A few days ago I came up with the bright idea of moving all my books out of the garage, where they sat in cardboard boxes within an incredibly loose sorting system, into the garden shed. The shed has stood empty for some years after the death of my father in law’s rabbit, and he’d offered it up to me as a book haven. I have since realised that moving them closer to the river that floods regularly may have been a terrible mistake.
The point is while I was half heartedly organising things, I was giggling along to Lorali and not really paying attention to the faults in my plans. Hot Key Books had kindly sent along my copy due to its eye catching shiny cover, and also mermaids.
Lorali is a mermaid Princess who, as Ariel did before her, decides that her time underwater has come to an end, leading her to the join the world of the humans, or Walkers. Her new home of choice – Hastings.
Rory, a swaggering teenager from Hastings, is the one who discovers Lorali, stark naked and alone. Rescuing her from torrential rain, Rory becomes drawn into Lorali’s plight as they are chased by dapper pirates and grubby Dr Marten wearing sirens.
Lorali (the novel) is narrated in chapters between Rory, Lorali herself and THE SEA, who is actually really hilarious. The Sea’s chapters tend to focus on the current or historical world of the Mer, and follows Mer-Walker liaison Opal Zeal as she attempts to make contact with humans in order to find the missing princess.
Dockrill takes a spin on the mermaid stories, with the introduction of mythology around their creation and their tapestries (their tails), alongside the very real threat they face from poaching. The world she creates is rich and believable, and I’m very much looking forward to returning there with the sequel Aurabel, due in June.
Let me get real a second though. What starts off as a witty, brilliant story of mermaids and embarrassing teen boys and lighthouses suddenly takes a turn at one point and becomes incredibly dark. I ended the book needing to lie down in a dark room to process all sixteen of my emotions.
It’s a book that made me giggle, cry, and flail, which for me is the mark of an intense read. Also I can only assume that Dockrill is also a Gilmore fan, which is always a point in someone’s favour.
Note: the GoodReads listing for this book also features the older cover in blue that was released in 2015. The cover pictured in this blog is the updated version published to match the sequel Aurabel.
What to read next:
- The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (no I’ll never stop recommending this one).
- Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff
- Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott
Thank you kindly to Hot Key Books who continue to keep me in good books. You are angels.