Author: Charlie Fletcher (Twitter)
Publish Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy
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.
There are a few times when, as a book blogger, I'm incredibly surprised at just how well a novel sneaks up on me and surprises me in the best possible way. In the case of The Oversight, we have a novel that is virtually unheard of in the young adult community, but manages to offer readers a full-bodied fantasy novel complete with great characters, a historical setting that's every bit alive as the magic within and prose that will keep you hooked until the very end. Charlie Fletcher's novel is sure to captivate fans of fantasy and historical fiction, alike.
The Oversight, rather than simply thrust readers into an unfamiliar world, allows us the time to grow within the story and understand the rich backstory that's provided. The secret Oversight society was created to prevent the merging of mundane and magical elements, and it carefully and articulately illustrates to readers the dire consequences if the two merge. I was quite amazed by the skill and ease at which Mr. Fletcher set the pacing of the novel. With a rich, clear tone, we're invited to a world that's mysterious, a tad broken, but one that's easy to become fully invested in, as well. Furthermore, the plot, the world and all the hidden secrets slowly but deliberately unfold, giving us access to the background and the mysteries within little by little.
It must be said that The Oversight puts much more emphasis and weight on the plot development than the character development, but that's not to say that our characters aren't every bit as important, as well. For example, the interactions between the last Hand of the Oversight and Lucy, an orphan girl who ends up on their doorstep through conspiratorial circumstances, make these characters every bit alive, as well. Lucy was a broken, shell of a character, but as the novel progresses, we better understand both her background and her worth. Likewise, Sara's journey is a complicated one, but it's one that's intricately woven into the plot points themselves, which makes for quite an adventure.
I think that, perhaps, one of my favourite aspects of The Oversight, is that it doesn't shy away from its gothic roots at all. Rather, this is the type of novel that embraces the darkness of its circumstance, and little by little bleeds light and hope into the story of its characters. From the dangers lurking in the dark, to the desperate duty of the Oversight to protect the human population, it's a muddled but delicious mess of darkness that readers will become utterly intoxicated by.
Overall, I must say that I was entirely surprised by The Oversight. This is the type of novel that you can't help but become invested in from the start - and it's the type of book that will take you by surprise. I truly hope it garners more attention because, though I didn't expect anything, I was blown away by it. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy gothic fantasy and magic.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.