The Oversightby Charlie Fletcher (Website, Twitter)
Series: Oversight Trilogy #1
Narrator: Simon Prebble
Published by Hachette Audio, Orbit on 2014-05-06
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Literary, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal
Length: 14 hours and 49 minutes
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Only five still guard the borders between the worlds.
Only five hold back what waits on the other side.
Once the Oversight, the secret society that policed the lines between the mundane and the magic, counted hundreds of brave souls among its members. Now their numbers can be counted on a single hand.
When a vagabond brings a screaming girl to the Oversight's London headquarters, it seems their hopes for a new recruit will be fulfilled - but the girl is a trap.
As the borders between this world and the next begin to break down, murders erupt across the city, the Oversight are torn viciously apart, and their enemies close in for the final blow.
This gothic fantasy from Charlie Fletcher (the Stoneheart trilogy) spins a tale of witch-hunters, supra-naturalists, mirror-walkers and magicians. Meet the Oversight, and remember: when they fall, so do we all
In this darker, grittier version of Victorian London, a group of Supra-naturalists called the Oversight try to keep the balance of magical and mundane worlds. But their official numbers have dwindled to the lowest number they can maintain and still keep a hold on the tenuous balance, and when a girl who doesn’t know what her powers are or who she really is gets dropped on their doorstep by a shady vagrant, she unwittingly escapes through a mirror and helps start a breakdown between the worlds as the Oversight’s enemies try to take them down.
The Oversight is the first book in a trilogy, and a good portion of the book is dedicated to world building and character development takes a little bit of a backseat because of that. The book starts off slowly and takes a while to build, but at about halfway through, the story really took off and a lot of the side stories started to come together towards the end of the book. And that’s where I really started to enjoy the ride.
With one set of characters that make up The Oversight protecting humans from the magical back in London, you really get a look at the ends to which they’ll go to stop the nefarious and dangerous entities that prey on humans. Lucy falls through a mirror and winds up in France at a circus, and she’s taken in by a family there where she travels along their circuit while hiding her supra-natural status. And there’s also the witch hunters who are trying to obliterate the Oversight as well as capture Lucy. All of these stories converge, but there are plenty of questions left in the end for future books.
I give The Oversight a four out of five. With descriptive and imaginative writing, the world building and atmosphere of both London and the European countryside are excellent. This did slow the book’s pace down a bit, however, and it made it a bit tough for me to enjoy and really get into until much later in the book. With such a broad and detailed foundation and a faster paced final quarter of the book, I hope that the second book will be good as well.
I listened to the audiobook provided by Hachette Audio
Get your own Audiobook at Audible: The Oversight.
This audiobook is narrated by Simon Prebble, who has this deep British voice that is perfect for this book set in England. Since this is a long book, the audio is quite long too, so it took me quite a while to get through it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the narration.
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