REVIEW: Aurabel

by Laura Dockrill

Pages: 304
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: June 1st 2017
Received From: Hot Key Books

It has been two years since Rory drowned, and Lorali is in Hastings, living the quiet life of a normal teenage girl. But her safe life on land won't last for long. Life in The Whirl has become a hotbed of underwater politics and as the council jostles to oust the king, one Mer in particular has her eye on Lorali as the key to her own rise to power.
Meanwhile, Aurabel, a lowly Mer from the wrong side of the trench, is attacked by sea beasts and left for dead - and without a tail. Raging with righteous anger, she rebuilds herself a mechanical tail and reinvents herself as a fearless steampunk Mer seeking revenge. But she never expected the most important job that was about to drop into her lap.

Okay so after Lorali I was a little sceptical about another book with half of it narrated by the Sea. However, there was something about Aurabel that had me hooked from the very beginning. I don't know if it was the need to find out what happened to Rory or the new characters that were introduced but the focus of this book captured my attention in a way Lorali fell just shy of doing. 

Aurabel follows on two years from where Lorali leaves off and with life under the sea more dangerous then ever before the question still remains... what happened to Rory? As well as this, Aurabel introduces new characters, most importantly Aurabel herself - a take no nonsense mer from the whirl's equivalent of the wrong side of town. Aurabel gets caught up in mer politics which has unimaginable consequences. With gritty, honest, magical and unfathomable plot twists this book tells the story all Lorali fans have been waiting for, in a way no one could have predicted. 

Okay so first things first The Sea... still not sold on the idea of this guy getting POV chapters, however, there was something about this book that meant I wasn't as frustrated by them as before. In the first book Laura Dockrill definitely didn't shy away from the grittier aspects of the story but with Aurabel there were moments that made my skin crawl. That's not a bad thing by the way! No, I love the fact the story doesn't sugar coat the situation, it makes a fantasy feel real and that is really hard to do as a writer. 

The characters in this installment, for me, were much more compelling and in a way Lorali almost felt like a set up book for this one. It meant I cared about Lorali and Rory enough to want to know what happened to Rory after he fell into the sea but it was this book where the story really took off. Reading as Lorali and Aurabel's worlds collide had me on tender hooks and their unlikely friendship was entertaining from the get go!

Overall this book was more then I expected it to be. It was fun, fast pasted and full to the brim with exciting twists and turns. With selkies, mermaids, sea monsters, amusements parks and even fake legs this book is a fascinating sequel that is full of adventures you don't want to miss!

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