Saturday, 18 July 2015

Review: Lorali by Laura Dockrill

Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Length: 337 pages

Huge thanks to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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?

I’m not usually a fan of mermaid books, so I was dubious picking this one up, but knowing that Laura had written it made me curious regardless of the content. I’ve loved Laura’s books in the past –the prose is so incredible and vibrant – and I think that Lorali may actually be my favourite novel of hers yet.

This book is like nothing I’ve read, it’s strange and alien and beautiful and dark. It’s a stunning novel told from three viewpoints – Lorali herself, Rory the human boy who finds her and the sea. Yes that’s right, one of the points of view is from the sea herself and it is stunningly done.

I got lost in this book, completely swept away and couldn’t put it down once I’d started reading. I fell in love with the little seaside town and it reminded me of Thisby from The Scorpio Races in places. It was vivid and wild and filled with unexpected magic.

I fell in love with the characters. With Lorali’s short staccato sentences as she finds words and learns to use them. With Rory’s all too human voice, his slang his kindness and disbelief. And with the sea whispering from all the other corners of the world created – from Opal finally finding a place for herself, to the Abelgare pirates who were some of the most incredible mixture of cut throat and lost boys I’ve ever seen depicted, to Iris and Flynn and their quiet warmth and support.

The story slipped inside me, changing constantly as soon as I thought I had it pegged for a particular story type. It is a glorious mixture of everything, thrown in together to create a truly incredible book. I loved the strangeness and the wildness, I loved the characters and the humour and darkness.

This is an extraordinary book and I am so glad I put my preconceptions of mermaid books aside to pick it up.


  1. It's such a gorgeous book and I've never read anything like it. Lovely to see you today!

    1. It was incredible and not anything that I expected. It surprised me and completely blew me away! So lovely to see you too!