We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
The Oversight Audiobook

The Oversight

Regular Price:£17.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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 polices the lines between the mundane and the magic, counted hundreds of brave souls among its members. Now their number can be tallied on a single hand. When a drunkard 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, her appearance a puzzle the five remaining guardians must solve or lose each other, and their society, for good.

As the borders between the natural and the supernatural begin to break down, brutal murders erupt across the city, the Oversight are torn viciously apart, and their enemies close in for the final blow. This dark Dickensian fantasy spins a tale of witch-hunters, magicians, mirror-walkers, and the unlikeliest of heroes drawn from the depths of British folklore. Meet the Oversight, and remember: when they fall, so do we all.

©2014 Charlie Fletcher (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"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" (Mike Carey)

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

"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)

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

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (405 )
5 star
 (197)
4 star
 (132)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.2 (380 )
5 star
 (185)
4 star
 (117)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.5 (380 )
5 star
 (240)
4 star
 (110)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Martin Inerness, United Kingdom 02/12/2014
    Martin Inerness, United Kingdom 02/12/2014 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    407
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    194
    83
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    94
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great start!"

    Very enjoyable listen in a great setting. foggy London nights, horses & carriages, steam boats & Magic. Magical creatures & places and a very unknowing general public all being policed by "the oversight" - the MIB's of the Magical realm. Others have said it, comparable to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but different enough to not be too similar. Excellent Narration. Only reason for slightly less than full house of 5 stars was I found the plot use of coincidence to move things forward occasionally stood out, they are always there in most stories of course but I think there were just a few too many coincidences so they were noticable - but its a minor niggle, it is a great story and I am looking forward to the rest coming soon I hope.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sydney London, United Kingdom 18/07/2014
    Sydney London, United Kingdom 18/07/2014 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific"

    If you're looking for a beautifully written supernatural Victorian thriller this is pretty much ideal. It's clearly at least partly inspired by Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (amplified by being read by the same superlative reader), but this is more of a genre novel, with suspense and thrills and good guys/bad guys. The supernatural London police force and some horror elements also shares some of the spirit of the Rivers of London series. The entertainingly Dickensian cast of characters is huge and diverse- almost too huge, there must be at least six point-of-view characters-- the piratical Cook, the mysterious amnesiac girl, the other mysterious mad woman, etc etc. The prose is convincingly Victorian and a bit florid if you like that sort of thing, which I do!

    It ties up its most burning plot points but is clearly setting up a series, so one more thing to wait impatiently for..

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Fool 10/07/2016
    The Fool 10/07/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Prebble as ever, very good writing"

    This is Jonathan Strange-ish, in other words wonderful. And Simon Prebble is a truly fantastic reader - try The Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson if you want more of that dry irony and great array of characters. And, of course, Jonathan Strange.

    I would love confirmation that Prebble will be doing the next in the series, The Paradox. It's a great pairing of excellent reader to strong story telling.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PatM 05/05/2015
    PatM 05/05/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    153
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cracking first instalment!"

    This is a delightful gothic fantasy that starts in the gas-lit, fog-drenched streets of Victorian-era London, and follows an ages old coterie, now deeply diminished, known officially as the “Free Company for the Regulation and Oversight of Recondite Exigency and Supranatural Lore.”  The group of personalities making up the Oversight are a strange bunch at first glance, growing more and more endearing as we follow them in their efforts to guard the borders between magic and the mundane. Strange creatures from folklore lend a tasty sense of eeriness to the story as well as some very creepily disturbing human antagonists. I enjoyed myself immensely listening to this book, some conflicts were concluded while others are left for future storylines and the path is paved for much more to come. The future looks quite desperate for The Oversight, but there’s also hope for this steadfast group of friends. Remember: “When they fall, so do we all.” Can't wait to see what happens next, the second instalment "The Drowning a Glass" is due out this month, hopefully it will be available soon after on audible, otherwise am not sure I can wait and may purchase the kindle edition! 

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beccameriel London, United Kingdom 28/08/2014
    Beccameriel London, United Kingdom 28/08/2014 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    471
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    223
    104
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    242
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love the idea but somehow didn't quite work for me"

    I was really looking forward to this one as it sounded as it if would tick all my boxes: London, magic, evil fairies, grimy 19th century setting - all my favourite things - but it never quite gelled. I think the main problem are the characters in that no one really has time to develop one. This is especially true of Lucy and as I could never become invested in her as a person. Part of the problem may be that she doesn't really know anything about herself so her actions seem to come out of nowhere and she can't explain why she does them. This is especially true of the rushed ending - clearly just to get things up for the sequel.

    There are some good things. The magical element has been really well thought through with some very visual details like the bone pet or the bloodthirsty puffin skull. The villains are much more fun than the heroes; the Templebane family's witch hunting backstory is great and the Sluagh fighting a rearguard action against urbanisation - all that iron and running water - are excellently creepy and amoral.

    Simon Prebble is fine - good, consistent characterisation and no distracting vocal tics or mispronunciations.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny 23/09/2015
    Jenny 23/09/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    81
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    27
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and compelling"

    On the whole, I enjoyed The Oversight. I thought it might be quirkier than it actually is, but it's a work of serious urban fantasy with some interesting twists. My main criticism is that the book is overlong. Some of the really great action was stalled by over-descriptive passages that went on and on. I persevered and I'm glad I did, but I was a bit wrung out by the story by the end and found I had no appetite for Book 2 in the series.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L 20/08/2015
    L 20/08/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    99
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    360
    118
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed bag"

    This book is a real mix of good, okay and utterly dull. In fact the first chapter was so boring I almost stopped listening. This continues throughout the book, you just think it's beginning to pick up then it becomes almost unbearable tedious again. I also hate the scattering of Americanism littering this book - it's a real pet peeve of mine. The narrator has a pleasant voice and does a good job of reading the story. In fact, I would say he was the books saving grace. Can't say I particularly enjoyed this, or that I would recommend it. I certainly won't be tempted to try anything by anything from this author again.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mehitabel 01/02/2015
    mehitabel 01/02/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    244
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can I have some more sir?"
    What did you like most about The Oversight?

    Many, many things. Mostly that I really didn't know what I was letting myself in for and was delighted with the writing, the narration and the characters. I particularly enjoyed the unfolding of the Oversight and it's situation and the lack of blatant, boring or clumsy passages of explanation. The alternative London that is created is excellent and the sense of depth of story / background really worked for me.


    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathat 30/09/2016
    Jonathat 30/09/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastical"

    A gripping novel from start to finish, with exciting characters who you will to win! Looking forward to the Paradox.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alan Liverpool, United Kingdom 16/09/2014
    alan Liverpool, United Kingdom 16/09/2014 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    67
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent start to a very good story."
    Any additional comments?

    Packed with great characters, both courageous and hideous alike. Fantastic plot lines with a fluid direction. There wasn't a point where I was board with the story, and the narrator made this all the more interesting.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.