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Review: Lorali

August 1, 2015 in Book Reviews, YA

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: LoraliLorali by Laura Dockrill
Published by Hot Key Books Genres: YA
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
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? - from Goodreads

 

Hot Key Books recently very kindly sent me a signed ARC of Lorali by Laura Dockrill, so before I launch into my thoughts on this book I just want to say “thank you” to them.

This is the first mermaid novel I’ve ever read. I really wasn’t sure to expect, though if I’m honest I think I was expect something a bit light and fluffy. This isn’t a light and fluffy novel, it’s gritty and a bit dark at times and I really liked that about this YA novel.

It’s Rory’s 16th birthday and he’s just been down to the pier in Hastings to celebrate with a bag of chips – just as he used to do with his Dad before he left. Sheltering from a storm, Rory finds a naked girl washed up under the pier. It turns out that this girl is Lorali, a mermaid and princess of The Whirl.

Lorali’s family are looking for her, terrified that she has suffered the same fate as her Grandmother – abduction by pirates and a long, slow death. So Lorali’s mother, the Queen, has requested that Opal, the Mer who corresponds with the Walker world, spread the word of her daughter’s disappearance. Opal enlists the help of the Ablegares, a group of well kempt young pirates who value good food and a tidy appearance to try to track down the missing princess.

The book is split into chapters from the perspectives of Rory, Lorali and The Sea. I particularly love the chapters by The Sea. They provide a really interesting narrative that fleshes out the story, as well as adding a totally different perspective too.

This is a creative, imaginative story that contains some good messages, as I’ve come to expect from a YA novel – Rory’s fragile mother turns out to not be quite as fragile as he thought, Rory struggles with the disappearance of hid Dad & I like the way that aspect is dealt with. Then there’s betrayal, love, friendship, heartache… and there’s freaky bird girls (you have to read the book to find out more).

The story of how the Mer people come to be is a particularly interesting part of this book. It touches upon numerous issues, and is really quite poignant.

There was one thing about this book that did grate on me though. While there were lots of “current” references, such as to PR companies and Twitter and the like, which I liked, it brought the story into a world that we can relate to, one thing I was less fond of were references to products – Diptyque candles, Chanel etc. It’s probably me being particularly grumpy (and old). But why such expensive products? Why, when this is a YA book, further glamourise expensive products that the vast majority of us aren’t going to be able to afford. It just didn’t sit well with me. That said, these gifts were PR gifts to Opal, and that is something that happens a lot these days, so yes it’s real but … ah, I don’t know, I just didn’t like it.

Random old person rambly rant over…

Overall though, I enjoyed this book. I found the Mer world really interesting and well built. The chapters from the perspective of The Sea were absolute winners for me, I really enjoyed them. All in all this book had a very good balance of romance, action and emotion. If you want to read a YA mermaid tale that is gritty rather than fluffy then I’d say Lorali is worth a read.

GIVEAWAY: The Lunar Chronicles

July 30, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Current Giveaways

You may have seen my recent post on The Lunar Chronicles (Worth The Hype? Cinder & Scarlet). It’s fair to say that I’ve become thoroughly absorbed by the world and its characters. I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to reading the series and now I can’t wait for Winter (although I do still have Fairest to enjoy).

Anyway, I thought it was about time for a wee giveaway and to share my new-found love for this series. Perhaps you’re like me and late to The Lunar Chronicles party, or maybe you’re a diehard fan desperate to get your hands on Winter? Either way, there’s should be a prize for you.

TLC books

 

I’m giving away a paperback copy of one of the books in The Lunar Chronicles series. You can choose from Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, or a pre-order of Winter.

The giveaway is open internationally as long as The Book Depository or Wordery ship to your country for free (you can check by clicking the links).

Entering is easy, simply use the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Top Ten Tuesday #25: Characters That Are Fellow Book Nerds

July 28, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. If you’d like to participate too, see here.

Top 10 Tuesday Strupag

This week the topic is…

  10 Characters That Are Fellow Book Nerds

(love reading, are writers, work at a bookstore, etc.)

click to goodreads

1

Kelsea

 

 

2

celaena s (1)

 

 

3

jasnah k (1)

 

 

4

Liesel (1)

 

 

 

5

Ruth (1)

 

 

 

6

Hazel (1)

 

 

7

tyrion (1)

 

 

8

hermione (1)

 

 

9

Irene (1)

 

 

10

Catherine (1)

 

Who are your favourite book nerds in literature?

Review: The Hunter’s Kind

July 27, 2015 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fiction

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Hunter’s KindThe Hunter's Kind by Rebecca Levene
Series: The Hollow Gods #2
Also in this series: Smiler's Fair
Also by this author: Smiler's Fair
Published by Hodder Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: bookbridgr, Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
Born in tragedy and raised in poverty, Krish never aspired to be anything greater than what he was: a humble goatheard, tending his flock on the slopes of his isolated mountain home.

But Krish has learned that he's the son of the king of Ashanesland - and the moon god reborn. Now, with the aid of his allies, Krish is determined to fight his murderous father and seize control of Ashanesland. But his allies Dae Hyo, Eric and Olufemi, are dangerously unreliable and hiding secrets of their own.

To take Ashanesland, Krish must travel to the forbidden Mirror Town and unlock the secrets of its powerful magic, but the price of his victory may be much greater than the consequences of his defeat... For, deep in the distant Moon Forest lives a girl called Cwen - a disciple of the god known only as the Hunter. She believes that Krish represents all that is evil in the world. And she has made it her life's mission to seek Krish and destroy all who fight by his side.

The sequel to Smiler's Fair sees the start of the war that will unite Ashaneland - or tear it apart forever.

 

Ever since I closed the back cover of Smiler’s Fair back in February (review here) I have been desperate to get my hands on The Hunter’s Kind, the second book in this epic fantasy series.

As with any book I’ve really been looking forward to I was slightly nervous in case it wouldn’t meet the high expectations set by Smiler’s Fair, I needn’t have worried – it exceeded those expectations!

The Hunter’s Kind picks up exactly where we left the story at the end of Smiler’s Fair – with the exception of a small interlude to introduce a new character, Cwen, who will go on to play a significant role in this book.

Cwen is one of several new characters we meet in this novel. She is a hawk, one chosen to serve The Hunter, who in turn serves Mizhara, the Sun God. Inherently the enemy of Krish, (the reincarnation of Yron the Moon God) Cwen fights his servants, monstrous creatures that live in the shadows. I actually really liked the addition of Cwen, she’s a strong female character and her development throughout the book is really interesting.

Told through the same multi-character narrative as the first book, The Hunter’s Kind sees Krish being hunted by his father the King, as well as Sang Ki (who I really disliked in the first book but grew on me in this one) and The Hunter and her hawks. As he tries to evade capture with Dae Hyo and Olufemi, he must put his trust in strangers and hope they are loyal to the Moon God. What develops is a war between those loyal to Mizhara, and those loyal to Yron.

I felt the story continued to ‘connect the dots’ as was the case at the end of Smiler’s Fair, with characters converging, though often on opposing sides of the war. The character development of both existing and new characters was, again, very interesting. We saw new sides to our old friends, and not always a good side!

I particularly enjoyed the development of Eric’s story. I was thoroughly intrigued by Salvation in book one, and Eric’s story escalates there in this second book. As does his connection with Rii, who is even more awesome in book two – I want a Rii in my life.

As I’ve come to expect from Rebecca Levene’s writing, her narrative is clever crafted and beautifully told. Her world is fascinating and incredibly well built – we see more of the history of the world, as well as magic and runes in this book. She has also managed to create characters on BOTH sides of the war that I am thoroughly invested in – surely the mark of great writing?

Honestly, I loved this book. I did have a slight issue with part of the ending – let’s just say that I felt there was rather a lot of unnecessary death. However, this is absolutely a five star novel for me. If you haven’t started this series yet and you’re a fan of epic fantasy I highly recommend you check it out.

In case you need further proof of my love of this series, my special edition (sprayed edges, numbered and signed *swoon*) copy that I ordered arrived recently. At the time of writing Goldsboro Books still have stock!

Hunter's Kind special edition

I just keep staring at it!

EDIT – the kindle version of Smiler’s Fair is currently just £2.99. Go on, treat yourself!

Have you read The Hunter’s Kind yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Worth The Hype? Cinder & Scarlet

July 24, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Worth The Hype?, YA, YA Fantasy

I read a lot of bookish blogs and invariably there are titles that appear again and again, usually because they are adored and highly recommended. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer definitely fits into this category.  I’ve just finished the second book, Scarlet (so no spoilers please) but as I closed the back cover last night I wondered…

was that worth the hype-

The answer is simple, a resounding YES!

I’ve had Cinder and Scarlet on my shelves for a while but I must admit I was nervous to read them. Would my expectations be too high? I’d heard only great things about the series. They are a regular feature in many Top Ten Tuesday lists. Basically, everything I’d seen lead me to believe these books would be awesome and I was nervous that they might not live up to their hype. I needn’t have feared, they absolutely do! So far I’ve found this series to be fascinating, gripping, clever and, quite frankly, brilliant.

Scarlet

I’m just about to start Cress but I felt the need to gush about the first two books in the series. I’m not going to review them though, there are plenty of reviews out there on this series. If you want to know more then check out the Goodreads pages (links above)

Right, I’m off to start Cress now – I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here!

Have you read this series? Without any spoilers, do you think this series is worth the hype?