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The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher – 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.
What I expected: I am not sure what I expected. All I know is that the synopsis above lured me in and I wanted to read it immediately. Secret societies doing good is one of the tropes I’m fond of. Add in a bit of magic and a picaresque historical period, and I was sold.
What I got: I got what I expected and more. The world building was lovely, and the characterizations were excellent, including the villains and the smaller side characters. You could almost smell the atmosphere.
What I liked: I really liked the characters and the world building. The actual plot was good, as well. It was an entertaining tale of magic, corruption, and the fight and balance between good and evil.
What I did not: There was one mirror scene that I just didn’t like – but it was one scene and not pivotal to the story. Naturally, I didn’t like the villains, but that is a good thing. I was a bit unhappy that one small side character was given a bit of the limelight and then just left to float in space. Presumably his story will get wound up in later stories, but I wanted to hear more of him; he was very interesting.
Cover Talk: The cover doesn’t really draw me in as it should. It is relatively interesting with the mysterious smoke, and I definitely like the blue color. But it really doesn’t tell me anything as a reader.
Recommendation: Highly recommended for historical fantasy fans of all stripes and flavors. Could be particularly of interest to those who are fans of stories like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or even some of the more modern, urban fantasy secret society/police force for good books.