Lorali - Book Review
UK PUBLISHER: Hot Key Books
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 came 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 has become human.
But along with Lorali’s arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the sea coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory’s bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collard 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?
The first time I picked up this book, I gave up after fifty pages. I recently tried again, and this time I persevered through the beginning - with its heavy accents, unique view points and unusual prose - and I eventually fell into the books rhythm. My confusion cleared and at last I became engrossed in the story — which turned out to be extremely unpredictable and entertaining.
During a freak rain storm, Rory finds a naked girl hiding under the pier near his house. Taking her home, Rory discovers Lorali is no ordinary girl, but a mermaid princess on the run -- and a group of blood-thirsty pirates are hunting her.
Vowing to protect Lorali, Rory is swept into world he never imagined existed. A world where legends are real and deadly. But can he protect Lorali from the dangers ahead? Or will love drown him as bit by bit, he loses his heart to the girl from the sea?
I ended up really liking this book. It’s author, Laura Dockrill, really has a flare for details and the story was brought to life in a really plausible way. Threaded between the chapters were news reports, forum discussions and messages - all gushing about the mermaid craze rocking the UK - and if a mermaid really did float herself down the River Thames, I could totally picture this big media-craze happening.
However for a fantasy, this book was surprisingly reality based which helped keep the plot grounded and relatable. It was also a story that teased the senses. With bold words and descriptions, I could practically smell the salt and feel the grime coating the pirates. I thought how the Harpies were depicted was particularly well done, and I loved the tragic backstories woven around each mermaid.
This book is also told from multiple points of view - one of which is the Sea! I particularly enjoyed the Seas perspective since through it, we got a lot of delicious insight into each character, as well as the backstory of how the Mermaids came to be.
The idea of mermaids being “salvaged” humans really appealed to me, and I thought their tails changing colour, creating a tapestry of the their personal stories was particularly invent full.
Otherwise in terms of characters - they were all interesting but I didn’t really connect with any of them in particular. Instead it was the ideas presented in this book that I enjoyed. The imagination, world building and backstory — these were things that kept me reading.
In terms of style, this book reminded me a lot of Sally Green’s Half Bad trilogy, something unique with prose that people will either love or hate. For me, I definitely fall into the first category, and despite my issues with the beginning, I’m really glad I gave this book a second chance.