REVIEW: Lorali


by Laura Dockrill

Pages: 337
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
Received From: Hot Key Books

Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical - this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted.
Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn't exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.
Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.
But along with Lorali's arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory's bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?

Lorali is the story of a girl that makes the decision to leave everything she knows behind and start a new life on two legs, for you see, before Lorali left the ocean she was a Mermaid!

The book follows not just Lorali but also the people she left behind and the boy she meets on land. It is one of those books that will have you second guessing what you thought you believed and reimagine the myths and legends surrounding mermaids. There is a harshness to the world under the sea and the fact Laura Dockrill chose to depict this world in a slightly darker way to which it is most commonly portrayed was really interesting to me. But the part I was most compelled by was the way in which Lorali's appearance on the coast of Sussex affected the people she met on two legs. It is a story filled with first loves, betrayal, new experiences, magic and the biggest secret of all... why did she run way from the sea?

Okay so as much as I did enjoy this book I do have some reservations. Once you get into it Lorali is such a fun read but being as it is one of those books with multiple POV it can be hard to keep my interest. You see the one thing I need is for the main protagonist to capture my heart, now Rory and Lorali did that but I struggled when it came to the chapters taken from the point of view of the Sea. It is an interesting idea and I found it compelling but I also found myself waiting to get back to the chapters told by the other characters.

The part I liked most about this book however, was the mix of modern story telling with moments of old worldliness. There are pirates, sea monsters and mermaids but Laura's take on them are not like anything I have ever seen before. The pirates wear suits for a start! But for me it is the mix of myth and reality, the way she depicts the two worlds crashing together was captivating and felt all too real. Internet forums on how to become a mermaid, mermaids down the Thames, deceit and so much more. Okay, I'm the first to admit I wasn't completely sold on the Sea POV but it really is an interesting idea.

Overall, Lorali is a unique tale of first loves, mermaids and the affect one girls choice can have on the world. It was funny, honest and full of exciting characters that will keep you entertained. If you haven't read this book yet then I would recommend giving it a read!

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