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The Oversight (Oversight Trilogy) Hardcover – 6 May 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (6 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356502899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356502892
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.7 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 579,120 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)

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, Costa Book of the Year winner)

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)

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)

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

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))

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

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)

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))

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

Only five still guard the border between the worlds. And when they fall, so do we all. The Oversight is a gothic fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was lured into reading this book, as it was recommended to me a few times by online apps as something I might like as I am keen on fantasy fiction. I’m glad I decided to read it, as it was a great book and I’ll definitely be looking out for more by this author. I suppose I would say it fits into the urban fantasy genre but with a historical twist, almost a cross between the likes of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and/or London Falling by Paul Cornell and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and/or Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It also reminded me a bit of the recent Penny Dreadful TV series, although I think this was better written.

The story is set in an alternative version of Victorian London and starts with a screaming girl, Lucy Harker, being dropped off at the headquarters of the Oversight which is a sort of supernatural (or ‘supra’ natural as they say in the book) border police or secret society. Lucy seems to need their help, but things do not turn out to be quite as they seem and the reader is taken on a journey both with Lucy and with members of the Oversight like the powerful, but vulnerable leader of the group Sara Falk, the loyal but dangerous Mr Sharp and the wonderful ex-pirate Cook.

I liked the idea of the Oversight guarding the borders between the world of normal people and the supernatural realms and found the characters in the society interesting and wanted to know more about them. The introduction of the conflicted Lucy Harker at the beginning was a great start to the book and introduced the other characters of the Oversight well. The descriptions of the safe house or headquarters of the Oversight, as well as of the fairground and the baddies in the story were fascinating and definitely left me wanting to know more.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition
The perfect book for the jaded literary palate as it doesn't neatly fit into a category. The closest I can come to describing it as as a dark gothic fairytale. Yes, I know dark and gothic are generally synonymous but this is particularly dark - the setting of Victorian London (in the main) adds to the feeling of dark, wet and sinister. And whilst it's a fairytale, it's certainly not the saccharine variety - there's brutality, despair, deceit and layer upon layer of secrets.

It starts intriguingly and throws you into a twisted supranatural (as it's described) quite Dickensian world with speed - it took me a little while to catch up and the prose is so rich that it's slightly dizzying emerging from it. And whilst it's hard to warm to any of the main characters initially, it's that sense of duality and imperfection again and you do ultimately see redeeming features in very real, flawed characters.

It's not a neat book and thus it's difficult to encapsulate but it's about what lies beneath the surface of an already dark Victorian underbelly - a group of 'mongrel' people, half supranatual, half human, policing the non-human world, 'The Oversight'. They've dwindled to such a small number that they're a very thin line indeed. Into their headquarters is brought a girl in a sack with her mouth plastered shut. Could she be one of them? Is she a trap for them? If she is, does she know it? And who is she and what is her history? We don't know and nor does she but she's the pivot for the story and catalyst for events that unfold in the book.

I imagine that fans of Jonathan Norrell and Mr Strange would love this but I found The Oversight more gripping, intriguing and pacy then Mssrs N and S. Don't expect neatly tidied away ends here - there are more questions left unanswered by the end of the book than you get resolutions; I cannot imagine where it's going but I look forward to finding out.
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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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