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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly unique and quixotic story, 6 May 2014
This review is from: The Oversight (Oversight Trilogy) (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My only problem is I've picked up the first book of a Trilogy and the other two don't exist yet !!!, 20 May 2014
M. King (Preston, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oversight (Oversight Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believably beautiful!, 8 May 2014
This review is from: The Oversight (Oversight Trilogy) (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical and Mesmerizing., 19 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Oversight (Hardcover)
There is a secret society that patrols the border between the known and unknown. On one side you have the normals and on the other you have the magical people. The society is called the Oversight. There was once hundreds of them but now there are 5.

When Lucy is brought to the Oversight headquarters, she was bound and gagged and had no clue who they were or what they wanted from her. When these people start saying things that they shouldn't know, Lucy realises there's more at play here than what she thought! See Lucy is different, when she touches things she gets visions. Everyone told her she was crazy and she started believing them until Sarah, the head of the Oversight, told her what she was. She is a Glint like Sara.

The second Lucy arrives it sets off a sequence of events that may cause the end of the society for good. Will the 5 be able to stop the things in the shadows from ending them? Who is this girl and why was she brought there?

Well this was such a pleasant surprise! When I was approached to review this it was the cover that caught my eye but it was the blurb that made me say yes.

This started out slow but the authors writing style kept me hooked. Rich in detail and set in Victorian London, I was captivated from the very start.

The whole lore of the Oversight was absolutely fascinating. They are a group of 5 that guard the divide between our world and the world of magic. Once there is always 5 in the group then the world is safe. We have Sarah, Cook, Mr Sharp, Hodge and The Smith. All very different but all intriguing and likable characters.

From the Oversight themselves to the creepy things in the shadows, we see a world full of magic and intrigue. It is a book that unwinds its secret slowly and should be savoured. From the dark and dangerous streets of London to the countryside with a travelling circus, The Oversight pulls you in and doesn't let go. The authors writing style was exquisite and mesmerising, he doesn't just tell the story, he makes you apart of it and weaves it around you. With twist after twist, fascinating characters and its dark atmosphere The Oversight is a must read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely surprise of a book!, 13 May 2014
This review is from: The Oversight (Oversight Trilogy) (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. We have the member of The Oversight themselves..... Sara Falk, the seemingly leader of the Hand, who's grandfather was a major player in The Oversight is a glint , like Lucy who I mentioned before. Sara is an interesting character as she initially seems very aloof and quite uptight but as the book progresses and things happen to her she definitely softens and shows a very different side to herself, an all too human side. Her number two seems to me Jack Sharp or Mr Sharp as he's referred to throughout the book. He's a very interesting character who seems to be able to influence people using his eyes, he's big and tough, and very protective over Sara. Next you have Cook, who's the cook come housekeeper of Sara's London house, she is also the living heart of what remains of The Oversight, the mother hen of the group. Hodge and Jed are the two sidekicks who do the majority of the 'grunt work', officially only Hodge is a member of The Oversight seeing as Jed is actually a terrier but they seem to have some kind of physic link between them as Jed is able to tell Hodge were he is by just thinking it and vice versa, very handy on a stakeout! The final member is the enigmatic The Smith who's a bit more of mystery as he is much older than you would think! Outside of The Oversight the characters are a bit more fleeting and temporary except for Lucy Harker, the strange girl who is like Sara, a glint, and who Sara desperately wants to help but she isn't quite what she seems to be and her invitation into Sara's home sets off a chain of events that turn the world of The Oversight upside down and sideways! All the characters are incredibly likeable, even those who aren't on the same side as The Oversight are easy to understand and provoke the right kind of emotion in the reader.

Is it a mind-blowingly good?
I thought this book was a fantastic surprise as it was so much better than I expected it to be. I had hoped that after reading the blurb for the book that it would be good as it had the subject matter that I like reading about but the final result was so much better that I expected!

Is it interesting?
If the supernatural appeals to you like it does to me then hell yes! I love the idea of entities fighting the forces of evil and The Oversight is no exception, they are an old force that have a back-story that is touched upon in this book but that could be explored in much more depth. One thing I did really love in this book is the idea of the mirrors and mirror-walking, something that I found interesting in Jennifer Donnelly's Deep Blue as that book has a very similar thought-train regarding mirrors. The idea of a mirror as a doorway to elsewhere is a wonderful one and I love books that do it.

Is it enjoyable to read?
Very, as I said the books is helped by great characterisation but also by a fabulous sense of mystery, especially the mystery surrounded Lucy when she first arrives gagged and bound on the doorstep of Sara's home and it's a mystery that continues through the book, the we also have the mystery that is the Templebane family, a very strange family of adopted boys (with the most peculiar names imaginable) with two fathers, a day father and a night father. They are obviously a force against The Oversight but why? Then you have the shadowy Citizen who's a bit creepy and finally you get to The Sluagh, any book with any form of The Sluagh in is a must read for me as they are always a great addition to a book, usually featured in books as the dark side of the Fae world but in this case more like the spirits of the restless dead and very demonesque in this case, a much needed sinister and supernatural enemy for The Oversight.

Is is well written?
It is, I have never read any of Charlie Fletcher's other work so he was a new author to me but I found the writing style laid back and easy to read. The is no pretentiousness in his writing, it is honest and completely to the point with no need for over-long descriptive passages while still leaving you with a good sense of what's happening and the surrounding throughout.

Would you recommend it?
Definitely! Maybe this book doesn't have the most original premise in the world but that does not stop it being a very interesting book to read, and thoroughly enjoyable too. It is quite reminiscent of Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell in places but I loved that about it and if you enjoyed that book then you should read this one too as it has the same kind of feel. I loved the book and would most definitely say to read it if you like the sound of it as I don't think you'll be disappointed in the slightest with it, it's a cracking yarn!

Will you read the subsequent books in this series?
Most definitely..... I NEEEEEEED to know what happens next, 'cos I'm nosey like that!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read, 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Oversight (Hardcover)
This had a real feel of the 'Night Circus' but was in itself very original. A gripping read with some lovely characters. The only sad thing is the next book isn't available....
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and gripping, 22 May 2014
Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Oversight (Hardcover)
The Oversight – a secret society that polices the lines between the mundane and the magic used to have hundreds of brave members under their name, but now these members are so few they can be counted on a single hand. When a drunkard brings a screaming girl to the Oversight’s headquarters in London, it seems their hopes for a new recruit may be fulfilled, but who is she? And soon borders between the natural and the supernatural begin to break down, leaving the Oversight in danger…

I will admit, I haven’t read that many stories in this genre, but with The Oversight – I was pulled into the story as soon as I started reading. I LOVED the idea of The Oversight, and I was instantly keen to know more about them – Who were they exactly? What did they do? I was gripped wanting to know more about their secret society.

The characters really fascinated me – I was intrigued to know their roles in the Oversight and how they had come to be where they were. The character that intrigued me most was Lucy, the girl who was brought to the Oversight’s headquarters. I was interested to find out who she was, and what her purpose was, and she particularly had me hooked.

I loved the setting of Victorian London, Charlie Fletcher’s descriptions were fantastic and I could picture every scene clearly in my mind. I really could feel the atmosphere of Victorian London too, at times it felt like I had been transported back in time with the added air of magic and mystery to the novel. I liked that absolutely anything could happen in this novel, there were many twists and turns and I was thrilled to be constantly surprised.

This is a fantastic and involving story and I’m very conscious not to give anything away. The Oversight is a captivating and gripping story full of the supernatural, suspense and mystery. It is a highly unique story unlike any I’ve read before and I can’t wait to read more from Charlie Fletcher!
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