The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H G Parry
|The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H G Parry|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A fascinating piece of literary magic that is packed full of famous literary creations, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep blends strong relationships with brilliantly drawn portrayals of recognisable characters to make for a fantasy read that'll be enjoyed by anyone, but particularly those with a love for Victorian fiction.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: January 2020|
|External links: Author's website|
Brothers Rob and Charley have struggled to see eye to eye for years - Rob a sensible lawyer who exists in the "normal" world - and Charley a man who is blessed with an ability he can't fully control - one which allows him to bring literary characters into the real world. After years of protecting Charley, Rob wants to discharge his duties and leave Charley to his own devices - but circumstances soon take choices out of both their hands. As literary characters begin to appear everywhere, it soon becomes clear that someone out there shares Charley's powers and intends to use them for nefarious gains. Rob and Charley must team up to stop the madness - in a battle to win before they, the characters and the world reach The End…
H.G. Parry is a fantasy writer based in Wellington, New Zealand. A fan of books, travelling, rabbits, history, and Oxford Commas, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her first novel.
The idea of mashing up literary characters and breathing new life into them is not new - The Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde probably the most popular recent literary example, and the tv series Penny Dreadful mashed up characters from gothic literature to great aplomb. However, that doesn't mean there isn't room for new ideas in this genre - and H.G. Parry has plenty of those.
Grounding the story in that of brothers Rob and Charley really helps engage the reader immediately - the thrill of seeing favourite literary characters is certainly there, but without the emotional anchoring of the main plot it would likely feel a bit cheap, rather than having the weight it does here. The brotherly relationship between Rob and Charley feels hugely authentic, and the story between them hugely earned as the book goes on. Characters we know from other books appear frequently, and are brilliantly drawn - especially so in the case of Mr Darcy, who appears in various different forms here. Parry is conscious that every reader is going to have a different perception of each character, and, rather than ignoring this, utilises it as an essential part of how she brings these characters to life, adding an extra layer of complexity and providing enough contextual information that any reader will be able to recognise the characters who've appeared, whether they've read the works in which they've originally appeared or not.
The possibilities that stem from the ideas Parry has created here are endless, and there's great scope for this to become a series - one which I'd be really very keen to read! Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I recommend the previously mentioned Jasper Fforde - his Tuesday Next novels are great and in Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde he explores the world of colour in ways never seen before...
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