Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lorali by Laura Dockrill.

Publish date- July 2015.
Publisher- Hot Key Books.
RRP- $16.95 (AUD)

Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
A retelling of The Little Mermaid. I'm sorry- I really don't know what else to say.

Thanks to Hot Key Books for this review copy!
Image source: Five Mile Press.

What I thought:
Lorali was a beautifully designed cover that held a story full of things I dislike with a furious passion. It bought out my sticky notes in all their power and my copy has 25 in varying colours throughout it, one marking a paragraph that was rather amusing and clever, showing the Sea as rather deliciously sarcastic and wily. The rest... were little notes for my fury and anguish.

This book, apparently a reimagining of The Little Mermaid, only my favourite fairytale, is told from the point of view of Rory, the guy who finds Lorali, the mermaid who came up out of The Sea, who conveniently shows us any other area of action that could potentially involve salt water and be of interest to the story. This last one was an interesting move, but felt far too contrived (and the sea kept asking if I wanted to do such and such and assuming my answer was always yes, which annoyed me endlessly) for me to enjoy.

It’s quite a peculiar book, feeling MG except for all the derogatory terminology and sexual references; the characters didn’t seem like they really fitted their placement. It reminded me, in the feel and moments of that peculiar darkness, of Fairytales for Wilde Girls, although in the end I enjoyed that a lot and this, this left me infuriated and angry.

So let’s really get into that, shall we.

*Lorali’s POV was, for around half the book, told in single. Words. Intense. Expressions. Occasionally a sentence. Mostly. Just. Single. Words. And that was annoying.
  • Rory is a bit of a git and, character that he is, he hates (on sight) people (okay, sirens, although I’m pretty sure they were meant to be harpies- the descriptors were kinda inaccurate) why like sex because they are sluts.
  • The siren/harpies have very explicit, out of place scenes (as told by The Sea) that always felt rather off and put a bad taste in my mouth. It was like they’d been pulled from an adult story and put into a MG-YA.
  • The use of online sites and newspaper articles to show the mermaid mania was really not an element of enjoyment for me. The articles seemed to take the mermaid’s word as truth at a moments notice and didn’t feel professional, and the sites... had over indulged in pop culture terminology to an extent that Lydia Bennett would’ve faltered at.
  • Rory, him again, seemed a self conscious type- possibly this is already obvious- although I never realised that being happy for someone and having a lingering look makes you lose matey-points and seem like a pervert.
  • There’s a really weird sex scene. It’s just... really odd.
  • Rory (!!!) also mentally calls people tarts. Because he must protect his previous Lorali from the nasty tarts.
  • Predictable dramatics.
  • Squinty (and predictable) insta love. And I mean love-love.
  • There seems to be an odd focus on these women (not the siren/harpies, though, because we’re kind of supposed to hate them like Rory, I felt) being small, lean, etc. but still being curved perfectly. I sense perfect bodies being a theme.
  • The disgusting “bros before hos” term is used.
  • Very out of the blue character backstory that entailed possibly irrelevant abuse and rape scene.
  • Sudden what if I can’t trust her moment that lasted five seconds.
  • Very peculiar language and sentence structure. I love that it’s set in Hastings, UK, but the British slang felt overdone.
  • The sixteen year old Rory calls his friends the boys. Not mates, fellows, guys. Boys.
  • Full caps were used. A lot. And if someone’s arm is ripped off then I imagine they might swear, especially being pirates and all. But this was the one time they didn’t.
  • And the ending was just... very quickly done, easily got over, convenient.




  1. Man oh man, does this one sound frustrating. "feeling MG except for all the derogatory terminology and sexual references" Seriously? What even. I read another mermaid novel that felt MG but had romance so it somewhat worked out okay but this just kind of seems like a mess. I see "AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGHHHHH" is not on your rating system, would you say that is below "This is the worst possible time for an explosion"? ;)

    1. Yup. Really, really frustrating. At times even infuriating, but hey, I got through it. Aw. I really want to find a mermaid book that is just amazing for me, but I've read few and know about very few and there seem to BE few, so it's difficult. Perhaps I should do some proper investigation into this.

      Hahaha, ahm... quite possibly, Alise. Quite possibly.

  2. I was sort of looking forward to this one when I heard this was a retelling of the Little Mermaid simply because as a child it was my favourite movie and now I know the real story it is one of my favourites too. I think the cover is pretty but I will not be reading this one for sure! The plot sounds annoying, I don't read MG much so it might feel a bit childish. It's always weird that it has the child feel to it and then some sex stuff thrown in :/ And I wouldn\t be able to take that writing style for too long either.... *le sigh*

    1. Yup, The Little Mermaid is a pure favourite (the story and not the movie so much for me, though). I don't think this is actually MG, it just... felt kinda MG-ish in places. Like a mash-up. But it's marketed, as far as I'm aware, as YA.


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