This review is spoiler free.
“You have to live your life like you’re pretending. An actor living a character’s life. Otherwise you won’t take risks. You won’t live.”
Published: 2015, by Hot Key Books.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology, Mermaids, Romance
Contains: Strong Language, Crude Humour, Death, Violence, Murder, Implied Sexual Content, Alcohol, Blood/Gore
‘Lorali’ follows sixteen-year-old Rory after he discovers a naked girl washed up under Hastings pier. Lorali is running away from her destiny, rejecting her life as a mermaid and has become human. However, that does not come without a price.
I picked up this book on a whim a few years ago at Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC), having been recommended it at one of the stalls there. It has been collecting dust since, but after rediscovering it thanks to my TBR Jar, I knew it was about time I picked it up. However, in all honesty, I was left a little unimpressed.
Rory as a protagonist was a bit of a difficult one to swallow. Although, his character development from the initial few chapters to the climax was interesting, there was very little else to say about him. He was your stereotypical sixteen-year-old unruly boy, who came across as overly-arrogant at times. However, his use of colloquialisms was good characterisation. but there was very little left of him outside of that.
Lorali’s character was pleasant enough to read about, enjoying her excitement and innocence towards human life. However, her narrative style was very difficult to digest at times. The constant use of punctuation marks made it very difficult to read.
The third narrative, as told from the point of view of the ocean, made for a nice touch. However, as a whole it was a little too boring. There were multiple characters being discussed, but as readers we knew very little about them. Their characters were skimmed over, forgotten, and left me feeling very unfulfilled. This point of view was used mainly to dump information on the reader, leading me more prone to skim-read than anything else.
The concept as a whole was a very interesting one, always loving the idea of fairy-tale retellings, so I thought that would be enough to keep my interest. However, it didn’t. The tone throughout the novel was mixed, having three different narratives with three separate writing styles; it didn’t flow at all. There was also a problem with the world-building. The underwater world wasn’t described effectively, leaving me often lost, whilst the world above water was confusing.
Overall, this book was an underwhelming read. Personally, I didn’t find it enjoyable, and I don’t think I’ll be trying out the sequel.
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