Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Book Review: Lorali by Laura Dockrill

LoraliTitle: Lorali
Author: Laura Dockrill
Series:  n/a
Pages:  208
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: 2nd July, 2015
Source: For review via NetGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?


My Thoughts:
Before YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention), I'd heard about Lorali but I wasn't really sure that it would be my cup of tea. I've read a couple of other YA mermaid books several years ago, and while I did really enjoy them, I wasn't particularly interested in reading more. However, after meeting Laura Dockrill at YALC and hearing her talk about and read from the book, I decided actually it was something that I was interested in. And it was one of the strangest and most unpredictable books I've read in a really long time, but I enjoyed it!

The novel is told from three perspectives: Lorali - the mermaid princess who 'surfaces' and washes up on shore, naked and with new legs to replace her tail; Rory - the boy who finds her on the beach; and the sea. Firstly I couldn't get over the fact that the two main characters were called Rory and Lorali (Gilmore Girls, anyone?!), and secondly I was super intrigued by the sea's narrative. I think it was the first time I'd read from the perspective of something that wasn't human or animal! While I think that all of the characters could have taken a little more time to develop (it seemed just a little rushed), they were likeable enough and I enjoyed reading their stories.

I did really like Laura Dockrill's writing style, even if it did take a little getting used to. When Lorali first surfaces and is getting to learn how to form words into sentences, her narrative is stilted and really just a string of words, which sounds kind of confusing and kind of annoying but once I'd got used to it, I thought that it really fit with the naivety and child-like nature of someone who's never spent any time with humans or even on land.

The sea's chapters however were just plain weird. I could never anticipate what on earth would happen next, but this only made them more exciting and interesting. I'm not sure how necessary it was to narrate from the sea's point of view since it mostly followed the movements of a set of sea pirates but it gave a nice overview of everything that was happening in a way that isn't really possible with first person narration, so it worked in an unusual kind of way. Hopefully that makes sense! It was always really clear from the writing which perspective I was reading from, which in a three person (voice?) narrative, is vitally important.

Lorali was nothing at all like I expected but really good nonetheless. Don't be put off by the fact that it's a mermaid book like I was - it's so much darker than The Little Mermaid and mermaid princesses trying to find their princes! Complete with betrayal, wicked but dapper-ly-dressed pirates and lusty sea monsters, Lorali really does have a little bit of everything to keep you on your toes, and with a plot made up of a maze of unpredictable (and often just downright strange) twists and turns, it's not one to be missed.


*Huge thanks to Hot Key Books and NetGalley for allowing me access to this book in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the insightful review. I love hearing people's opinions on new books. I've added this one to my 'to read' list on Goodreads.

    Jess

    www.chasinglifeandme.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. P.S - I am now following you on Bloglovin. Love your blog. :) X

    ReplyDelete

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