Primary Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy
Published: 23 July 2019 by Redhook Books
Page count: 464
My Format: eARC from NetGalley
Pacing: Erratic, slow at first, then picks up at end
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.
This book is touted as the “ultimate book-lover’s fantasy” and based on the synopsis, it absolutely should be. However, something about this book didn’t click with me, even though I did love elements of the story. Here are my pros and cons for The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep:
- The author (in the end notes) states that “This book is a love letter to literary analysis…” and it is. The literary analysis was my favorite part of the book. There is a lecture on Great Expectations given by Charley in the middle of the book and I absolutely loved it! This book is worth reading for that alone!
- There are so many literary characters brought to life and brought together in this book! The personalities and interactions between characters that really have very little in common was fun to read. I also thought it was an interesting twist that the characters that were brought to life were actually influenced by the reader who “summoned” them. In other words, while the live characters were essentially the same as their fictional counterparts, their personalities (once brought to life) were influenced by how the reader perceived the character before summoning them.
- The book definitely has a focus on Dickens, and since he is probably my all-time most favorite author, I enjoyed that aspect of the book very much.
- The world-building was well-done.
- The book was way too long. I got so bored in the first half of the book that I almost gave up several times. It took me almost a month to get through the first half of the book, then only two days to get through the last half. The book is super repetitive and verbose.
- The book only really got fun and interesting when it actually became an adventure story – and for me that didn’t happen until past the halfway mark.
- I didn’t really connect to any of the characters. I think there were just too many to be honest.
- The ending was too quick and too convenient and completely flat.
The love of books and literary analysis absolutely shines in this book. I loved that aspect of it tremendously. However, so much of the early book bored me that I struggled with the decision whether to DNF it or not. I kept putting the book aside to read other things. I eventually plowed through it and the second half got much better. I do not regret finishing it.
This is the author’s first book, and whether I loved it or not, WOW!! Even if I had some issues with the execution, I’m super impressed. I’m in awe of authors that can take a concept as detailed as this one was and make it work in any way at all – and this was a huge undertaking! I will read her next book for sure.
Thank you NetGalley and Redhook Books for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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