The ultimate book-lover’s fantasy, featuring a
young scholar with the power to bring literary characters into the world, for
fans of The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and The
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 a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s 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 who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.
After a blurb like that who could resist reading this book. Reading characters into the real world isn’t a new concept, does anyone remember the Inkheart trilogy? Mo could also do the same, I’ve always loved this idea so I was excited to see Parry’s twist on the theme. Also, it is worth pointing out that Inkheart was aimed at middle grade. Uriah Heep is an adult book.
The setting wasn’t at all what I expected based on the book cover. Yes, I do know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I thought we would be straight into a historical setting. We are however, in Wellington New Zealand. The cover makes perfect sense once you get into the story and what a story it is.
People known as ‘summoners’ can read characters to life. What I loved about Heep’s version of this, is that these characters are based on a combination of the readers interpretation and the authors writing. Making them all unique.
One such summoner wants to bring these literary characters into the open. Bringing about a new world shaped in their image.
There are so many wonderful characters I could write about here. The sibling relationship between Charley and Rob was so well written, one moment wanting to kill each other, the next protecting them at all costs. It’s the love you can only feel for a sibling.
Interestingly we never have a chapter from Charley’s point of view. We see snippets of him through diary entries, otherwise it is through others eyes. It worked though and added an extra sense of mystery to the story. I loved how both brothers grew through the story, their relationship developed and they embraced each other, flaws and all. I felt very connected to them.
I loved the literary characters; I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to spoil the story. A lot of them are from Dickens, hence the book cover, but not all. You have Dorian Grey, Heathcliff, The White Witch and Lancelot to name but a few. My favorites were The Darcy’s, three of which make an appearance in the world in the 90’s and one keeps throwing himself in bodies of water – if you know you know.
It was those little details that kept me thoroughly engaged.
This book was everything I wanted. The action, adventure, mystery, the characters, all fantastic. I was completely hooked from beginning to end. My book loving heart would like to say a massive thank you to H.G. Parry, your story will stay with me for a long time.
My thanks to Tracy for my invite onto the blog tour and to Orbit for my copy of the book. My reviews as always are my honest opinions.
H. G. Parry lives in a book-infested flat in Wellington, New Zealand, which she shares with her sister and two overactive rabbits. She holds a PhD in English literature from Victoria University of Wellington, and teaches English, film and media studies. Her short fiction has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction and small press anthologies. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her debut novel.