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The Oversight Paperback – 4 Nov 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (4 Nov 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0356502929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356502922
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Exciting, exhilarating, scary and moving in equal measure, The Oversight is a teeming world of dark deeds and dark magics, brilliantly realised. This feels like the start of something amazing (M. R. Carey, author of THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS)

Told in a kind of compelling and hypnotic poesie that I just lapped up . . . I'll certainly be reading the next one (Cory Doctorow BoingBoing.net)

The Oversight is - and let's be clear here - something very special . . . It's oh so moreish a morsel. I'd read a prequel this evening, a sequel as soon as. (Niall Alexander Tor.com)

A highly entertaining fantasy that promises a trilogy worth sinking your teeth into (SciFiNow)

Fletcher's Victorian London is juicily vivid, and laced with macabre Dickensian wit. There's a real sense of grim danger, both natural and unnatural, hungrily awaiting the slightest mis-step (Frances Hardinge)

Richly atmospheric (the evil lurks in the background of every paragraph), the book should be a big hit with supernatural-fantasy readers ... the second book can't come soon enough (Booklist (starred review))

A richly atmospheric and intensely readable slice of Victoriana, with a splendidly eerie sense of the way the unearthly lies cheek-by-jowl with the mundane (Adam Roberts)

A remarkable combination of British folklore, brisk pacing and wide-ranging imagination (Kirkus Reviews)

Utterly enthralling: Charles Dickens meets Susanna Clarke (Lou Morgan)

Richly atmospheric (the evil lurks in the background of every paragraph), the book should be a big hit with supernatural-fantasy readers ... the second book can't come soon enough. (starred review) (Booklist)

The Oversight is - and let's be clear here - something very special . . . It's oh so moreish a morsel. I'd read a prequel this evening, a sequel as soon as. (Niall Alexander Tor.com)

Book Description

Now in paperback, this gothic fantasy is the perfect indulgent winter read, with great appeal to readers who enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, A Discovery of Witches and The Night Circus and also to fans of Neil Gaiman's magical fiction.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Its hard to make comparisons with other similar stories. The concept of a London where there is the human side and then the hidden supernatural side isn't new but this book does feel different. And in a good way.

The Oversight, the law (lore) enforcement intermediaries between both worlds are well written well rounded characters and you feel for them as they start to see their world come under attack from their enemies.

There is also a nicely hinted back story that gives things a lot more depth.

Its also has a nice brand in humour that helps with the overall tenseness of the story..you are never quite sure how safe the main characters are , and they certainly don't get things all their own way.

The good news for me is that, within the overall trilogy arc, there is a good self contained element to this first book so some major peieces are resolved by the books end but with some tantalising story thresd still dangling.

Not seen much publicity for this book which is a shame, it deserves more recognition.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robyn K on 6 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The oversight takes place in a late Victorian, slightly Steampunk version of London. The oversight is a band of free men (and women) who police the supranatural world. A Sluagh- a northern kind of a fae/picts/bogeyman finds his way to town and that is where the adventures start.

Charles Fletcher transports you to a gas lamp lit, shadowy cobblestone London of times-gone-by, that is so vivid, you can almost smell the filthy Thames.

There is so much mystery and intrigue, that halfway through the book we still don’t know who Lucy truly is. All we know she was sold to Sara and can only speak French. Sara says she is a trap; maybe not, but still an enigma certainly.

The oversight is a bizarre tale that I have never read the likes of before. I was reminded of Mike Shevdon’s Sixty-one nails and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke in feel; but The oversight is a truly unique and quixotic story. This was an exceptional Gothic Low Fantasy book and a must read.
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By J. Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Oversight came as a little bit of a surprise for me. I read a book to be entertained and this one certainly began with signs of being entertaining. I want to have a book grab my attention from the first page and this one scooped up my attention and wouldn't let go. Maybe it's because I have recently read several novels in the fantasy genre which were ultimately disappointing for me so I had set myself up to be disappointed again. Once I combined the entertainment factor plus the attention grabbing and then added to it a story which I found myself genuinely interested in that it made me feel surprised at how much I was enjoying reading this book. And that enjoyment just went right on to the ending. Thank goodness there are two more books to follow this one!

Charlie Fletcher has presented 1840's Victorian London in such a rich tapestry of color I was surprised to realize that most of the descriptions of actual color are somber black, gray, dark tones which paint the landscape and the "supranatural" characters. Yet there is Sara Falk, leader of the remaining Hand of the Oversight, a five member group charged with regulating the interactions between humans and that unseen world of those wielding evil magic. Sara is anything but a dark character. Lucy Harker may not know exactly who she is because of the holes in her memory, but she definitely can't be described as dark. And then there is Mr. Sharp, what a lovely character is Mr. Sharp. So the darkness is a result of the superb writing ability which Mr. Fletcher has to immerse the reader in a world where such things as bones from different creatures can be brought together with a bit of spit and a few drops of blood to re-animate and do the bidding of a Shadowganger, one of the Sluagh.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stef L on 8 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I LOVED this book! Reminiscent of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but arguably better, at times it also reminded me of Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials and Morgensterns The Night Circus. Its the perfect blend of realistic fantasy that is utterly captivating and wholly believable, highly recommended and one of my favourite books of the year.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gizzimomo Wilson on 13 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
First a few words on the cover...... which I really love and what was what initially drew me to the book. The hand cupping the mysterious smoke that forms the books title, definitely a female hand and you can see a heartstone ring on a finger (read the book to find out about the significance of the heartstone rings to The Oversight, and it a significant part of the story!). It gave me a sense of magic about the book and it grabbed me from the first look. "WHEN THEY FALL SO DO WE ALL" is a very apt tagline for the book and gets the mind working immediately...... 'who are THEY?', 'why will THEY fall?', what are THEY to do with us, why will we fall if they do?, lots of questions from the one front cover tagline and I love books that provoke your mind from first glance like that. Question is, did the book live up to the cover? Read on to find out.......
The setting is Victorian London for the most part but we do get to leave London for parts of the books too, including a few scenes based in the Andover workhouse which is fascinating for me personally seeing as I actually live in Andover and we did a lot of work about the Andover workhouse while at secondary school!

The book revolves around a secret society called The Oversight that 'polices' the lines between the ordinary human world (the mundane world) and the magical and supernatural one. Once they were many but now they are down to a single Hand, just five members. The story is their fight against those that want to destroy them and the world.

What you end up with is a wonderful romp through a Victorian landscape that isn't quite our own, full of magic and the 'supranatural' and it's a wonderful read indeed!

The characters are full and well-shaped, full of emotions and genuinely fascinating for the most part.
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