Sunday 26 January 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep - H. G. Parry

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can't quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob - a young lawyer with an utterly normal life - hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other.

But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world, and for once, it isn't Charley's doing. There's someone else out there who shares his powers and it's up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them - before anyone gets to The End.

What did I think?

Now this is one book that I couldn't wait to get my hands on; being a book magnet, a book about books is just my kind of thing!  I think H. G. Parry should be crowned Queen of Booklovers; she clearly loves books so much that she has brought the characters to life in her astonishing debut, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep.

So many readers remark that well-written characters often pop out of books when they're reading; of course they mean metaphorically not literally, which is not the case for Charley Sutherland.  Charley has the amazing ability to be able to conjure a literary character from within the pages of a book, often by accident when he is so immersed in his reading.  The only trouble is, once the character has been released from their literary prison, they don't always want to go back.  As the literary community grows, Charley and his brother, Rob, face an epic battle of good versus evil before the world as they know it is destroyed forever.

What a wonderful character H. G. Parry has created in Charley; his love of books and words is simply breathtaking.  When I say 'books', I mean physical paper books and I'm totally with Charley on that.  There is an extract from his notebook where he says: 
'Words aren't the same to me on a screen.  I can see them but I can't connect with them.  They're too hard and bright; I float on top of them, like a leaf on the surface of a pond.  Words on paper are quiet, and porous; in the right mood, I sink down between the gaps in the letters and they close over my head.'
How beautiful is that?  Although I read digitally when I absolutely have to, I have struggled to explain why I prefer books to ebooks and H. G. Parry has described this feeling so eloquently and exquisitely.

Who hasn't read Pride & Prejudice and imagined Mr Darcy so vividly that you expect him to materialise in the room with you?  Obviously quite a few people have done so as numerous Mr Darcys have been brought to life in this book and, after the 1995 TV adaptation, unsurprisingly one of them bears a striking resemblance to Colin Firth.  If ever you wanted to bring a literary character to life, what a one to choose, eh?  <<swoon>>

Wonderfully imaginative, The Escape of Uriah Heep is a dream come true for bibliophiles who believe in magic.  There certainly is magic within these pages and it's most definitely best kept there!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

H. G. Parry has a PhD in English literature and teaches at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She has published a number of short stories; The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her debut novel.

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