Review: The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry // VBC Review

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
H.G. Parry
Published: July 23, 2019 (Redhook)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for and honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

For as long as he’s been alive Charley Sutherland has had the ability to bring forth literary characters from the books where they reside into the real world.

For as long as Charley has been alive his older brother Robert has been picking up the pieces and cleaning up the messes that usually occur when bringing a literary character into the real world.

On one such occasion, Rob is called to the university where Charley works to help apprehend one Uriah Heep (of David Copperfield fame). Before Uriah can be sent back, he alludes to the fact that something big is on the horizon. Something that will change the world forever.

Rob and Charley soon learn there is another Summoner in their midst. Someone who has been calling forth characters and using them to commit crimes. When a portal leading into a mysterious Dickensian London street appears, Charley will finally have to use the powers he’s tried suppressing his entire life in order to keep the real world from getting edited out.

There is a lot to unpack with The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep. With so much, it’ll be difficult to talk about everything this book can/could/should/did allude to, but we’ll give it a try.

I really think that this is one of the best literary mashups I’ve read in quite a while, giving me real Thursday Next vibes. I loved seeing all the familiar characters popping up. Most of them were expected (Darcy, Heathcliff, Dorian Gray, Artful Dodger etc.), some were a little unexpected (such as the Jabberwock), but all were fun to encounter. The best thing about these characters is that their personalities are often based upon the Summoner’s interpretation of the text which may vary from language translations or be influenced by a movie adaptation (I’m looking at you Darcy, who jumps into pools). H.G. Parry pulls the literary analysis together really well, in a way that’s accessible to any type of reader you might be.

In the center of everything you have Charley and Rob, who fill in the roles of “chosen one” and “non-magical sidekick” respectively. Through that we see what is perceived as the certain responsibilities both roles often require within the literary world, but we also see how it’s not necessarily always easy to be the person in which the world’s safety rests or being the person who supports them. Rob and Charley have never had an easy brotherly relationship. Besides pulling characters from books, Charley is also extremely intelligent. Graduating high school at the same time as his older brother has been cause for accolades, but also for more attention because he was so young. So there’s a jealousy factor to their relationship, but there’s also the idea of the older brother wanting to protect his younger brother, to keep him safe. It’s instinctual for Rob, yet he also feels like it’s his obligation. I really enjoyed seeing the push/pull between them. Definitely a very familial focused story.

Overall, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was a fun, interesting, adventurous read. Perfect for booklovers. I cannot wait to see what H.G. Parry has for us next.

Sexual content: None

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