but you just have to keep reading to connect the dots!

I've only gone a few chapters in now, but I know I'm enticed enough that I'll be finishing this novel. Even from where I am, I can highly recommend it to anyone who likes something that's clever, edge-of-your-seat intense and compelling you back for more.

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