[Review] Lorali by Laura Dockrill

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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?

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Lorali is a cute, lovely book filled with beautiful, thrilling mermaids and pirates and adventure.

Writing Style

Laura Dockrill did a great job expressing every character’s feelings and made it possible to relate. It’s important to know what’s inside the mind of the heroes in order to be able to understand their actions. At first I found weird the way she wrote the book because there were many POVs and every POV had a different way of writing. I thought that it was confusing but then I realized that it was actually genious. I could see the difference in every character’s behavior and thoughts and it was easy for me to know which character is, everytime the writing style changes. I didn’t enjoy the small chaotic sentences in Lorali’s POV but I can understand the reason behind them.

[Heart. Bu-Boom. Listen. UP FOR BREATH.Tick. Tock. Legs. Heavy. Sink. Flap. Flap. Flap. In. Out. Calm. Like the fog.]

There were pages full with small confusing sentences like the one above. Yeah, Lorali’s thoughts were chaotic because she was experiencing new things and she was scared but I’d rather have a different description than this. I was unable to follow page after page full with these small sentences. I skipped. Btw that’s the only reason the book lost a star.

World Building

Mermaids. When I read the blurb I had in my mind the usual mainstream mermaids and I was so excited and relieved when I read that these mermaids were different. The Whirl. their kingdom was a mesmerising place, with sea forests and gardens and creatures and a beautiful castle. I approved of what I read. Mermaids weren’t born the usual way but they were humans who died and got a second chance in life. They were salvaged by other mermaids but I am not going to reveal more, you have to read. It was impressing. Also they had their tapestries in their tails and their memories and feelings could be seen there through colors and shapes and all. How awesome is that?

Also I liked the fact that there were modern pirates. I tend to forget the meaning behind the word ‘pirate’ and I’ve only connected it with old times. My mistake.


Lorali was entertaining. A mermaid that surfaced and got legs is always fun to read. I found cute all of her reactions and I loved how honestly naive she was because of her understandable ignorance. She was thirsty for knowledge and adventure; ready to live. Her fascination over pretty much everything was the best part and her will to trust Rory and the humans was sweet. I liked Lorali and I wish more female leads could be like her.

Rory was the nicest person I’ve ever read about. It was a bit odd to read the thoughts of a 16-year-old boy who is desperate to be a man because I am used to female leads but it was enjoyable. For the first time I could finally understand the struggles of a teenage boy. Actual struggles that normal teenage boys usually have. it was absolutely fun. Well yeah when he met Lorali his priorities changed but it was sweet to read step by step about how he fell in love with her and how he grew to be a man because he needed to keep her safe. I love when there is that kind of character development.

I am not going to talk about more characters because there were many and you also need to find out by yourself. I’ll only talk about the Sea, which was actually a character with feelings and thoughts. The Sea was a narrator and was part of Lorali’s journey, experiencing all of her adventures but mostly she was there to introduce us to the rest of the characters like the Pirates, the Mers and more.


I am not completely satisfied with how the book ended because I am a fan of happy ends. I am not saying that the book ends in a bad way but it felt like there will be more and to be honest I expect something more because there is more to see anyway.

In general

I found the book unique and interesting and even though there were some parts that I skipped because of the writing style I still felt the need to be generous and rate the book with four stars. It was worthy of my time and if there’s a second book I will definitelly reading.


[Laura Dockrill]