ARC Review: Pull


Title: Pull

Author: Anne Riley

Series: N/A

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Release Date: February 16th, 2016


Four Stars

Rosie Clayton witnesses a mugging on her first night in London—and then the scene rewinds itself.

She finds herself standing in the same place again, with the mugging happening just like before, except this time a stranger steps in and stops it. There’s no way the same incident can have two outcomes. Rosie thinks she’s losing her mind, until just a few days later, the stranger saves her.

The stranger, Albert, and his band of misfit crime-fighters, have the special ability to Pull, which allows them to rewind just enough time to undo a recent event. Someone is hunting Albert and his crew—and now that Rosie’s been seen with them, she’s a target too. Rosie is left with no choice but to trust Albert to keep her safe.

As Rosie learns more about this unbelievable ability and the people – if you can call them that – who want them dead, she discovers that the group’s desire for her blood might be more than mere coincidence. Each step into this magical side of London introduces Rosie to a family history that she never knew existed, and dangerous forces that could unravel her world in an instant.

Her family may be the reason they’re all being hunted—and she may be the only one who can figure out how to save them. Sure, between the lot of them, they have a few shots to get it right. The thing about Pulling, though, is you have to be alive to do it.

– Blurb courtesy of

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

I don’t even know if I’m hearing it right.
‘Fight them. Fight them with all you have. And whatever you do, always protect our secret.’
The redheaded nurse walks around Papa’s bed to the heart monitor, and as she passes between the two of us, our eye contact is momentarily interrupted. Something almost tangible, like an invisible cord, snaps in two—
The connection is gone.

When Rosie and her family travel to London she isn’t expecting a fun family vacation; her grandfather is dying, with only three months left to live, and her relationship with her brother is fragile. However when they get to London the three months Rosie and her family are supposed to have with her grandfather disappear. They arrive at the hospital just in time to say goodbye, but for Rosie her troubles are only just beginning. She hears her grandfather’s voice in her mind; warning her of the Mortiferi and gifting her his talent.

Later that evening, trying to get out of the house for a while, she witnesses a mugging which ends with a kidnapping. Rosie tries to help but she’s too late to do anything. But then she feels the world implode and suddenly she passes the same girl on the heath once again. This time is different, this time instead of the thugs kidnapping the girl a boy appears from nowhere and saves her before anything bad can happen.

Rosie doesn’t understand what happened. How can one event have two very different endings? How can she have seen a girl get kidnapped and then suddenly see her saved by a mysterious boy who seemed to know what was going to happen before it did? Rosie is determined to find out what happened. But before she gets too far into her search she too is attacked. Once again time rewinds, but this time Rosie is closer to getting her answers

“She knew your name, Rosie. They’re hunting you.”
Terror shoots through my gut, but I shove it back down. I don’t care if information makes me vulnerable. I can’t live in ignorance just for the sake of personal safety when so much else seems to be at stake.
I’m going to find out just how deep this rabbit hole goes.

Albert is one of the Servator’s who live in London and, as well as his day job he can rewind time a few minutes and change something that happened; an attack, a mugging, an armed robbery, a bomb scare, but only if he’s close enough. Rosie is thrown head-first into a world of time-travel, Servator’s, Mortiferi, magic and danger. A world where she and her family are at risk because of who their grandfather was.

…The Characters

“A sharp pain begins in the base of my skill and works its way towards my forehead. I close my eyes and massage the back of my neck, wishing more than anything that I could crawl in bed and sleep for the next twenty hours.”

Rosie’s life seems to go from bad to worse the second she steps off the plane in London. She wants to spend more time with her grandfather but after just having arrived her family finds out that time has already run out, and then the same day her boyfriend of two years breaks up with her. She throws herself into the mystery of the talent her grandfather gifted her, and later what Albert and the other Servator’s are keeping from her. She is smart, determined, she doesn’t waste any time moping over the breakup or bemoaning her fate, and above all she is loyal to her family.

“My shoulders sag as he turns toward the register. I felt so close to connecting with him—like I was an inch away from unearthing the old Paul, buried somewhere inside this stranger I call my brother.”

Life hasn’t been kind to Rosie’s brother. He lost one of his friends back in Tennessee and ever since then he has been pulling away from his family, drinking, acting out, and hanging out with the wrong people. London is supposed to be a fresh start for him but the two guys he meets at his counselling session are bad news. Unable to warn her brother without telling him the whole truth, something she can’t do without him thinking she’s lying, Rosie tries to look out for him but every time she feels she making progress she says the wrong thing and Paul just pulls further and further away from her.

Rosie is constantly looking out for her brother. In spite of the gap between them she is determined to try and bridge it. She isn’t giving up on Paul just because he has given up on himself and she is determined to save him before he makes a mistake he cannot take back.

“The emotions on his face are rawer than I’ve ever seen them. He lives every day of his life knowing it could be his last, and even then, he wishes he could do more.”

Albert has had the ability to Pull since he was incredibly young, but he didn’t understand what it was until he met Rosie’s grandfather. He tried, and failed, the save someone he loved when he was a child and since then he tries to save everyone he possibly can. He works with the other Servator’s to try and save everyone he possibly can.

The relationship between Albert and Rosie is a very slow burn. It takes her a while to fully get over Stephen which was good to read, after dating for two years she isn’t going to get over him overnight. But she attracted to Albert; she likes him and respects his values when it comes to helping people but their relationship is slow to develop from friends to something more. They make a good team but there were times when he seemed too overprotective. Rosie may not have the training he and the others have had, and she may not have the knowledge the others have, but she is willing to learn and she is willing to do whatever it takes to help her brother.

…The Setting

“Been a while since I’ve looked at it. Let’s see. ‘Formed this fourteenth day of September, the brotherhood of the Servatores, now bound with common blood, vows to seek justice for the atrocities committed by Imperator Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus—'”
“Nero?” I echo. “These men formed an alliance against Nero?”
Albert nods. “It was just a couple of months after the Fire of Rome, which Nero was suspected of starting. He was crazy and brutal to his own people—you know all this, I’m sure.”

I really enjoyed reading this book set in London. The town Rosie was visiting, that her grandparents lived in, was well detailed and above all realistic. There is nothing that bugs me more than when a book is set in London but it doesn’t read as being set in London, when there are things referenced that either don’t exist in England or don’t make sense to me. However I didn’t really understand the time travel aspect of this book. It was a really good concept, the ability to travel back a few minutes to right a wrong that had been committed, but I never understood the actual rules behind it. It would have been nice to have it described a little more as it kind of felt like it was glossed over a bit.

All in all I really did enjoy Pull. I love time travel books and this was a really interesting concept, instead of being able to go back years and see all the things that happened tens or hundreds of years in the past what if you could only go back seconds or minutes. What would you end up changing?

What did you think of Pull? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.